By Mounir Ladki, President and CTO, MYCOM OSI
As communications service providers roll out advanced connectivity services for their enterprise customers who are delivering Industry 4.0 services, they need to manage the high speed and high reliability of these services seamlessly.
Industry 4.0 is transforming the way services will be delivered and managed. The smart industry requires ultra-high connectivity that is efficient and reliable, and backed by SLAs. As enterprises begin to consume network slices to achieve the required agility for their services, the burden is on the service provider to manage and maintain the QoS responsively. This requires a rethink on how services should be monitored, and how the enterprise experience can be protected. That is what we call Experience Assurance.
Our recent work with partners at Digital Transformation World brought this concept to life. By providing an enterprise portal to the aviation industry, and assurance with policy management and service orchestration, the aviation enterprise user could control the parameters of the network slice to reduce passenger congestion and improve the quality of experience at the airport. The project used closed-loop automation to automatically reallocate underlying network resources from a lower priority network slice to a higher priority network slice when AI predicted the slice capacity would be exhausted. The catalyst is now being tried in the real world as we work with a Far East mobile operator’s research centre and the country’s International Airport to implement use cases for Smart Aviation.
This work comes on the back of another project at a multi-million subscriber network in Asia, where Experience Assurance solutions operating on an AWS public cloud were used for enhanced service quality awareness, service performance and reliability, leading to protection of SLAs. This included providing an Experience Assurance dashboard that showed impacted customers by modelling a range of mobile, broadband and enterprise services. The system also provided SLA visibility through customer portals.
Experience Assurance, in comparison to traditional service quality management, is geared towards supporting advanced connectivity services (especially 5G) for enterprises, using service quality impact analysis, AI/ML based service analytics and an enterprise portal.
With an enterprise portal, the service provider can empower their enterprise customers to monitor and analyze the connectivity offered to them and monitor the performance of their SLAs. With such empowerment, the enterprise customer can differentiate the CSP connectivity from other enterprise connectivity solutions. With AI/ML based experience analytics, the service provider can take informed decisions for services, using predictions and trends. This can include applications and devices for business insights. And through service quality impact analysis, a service provider can anticipate service problems and help protect SLAs, especially for 5G and enterprise services.
For a successful long-term assurance of Industry 4.0 services, Experience Assurance can bring together a predictive and agile system to help the service provider manage the experience of its enterprise services. Trust can increase between the service provider and its enterprise customer when the service provider transparently extends the visibility of its SLA performance through enterprise portals. And stickiness can increase when a service provider empowers the enterprise to tweak the network slices as per its service needs.