S o l u t i o n O v e r v i e w. Optimising Service Assurance with Vitria Operational Intelligence

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1 S o l u t i o n O v e r v i e w > Optimising Service Assurance with Vitria Operational Intelligence

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3 1 Table of Contents 1 Executive Overview 1 Value of Operational Intelligence for Network Service Assurance 4 Operational Intelligence Provides the End-to-End Customer View 6 The Vitria Operational Intelligence Platform 7 Partnering with Vitria for Successful Service Assurance Executive Overview As basic network connectivity becomes commoditised, the majority of Communications Service Providers differentiate from their competitors by offering increasingly sophisticated services on a proliferation of smart devices. However, competitive differentiation for advanced and converged services will rely on more than achieving traditional service performance targets. To assure proper delivery of services and to better manage customer perceptions, Service Providers must monitor complicated Service Level Agreements (SLAs), cooperative partnerships, revenue rebates, and different types of conflict resolutions. Network Operators and Service Providers need to be alerted to unplanned events that lower consumption of network services, thereby reducing revenues and customer satisfaction. Having identified these exceptional events they must be able to act on timely diagnosis and fault resolution to avoid or minimise the impact on customer service and revenues. In this environment, customer satisfaction is the ultimate metric of success. The surest path to revenue growth is to ensure that customers receive the highest Quality of Service across multiple applications and delivery mechanisms. At the same time, isolating and resolving technical problems across a complex telecom infrastructure and evaluating them in the context of the customer experience is far from a simple task. Operational Intelligence is a new approach to solving this problem that gives Service Providers the ability to deliver improved Service Assurance by exploiting three key capabilities: Visibility into real-time customer experience by combining network performance with customer information Insight into actual and expected performance and other key metrics using real-time analytics Action in the form of automated responses to error conditions to resolve problems before they become visible to the customer The Value of Operational Intelligence for Network Service Assurance To understand the benefits of Operational Intelligence for Service Assurance, consider particular elements of the end-to-end customer view: network performance and exception management. Network Operations teams must monitor the network and handle all of the alerts that are generated by the network elements, and then take rapid action when faults occur that might include rerouting traffic, resetting servers, and raising trouble tickets. Achieving this effectively requires the ability to:

4 2 Filter the millions of alarms generated daily by network elements and other infrastructure so that important events can be identified and prioritised Correlate information from network elements and inventory systems to remove duplicate alarms and to enable root cause analysis Eliminate time and effort spent working on duplicate alarms Prioritise alarms so that alarms linked to an SLA or to an important customer can be addressed first rather than dealing with alarms on a firstcome, first-served basis Automate fault handling where possible by automatically attempting to fix a problem using remote diagnosis; for alarms that need further investigation, automatically raise a trouble ticket to have an engineer investigate the fault as quickly as possible Report and monitor performance against SLAs in real time rather than using batch-style reporting The last point brings into sharp focus the difference between Operational Intelligence and more traditional approaches to Network Service Assurance. Service Providers have SLAs with their customers that are often violated due to manual alarm processing and reporting latency which cause jeopardy thresholds to be missed. Missing these thresholds increases costly SLA violations and negatively impacts customer satisfaction. Most organisations currently use batch-style data gathering, mining, and reporting facilities to measure performance. It is relatively common for Network Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Reports and Balanced Scorecards to be produced and reviewed long after an incident has occurred and the impact on customer experience has already been suffered. These reports provide rear-view mirror insight into operations rather than providing real-time or in-time visualisation of performance and the associated impact on customer experience. Daily, hourly, or real-time reporting granularity provides much greater insight into operations and enables the Service Provider to become more proactive. By becoming more proactive with Operational Intelligence, Service Providers can detect jeopardy situations as they occur and take action to avoid SLA violations and penalties, and also improve customer experience. The Vitria Operational Intelligence platform enables Service Providers to deliver improved network service assurance by providing the required visibility and insight into network operations coupled with automated response to exceptions. Figure 1 illustrates the architecture of the Vitria Operational Intelligence platform deployed for Network Service Assurance.

5 3 Figure 1: Operational Intelligence Architecture for Network Service Assurance The diagram illustrates how the platform automates the lifecycle for network alarm processing: Service Assurance managers and analysts set SLA and KPI thresholds based on past and expected performance and determine process-based responses and escalations when exceptions occur Alarms are captured from network elements as real-time streams that are then filtered and correlated to remove duplicates Alarms requiring further attention are enriched with customer and inventory information to enable impact analysis and drill-down The outputs are displayed in rich, interactive dashboards tailored to network operations staff and management, measured against the KPIs and SLAs already established New alarms that represent new faults are automatically detected and automatically dispatched to an exception resolution process to correct the fault The resolution process uses a dynamic approach to resolving the fault: it might be able to automatically resolve the fault completely; it might involve network operations staff in the resolution process using guided workflow; or, it might automatically raise a trouble ticket in the existing trouble ticketing system At the conclusion of an event, the performance history can be saved to a database for historical analysis, process optimisation, and other tasks

6 4 The benefits of this approach to Network Service Assurance include: Improved fault resolution times: alarm correlation and trouble ticketing is automated, removing manual latencies Fewer missed events and wasted time working on duplicates Reduced average time-to-fix as each network assurance agent will have fewer alarms to process Proactive not reactive: staff can be employed on proactive, higher-level service improvement activities The ability to provide immediate impact analysis of customers affected by a fault so that appropriate action can be taken immediately and automatically Improved customer experience: agents can focus on priority alarms and fix problems before they become visible to the customer Avoidance of SLA violations and associated penalties Reduced fault-related calls by customers into Call Centres Operational Intelligence Provides the End-to-End Customer View Network Service Assurance is a fundamental dimension of the overall customer experience. In order to deliver that experience, Service Providers need to build an end-to-end view of customers, services, networks and how their various interactions affect customer experience over time. By understanding their users behaviour, Service Providers can enable their marketing campaign managers to target specific propositions on an individual basis. By appreciating users perceptions of their network services, they can lead appropriate and effective customer retention activities. From first customer touch to contract renewal, there are many processes that affect customer experience, including: Service activation and provisioning New product launch and migration monitoring Marketing campaign/promotion monitoring Call centre optimisation and exception management Customer recommitment at contract end While these processes have traditionally belonged to individual business units, Service Providers are realising the impact that each of these processes has on overall customer experience. A joined-up approach that recognises the touch points and the impact that each process has on the other and ultimately on the customer is required to create the end-to-end view. While these processes are different, they share characteristics in common with the Network Service Assurance process previously discussed, including the need to:

7 5 Filter large volumes of real-time data Correlate information from different systems in real time Enrich real-time operational data with static reference data Prioritise important events Automate exception handling for exceptional or error events Report and monitor performance against KPIs and SLAs Exploit past performance to further optimise processes Operational Intelligence can address these requirements for each discrete customer touch process. For example, in service activation and provisioning, Operational Intelligence monitors the performance of the activation or provisioning process against SLAs, thereby allowing problem trends to be visualised, identified, and mitigated in real time. Activation requests from preferred partners can be prioritised. Errors in the process can be automatically detected and predictably resolved through automated exception management. Retailers can be authorised to offer incentives and web promotions can be throttled intelligently based on takeup rates. Customers adversely affected by network performance or service outages can automatically be identified and compensated in real time. Product Managers can benefit from Operational Intelligence by building and launching optimal product bundles based on current usage patterns. The uptake and profitability of new product launches can then be monitored in real time against the business plan. The success of migration plans from old or legacy services to newer, next generation product launches can be monitored and incentives offered dynamically to keep the migration plan on track. In the Call Centre, Operational Intelligence can provide real-time tracking of call volumes, average cycle time, straight-through processing metrics, and queue workloads as they pass through the call process management infrastructure. Visibility into these metrics enables managers to identify bottlenecks such as rising call backlogs, and take action before the customer experience is affected. Additionally, with this information managers can better assess which exceptions can be automatically resolved and which require manual support. With this insight, the Call Centre is more effective and efficient and can now tackle higher call volumes within the existing staff levels. Similarly, operator efficiency and effectiveness is improved by better matching tasks to a skill set and experience level. The ultimate result is the ability to correct problems before they occur which translates into improved customer satisfaction, cost containment, and improved business results. When the time comes to renew a service contract, Operational Intelligence can be used to ensure customer loyalty by providing a smooth contract renewal. The customer recommitment process can be automatically initiated and the various systems involved in the recommitment orchestrated and monitored for bottlenecks, thereby ensuring that the customer does not have a negative experience at this critical stage in the customer retention cycle. In addition to providing these visibility, insight, and action capabilities to discrete processes, the ability of the platform to provide an aggregated, correlated view

8 6 across the many processes that affect the customer gives Service Providers the platform needed to achieve the ultimate goal of the joined-up view of the end-toend customer experience. The Vitria Operational Intelligence Platform Vitria delivers Operational Intelligence through a unified software platform which provides the following capabilities: Access to a wide variety of data sources in real time, including business transactional systems, operational systems, and external sources such as web feeds Continuous monitoring and analysis of information in real time Ability to access and correlate related information Rich visualisation of the raw and analytical data organised easily from the business user s perspective Ability to respond using a variety of automated and human workflow processes Vitria s Operational Intelligence platform fosters development productivity and collaboration by delivering model-driven, fully integrated components including a Complex Event Processing engine, Web 2.0 dashboarding and visualisation tools, as well as policy and process management. The Operational Intelligence components can be deployed in traditional enterprise computing environments or in the Cloud. The result is an integrated, proven Operational Intelligence platform with a variety of deployment options that empowers Service Providers to implement effective, flexible Service Assurance initiatives. The Vitria M3O Operational Intelligence platform components are as follows: M3O Analytic Server M3O Analytic Server provides advanced, continuous analytics on real-time information streams enriched with historical data via a sophisticated Complex Event Processing engine to deliver the in-time analysis, as required by today s business environment. M3O Analytic Server provides multi-dimensional analysis, pattern detection, trend analysis, contextual correlation of real-time information and operational and historical sources, all visualised using M3O Operations Book dashboards. M3O Business Process Server M3O Business Process Server is the runtime environment where you can perform model-driven execution of policies and processes defined as BPMN models with the M3O Modeller. The M3O Business Process Server also provides the capability to define and manage policies across the enterprise that map incoming events to the required response. M3O Business Process Server then applies the policies to events, and then takes action according to the defined policies.

9 7 M3O Feed Server M3O Feed Server provides seamless connectivity to traditional and non-traditional information sources, including JMS, RSS, web services, and databases, enabling what-if analysis, event archive, and recovery of feed histories. M3O Feed Server also allows you to manage and balance large volumes of real-time events across multiple M3O Analytic Servers as necessary. M3O Modeller M3O Modeller provides a unified modelling environment that supports automated processes and rich human-oriented workflows via a business-friendly, easy-to-use interface empowering business analysts with a workspace tailored specifically for them. IT users have IT views and capabilities that support the necessary IT functions, all presented within the same unified environment. M3O Operations Book M3O Operations Book is a powerful Web 2.0 Rich Internet Application that allows you to easily define dashboards to monitor operational performance and to measure performance against Key Performance Indicators and Service Level Agreements. M3O Operations Book provides an extensive library of graphical widgets that enable rich visualisation of data in a variety of ways. You can mash up and display analytics that visually model the relationship between information and events created using the CEP engine in M3O Analytic Server. With easy-to-use dashboards that combine real-time information sources with historical data, M3O Operations Book delivers in-time information, thereby reducing time-to-visibility. Partnering with Vitria for Successful Service Assurance About Vitria Vitria Technology, Inc. is the industry s leading Operational Intelligence company. Our innovative Operational Intelligence solutions empower customers to analyze business activities in process and take real-time action. The result is better decisions when they matter most before opportunities have faded or problems have escalated. With a rich heritage as a pioneer of BPMS, Vitria s award-winning solutions provide the backbone for many Global 2000 companies mission-critical business processes. Vitria has customers in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Vitria s Operational Intelligence solution provides the building blocks and development environment to deploy the real-time Service Assurance applications that are required to maximise customer experience. Founded over 15 years ago, Vitria Technology is the leading provider of Operational Intelligence and has supplied technology to many of the worlds leading Service Providers including BT, O2, Orange, UPC, AT&T, Verizon, Cablevision, SingTel, Optus, and Brasil Telecom.

10 945 Stewart Drive, Sunnyvale, CA Tel: +1 (877) Vitria Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Vitria, BusinessWare, M3O, Operations Book, and StreamXQuery are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vitria Technology, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners, companies or organizations. Optimising Service Assurance with Vitria Operational Intelligence 03/

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