Speeding Time to Market: The Changing Pace of New Telecom Networks
Service creation is a long and evolved process – it requires marketing to identify a significant opportunity, R&D to develop and test the application, and operations to piece together the resources needed to ensure the required Quality of Service (QoS).
As anyone in the telecom business can attest, being the first to offer innovative new services is critical to solidifying existing relationships and attracting new customers. Clearly, companies need to shorten every step of the process to succeed. For many organizations, it’s the infrastructure and deployment challenges that typically add months to any project.
So how can network operators cut time to market at the deployment phase for strategic initiatives? A variety of SDN applications such as network analytics and dynamic bandwidth allocation can help.
Start with Analytics
When it comes to new service creations, most network operators routinely use analytics to assess customer behavior, market opportunity and revenue potential. Today, these insights are being used to guide the functional requirements and demographic rollout plans. However, analytics can also help the operations teams cut time out of their project planning and implementation.
Given the complexities of today’s networking environments, only a solution based on comprehensive analytics can provide a complete, aggregated picture of a network’s current resource utilization and how much bandwidth is available to support new services. By looking at resource utilization for similar services, operators can quickly determine if additional resources will be needed as adoption rates increase.
From a project perspective, analytics can decrease much of the network planning work that needs to happen before the deployment phase can begin. Without this information, operators are often forced to overprovision to ensure that the new service delivers at customer expectations.
Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation
In the past, network models required operators to provision each service separately and make sure that its dedicated resources were physically installed before it could be launched. It’s not surprising that the traditional approach to service management led to a significant number of deployment delays.
When network operators move towards a centralized SDN model, most of the manual provisioning work associated with new service deployments will be automated. However, because no operator can afford to build a fully virtualized environment overnight, service providers must take a more pragmatic approach.
Today, service providers can enjoy the benefits of SDN and dynamic bandwidth allocation on their existing infrastructure. Instead of having to deploy each service with a dedicated set of resources, they can use APIs to request existing network assets for new service deployment.
With bandwidth on demand, operators can launch services and automatically provision for them from the central office in a matter of minutes. Moreover, with simple bandwidth calendaring, setting up new services is as easy as setting up a meeting in Outlook. Certainly, this is a faster way to deploy applications and secure network assets. Because the dynamic bandwidth allocation is more efficient, operators can onboard more customers to more services while exploiting existing investments.
Typically, it takes months for telcos to launch new services. At ECI, we’ve seen this approach – one that leverages analytics and bandwidth on demand – reduce planning time and response to weeks or just days. While it’s important to implement transformative technologies, it’s more important to make sure that you’re utilizing your current installed base to its full potential. This unfortunately is a difficult task in today’s world of complex multilayer and multivendor networks. Solutions that speed up time to market are critical for edging competitors and ensuring loyalty over the long run.
How are you reducing time to market at your company? Share your tips in the space below.
Download the SDN—Great in Theory, Not in Practice white paper to learn everything you need to know about the state of SDN today and the steps the industry, as a whole, needs to take to make it a reality for service providers worldwide.