In today’s digital era many operators are evolving from offering traditional services to digital services. Industry analysts’ research shows that global telecoms revenue grew from US$2-trillion in 2012 to $2.45-trillion last year, and while revenues from traditional services such as voice and SMS continue to decline, digital services have recorded growth of 25% year on year.
However, the switch to providing digital services requires full operational visibility, automation, analytics done in real time, and an agile, flexible adaption to technology changes to offer end to end service assurance and deliver best quality to end customers.
Other challenges include limited budgets, and infrastructure and operating systems that often come from multiple vendors, creating communication barriers and making it very difficult to quickly address customers’ service requirements.
Operators recognise that managing telecom networks and IT in silos is not viable and CEOs are left asking questions like, “Why is my operating cost is so high?”, “What does it take to transform my business culture?”, and “Why does it take 6 months to launch a new service?”. While CTO and operation manager’s pain points focus on how to run an efficient operation, how to remove the software & process silos, how to implement more automation, and where to acquiring new skills and competences.
Huawei’s Operation Web Services (OWS) is open, programmable, software driven platform with microservices architecture, aimed at managing networks in real-time and on-demand, across both communication technology (CT) and information technology (IT) domains, and improving operational efficiency and performance. By efficiently managing and operating both current IT and telecoms network, OWS has continued to evolve, enabling swift transformation and easily adapts as the infrastructure transition to ICT hybrid, NFV/SDN virtual networks and future technologies like 5G, IoT, etc.
Flexibility to create unique services
OWS ensures that all operational data is online to break the data silos and by using the data it can build up the capability (operation visibility) & scenario-based data API development. The platform allows engineers to utilise third party APIs to extend application capabilities, and provides more flexibility for them to create unique services while mitigating risk through automation which in turn ensures they focus on more important work, increasing overall productivity.
By adopting the DevOps approach, the software architecture empowers the operational teams to create new applications quickly and simply, by removing the need for complex coding and time-consuming IT infrastructure management. OWS has adopted a modular approach to address the needs of the business, instead of using its legacy approach which included a lengthy and costly, centralised IT development process. Through this approach and orchestration capabilities, it allows operation engineers with no coding background to become application developers with little training, allowing them to design, develop, deploy and maintain their own applications, reducing the development cycle for a new application from 5-6 months to an impressive 6-8 weeks.
Enabling the use of a DevOps model and establishing a developer ecosystem helps operators realise full automation and intelligent operations, as the OWS self-learning engine is able to capture structured and unstructured data, and perform data analysis based on the specified algorithm with real-time insights.
Through its highly automated operational processes, the software can accelerate the transition from rules based automation to autonomous operations. OWS takes advantage of the elasticity, scalability and cost benefits, spurs greater efficiency and creates substantial business value.
Cloud-based software development
The overriding value of a cloud-based software development approach within OWS has moved technology into the hands of the operations team. This radically accelerates the development and deployment of applications while enabling innovation across the wider global developer’s ecosystem sharing applications in our APP store. Currently, there are more than 140 thousand registered users within OWS, with 207 projects deployed, and more than 5 500 registered developers. There have been over 900 locally developed APPs launched.
Within three months of OWS deployment, one customer reported that automation and analytics helped reduce the average site downtime by 60% and fault recovery time by 25%, while engineers were able to improve efficiency by 12% and reduce travel time by 13%. The operator ultimately was able to realise significant monetary saving, business outcomes and ensure superior customer experience, with the critical metric of network utilisation, increasing from 99% to 99.55%.
The innovative software of OWS has been recognized by the industry and in May 2017, for the 2017 GTB (Global Telecoms Business) Awards, Huawei and South Africa MTN OWS-based cloud management platform in the transformation of digital O&M practices won the “Software & Application Innovation” award. In earlier November 2016, at the 2016 Telecoms global annual Awards, Huawei OWS cloud management platform was awarded first place for “Cloud Innovation”. In September 2016, Informa hosted the tenth annual global Managed Services World Congress (MSWC 2016), where Huawei OWS also won “Best Management Service Innovation Award”.