In telecommunications, service assurance is the surest path to success
For communications service providers (CSPs), service assurance is far more than a buzzword. It's the fundamental strategy they use to attract and retain customers in one of the hottest and most competitive industries in the world. But it's also an area where many CSPs need help.
Sophisticated new mobile endpoints and ever-faster transmission protocols may support attractive new service possibilities... but is the CSP really prepared to deliver those services—in a way that will meet customer expectations for availability and performance? How can management of the overall infrastructure, both wired and wireless, be consolidated and simplified, given that that infrastructure gets significantly larger every year? When technical problems emerge, how fast can the CSP detect them, and resolve them, to minimize as much as possible the impact on customer satisfaction? Is it, in fact, possible to anticipate problems before they occur, and solve them proactively?
Questions like this have spurred CSP investment in service assurance solutions in recent years. And among industry leaders in this space, IBM stands out—the #1 player in the field as measured by market share. IBM Netcool solutions, in fact, have been deployed by every one of the top 20 CSPs worldwide. And over time, as IBM extends its competitive advantage through strategic acquisitions and technical innovations, the argument for IBM has only been getting stronger.
This year, IBM's leadership in service assurance was acknowledged by industry analyst Analysys Mason in a report (PDF, 189KB). Stating that IBM was the overall leader in the market, Analysys Mason went on to discuss IBM's proven success at:
In short, IBM offerings empower CSPs to better understand their complete infrastructures, detect and prioritize emerging technical issues and trends, proactively solve problems before they occur, and reduce operational risks and costs.
And added up, these capabilities deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction—the final metric of business success in the hyper-competitive telecommunications sector.
Unifying management of the technical infrastructure across multiple domains
To understand just how comprehensive IBM's vision and range of capabilities in this field are, consider the various domains that typically fall under the service assurance umbrella.
"IBM offerings empower CSPs to better understand their complete infrastructures, detect and prioritize emerging technical issues and trends, proactively solve problems before they occur, and reduce operational risks and costs."
Really optimizing service performance and reliability, over such a complex infrastructure, means that the CSP will typically need to pursue a number of different tasks simultaneously and in an orchestrated, unified way. For instance:
What IBM's service assurance portfolio does is to integrate all of these domains (and others as well) in an intuitive and business-prioritized fashion. It provides CSPs with improved visibility, control, and automation via a central point of command—a straightforward portal of business service management and consolidated operations that unifies everything the CSP will have to do to assure services do, indeed, hit or exceed targets.
That means current and future services run faster, their uptime is higher, and customers either never notice technical glitches or those glitches are resolved as quickly as possible—a recipe for business success in telecommunications.
An integrated portfolio of best-in-class solutions
Curious just which IBM solutions make that happen? While the complete service assurance portfolio spans more than a dozen different offerings—which can be chosen and integrated based on customer needs and goals—some of the major elements are:
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