Categories
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
Categories
IT Agility

Achieve security objectives at speed with automated vulnerability management

Reduce time taken to fix security vulnerabilities by 50% with vulnerability analysis best practices

Cyber-attacks are increasing every day and are now the third-highest global risk, according to the World Economic Forum. GSMA’s mobile telecommunications security threat landscape report of 2019 says, “there was a 55% increase in breaches caused by open-source software vulnerabilities”.

Addressing security vulnerabilities is a top priority for service providers in the connectedness industry because a cyber-attack could disrupt services for millions of customers, impact customer’s trust, and deteriorate service provider’s brand & reputation. To achieve the required security objectives, service providers must adopt a structured approach to vulnerability management. Vulnerability management, which is the process of finding, assessing, remediating, and mitigating security weaknesses for known assets, gives service providers the ability to assess the status and risk of unknown hardware/software.

Depending on the service provider’s infrastructure size and state of the configuration management database (CMDB), finding the responsible asset owner can be a highly challenging and cumbersome task, resulting in lead times of up to many weeks. Therefore, vulnerability management must include automation to discover new vulnerabilities, perform risk assessment, and assign it to the right team for a quick resolution.


Addressing security vulnerabilities with speed is a top priority for service providers as a successful cyber-attack can essentially disrupt service for millions of customers

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

    Authors:
  • Reza Nanoha
  • Sathya Narayanan
Categories
IT Agility

Site reliability engineering for the connected world: Revolutionize your IT Ops

Modern business cannot afford the conflict between the urgent need to manage a dynamic situation and the strategic need to build for the future.

In today’s new-age markets, every major business is tech driven and, data is its backbone. Its IT success depends on its ability to develop, test, and deploy features (or products if you’re a pure tech player) at scale and at a faster rate than competitors. The speed at which changes roll out should match customer expectations, else you risk irrelevance.

For example, a business rolling out new products must contend with the constant tussle between the development side, which writes software, and those who run it. DevOps principles seem to alleviate the situation, as they spell out a way to harmonize the two silos. Perhaps your company has crossed this bridge.

But this perfect picture may not match your reality. Incidents and downtime may undermine the DevOps effort, forcing resources to manage them. A meltdown of IT Operations (ITOps) can bring development to a dramatic halt; or many small ones can bleed your operations to a state of stagnation.

null


SRE effectively ends the age-old battle between development and operations.

The answer is Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) principles, which is a prescriptive way of implementing DevOps. SRE creates a playbook that streamlines ITOps and shields people from critical situations, while those are being handled.

Development teams can focus on feature development instead of achieving and maintaining service levels in the form of incidents and uptimes, thereby improving the reliability of the business-critical operation.

Categories
IT Agility

Modernize to move at speed

A cloud-native order management can boost speed, scale, and operational efficiency

Fulfilling customer orders timely and accurately has always been critical for businesses to succeed. But achieving this has become a lot harder with rising customer expectations in the digital era. Today’s consumers seek instant gratification. They want new digital services enabled instantly on the device of their choice, on any platform over the phone or online – all of these with as little friction as possible.

So, what stops businesses from exceeding their customer expectations while fulfilling orders? Why are there high order fallouts and failure to meet the promised due date of order activation? Why are the businesses not able to customize and deliver new product offerings quickly as per the varied needs of their customer? Even if they do so, why does it become so costly and time-consuming?

The core problem lies within the legacy order management application that has grown like a huge elephant over time – making the entire ecosystem more complex and rigid to process new orders. It stifles innovation and drives up costs. To overcome this, leading businesses have started their journey to transform legacy order management.


Cloud-native digital platform for order management boosts service providers’ speed, scale, and operational efficiency, enabling them to thrive in the digital era.

A cloud-native digital platform is an ideal transformation approach that can boost speed, scale, and operational efficiency. But that is easier said than done. Businesses need to re-construct the application ground up, which means the entire order management stack should be rewritten from scratch, including key applications like order capture, order execution, product catalog, asset management, user documentation, notifications, and more.

Categories
IT Agility

Minimize the backup failures in data centers

According to different analysts, “5% to 25% of the backup jobs are failing across various tiers of data centers”. This impacts data centers heavily in revenue loss and SLA-based penalties. Further loss of essential data deteriorates customer experience. Hence, data centers must identify the root cause and reduce backup failures. The top reasons behind backup failures in data centers are the lack of storage space, database permission issues, and linear processing of high-volume backup jobs. Data centers should leverage a unique solution strategy to eliminate these problems and create successful backups.

Fig: Proven approaches to minimize the backup failure rate


Around 5-25% of the backup jobs are failing across various tiers of data centers

    Authors:
  • Sreedhar SK
  • Babu Rajesh
  • Selvakumar S
  • Vishwa Nigam
Categories
IT Agility

Simplify IT service management with consolidation

Leverage a unified ticketing system to enhance the ITSM consolidation program

Every service provider’s application landscape consists of multiple systems performing diverse functions. Managing standalone systems which are not interconnected involves enormous effort and cost. Also, service providers today are increasing acquisitions every year. In this post-merger environment, end-users struggle with distributed IT Service Management (ITSM) environment and unfamiliar technologies, which leads to a spike in demand for support. Some of the critical challenges faced in distributed ITSM environment are

  • Multiple processes for the same service management function
  • Complex third-party integrations
  • Lack of unified, integrated dashboard view from different systems

To overcome these challenges, process consolidation has become imperative. Businesses looking at ways to cut costs and enhance competitiveness are embracing various strategies to consolidate ITSM systems. This insight details the unified ticketing system and critical considerations for businesses to advance their ITSM consolidation program.

Fig. Key considerations to advance the ITSM consolidation strategy


With the growing trend of mergers and acquisitions across the Connectedness industry, the need for ITSM systems and process consolidation has become imperative.

    Authors:
  • Om Prakash C
  • Philip Richard D
  • Mogan AB
Categories
IT Agility

Unified network inventory ecosystem

Consolidate fragmented inventories into a single source of truth, and optimize processes such as network planning and design, and service assurance

Network inventory is made up of assets (Physical, Virtual, and Logical elements), and locating the correct asset in the right place as quickly as possible is essential for delivering services to customers on time. In recent times, mergers and acquisitions have fuelled the growth of service providers in the connectedness industry. As a result, most organizations have multiple disjointed inventory systems, often performing similar tasks, with critical data scattered across different systems. This results in duplicate information, complicated data retrieval and analysis, and ultimately impairs inventory visibility.

Service providers are trying to build a unified inventory system to have an in-depth network view. Still, the complexity involved in developing and implementing such a consolidation strategy discourages service providers from attempting.

In this insight, Prodapt presents a unique network inventory consolidation strategy with critical levers to help service providers achieve a unified inventory ecosystem. The levers help to cleanse the data and study its relationship recursively. This reduces the analysis and development time during network consolidation. Service providers can analyze tons of data from various sources, formulate, and have a complete view of their network inventory.


To succeed in a highly competitive market, service providers must have a unified view of their network inventory, encompassing physical, virtual, logical, and services inventory.

    Authors:
  • Muthukumaravel S
  • Lakshmi Narayanan Raju
  • Mogan AB