Remember when visits to cell sites were part of the job (you’ve heard the stories about sleeping bags and all nighters?!). Today most network management tasks can be done remotely with software tools, which is a step in the right direction. The challenge for today’s operations personnel is the sheer number of tools, which continues to grow. Let’s take just one example, the tools needed for site creation. This has always been an important job, but today is even more important as new technologies are rolled out.
So what’s involved? Let’s imagine that we’re starting the process. First we’d need to create a plan, which requires several tools to collect all the relevant data from the network. The next step is to activate the plan. Just checking to make sure we have everything in place requires up to four more different tools. And then we’d need to pre-install the base station data and install the hardware, another tool-intensive series of steps, which is followed by all the final procedures to activate the cells remotely and make them operational.
The fingers on both hands are probably not enough to count all the different tools that we’d need to complete all these tasks. And that’s not counting the time and energy required to log-in to the tools, which adds up to a lot of time wasted.
Some of the tools are off-the-shelf IT software, but many are implemented and tailored DIY tools made specifically for a certain task. And the number of these tools is likely to grow as new technologies and new services are added. One of the problems with DIY tools, while they are integral to operations and do a good job, is the difficulty of maintaining them as networks evolve, new features are added to network elements, and new elements from new vendors (with new interfaces) are integrated into the network. The tools need to keep pace, and this is Mission Impossible.
With the introduction of our Operations on Demand portal and content packs, we are addressing and solving these challenges.
Operations on Demand has been developed to meet a clear requirement to simplify network operations. Along with a customizable, multi-language user interface, Operations on Demand comprises content packs for specific workflows such as site creation, network optimization and network health. A single entry point requiring just one login is a key feature of Operations on Demand, along with innovative dashboards that provide multiple views of the network topology as well as suggested actions and process steps.
The beauty of the portal is that it not only provides the insight into the network but also enables the actions needed to improve network key performance indicators (KPIs) and take full advantage of network resources. It also frees up time for deeper analysis where it matters most. Operations on Demand can be used in multivendor networks as well as GSM, 3G and 4G networks, in every case helping to simplify and streamline the life of operations personnel.
To learn more, click here.
This post is by Arif Pathan from CEM product management at Nokia Siemens Networks.
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