Get more Competitive with Real-Time Operational Intelligence

Welcome to September 2011 issue of Creanord EchoNEWS. EchoNEWS aims to keep you informed of developments at Creanord and in the fields of SLA assurance, automated Ethernet service delivery and OAM (Operations, Administration and Maintenance).

In the previous issue we looked at how reporting in EchoVault supports Real-Time Operational Intelligence and in this issue we delve deeper. We look at what the purpose of focusing on Real-Time Operational Intelligence is and how Creanord EchoVault can help you achieve it - while becoming more competitive in the process.

What is Real-Time Operational Intelligence?

The purpose of Operational Intelligence is to offer members of an organization a real-time view to information about their business processes to support improved decision-making. Harnessing and utilizing the information available can give you a leading edge over competition by empowering responsiveness and innovation. Achieving Operational Intelligence does not come without challenges. With so much data available, how can you be sure the people in your organization have the right information at the right time to identify issues and threats as well as opportunities and to give them tools to enable innovative responsiveness?

Operational Intelligence gives users up-to-date information to be able to notice situations related to inefficiencies, opportunities and threats in their operational environment. Continuously displaying performance against key metrics allows managers and operators to take greater control of operations. This can help a business maintain customer satisfaction and retention, reduce operating costs, and grow revenue.

For Service Providers, information about the performance of the telecommunications services they are providing to their customers would constitute arguably the most important information to have real-time. EchoVault supports Real-Time Operational Intelligence by producing analyzed information, charts and means to drill down to specific identified issues or usage peaks. This allows members of your organization to get the required facts to operate faster, smarter and more efficiently.

Operational Efficiency

One key feature of systems supporting Operational Intelligence is the ability to put individual data points into context. It is vital to only react on relevant information. For instance, information about a line's degradation such as delay increase might sound worrying, but it depends totally on the SLA whether it is really cause for concern – the customer may be using applications that are not sensitive to delay such as bulk transfer. Another example might be an event related to in the degradation of a service. What is the significance of a single event generated indicating service degradation? For operations, this is either something that may need just acknowledging or the starting point of an investigation into the cause of the degradation. In an organization with a high degree of Operational Intelligence, the system can provide context and information for decision-making. For instance, for an event EchoVault provides an Event Hotlink from the dashboard to see an interactive chart about the performance of the service. From this chart the user can determine whether 1) the service has deteriorated temporarily 2) the service has slowly deteriorated and 3) whether it is now trending towards better or worse. This information helps the user react appropriately.

Example of service degrading event in context. Without the data points next to the violation, it would be hard to tell whether there is a slow deterioration or a single occurrence such as in the picture above.

Predicting the Future

All decisions about services are based on information about the present and expectation of future events. The better the information available, the better the quality of the decisions. Even EchoVault cannot predict the future, but it can do the next best thing - give you the data in context and provide a possibility to project performance into the future. EchoVault gives up-to-the-minute information about a service provider’s network quality and customers SLA fulfillment status but it also takes Operational Intelligence to the next level, by predicting performance to the end of the current month assuming all goes well from now on. This functionality is called Best Expected Monthly Service Availability.

With Best Expected Monthly Service Availability, the provider can set warning threshold for Monthly Service Availability of, say, 99,95% in case if the agreed Service Availability minimum is 99,8% to get heads-up notification. This gives an opportunity to firstly react before the service is degraded sufficiently to break the SLA, but also to project whether the SLA is at risk to be broken and how urgently a reaction is required.

This information is a good example of Operational Intelligence and it enables the provider to react on SLA's closest at risk of being breached, and also to prioritise between different maintenance efforts.

Become Innovative

Everyone has ideas about how to improve their own work and the service to customers. Harnessing the creative power of the individuals allows your organization to embrace change and thrive in today's competitive environment. EchoVault provides the tools to turn an ethernet pipe into a data link with different service classes with varying properties. Additionally it is possible to choose the level of visibility into the service through the portal. With the system providing an easy way to add SLA's with required properties, these functionalities allow for innovation in the services and their presentation. For instance, you may choose to provide an opportunity to temporarily oversubscribe the bandwidth during certain hours of the night. You can then provide visibility to the user displaying through the portal how much bandwidth they utilized. This allows you to provide a better service to the customer at off-peak hours and at the same time possibly a way to upsell more bandwidth.

EchoVault and Real-Time Operational Intelligence

In addition to the above mentioned functionality Creanord EchoVault includes numerous features and functionalities giving you improved visibility and insight into your services and empowering you to take optimal action in real time to deliver improved business results. Please contact us, our team is standing by to give you a demo!


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