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IT Agility

Test Data Management Reinvented – Deliver realistic, compliant test data in minutes, not days

Speed is a critical business imperative for all service providers in the Connectedness industry. The pace at which service providers can bring new products and services to market determines their ability to differentiate from competitors and retain market share. Applications are at the centre of this race, and as service providers look to accelerate innovation, they need to build out a more agile application infrastructure—and that includes a robust and comprehensive Test Data Management (TDM) strategy. Once viewed as a back-office function, TDM is now a critical business enabler for service providers’ agility, security, and cost-efficiency.

The lack of a TDM system impacts data security, test data creation, and provisioning. Service providers face the risk of exposing personal and commercially sensitive information such as financial, operational, and strategic initiatives in the test environment. Going manual with test data creation is also not feasible as it is highly time-consuming due to the huge production data volume.

With the increased use of automated DevOps toolsets and privacy laws that require secure data across global teams of employees and contractors, service providers must expand the charter of traditional TDM to meet the needs of today’s development and testing teams. This insight explores the top challenges service providers face in a standard TDM implementation and highlights the key enablers to consider when implementing new technology solutions as part of a TDM strategy.

Once viewed as a back-office function, TDM is now a critical business enabler for service providers’ agility, security, and cost-efficiency.

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IT Agility

Speed up IT problem resolution

Implementing an adaptive prioritization model in IT Service management reduces ticket resolution time by 50%.

IT and network systems in the Connectedness industry have seen major evolutions during the last few decades. With tremendous changes in technology and services growing in leaps and bounds, monitoring applications cannot fulfil the dynamic demands of response time and stringent SLAs. The number of incidents and alarms generated in a service provider’s IT and network landscape is constantly on the rise. It is important to prioritize the incoming incidents with the right priority based on various attributes. However, most IT service management (ITSM) systems are still prioritizing the incidents only based on urgency & impact.

The current practice is to raise trouble tickets and work on each item based on the incident priority set by the ITSM system. The disadvantage of this traditional approach is that the impact and urgency parameters are not optimized. Thus, the incident priority is not alerted properly, leading to a poor customer experience. It also doesn’t recommend reducing the average cost of unplanned downtime, which is a major influencing factor in operational expenses.

There is an urgent need for an efficient incident prioritization model with high customer acceptance and considering true business needs and IT capability. Service providers must work with the business and the operations team to provide effective and faster issue resolution to define a priority model. A sound prioritization scheme can help service providers to stabilize their day-to-day operations and make them more proactive in their responses.

This insight discusses a unique adaptive incident priority model that could be easily integrated into the existing ITSM platform. This strategy enhances ITSM systems with the capability to analyze various important factors to determine the right incident priority.

There is an urgent need for an efficient incident prioritization model with high customer acceptance and considering true business needs and IT capability.

Figure 1: High-level architecture with adaptive priority model & topology analyser methodology

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IT Agility

Self-healing tool is the answer for order fulfilment woes

Achieve automated resolution of order fallout issues and recurring requests.

Service providers in the connectedness industry face the challenge of meeting customer order fulfilment deadlines. With the introduction influx of complex convergent services, which require bundling of different product offers, order fulfilment is becoming more unstable and delayed. The ongoing mergers and acquisitions in the telecom industry make the process much more complex, leading to higher order fallout rates. Order fallout in the order orchestration life cycle results in customer churn and revenue loss for service providers. Hence, a swift resolution to the fallouts is a prime necessity.

Improve incident resolution time by up to 98% using a holistic tool that reduces order fallouts in the Order-to-Billing journey.
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IT Agility

Give your apps a new shine with microservices

A simplified approach to breaking up your monolithic applications into microservices

There is an increased tendency among service providers in the Connectedness industry to move their enterprise-scale applications to the cloud. With most of the service providers’ business systems still not cloud-ready, executives have begun to mandate initiatives to modernize their legacy applications for the cloud. These legacy applications are usually large monolithic applications with years or decades of accumulated technical debt, making them difficult to change, expensive to scale, and weighing down on an organization’s innovation capability. As monolithic applications become too large to deal with, many service providers are breaking them down into the microservices architectural style.

Digital pure-play companies such as Meta, Alphabet, Apple, etc., have embraced microservices architecture for their website, applications, and digital experience. Microservices architecture is one of the key factors that has enabled them to achieve phenomenal growth. Thus, embarking on the microservices transition journey will help service providers achieve agility, flexibility, and scalability. It will also help them derive granular insights and leverage them to deliver superior customer experience and enable new business streams. To accelerate the transition towards microservices, service providers need to revamp their massive, bulky, siloed, and complex environments to support the microservices strategy.

This insight highlights the five-stage strategy, which includes guided qualification checklists to assist service providers in embarking on an effective microservices transformation.

Embarking on the microservices transition journey will not only help service providers to achieve agility, flexibility, and scalability but also help them to derive granular customer insights.

Five stages with a proposed qualification checklist and key recommendations to navigate through the migration journey

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IT Agility

Cure data pollution at source with data intelligence engine

Leveraging data-driven network inventory wizard to arrest 90% of errors

Service providers in the Connectedness industry manage inventory data, consisting of their assets and services that are critical to their operations. These assets grow every day, making them difficult to manage. In general, the service providers manually register their inventories once their capacity management team forecasts and decides to expand the network. Hence, building an efficient inventory management system with an intelligent User Interface (UI) becomes important to guide the users in the registration process. The lack of such intelligent registration tools will hinder the ability to plan optimized networks resulting in delayed service, poor customer satisfaction, and loss of revenue.

Some of the key factors that lead to inventory data issues are

  • Manual registration of assets and services in the OSS inventory
  • Duplication of records due to lack of efficient validation tools
  • Multiple siloed inventories

To overcome the above-mentioned issues, service providers need to Introduce a data-driven inventory wizard with business rules to improve the registration quality and arrest the errors at the source, thereby maintaining a high quality of data in OSS inventory.,/p>

With a data-driven inventory wizard in place, service providers can realize major benefits in data integrity of inventory, such as:

  • Timesaving: Improves manual registration time by 87.5%.
  • Accuracy in data: Registration accuracy on an average improves from 70.5% to 98%.
  • Reduced efforts: Reduces manual data entry by 65% and the rework to be done due to errors during manual registration
Regardless of the tools or technologies used to tackle data integrity issues, discrepancies still happen. This issue must be fixed during the manual registration process to have a high-quality inventory data.

Fig: Key Capabilities to be built on data-driven inventory wizard

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IT Agility

Building an effective order processing system with easy tracking

Leverage smart dashboards for end-to-end order tracking and monitoring to prevent order fallouts and enhance customer experience

An efficient order lifecycle management (OLM) is vital for a smooth order process at every stage, starting from order placement to order delivery. The OLM must provide seamless experiences for both businesses and consumers to gain a competitive advantage.

However, service providers in the connectedness industry often experience challenges associated with siloed systems, order complexity, legacy systems, and manual order tracking. These lead to increased order fallout, high OPEX, reduced customer satisfaction and low order visibility.

Figure : Challenges in Order Lifecycle Management

Service providers must enable an end-to-end view of the orders, throughout the workflow, with real-time status to reduce the order fallouts and revenue leakage in a big way. An Order Assurance Dashboard with Backend Integration is the most optimized solution to a majority of Order Lifecycle Challenges. This dashboard provides:

  • Integration with backend systems: Provide APIs for quicker integration with all underlying systems which are part of the order lifecycle and fetch order status from each of them
  • End-to-end view of the order: Provide a view of all the orders as they pass from order entry to provisioning to billing
  • Order fallout tracking: Track and highlight orders which have breached SLA for immediate action
  • Reporting: Provide order flow reports on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis for individual products/services and regions
  • System health monitoring: Perform continuous monitoring to provide performance report and availability of all the integrated systems.​This will help in taking preventive measures and avoiding revenue leakage
An end-to-end view of the orders with real-time status tracking reduces order fallouts and revenue leakage in a big way.

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IT Agility

Fix the broken dispatch process to improve field service

Spare location intelligence can enable efficient dispatch operations and reduce the issue resolution time by 45%

Most service providers are struggling with the rising cost of field service due to the increase in repeat dispatches and higher issue resolution time. It takes longer to repair faulty hardware, impacting the customer experience and leading to a higher churn probability. According to Forrester, 73% of customers consider time the most critical customer service point.

Spare parts information is critical to scheduling an efficient dispatch for repair activities. It is not only the right delivery of spare parts that matters but also the delivery should reach the right place at the right time. Getting this right, the first time is difficult as the current manual approach is error-prone and inefficient without any automation. With a wide gap between the availability of spare parts and onsite requirements, there is a high degree of unpredictability.

Fig:  Steps followed in field service operation showcasing the importance of spare information

To provide an efficient dispatch, it is crucial to ensure the right spare parts are available and dispatched from the nearest warehouse location through the most optimized route. The Spare-Location Intelligence framework can enable service providers to get real-time spare availability across warehouse locations and the most optimized route to access them.


The Spare-Location Intelligence framework can enable service providers to get real-time spare availability across warehouse locations

    Authors:
  • Sumit Thakur
  • Murugan Chidhambaram
Categories
IT Agility

Eliminating avoidable truck rolls to save costs and improve customer satisfaction

Leverage statistical analysis and service truck roll optimizer for better field service efficiency

Truck rolls are an integral part of field service operations. It refers to any situation in which a technician is dispatched to solve an issue. But often, a field technician is dispatched to a job that is temporary in nature or can be resolved in under five minutes with a quick fix. Situations like these have become a huge pain point for service organizations.

A peculiar challenge faced by most Service Providers is that 25% of the truck rolls in their fleet are deemed non-value-add (NVA) or avoidable, costing millions each year. The process of creating truck roll appointments and subsequent follow-up activities still involves a lot of manual work. The customer service representatives (CSRs) create work orders manually without thorough assessment, resulting in avoidable or non-value-added truck rolls.

Service Providers must adopt a proven approach to address truck roll inefficiency issues. Transform field service management processes using techniques like:

  • Service truck roll optimization– Filters the NVA truck rolls and updates the work logs in the CRM system. Only the work orders that do not meet the business filter criteria will result in truck rolls
  • Pareto principle and correlation analysis– Uses analytics to identify the main causes for NVA truck rolls


25% of the truck rolls in a service provider’s fleet are deemed non-value-add (NVA) or avoidable, thus costing millions each year.

Categories
IT Agility

Close the gap in network inventory to improve customer service

Leverage an RPA-based solution strategy to address inventory data inaccuracies and have a better insight into your network

Network inventory is the cornerstone for any service provider. To deliver seamless network services, assets and infrastructure (computers, routers, servers etc.) are a must. And the inventory available with an operator determines the kind, quality, and capacity of any services they offer. Therefore, these assets are crucial as service providers in the connectedness industry cannot operate without them.

However, service providers face several challenges in managing the completeness and accuracy of inventory data. Inventory data issues majorly arise due to human errors by field engineers, multiple sources of truth as a result of mergers and acquisitions and non-digital data storage formats. These issues eventually increase the lead time for new installs/repairs, high volumes of calls by field technicians to the customer care, frequent provisioning fallouts, etc.

Service providers must take a holistic solution approach to tackle the core challenges that are crippling them from effectively managing the network inventory data integrity issues. Manual data reconciliation projects are proving to be ineffective as they are labor-intensive, time-consuming and cannot handle network environments that are rapidly changing. Adopt an RPA-based automated inventory reconciliation framework to accelerate data integrity programs and improve service.

Figure 1: RPA-based Automated Inventory Reconciliation Framework


Service providers’ network inventory systems are often 20-30% out of sync with the physical and logical state of the network. An RPA-based automated inventory reconciliation framework can accelerate data integrity programs.

Categories
IT Agility

Attract and retain customers with enhanced broadband service coverage

Leverage a unified serviceability framework to improve the service qualification

Today, most service providers in the connectedness industry are challenged in determining the service availability for different customer addresses as it is cumbersome and time-consuming. Ineffective broadband service qualification results in the poor customer experience of the existing customers and the unserviceability of new customers. Hence service providers need to focus on improving the serviceability for retaining and enlarging the customer base. The major factors contributing to ineffective service qualification include:

  • Lack of support for multiple technologies (e.g.) Copper, Fiber, IPTV, Cable, Fixed Wireless
  • Lack of agility to accommodate the real-time needs of the customer
  • No standard address and service repositories
  • Inaccurate measurement of loop length, resulting in reduced service offering

Service providers can leverage a unified serviceability framework to overcome these challenges and improve the serviceability of the customers. It assists in responding to customer requests rapidly with improved customer engagements and real-time responses for service qualification inquiries. Further, it helps to improve the overall broadband qualification coverage and customer experience.


Ineffective broadband service qualification results in the poor customer experience of the existing customers and the unserviceability of new customers.

    Authors:
  • Srinivas B
  • Vijayan B
  • Mogan A B