The growing importance of data management in OSS

10 February 2021

The growing importance of data management in OSS

Data consolidation and management are now fundamental to supporting transformation to more automated and efficient operations. Find out why this matters and how to benefit from a consolidated approach.

Network data is essential for driving operational performance and automation

Today’s networks generate an increasing amount of data that is essential for ensuring effective operational performance. This data is required for different processes, from service delivery to service assurance – and is the key to future network automation, as a new research note from Charlotte Patrick Consulting makes clear. And, the volume of data is growing. As a result, service providers – irrespective of whether they are focused on fiber, mobile or both, must develop effective data management programs.

Historically, a key problem has been that data resides in different silos. Any process that needs data inputs has had to either integrate with multiple different data repository silos or to receive inputs through manual intervention. As is becoming increasingly clear, such legacy practices cannot support the new levels of automation that are desired by service providers, or the volume of data available to them. They need frictionless processes and to accelerate the creation of automated workflows for everything from the activation of new services to the repair of faults.

A single data repository is essential

While the interfaces to different systems may enable the collection of data for many processes, it’s become clear that a single repository of data is of fundamental importance, particularly when it comes to inventory. A fragmented approach to data means that there is often an unstructured, incomplete and unreliable model of the network, which impedes progress towards more automated operations.

Similarly, if data is hidden in different systems and is inaccessible, then a wide range of OSS processes cannot function effectively – such as service fulfilment, assurance and so on. And, data often exists in different formats, and may be incomplete or inaccurate. Cleansing data can be time consuming, costly and presents a significant opportunity cost – time spent cleaning up records could be better spent elsewhere, on revenue generating activities.

So, a single, comprehensive record of all network resource data is thus increasingly critical to all future evolution towards automated network and service operations and delivery.

Consolidate data with CROSS to unlock new efficiencies and process automation

That’s where CROSS comes in. CROSS is a new approach to OSS inventory that consolidates data into a single platform, accessible to any system that requires information relating to network resources – be it a sales order, troubleshooting or capacity checks.

This matters, now more than ever before, because service providers are faced with significant new costs – from virtualization, transformation to new architectures and from the launch of new services. They are seeking to constrain costs while opening new markets and segments for their offers. The inability to provide a single source of data to fuel such processes will significantly impair their ability to deliver or to capitalize on new business and sources of revenue.

The research undertaken by Charlotte Patrick and others underlines this point. While data management is seen as a relatively new discipline, the truth is that it’s always been a problem. It’s just that there haven’t been many ways to solve this problem, because of the very fragmented and siloed nature of many providers operations.

Solutions such as CROSS change this dynamic, because they consolidate OSS data from different sources and provide the necessary data repository for the entire network. Best of all, in the case of CROSS, it allows you to work with incomplete and inaccurate data while cleaning it gradually – avoiding the pitfalls of a separate cleansing exercise.

Imperfect or otherwise, some data is better than none

In evolutionary terms, the ability to work with some data is better than the ability to work with none. So, in the same way, the ability to get started with a single source of data that can then be worked on through time while delivering immediate benefits to different processes is a step change from previous approaches. Indeed, it’s an evolutionary approach to transformation.

With CROSS, you can take the first steps to securing the single data model you need and get ready to unlock new levels of process integration and automation. Data management is fundamental. Why not talk to CROSS and find out how to consolidate data, expose hidden assets and obtain the consistent view you need across all network resources and assets?