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February 13, 2023

Moving Closer to “Always On” with AIOps

Chris Menier, President, VIA AIOPS, Vitria Technology

Chris Menier President – VIA AIOPS Vitria TechnologyDeploying analytics and intelligence to improve service assurance and the customer experience is gaining enormous momentum. While the service consumer is now relying more on telecommunication services, service operations is asking how do we do more without additional investment? How do we improve service assurance while lowering our cost? How do I manage more effectively with less tenured and fewer highly skilled subject matter experts? Will my current tools set and processes scale with added network complexity?

Value expected with AIOps

Continuing to push on improved customer experience through assurance, automation, analytics, AI and reducing customer support contacts is expected and the impact can be measured. Another expectation is to rationalize the amount of time being spent in various tools and breaking down operational silos to deliver cost savings and improve efficiency. This is ultimately measured in outage time reductions.

With AIOps, detecting issues more quickly, leads to less outages. Correlating faults and anomalies across operational silos, leads to more efficient operations and faster issue and outage remediation. All of this improves the customer experience.

Measurable results with VIA AIOps

With VIA AIOps we have documented 99.9% noise reduction and getting to the root of the problem more quickly.  For one of our large OTT providers, we’ve helped them reduce streaming service failure rates by 28% and identify the root of the problem versus just the symptoms of the failure. For a fixed line provider, we reduced call center interactions by over 700 a day and eliminated hundreds of technician visits.

Operational process change needed in dynamically changing environments

The days of NOC and SOC operators staring at screens are coming to an end, because the tools and processes used in traditional environments are rules based and rigid. They just don’t scale.

The way traditional operations work is triaging issues and operational layers one at a time. Filtering through a list of high priorities, looking for that one fault or that one anomaly that explains why something is happening. In the traditional environment, the operator says: “Why did I have this red alert? Is that red alert related to a link failing? Let me click down through and identify the device that’s impacted or the connected devices that are impacted.”

Let’s consider when a power fluctuation across the optical card causes a link flapping issue, which is then disconnecting attached radio units causing a network re-convergence from an IS-IS adjacency or the BGP adjacency side. All of this initiates 5, 6, 10, 12, 15 reactions and generates hundreds if not thousands of different faults. The operator needs to clickthrough and try to find the answer.

In most cases, AIOps can find that answer for you by augmenting the operational process.

Augmented intelligence processes compared to traditional operations

With VIA AIOps, the fault management process is more automated and a ticket is opened. The root cause is identified and what needs to be done to troubleshoot the issue and solve downstream faults defined.   Instead of triaging 20,30, 40 issues, we’re triaging one. A lot of times we’re automating the triage and closing incidents out before someone even has time to pick them up off a traditional work queue.

Managing with fewer highly skilled subject matter experts

The economy went through the great resignation and high turnover and in some parts of the technology industry higher than average. This has led to fewer people with high levels of subject matter expertise. Augmented intelligence is critical in this environment. Particularly given the ongoing demand to do more with the people you have.

Doing more is resolving issues faster. Doing more is being able to turn up a new network while you’re maintaining assurance on your legacy network. If we can do those things with the same staff, then we’re winning, and the customers are happy in the end.

*****This article was excerpted from a video interview with Chris Menier and Charlotte Patrick, Independent Telco A3 consultant. Check out the vidcast here or reach out to Dan Schneider at [email protected] (612) 802-0155 for more info.