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Written by Mitch Miller
on 30 Nov 2016

Traditional legacy systems have created challenges for today's telecom companies. They hinder them from gaining full visibility and control over faults, costs, revenue opportunities, and most importantly the customer experience.

What does a modern network operator need to implement to move past these challenges?

The IT systems of the past decades were never designed to deal with the complex and demanding task of effectively managing the rapidly evolving networks we have now, let alone into the future. With infrastructure changes, diverse applications and services added over time, legacy systems often end up as a fragmented patchwork requiring heavy customization and extensive programming to maintain.

In a crazy twist, the very technology that customers have come to expect has left traditional operators under increasing pressure to monitor and manage the customer experience and provide services on demand.

Why is service assurance necessary?

In an environment where consumers can quickly access information and communicate using a range of mobile devices over diverse networks, it becomes even more crucial for telecom companies to maximize customer satisfaction. By combining quality assurance and control with service level management, service assurance establishes a set of procedures that enables responsiveness.

Network health alone is no longer sufficient; availability and reliability are paramount. Service operators need to take a holistic approach to customer experience, correlating data across network layers to gain a view of the performance experienced by each individual.

Building blocks for greater service assurance

Today's telecom operators are turning to service assurance systems that are both interactive and responsive, offering benefits across diverse areas of the enterprise.

Visibility: IT infrastructure is often inherently complex, but it doesn't need to be complicated to manage. By investing in a system that enables operators to coordinate and view all aspects of the operations from one dashboard, it is possible to retain visibility and control of both infrastructure and the customer experience.

Control: Integrating all aspects of the enterprise, from financial and sales to warehousing and logistics, allows for direct correlation of data and the capability to quickly identify and act upon problems. Advanced diagnostics and infrastructure that is capable of quickly adding new services is an important side benefit.

Performance: An integrated approach can increase ease of use and reduce delays and errors, thereby improving business and operational efficiency. Furthermore, it offers the ability to recognize usage patterns through analysis of the available data, in turn enabling the enterprise to tailor service offerings for subscribers and implement usage-based billing.

Cost efficiency: Rather than continuing to labor under the weight of legacy systems, the company can begin to increase ROI from its IT investments. Reducing the number of tools means less to manage, reduced software and hardware costs, and greater efficiency in staff allocations. At the same time, heightened responsiveness to customer demands will ensure greater loyalty.

There are still many traditional telecom operators struggling with complex legacy systems and living in fear of the threats that may jeopardize telecom health in the future. With all the money being invested in service assurance by communication service providers (CSPs) around the world, it's increasingly important for operators to allocate budget for centralizing processes, services, and infrastructure if they want to remain competitive.

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