Spotlight on Tech

Meet the Network Operations Center of the future

Dhruv Sood
Global Digital Marketing Manager
Rakuten Symphony
November 20, 2023
minute read

The ever-changing telecom industry has always tried to find the perfect solution to every problem. While telecom constantly strives for perfection, it's clear that network automation is the way forward. Network automation means different things to different operators in the telecom industry. For some, it covers the entire network lifecycle, including planning, design, setup, launch, ongoing management, and orchestration. Others focus on automation across various network domains, specifically the physical infrastructure layers, from access to the core. The definition of end-to-end automation varies, but it all revolves around making network operations more efficient.  

At Rakuten Symphony, we believe that the future Network Operations Center revolves around four essential principles:  

  1. Focus more on customers and services versus network infrastructure.
  2. Automate driven by data analytics and policies to reduce time and cost.
  3. Agile working, frequent incremental changes incorporated using a DevOps approach.
  4. Extensive liaison with ecosystem partners both as providers and channels.
“Today, two out of three network problems are reported by customers, rather than being identified in the Network Operations Centre (NOC).”
- Appledore Research

The challenge is sometimes the opportunity

Uncontrolled network changes, driven by manual script execution, lead to unpredictable consequences. With manual processes, operators face many challenges, including operational efficiency, performance impact, lack of control and unavailability of notification functionality. To mitigate data disruptions, operational controls are vital. The absence of change control can lead to losses, necessitating automated Methods of Procedure (MOP) to prevent human errors and outages. Rakuten Symphony Automation Studio offers automated script execution, making network management more efficient, reliable, and responsive. It streamlines tasks, enhances network performance, and ensures optimal service delivery.

 Rakuten Symphony Automation Studio across the network operations lifecycle.
Rakuten Symphony Automation Studio across the network operations lifecycle.

Rakuten Symphony Automation Studio across the network operations lifecycle

Let's dive into how Rakuten Symphony Automation Studio can help optimize network operations.

  • Extensive Automation Catalogue: A broad list of automation templates empower network administrators to execute tasks for various network flows effortlessly. These templates cover multiple activities, from routine health checks to complex software upgrades.
  • Network-Specific Command Dictionary: During incident resolutions, it provides a comprehensive dictionary of network-specific commands, making audits and troubleshooting actions easier and safer. This feature is invaluable in ensuring swift issue resolution, minimizing downtime, and enhancing network reliability.
  • API-First Approach: It seamlessly integrates with other products and systems. This enables a rich and collaborative experience across domains, enhancing the overall network management ecosystem.
  • Event-Driven Automation: Automations can be triggered by various events, including those generated by change management, incidents, and service desk operations. This proactive approach ensures compliance and automatic issue remediation, reducing the impact of network disruptions.
  • Cloud-Native Scalability: This cloud-native tool can scale to meet the performance needs of telcos and enterprises with networks of any size. It adapts to the evolving demands of modern telecom infrastructures.
  • Rapid Integration: Network operators can quickly onboard a wide range of use cases and automation solutions onto the platform with minimal setup. This flexibility is crucial for addressing network-specific challenges efficiently.
“Automation Studio is a fundamental requirement in the telecommunications industry. It addresses the complexity, efficiency, and quality challenges of managing modern telecom networks. By automating routine tasks, reducing errors, and ensuring rapid issue resolution, it plays a pivotal role in enabling automation and service assurance, ultimately providing a seamless and high-quality experience for customers. It is vital for the telecom industry's ongoing evolution and its commitment to delivering reliable and efficient services."
- Ashish Shukla, Senior Training Manager, Rakuten Symphony

The Power of Automation in Telecom Network Operations

With its extensive automation catalogue, proactive event-driven capabilities, and the power of cloud-native scalability, Rakuten Symphony Automation Studio empowers telecom operators to deliver reliable, high-quality services. By streamlining everyday network management tasks, Automation Studio ensures a seamless and efficient experience for telecom providers and their customers, saving valuable time and reducing operational costs.

Here are some of the key benefits of Rakuten Symphony Automation Studio:

  • Efficiency and Time Savings: Streamline and automate routine tasks, such as software updates, network configuration changes, or equipment provisioning. This efficiency leads to significant time savings.
  • Error Reduction: Manual execution of tasks is susceptible to human errors. Automation Studio performs these tasks precisely, reducing the risk of misconfigurations, outages, and network disruptions.
  • Consistency: Ensures consistent execution of tasks, leading to uniform network configurations and performance. This consistency is crucial for maintaining service quality and reliability.
  • Rapid Response to Issues: Allows for swift responses to network issues. When problems arise, automation can be leveraged to initiate corrective actions promptly, minimizing service disruptions.
  • Proactive Issue Resolution:  Supports event-driven capability, responding to triggers like alarms, incidents, or network changes. It can proactively address issues, ensuring continuous service delivery.
  • Service Assurance: Service assurance is paramount in telecommunications and Automation Studio enhances service quality, minimize downtime, and reduce customer service interruptions.
  • Network Optimization: With integration to a complex event monitoring system, it can trigger scripts to automatically optimize network resources, allocate bandwidth, and balance network loads, leading to improved performance and customer satisfaction.
  • Cost Efficiency: By automating repetitive tasks, companies can reduce operational costs associated with manual labor and errors. This results in cost savings and improved profitability.
  • Integration and Interoperability:  Offers API-first approach, allowing seamless integration with other products and systems, creating a unified network management ecosystem.

Achieve Automation at Speed

Automation currently exists in localized, domain-specific ways, but the big opportunity now is to transition to cross-domain system-level automation, which we believe should be the way forward. If something is repetitive, time-consuming, or non-optimized, those are usually the use cases that are always good for automation.

Achieving ‘Automation at Speed’ depends on four key fundamentals:

  1. Strive for cross-domain automation culture.
  2. Build foundations for self-healing and autonomy.
  3. Align integration to industry standards like TMF, open APIs.
  4. Leverage cloud-native, microservices-based platforms that can scale with business needs.

For more information on our transformational journey and an in-depth breakdown, visit our ‘Automation at Speed’ microsite. Stay tuned as we bring you more about our Automation-first mindset in the coming weeks.

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