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Blog | Jun 20, 2023

Automation in network operations: Save more time and climb fewer towers

Automation in network operations: Save more time and climb fewer towers
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How intelligent automation is helping telcos build, maintain and expand their networks faster and more efficiently.

The telecommunications industry has experienced extraordinary growth over the past few years, fueled by technological advancements and increasing global connectivity. From the rapid deployment of 5G networks to the expansion of fiber-optic infrastructure and the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, telco networks have become an integral part of our daily lives – transforming how we communicate, work and consume content.

Here are a few statistics that reflect this incredible growth:

  • 89% of the global population has cell phones.
  • There is a 32% penetration of 5G service in North America-up 78% from 2021.
  • IoT devices will exceed 30 billion by 2025.
  • By 2021, more than 1 billion people worldwide were connected to the internet via fiber-optic connections.

This massive industry growth has continuously pressured telco providers to deliver optimal performance and customer satisfaction. Although telcos currently invest heavily in maintaining and upgrading their networks, they need to find new and innovative ways to improve the operation and resiliency of those networks. In addition, they must also find ways to more rapidly expand existing networks to meet the needs of an ever-increasing globally mobile population.

The amount of data and information available on network performance is staggering, yet critical in monitoring and maintaining optimal network performance. It’s crucial to generate this insight – not just to maintain and expand the network, but to create opportunities for additional preventative and predictive measures to ensure network operation efficiency and quality.

Intelligent automation (IA) can play a key role in helping telco providers optimize their networks and deliver better overall customer satisfaction. Intelligent automation (IA) is a combination of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that together empower rapid end-to-end business process automation and accelerate digital transformation. SS&C Blue Prism helps businesses create a highly engaged workforce that positively impacts productivity, revenue growth and customer satisfaction. Orchestrating work between people and digital workers saves time and resources, and creates more time for better customer interactions.

Let’s explore a few of the ways that IA and RPA can help telco providers maintain their networks:

Proactive Network Monitoring and Maintenance

    Digital workers (DWs) can be programmed to monitor network performance around the clock, collecting and analyzing data to identify potential issues before they escalate. These digital workers can then automatically generate and prioritize maintenance tickets based on the severity of the problem, enabling engineers to address critical issues promptly. By proactively identifying and resolving network problems, RPA helps telco providers maintain a consistently high level of network performance.

    Rapid Fault Detection and Resolution

      When network issues occur, swift resolution is crucial to minimize downtime and maintain customer satisfaction. Digital workers can be configured to detect network faults and categorize them based on predefined parameters such as location, severity and type of issue. With this information, the digital workers can suggest appropriate solutions or even implement automated fixes for certain types of problems. This accelerates the fault resolution process and significantly reduces the time and resources needed to address network issues.

      Intelligent Incident Management

      RPA-powered incident management systems can streamline the resolution process by intelligently assigning tickets to the most qualified personnel based on their expertise, availability and current workload. This enables telco companies to optimize their workforce and ensure that network issues are addressed by the right people promptly. Additionally, digital workers can help track the progress of each ticket and send automated reminders to ensure that incidents don't fall through the cracks.

      Enhancing Customer Communication

        Customer satisfaction is essential for the success of any telco provider. Digital workers can be employed to improve communication with customers by automating routine tasks, such as sending notifications regarding network maintenance, outages or scheduled upgrades. By keeping customers informed and updated, telco providers can enhance their relationship with their user base and ensure a more satisfactory experience.

        Continuous Improvement through Data Analysis

          Digital workers can collect and analyze large volumes of data related to network performance, customer feedback and incident resolution times. This information can be used to identify patterns and trends, enabling telco companies to continuously improve their processes and adapt to changing user needs. By leveraging digital workers for data analysis, telco providers can make data-driven decisions leading to better network maintenance and resolution strategies.

          As you can see, these are processes that have traditionally required manual inspections, testing and diagnostics. Using digital workers, much of this work can now be completed automatically and remotely without requiring costly human intervention such as technician dispatch.

          Not only does RPA technology help customers with their “bottom line” by reducing costs and retaining customers, but it also helps telco providers with their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. RPA can help reduce the provider’s carbon footprint (fewer maintenance dispatches) and provide greater and more widely accessible visibility to key performance data relative to network operation.

          At SS&C Blue Prism we’re helping telco customers optimize their networks and deliver better customer experiences by automating key processes needed to resolve, maintain and grow their networks. Large telco providers like Nokia, Telefonica and Bell Canada have experienced incredible results by automating many of their network resolution and maintenance processes using our digital workers.

          SS&C Blue Prism’s Technology Alliance Program (TAP) includes several partners that have developed innovative solutions to automatically collect and analyze network performance data from the field to not only report on, but also predict future network performance. Working with these partners and the data they provide, our digital workers can make that data “actionable” to test, monitor and upgrade network equipment, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for human intervention and costly technician dispatch.

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