The biggest challenge facing fixed access network operators is keeping up with exploding demand for bandwidth. The second biggest challenge is demonstrating to stakeholders how they're keeping up. Investments to increase capacity, improve operations and delight customers must bring the returns they promise. But those same investments often increase network complexity, potentially compromising those returns.
Operators don't lack for ways to measure progress: there are hundreds of KPIs to choose from. What is more difficult is measuring what really matters most. This is particularly challenging when different departments, like planning, engineering and operations, use different data sets from the network for their different tasks. They each have a different view of what "good" looks like. If customer satisfaction drops 3% while network performance increases 5%, are you still moving in the right direction?
At Nokia, we've been applying some new thinking around this. Operators need better options that help them deliver best-in-class network performance within constrained opex budgets, right? What they could use – what their different departments could really use -- is an independent, verifiable and global way of indicating if performance is up or down.
Monitoring for Peak Performance
Nokia's Fixed Access Health Index and Network Optimization Services help providers' networks operate at peak performance, meeting the high-speed, low latency demands customers expect.
So, we've been looking at making sense of all the measurement. We've created the Nokia Fixed Access Health Index. As its name suggests, it's like a medical checkup for the network. It is, of course, extremely comprehensive; we measure around 200 items covering all the things you would expect, like availability, configuration, security and performance. It is, likewise, very sophisticated, seeing as it's based on our extensive experience and expertise in fixed networks. But what is truly unique is its simplicity for operators.
While it's essential to measure a wealth of individual components, the fundamental measurement criteria all operators are interested in boil down to two things: Is the network delivering what it was designed to do? And is it performing well against industry best practices (i.e., competitors)?
Our Index provides a single, global score that tells you how well your network is performing. And because it's a standard, independent Index, it also benchmarks against other networks.
An independent health index provides clarity and a single point of focus on progress for all stakeholders, thereby delivering the following benefits:
An impartial assessment that enables peer to peer comparison
A benchmark against quality and design goals to assess whether the network is meeting expectations
A consistent measurement tool to track progress during optimization or change programs
Of course, once you've have assessed network performance, you'll probably want to change a few things for the better, which is why Nokia has Network Optimization Services. Together, our health-checks and fitness programs have already helped operators:
Grow revenue by maximizing network capability
Decrease customer churn by optimizing network quality
Driven operational excellence through enriched monitoring, reporting and troubleshooting capabilities
— Eddy Vergauwen leads the global services marketing activities for Nokia's Fixed Networks. In that role, he is focused on market strategy and go-to-market for value-added services. Previous to his current role, Eddy spent ten years at Alcatel-Lucent in various positions in innovation management, strategy, business development and product management in an international context. He has over 20 years' experience in the Telecommunications and ICT hardware, software and services industries.
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