Case Study Vodafone Global NOC Transformation – Improving Network Operations through Cognitive Intelligence and Automation

A next-generation NOC architecture anchored on cognitive intelligence and automation that benefits the delivery of an improved service, as well as revenue growth, driven by resources utilization, performance optimisation and lower operational costs.

Digital transformation has impacted CSPs’ business and operational strategies over the last years, changing the customer relationship and leading to the emergence of a new digital ecosystem. The telecommunication industry responded by becoming more digital and closer to customers, by evolving from traditional Communication Service Providers to Digital Service Providers.


For this transformation to be effective, it must impact the entire IT infrastructure, covering both BSS and OSS systems to provide a holistic and integrated perspective. In the OSS domain, the Network Operations Centres (NOCs) is where this transformative potential is higher.


The opportunity for automation and tighter integration is very significant due to the predictable and standardised nature of network events, along with the exponential data growth.

The Challenge

The Vodafone Group’s NOC mission is to monitor, control and ensure network availability across multiple geographies. To cope with a dynamic and unsteady environment, the company designed a long-term strategy for its OSS transformation, composed of three stages:

  • 1. Operational Centralisation
  • 2. Tools Centralisation
  • 3. Process Automation

Bearing this in mind, the Vodafone Group set a 3-year goal of reducing 80% of the effort allocated to first-line support activities through automation. In addition, the challenge included the creation of an Agile Centre of Excellence, introducing DevOps methodology and a specific team to implement it at a certain stage of the project, assuming the mission of continuous improvement.
Celfocus’ investment in areas like Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics, combined with a deep understanding of the OSS layer, made it the right partner to deliver this next-generation Network Operation Centre.

The Solution

Celfocus supported stage three of Vodafone Group’s OSS transformation strategy, aimed at improving efficiency and reducing by 80% the effort of first-line support activities through cognitive intelligence and automation. The project comprised two streams:

  • Automation & Cognition Suite Setup, relying on three building blocks – Analytics and Cognitive, Automation and Unified Operations Portal;
  • Automation Improvement DevOps, in a collaborative model between Vodafone and Celfocus that ensures a consistent delivery of every sprint from different geographies.

Celfocus NOC Case Study_Project Architecture.png

Project  Architecture

Project in a nutshell

  • Process automation and advanced analytics featured with machine learning to decrease 80% of the effort spent on first-line network support activities within 3 years.
  • 13 OpCos covered from Network Operations Centres in Portugal and Romania, including these two geographies.
  • Project solutions: Cloudera (Analytics & Cognitive), Resolve (Automation) and CELFOCUS Omnichannel (Unified Operations Portal).
  • Celfocus domains involved: Online & Digital Solutions, OSS and Analytics.

Benefits

Supported by machine learning, cognitive intelligence and automation lead to a faster, more effective and tendentially zero-human effort resolution of network issues, thus decreasing manual activities.
 
Furthermore, the upgraded NOCs benefit an overall improved customer experience, based on an increase of network and service availability and of SLA compliance, complimented by the following functionalities:

  • Integration - all the decoded data is gathered together, breaking silos of information;
  • Intelligence - the system keeps a record of past events, learns from them and faces them more effectively in the future;
  • Prediction - the cognitive component of the solution allows to deploy a predictive analysis based on standardised network operations journeys, along with a higher control over operations;
  • Convergence - the system has the capacity of grouping alarms according to location, level of severity or related to the same issue;
  • Lower operating costs - the process starts with a notification and is only closed when the problem is solved, either automatically or after little human intervention (exceptions), which contribute to reduce expenses.