Network intelligence from chaos

Building a single network view – Part 2

As part two in our series from the recent blog post where we described the five ways in which network downtime can be reduced, we focus on the importance of unified, or single view reporting.

Monitoring and reporting of network performance, with multiple vendors and domains involved, is a tremendous challenge for telco operators, both from a resource, and an intelligence point of view. The increase in data driven digital content is placing ever-greater demands on the mobile network infrastructure. To assure customer experience, mobile operators are adopting various methods for collecting information from multiple sources in the network, to improve monitoring of network performance and service quality. Along with identifying problem areas on the network for prompt corrective action to be taken, this information is also used for network optimisation and capacity planning.

An essential requirement is for the results of this data collection process to be reported on, and visualised in a simple and intuitive fashion in near real time; including historical data at the granular level. Additionally, there is a growing demand for huge volumes of data to be retained for extensive periods of time, without degradation of reporting performance.

An example of this is Vodafone UK, who implemented the SysMech ZenPM™ real-time Performance Management solution to measure and compare network quality and coverage from a customer experience perspective. It wanted to monitor the test results for each location against network performance statistics and to provide results in a format suitable for senior management and network planning and optimisation engineers. Vodafone’s network performance and optimisation staff used the ZenPM desktop user interface to create dashboards and reports to monitor performance before and during the drive-by tests for each city – something unheard of before ZenPM.

The advanced features of ZenPM enabled Vodafone to address performance issues in affected locations, prior to the drive-by tests taking place, and to prioritise corrective actions for problems occurring during the tests.

The kind of benefits that Vodafone and other organisations can see by reporting as one across multiple platforms, domains, system, companies and affiliations, efficiently, are multiple, and can have a huge impact on performance as well as efficiency. In summary, to name a few:

  • Intuitive reporting can identify issues prior to them occurring, enabling corrective action to be taken
  • Operators have a near real-time view of the networks, the correlated picture identifies hot spot issues, where they can drill down at any point to resolve issues
  • An automated reporting dashboard can save internal resources hours per day in compiling reports and data from different sources
  • Up to date high level dashboards for senior management immediately available

In our next blog we will be discussing the importance of predictive analytics as part of resolving network pain points.