As telecommunication service providers (SPs) look to stave off competitive threats from over the top (OTT) providers, they are digitally transforming their operations to greatly enhance customer experience and relevance by automating their networks, applying security, and leveraging infrastructure management.
According to EY’s "Digital transformation for 2020 and beyond" study, process automation can help smooth the path for SP IT teams to reach their goals, with 71 percent of respondents citing process automation as "most important to [their] organization’s long-term operational excellence."
There are thousands of virtual and physical devices that comprise business, consumer, and mobile services in an SP’s environment, and automation can help facilitate and accelerate the delivery of those services. There are three key ways automation can help SPs:
By automating the processes and configuration surrounding these devices and the supporting OSS/BSS layer, IT teams should be able to focus on problem solving instead of grappling with the behavior of individual devices. Automation also can help simplify multi-vendor networks through the establishment of playbooks that guide the management of the physical and virtual components involved. Real time events (regarding health of network components and devices) can be fed into a Complex Event Processing (CEP) engine to trigger actions and alerts, acting as a sort of self-healing mechanism. This can help further reduce the possibility of downtime increasing service availability.
One example where automation can play a key role for security and compliance is with end-of-life or end-of-support components, which may negatively impact network audits. To help SPs be audit-ready, automated, rules-based network scans can help enforce security policies and compliance with regulations and corporate policies across devices.
Organizations may also be able to model event handling and remediation mechanisms and, if needed, identify exceptions needing human intervention. Finally, automation can help improve activity monitoring and recording to facilitate remediations and audits.
Some SPs are turning to Ansible and other tools to embark on their automation journey. Red Hat Ansible Automation, including Red Hat Ansible Engine and Red Hat Ansible Tower, simplifies software-defined infrastructure deployment and management, operations, and business processes to help SPs more effectively deliver consumer, business, and mobile services. As SPs continue their path toward digitization, Red Hat is delivering the solutions they need to succeed.