Powering tomorrow’s networks through data and zero-touch automation

April 26, 2021
Powering tomorrow’s networks through data and zero-touch automation
Highlights from the executive roundtable sponsored and co-moderated by Celfocus at FutureNet World 2021.


The third edition of FutureNet World took place virtually on April 20th and 21st. Over 1000 participants worldwide and 60+ speakers were brought together to discuss the emerging technologies and business paradigms around Network Automation and AI.

Celfocus participated in two different moments. In an executive roundtable co-moderated by Bruno Silva Santos (Business Development Executive at Celfocus) and Teresa Cottam (Chief Analyst at Omnisperience), as well as in a presentation by Carla Penedo, Cognitive Automation Senior Expert at Celfocus, focusing on zero-touch networks. Both took place on the first day of the event and were attended by an impressive number of CSPs and industry experts.


The roundtable


In today’s world, data is pivotal to gaining insights on customers. In the Telco industry, the lack of data has not been the problem; the real challenge is correctly using that data. CSPs are currently working on the issue to optimise data management through the use of Automation. Automation allows for quicker and more agile, flexible and innovative solutions. But concerns are also starting to emerge when massive amounts of data are running out of organisations’ control.

One of the roundtable participants considered that the biggest concerns around data management with automation are privacy and security. Therefore, being able to ensure that all automated processes are executed securely is the top priority. They added that their organisation’s goal is to have a more transversal strategy, facilitating the general use of the same vocabulary and attaining a “data-driven mindset” across the company.

Many CSPs are currently onboarding either business-driven or data-driven approaches to overcome the challenges this new era of Automation implies. Another participant shared that they are now trying out and researching what type of data capabilities they need to offer to stay relevant in the long run. He argued that, besides the challenging technical part of managing data, there’s also a cultural part to consider. “The way of thinking, (…) how you become customer-centric (…)”.

Celfocus's point of view

Based on Celfocus’s experience in Automation, Bruno Silva Santos highlighted that “security is increasingly becoming a concern for CSPs. (…) But, not only data-level security, seeing as we’re looking to data as a source of insights, for acting on behalf of the network. To automate the network, we need to access it (…), meaning CSPs need to expose the network securely to enable a secure ecosystem for all affected solutions. We’ve also been developing a couple of strategic projects for some of our customers to securely expose the network to this kind of solutions in the cloud. So, that’s something that we’re deeply concerned about”, he added.

We are living in a paradox where customers want broader personalisation but still are afraid of losing their data privacy. “We’re starting new experiences in customer operations that are more related to interactions with the final customers. On that, I agree that there's the need to expose and get information from customers. But, concerning the network, I agree that operators are very protective of their main assets – which, in this case, is the network itself”, Bruno argued.

The quest for efficiency

Operators are changing how they engage with their customers and are on a quest for even more efficient solutions. One of the speakers said, “We now have to agree on a different way of working together. What I’ve been discussing with vendors is that we don’t want vertical solutions. The vendor should understand customer needs because we build solutions aligned with business goals. Vendors should be more domain experts and not only technology experts."

"We are also demanding all applications to be more open to exchanging information with other applications. Management’s agility is fundamental to providing solutions as quickly as business requires them. As for success, you achieve it when things are correctly done within the budget. So we ask for flexible solutions that can be efficiently maintained and cover future requirements”, another panelist added.


More highlights coming soon...


An overview of Celfocus's presentation at the event will be shared soon.

Celfocus implemented Cognitive Automation in Vodafone Group’s Network Operation Centre (NOC). The initial goal was to reduce 80% of the effort spent on first-line support activities for 13 European OpCos in 3 years. Learn more about this project here. Contact us at

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