Knowledge box

It is time to switch to a SOC

Interview of Eric Van Haetsdaele, Analytics Business Development Director at Astellia on how Astellia is  accompanying its customers with their transformation towards a SOC.

Published on 30/09/17

Interview of Eric Van Haetsdaele, Analytics Business Development Director at Astellia

‘It’s time to switch to a SOC’ says Eric Van Haetsdaele. His team is accompanying MNOs reach-out to customers faster than ever before and resolve issues before it begins to impact them economically (in the form of churn) or through word of mouth (via social media or people perception).

Eric Vanhaetsdaele

What is Astellia’s definition of a SOC?

EV: We see a Service Operation Center (SOC) as a transverse service and customer focused operational unit. It provides a consolidated view and adequate end-to-end network, service and customer metrics to upper management, network engineering, customer experience, customer service and marketing teams.

 

A SOC monitors proactively the quality of key services such as VoLTE, USSD, video quality, web browsing, international and emergency calls as perceived by subscribers or a group of subscribers. It triggers alerts in case of quality degradation, measures the number of impacted subscribers and determines if the cause of the issue lies in the RAN, Core, device or subscriber. A SOC facilitates end-to-end problem demarcation and troubleshooting of service quality issues, and helps reducing the time needed to restore a faulty service by prioritizing and escalating tickets to the right team for further investigation and resolution.

Can you explain the main reasons for implementing a SOC?

EV: One of the main challenges for MNOs is to maintain year-on-year revenue growth due to increased competition, saturated markets and pressure from OTTs. They need to maximize revenues from the network by optimizing service accessibility and quality and should invest in network infrastructure based on customer insight and value.

 

Traditional network management is no longer enough to keep consumers satisfied and increase revenues from the network. We are seeing more and more of our customers embark on the transformation from network centric to service centric operations to improve end-user satisfaction.

 

To increase the share of wallet of their customers, MNOs need a better understanding of customer behavior in order to propose the right offer at the right time. Service Quality Management (SQM) tools are therefore no longer sufficient since they focus on service quality only.

Can you provide a concrete example of a SOC implementation?

EV: In 2014, Astellia successfully deployed a SOC platform at Smart, the largest mobile operator in the Philippines with 70 million subscribers and one of the strongest industry players in South East Asia, to pro-actively bring network quality, operational efficiency and subscriber experience up to a higher level. Through a unique set of personalized dashboards Astellia provides in real-time a very comprehensive view of network quality and service usage; the solution is therefore used on a 24/7 basis by more than 50 employees to proactively optimize network and investigate customer complaints.

 

We also implemented a SOC successfully at two operators in the EMEA and have several on-going projects with Tier 1 operators at the moment.

How is Astellia accompanying its customers with this transformation towards a SOC?

EV: In order for MNOs to succeed in managing service quality proactively, Astellia helps MNOs transition towards a service-centric organization.

 

Our consultants analyze the existing organization and processes and map them out on an enhanced Telecom Operation Map (eTom) based framework, maintained by TM Forum, to better understand the current mode of operations.

 

They then design and agree upon a future mode of operations based on stakeholder interviews and Astellia’s expertise.

 

Our experts also deal with cross functional teams to determine new, end-to-end QoE metrics, define service models, service quality dashboards and create business as well as CEM use cases to ensure that business team receive benefits right from the first day of the run phase. Astellia helps technical teams to perform network performance optimization based on subscriber insights, marketing departments to create adapted offers and customer care teams to handle customer complaints more efficiently.

 

Astellia continues to walk side by side MNOs during the implementation of organization and process changes to build and calibrate QoE monitoring tools. MNOs can also rely on Astellia for coaching and skill transfers through theoretical and on-the-job trainings.

 

For more information, please contact e.vanhaetsdaele[a]astellia.com.

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