Zero-touch Automation Brings Significant Measurable Benefits for CSPs
To fully benefit from efficiencies put in place during transformation programs, operators should look to hyper automation across operational processes.
The automation of repetitive tasks has always been a core function of telecom software, yet a recent survey of key CSP staff showed that only 35% of customer service orders are fully automated from creation to completion. A much higher number of processes maybe be partially automated, and this may be fine for the purposes of current operations, however, the current macro trends at play in the industry indicate that hyper automation is required to grasp new business opportunities.
Hyper automation involves a combination of tools, including robotic process automation, intelligent BSS and artificial intelligence, with the goal of increasing AI-driven decision making across all processes. Today we are just reaching the point where AI is being trusted to take a much larger role running live systems across the operational framework and is proving its worth to drive more business-centric thinking in the network technology.
Hyper Automation across the Entire Operational Architecture
The aim of hyper automation is to provide a master intelligence to the service operations of the future, which will squeeze even more efficiency from existing transformation programs. Here are a few examples where hyper automation is starting to show measurable benefits for service providers:
- Customer management – Unifies the control and intent of functions such as customer information management, configure price quote (CPQ), order management and customer care to empower CSPs to make contextual, informed decisions about how best to interact with customers and their orders. Centralizing customer data into a single source of truth is the basis for hyper-automated workflows passing down through other BSS functions and into the OSS. This results in shorter ordering times and significantly increases customer satisfaction measurements, which can help reduce churn.
- Digital service lifecycle management – In the hybrid network, service fulfillment has become more complex and the need for speed has increased when activating digital services. The speed required needs processes to be full automated, and this part of the architecture has been a hotspot for full automation for some time. However, in the 5G era the next step towards hyper automation is to introduce AI to make decisions when activating new services, making changes or closing off existing services. Intelligence in this layer of the software stack is the key to effective service-centric operations that feeds down into the management and orchestration of both physical and virtualized networks.
- NFV management and orchestration – The introduction of NFV has proven the need for fully automated processes. Otherwise the benefits from being able to spin up new network resources on demand are negated by the delays in human intervention. As such, high levels of automation have been built into NFV architectures from the beginning, and now with AI we are seeing things like VNF management become case studies of how to ideally apply hyper automation principles.