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Case studies & implementations:
Change Management Automation
The client, the Change Management Team from Tier 1 Telco operator, is responsible for manual verification of scheduled works (SWs) on network transport equipment that include lists of impacted sites and corporate customers.
Tracking of planned work is done in a ticketing system and for each scheduled work, the impact is manually extracted from SmallWorld (NICM) and added as an attachment in the ticket by the technician’s team.
After this takes place, the Change Management team checks the scheduled work’s attachment in scope of processing.
According to the type of planned work, they further check protection and extract lists of NodeB and B2B clients from SmallWorld (NICM). With this as input, they extract impacted areas and client’s SIMs in other systems, end result being to notify interested departments and corporate clients.
This process is required daily, for any planned work, and is liable to human error due to its manual handling. Time spent on each received planned work takes between 15 minutes to 2 hours and the Change Management team receive an average of 25 SWs per day.
This means a weekly average of about over 94 working hours or 12 working days.
The scope of the process is to maximize network availability and maintain the relationship with the existing enterprise customers. If the work impacts any service provided to the end customer, then the latter is notified in advance.
Difficulty of the Change Management team’s daily work comes with the fact that the each scheduled work received they have to analyze the possible impact and to deep-dive in SmallWorld (NICM) for each network element. The planned work is done on the PNI and the team performs all the required checks in SmallWorld (NICM) LNI.
Other challenges that they have to overcome:
- Undocumented end-to-end flow
- Manual triggered process
- Multitude of undocumented business rules
- Manually deleting unrequired information in an over 1,000 rows excel attachment
The process is liable to human error due to manual handling
By considering SmallWorld (NICM) a single source regarding the operator’s logical and physical network topology, the system was selected to extract the customer impact for each planned work. On top of that, CORTEX automation was used to intelligently orchestrate the end2end flow, and DTS (Data Transit System) facilitated the communication between the systems.
The key to the successful deployment of automating the Change Management’s verification and notifications of scheduled works is the strategy and methodology. Firstly, defining the vision of what the automated operations will be, assessing the current processes, and determining how to achieve this.
Taking an agile approach, we enabled the assessment of current processes, systems, and required integrations which feed into the design of the automated digital operations. The automation flows were optimised to remove obsolete steps and perform the repetitive steps delivering machine speed automated operations.
SmallWorld, via DTS, and CORTEX has been enhanced to achieve maximum availability and minimize network incidents due to planned works.
As input parameters we used routers, OLT/GPON, switches, client and equipment circuits in order to extract B2B and NodeB clients from SmallWorld (NICM).
High Level Architecture Scheme
CORTEX interacts with DTS through a REST API to identify specific customers and also to check for network redundancies in Smallworld NICM.
- DTS – CORE: DTS Core deployment that handles request dispatching, load balancing, endpoint orchestration, automated scaling and also offers UI tools to interact with the system.
- DTS – SW: Smallworld-native agent for the DTS platform, tasked with extracting data, invoking routines and collating metadata. Also known as the DTS Smallworld Connector.
- DTS – WS: DTS Client API Implementation that exposes DTS operations as REST API.
The enhancement made on SmallWorld (NICM) solution, along with CORTEX and DTS enables dynamic digital operations, releasing them from repetitive, manual and human error work to higher value operations.
The project, as a collaboration between RealWorld Systems and enablers, SmallWorld (NICM) as platform and Tier 1 Telco operator as end user, generated:
- Automation, Orchestration and Optimised E2E Flows
- 90%-time reduction for processing scheduled works
- Immediate notification of impacted stakeholders of scheduled works
- CM team available to focus on higher value job functions
- Automated a minimum of 12 working days/week of Level 1 manual processing
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