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IBM Service Management for Communications Service Providers - CSPs


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Service management for communications service providers - CSPs. Learn about key challenges, IBM's approach to service management, and explore the key elements of IBM Service Management for CSPs. Communications service providers (CSPs) today face a world where continuous change is the norm. CSPs now need to innovate continuously to deliver customer value and must also embrace the creativity of their business partners to succeed against aggressive competition.

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IBM Service Management for Communications Service Providers - CSPs

  1. 1. White paperDecember 2008 IBM Service Management for communications service providers IBM Service Management Solutions™
  2. 2. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 2 Overview Contents Communications service providers (CSPs) today face a world where continuous change is the norm. Traditional PSTN revenues are declining 2 Overview rapidly, and only single-digit annual growth is forecast for broadband and 2 Key service management mobile voice through 2011.1 At the same time, a wide range of new, content- challenges 3 IBM’s service management rich services from IPTV to music to gaming are set to generate billions of approach dollars in new revenues. 4 Asset management 5 Configuration This shift to a diverse set of high-touch services is fundamentally changing management the CSP business model. CSPs now need to innovate continuously to deliver 6 Service assurance customer value and must also embrace the creativity of their business partners 7 Security management to succeed against aggressive competition. Delivering an accelerating pipeline 8 Data management of new services to market quickly, repeatedly and cost-effectively demands 9 The IBM Service unparalleled agility. Focus on customer perception is essential to drive service Management for CSPs framework adoption, and to protect and enhance a CSP’s biggest asset—its brand. 11 Summary IBM has worked with CSPs to jointly define essential capabilities needed to 12 For more information prosper in this new landscape. This white paper focuses on one important component of this service lifecycle—service management. It covers key challenges, IBM’s approach to service management, and the key elements of a holistic, integrated service management solution. Key service management challenges As CSPs pursue new opportunities in a landscape of constant reinvention and increasing competition, they face a paradox: building agility, innovation and quality in an increasingly complex environment with unrelenting cost pressure. How do they: ● Eliminate the high cost of maintaining, upgrading, and operating inflexible legacy operational systems, and migrate to an agile, configurable environment for managing new services? ● Procure and deploy new assets such as LTE and converged IP backbones cost-effectively within an already-complex infrastructure? How do CSPs ensure that these assets are deployed and configured accurately, and are optimally maintained?
  3. 3. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 3 ● Defend against new security risks as they move from proprietary infrastructures to converged IP networks and open up their Web 2.0 services to both third parties and end users? ● Create end-to-end visibility across an increasingly complex service delivery chain that now integrates third-party content and services? ● Manage the explosion in data due to both new content-based services and online storage of end-user data such as e-mails, blogs, Web pages, and photos? ● Meet customers’ quality expectations when one poor service can affect overall service uptake? How do they pinpoint the root cause of service issues as they happen? How do they understand what services customers are using, and what they are experiencing in near real time to reduce churn and create upsell? IBM’s service management approach IBM’s approach to service management can help CSPs Service assurance is a key component of service management, and IBM has a manage diverse service strong track record of market leadership in service assurance, working in characteristics. partnership with CSPs. However, a service must be more than available and responsive to succeed. It must have customer value, be both affordable and profitable, and be trusted and easy to use. To drive service adoption and create sustainable advantage, CSPs need to manage these diverse service characteristics holistically. This is the role and promise of service management. IBM’s approach to service management is to deliver pragmatic, targeted solutions built on an open, modular, consistent and integrated service management framework. This allows CSPs to drive short-term payback with solutions that integrate with existing processes, systems and organizations while, at the same time, creating long-term leverage. These solutions fall into five key focus areas, as shown in Figure 1: ● Asset management: Building an economical physical foundation for high-quality services. ● Configuration management: Enabling service quality via accurate asset configuration.
  4. 4. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 4 ● Service assurance: Cost-effective management of service quality and customer experience. ● Security management: Seamless integration of services into a trusted environment. ● Data management: Enhancing service value by enabling rich and robust content. Figure 1: The key elements of holistic service management Asset management CSPs face significant challenges as they deploy new infrastructure needed to support high-bandwidth content-based services. For example: ● Planning, procurement and field engineering need to work together so that infrastructure is procured economically, deployed cost-effectively and optimally maintained. ● Inventory management systems need up-to-date and precise asset information for accurate service provisioning. ● Financial and risk management teams must track high-value assets to measure ROI and drive financial and regulatory reporting.
  5. 5. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 5 Asset management provides consistent management across the asset lifecycle IBM asset management capabilities can help CSPs (planning, procurement, deployment, maintenance and retirement) and from integrate procurement, the last mile to the data center. It links procurement, financial, inventory, and configuration management, workflow systems, providing a consistent asset view, eliminating duplication, maintenance workflows, inventory improving accuracy, and enabling process optimization. For example: management, and service desk. ● It enables just-in-time procurement, allowing CAPEX to be delayed or reduced. ● Field engineering can optimize installation processes, automate stock tracking and integrate seamlessly with vendor return and repair processes. ● Combining asset management with IBM RFID technology can create a self-inventorying network, reducing effort, improving data accuracy, and correcting deployment errors. While designed to integrate with incumbent systems, IBM asset management is built on the same technology as other key components of IBM Service Management for CSPs. Deploying these together creates significant relational value, such as seamless handoff of asset records to configuration management, and design and execution of asset workflows within an integrated service desk. Configuration management As CSPs deploy new content-based services, they need to configure those services and underlying infrastructure quickly and accurately. IP infrastructure simplifies this, but extended delivery chains introduce complexities, and existing infrastructure (for example, RANs) remains a challenge. For example, CSPs tell IBM: ● They lack uniform ways of identifying resources across planning, field engineering, and operations, resulting in process, cost, and quality issues. ● There is no consistent way of sharing essential configuration data across operational systems, with point-to-point integrations creating cost without leverage. ● The majority of service impairments are due to unplanned configuration changes. However, they worry about the cost and achievability of centralized configuration management and its productivity impact.
  6. 6. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 6 IBM’s configuration management approach delivers pragmatic solutions to these challenges and is built on three fundamental principles: ● Federate and reconcile data sources, rather than incurring the risk and cost of a centralized configuration data repository. ● Leverage existing configuration tools—don’t replace them. ● Enable flexible management of both planned and unplanned change. IBM is working actively today to deliver solutions based on these core principles, including: ● Management of resource naming during infrastructure rollout, enabling process integration and optimization. ● Sharing of network and service models across IBM Service Management components, and providing open access to this information to other systems. ● Correlating unplanned changes with network and service problems in order to automate root cause detection, drive escalation, and suppress sympathetic alarms due to configuration errors. Service assurance It is more important than ever that CSPs focus on the customer’s perception of quality to drive service adoption. CSPs are looking for service assurance solutions that span across devices, networks, services, and customers, creating a paradigm where everything flows from the customer’s perception of quality, moving from customer impact to root cause in a few easy steps. At the same time, CSPs are focused on efficiency, consolidation, and driving down legacy costs. They are then reinvesting in automated, configurable service assurance tools designed to work together across converging networks and organizations—without compromising on best-of- breed capabilities.
  7. 7. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 7 IBM offers a comprehensive and integrated set of service assurance Comprehensive service assurance capabilities from IBM can help capabilities, battle-hardened in customer implementations around the globe. CSPs improve service quality and These carrier-grade, highly scalable solutions include: help drive service adoption. ● Fault and event management: An industry-leading, highly scalable “manager of managers.” ● Performance management: Multi-vendor solutions for wireless, IP, and wireline networks. ● Systems management: Assuring the health of application and content platforms. ● Network discovery: Layer 1 to 3 data network discovery and wireless network discovery. ● Service quality management: Real-time and historical service quality, SLA, and customer experience management solutions. ● Service transaction monitoring: Active and passive monitoring of transaction response. ● Service request management: Flexible and configurable next-generation workflow and service desk capabilities, offering both superior scalability and ease of upgrade. Security management As CSPs deliver diverse services over a converged IP infrastructure, they face a range of security issues: ● IP networks provide a single point of attack across services, creating revenue risks and compromising the trust needed for initiatives such as mobile micropayments. ● Current security infrastructures for legacy networks are fragmented and are not suited to a converged IP environment. ● As services multiply, customers will adopt them only if there is unified access, and if preferences and identity are preserved across services (for example, a single wallet).
  8. 8. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 8 IBM security management capabilities address these specific security issues: ● Security management capabilities can also be deployed stand-alone, enabling highly scalable n-tier architectures. These capabilities can be integrated with event management, providing a common, streamlined network and security operations center. ● IBM Service Management for CSPs delivers a federated access and identity management environment for integrating both internal and third- party services into a CSP’s services portal. This approach allows CSPs to take advantage of both in-house development and branded or white-label partner services to drive revenues. Data management IBM data management solutions can help CSPs deliver continuous As CSPs deliver rich, content-based services, they are facing an explosion in and reliable access to ever- content—not only the content that they are delivering but the content that increasing data volumes. their customers are generating as they move their lives online. CSPs are actively promoting storage to their customers, from baby pictures to blogs and e-mail, driving ever-increasing data volumes. CSPs also face new regulatory requirements to retain usage data and content, driven by fraud, forensics, and anti-terror initiatives. CSPs tell us they are struggling to cope with this content growth, and are seeking to establish a clear and unified data management strategy. IBM continues to invest heavily to help its CSP customers with their information management challenges, both internally and through over 20 key acquisitions since 2005. IBM has solutions that can help CSPs deliver continuous and reliable access to information, enable secure sharing of information, address retention requirements, and facilitate efforts to comply with internal and regulatory requirements.
  9. 9. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 9 IBM Service Management is an integral part of this information management strategy, providing best-in-class data protection and retention capabilities designed to minimize data loss risks, reduce the spiraling cost of data management, and help ensure that data is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can help CSPs protect their data from failures and other errors by storing backup, archive, and bare-metal restore data, as well as compliance and disaster-recovery data in a flexible hierarchy of online and offline storage. The IBM Service Management for CSPs framework The IBM Service Management for CSPs framework enables IBM Service Management for CSPs consists of a modular and integrated set of federated, contextual sharing of components and best practices for service management. Because it is modular, information across modular, solutions can be deployed using only the appropriate components, reducing integrated components. costs, and accelerating time to value. As it is integrated, deployed components are reusable in other solutions and are leveraged over time into a consistent service management framework. At the heart of the IBM Service Management for CSPs framework, shown in Figure 2, is a common software backplane, providing federated, contextual sharing of information across components. Asset and configuration management components are built from the bottom up, using this backplane technology and allowing critical data to be shared seamlessly. The integrated workflow engine and service desk are also based on this technology so that workflows and problem handling are intimately linked with asset state and configuration, increasing accuracy and improving efficiency.
  10. 10. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 10 Figure 2: The IBM Service Management for CSPs framework Front-end integration is provided through a contextually linked portal where component UIs plug in as portlets and share data, enabling a seamless and consistent user experience, and allowing high-value solutions to be created across components. Key components are being integrated into this portal today, and it is poised to become the common framework across all components.
  11. 11. IBM Service Management for communications service providersPage 11 Summary An integral component of the IBM SPDE, IBM Service IBM Service Management for CSPs delivers a set of pragmatic solutions to the Management for Communications key service management challenges that CSPs face today as they balance the Service Providers addresses need to deliver innovative, new services with the need to drive efficiency and the key service management manage costs. These solutions, covering asset management, configuration challenges that today’s CSPs management, service assurance, security management, and data management, are facing. build into a holistic and open framework for managing the essential service characteristics needed for success: quality, usability, value, trust, affordability, and profitability. IBM Service Management for CSPs is an integral component of the IBM Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE), a complete service lifecycle framework, covering service innovation, service creation, service execution, service integration, service management, and customer/partner management. It is also part of a broader set of solutions designed to improve visibility, control, and automation across the enterprise: ● Visibility to help improve service quality and customer retention: True, real-time, end-to-end visibility into the source and resolution of issues that compromise network performance and availability, service quality, and the customer experience. ● Control to help maximize return on assets and reduce risk: A cost- effective, robust, security-rich and agile foundation on which to build delivery of next-generation services—backed by best practices. ● Automation to help streamline processes and accelerate growth: Integrations across the service management portfolio and with other OSS/IT systems to help reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase responsiveness.
  12. 12. For more information © Copyright IBM Corporation 2008 IBM Corporation Software GroupTo learn more about IBM Service Management for CSPs, contact your Route 100IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A.IBM Global Financing Produced in the United States of AmericaAdditionally, IBM Global Financing can tailor financing solutions to your December 2008 All Rights Reservedspecific IT needs. For more information on great rates, flexible payment plans IBM, the IBM logo,, IBM Serviceand loans, and asset buyback and disposal, visit: Management Solutions and Tivoli are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products and services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from IBM Corporation. Product data has been reviewed for accuracy as of the date of initial publication. Product data is subject to change without notice. Any The customer is responsible for ensuring statements regarding IBM’s future direction and compliance with legal requirements. It is the intent are subject to change or withdrawal customer’s sole responsibility to obtain advice of without notice, and represent goals and competent legal counsel as to the identification objectives only. and interpretation of any relevant laws and THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS regulatory requirements that may affect the DOCUMENT IS DISTRIBUTED “AS IS” customer’s business and any actions the WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EITHER EXPRESS customer may need to take to comply with such OR IMPLIED. IBM EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS laws. IBM does not provide legal advice or ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, represent or warrant that its services or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR products will ensure that the customer is in NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are compliance with any law or regulation. warranted according to the terms and 1 Telecommunications Industry Association, conditions of the agreements (e.g. TIA 2008 Telecommunications Market IBM Customer Agreement, Statement of Limited Review and Forecast, February 2008. Warranty, International Program License Agreement, etc.) under which they are provided. TIW14025-USEN-00