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IPTV: More Than a Pretty Picture


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IPTV: More Than a Pretty Picture

  1. 1. white paper: IPTV: More than a pretty pictureIPTV: More Thana Pretty PictureMarch 2009Vadim RosenbergCA INDUSTRY MARKETING, TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  2. 2. Table of ContentsExecutive Summary section 1 2Delivering Successful, Profitable IPTV ServicesLeads Providers into Unfamiliar Territorysection 2 5APM Plays a Critical Role in Ensuring the Successof IPTV Servicessection 3 7APM Gives Services Providers the Deep InsightNeeded to Deliver IPTV ServicesSection 4 8ConclusionsSection 5 9ReferencesSection 6 9About the AuthorAbout CA Back CoverCopyright © 2009 CA. All rights reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. This document is for your informational purposes only. To the extent permittedby applicable law, CA provides this document “As Is” without warranty of any kind, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, or noninfringement. In no event will CA beliable for any loss or damage, direct or indirect, from the use of this document including, without limitation, lost profits, business interruption, goodwill or lost data, even if CA is expressly advised of such damages.
  3. 3. Executive SummaryChallenge IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is a game-changing technology. For telecommunications providers to be successful with IPTV, they must differentiate their offerings from those of competitors. That means leveraging the interactivity delivered by the IP side of the equation — the wide range of software applications that enable social networking, gaming, e-commerce and even self-service customer support — along with the video signal. No matter which services telecommunications providers choose to offer, the customer experience is paramount. And the customer experience with IPTV is not just about the quality of the video; it’s about the quality of the total experience, which includes the interactive services.Opportunity To deliver a quality customer experience, telecommunications providers must manage and monitor the IP software applications that provide the interactivity as well as the video, audio and the broadband network they traditionally manage — and the interaction between the two sides of the IPTV equation. Applications Performance Management (APM) solutions can help telecommunications providers deliver IPTV services that meet customer expectations and drive profitability, such as viewer feedback and voting services, e-commerce and Voice-over-IP services integrated into triple play bundles, by monitoring and ensuring the quality of application-driven services.Benefits APM gives providers the deep insight they need to deliver quality IPTV services that meet customer expectations and drive revenue. With APM, providers can prevent problems or detect them before customers are impacted, protecting customer loyalty and profitability. When using APM technology, providers can trace transactions throughout their entire path, pinpoint potential problems before they occur, minimize system load with non-intrusive management software and deliver the right information to the right support person at the right time. All of these benefits combine to enable providers to deliver profitable IPTV services that meet customer expectations. White paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture  1
  4. 4. SECTION 1 Delivering Successful, Profitable IPTV Services Leads Providers into Unfamiliar Territory IPTV is a Game-Changing Technology Telecommunications providers cannot deny that IPTV — Internet Protocol Television — is a game-changing technology. No longer just another bleeding-edge development, IPTV is gaining widespread acceptance around the world at a dizzying pace. According to a recent Infonetics research report, the number of IPTV subscribers will reach 72 million worldwide by 2011. Market research firm the Yankee Group expects nearly 9.8 million IPTV subscribers in the U.S. in that same time period. And according to MRG, Inc., nearly 30 million European customers will subscribe to IPTV services by 2011. Providing Profitable IPTV Services is Complex and Difficult Providing a successful IPTV service offering is about more than just delivering a pretty picture. A rich, interactive experience involves the layering of many revenue-generating or complementary IP-based services — from browsing, viewing and ordering shows and other content, to social networking, product purchasing, gaming and self-service customer support— on top of traditional television programming. Managing these applications and the interaction between them, as well as the interaction with the video and the hardware sides of the IPTV equation, is complex and difficult. The customization and personalization of each individual’s service — one of the reasons users are switching to IPTV from traditional television services — increases the complexity and difficulty of delivering a quality customer experience that consistently meets expectations. Customers Expect Instant Response Customer expectations are high. Customers of IPTV services expect the same immediate response time they get from their current television service. That is, when customers turn on their television sets and hit the remote to select or purchase on-demand content, they expect the selection or the purchase to be made instantly. Performance delays are unacceptable.2  white paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture
  5. 5. Figure a IPTV Is more than a pretty pictureIPTV is more than just a pretty picture;software-based interactivity is the keydifferentiator.Assuring the quality of new interactiveservices is the new challenge forservice providers. White paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture  3
  6. 6. “Scalability is important, Failed or Lost Transactions are Unacceptable It’s not just about speed. E-commerce, messaging and other interactive services must workespecially with interactive flawlessly. Transactions cannot simply fail, return errors, or get lost in the Internet withoutservices. Millions of a trace. A user whose order is lost or account configuration update fails is not very patientviewers will react at the or understanding if she must re-enter the entire order or update. Ensuring acceptablesame time and you must performance levels, user response times and transaction success rates are key to the customer experience, to keeping subscribers happy — and the service able to handle all ofthose concurrent requests Standards-based Software is Less Stable than Networks and Hardwareseamlessly, without Since software is more fluid than server hardware and network components, the risk of introducing bugs and unexpected business logic traps is greater. Plus, the growing usagedropping a single one.” of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) and other standards-based technologies have streamlined the integration of disparate software applications and components, adding toA large IPTV services provider the complexity of multi-vendor architectures — and increasing the value of APM in ensuring service quality. Assuring Quality of IPTV Services Requires Proactive Monitoring of Software While service providers are comfortable with managing the network and the hardware components — historically called service assurance — assuring the quality of application- driven services is a new challenge. It requires the proactive monitoring of the value-added software applications in addition to managing the video and audio quality and the broadband network with which telecommunications firms are accustomed. Providers need clear visibility into the software applications that deliver interactive IPTV services as well as the hardware platforms that deliver the video signal in order to pinpoint and diagnose service problems or failures — and proactively correct them before they impact customers. APM technology is a vital component in delivering successful IPTV services that meet customer expectations and drive profitability.4  white paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture
  7. 7. “I think of APM as SECTION 2residing within the APM Plays a Critical Role in Ensuring the Success ofblood of the application, IPTV Servicesflowing from component Let’s look at some examples of interactive services being deployed by IPTV providers —to component and letting and how APM plays a critical role in ensuring their trace every move thetransaction makes.” Guarantee Performance of Viewer Feedback and Voting Services One of the most popular interactive services IPTV providers are integrating into their videoA large IPTV services provider feed is viewer feedback and voting capabilities. For example, imagine being able to vote for a contestant on “American Idol” through your television rather than having to pick up your phone. Or being able to register your choice for the Most Valuable Player of the Super Bowl or the Golden Ball winner of the World Cup. But predicting the actual number of viewers that will choose to vote at any given time is difficult, if not impossible. So providers must ensure that both their network and the interactive applications can handle large numbers of concurrent users at all times — including unexpected load spikes. APM helps providers guarantee a quality customer experience by delivering a comprehensive, real-time view of the performance of all of the components — software and hardware — involved in delivering the interactive voting capabilities to customers. With APM, providers can prevent the potentially disastrous results of an unplanned traffic spike or the overload of a back-end system or software component — and ensure customers always get the quality experience they expect and demand. Enable Customers to Purchase Products through Integrated E-Commerce Another emerging interactive service is integrated e-commerce. That is, enabling viewers to purchase a product through their IPTV service while viewing an on-air advertisement for the product or watching a television show in which the product appears, or allowing viewers to purchase movie tickets after watching a trailer of an upcoming feature. To successfully complete this type of e-commerce transaction, multiple applications and components must work together seamlessly, such as point of sale (POS), order management, credit check and card processing, shopping cart and billing, for example. If even one component or integration point fails, the entire transaction fails, impacting the customer experience and the service provider’s revenues. With the right APM solutions, IPTV providers gain the end-to-end visibility they need to ensure service quality, guarantee lightning-fast response rates, diagnose issues and pinpoint potential bottlenecks before they occur — and before negatively impacting customer satisfaction. Potential issues causing service performance degradation or outages can range from simple memory leaks or database problems to much more complex issues, such as concurrency conflicts, external service latency or even faulty software upgrades. White paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture  5
  8. 8. Assure Complex Transactions in Integrated Triple Play Bundles A third example of a service being deployed by IPTV providers is based on close integration with Voice over IP (VoIP) as part of a triple play bundle. As an option, viewers can preview incoming calls through their television, with the Caller ID information appearing on the television screen. Once a call arrives, the television program is automatically paused, the Caller ID info is shown on the big screen and the user can choose from a number of call completion options: pick up the call (and keep the TV paused for the duration of a call), redirect the call to another number or send the call to voice mail (and resume the television program). In order to complete a call and act on the user’s selection, the transaction travels across numerous servers and back-end applications. Not only must the Caller ID be displayed within seconds and the program be paused almost immediately, but also the user’s selected action must be correctly acted upon. What if the user chooses to send the call to voicemail and later finds out that it never happened because some component in the transaction failed? With this kind of complex transaction flow, how can a provider accurately identify the faulty component when a call drops or fails to complete? Using APM, providers have deep, real-time insight into all the components in the message flow, enabling them to pinpoint performance problems and reduce the number of failed transactions — improving service quality and the overall customer experience. APM helps providers proactively manage their IPTV service, finding problems before they impact customers and the revenue stream.Figure b EXAMPLE: IPTV WITH CALLER ID AND CALL ROUTING FUNCTIONIn order to complete a call and act on Service Layer OSS/BSS Service Layer Application Components Service Layerthe user’s selection, the transaction JAVA .NET .NETtouches numerous servers and back- VOIP Policy Service IPTV VOIPend applications. Caller A Server S-CSCF Server SCIM Control Mid-ware P-CSCF Server Caller BAPM can provide real-time insight SIP call setup request 1 2into components in the flow, helping Send info to INVITE INVITE Service Brokerto pinpoint performance problems 3and reduce the number of failed 4 Check Policy Evaluate Policytransactions. 5 6 Send Caller ID info to Service 7 Caller Notification Control 8 Send Message To Devices 9 Poll Notification Details Show Pop-up Menu 10 Display CallerID Menu 11 Receive Viewer Response Answer (Accept) / Ignore (Reject) / Voicemail 12 Service Orchestration Complete 13 INVITE Route the INVITE Call Setup Call to 14 Caller B INVITE RTP Call Tear Down Either Party Disconnect CSCF=Call Session Control Function SCIM=Service Capability Interaction Manager (Service Broker)6  white paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture
  9. 9. SECTION 3APM Gives Services Providers the Deep Insight Neededto Deliver IPTV ServicesMeet or Exceed Customer Expectations with APMThe ultimate goal of service assurance is to prevent problems or detect them beforecustomers are impacted. APM can meet these goals by giving service providers visibility intoall application and infrastructure layers responsible for delivering services to end-users andpartners, from the presentation layer (portals) to the OSS/BSS and IT infrastructure layersthrough the network edge where network and element management tools take over. Keybenefits of using APM to deliver profitable IPTV services that consistently meet or exceedcustomer expectations include:Trace Transactions with Deep Diagnostics and VisibilityAPM gives providers deep diagnostics and visibility into the IPTV execution environment,including portals, partner gateways, Java and .NET application servers, SIP/JSLEE, WebServices and SOA and network interfaces (Parlay, Parlay/X). With APM, providers can findthe root cause of a problem in any component, from applications and infrastructure to objectsand methods, helping providers measure each of these components’ response times, numberof invocations and generated errors. Deep visibility helps trace individual user transactionsthrough different components and systems and correlate them with other events. Only APMcan give providers this complete picture of an application’s health.Pinpoint Problems as They Occur with 24x7 MonitoringWith APM, providers can monitor all data—at all times—to catch problems even beforethey impact the majority of customers. Traditionally, interval probing is used to monitornetworks. Network topology rarely changes and most configurations are known in advance.With software applications, probing is not good enough. The number of logical paths that theexecution process can take is much higher and is much more prone to changes with softwareupdates. Also, software problems may happen under a specific set of conditions involvingusage patterns, load and other factors. With interval probing, these problems may fall betweenthe intervals or not manifest themselves with synthetic transactions. Providers must monitorreal user transactions — in real time — to pinpoint problems as they happen, before theyimpact customers. White paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture  7
  10. 10. Minimize Load on System with Non-intrusive Management Management should be non-intrusive and have little impact on the managed environment itself. In most cases, solutions suitable for the development or quality assurance environments are not applicable in production due to their high overhead. Modern APM can optimize metrics collection so overall additional load on the system is minimal. Deliver the Right Information to the Right Person at the Right Time Role-based customizable dashboards, reports and alarms are essential to give different roles within an organization — business managers, NOC and IT administrators, and QA and software engineers — the appropriate view relevant to their function. While all the metrics are generated by the APM solution, the usage requirements and the actions taken are very different. With role-based APM, each individual user views different information — through dashboards, reports and alarms — based on their specific role within the organization. SECTION 4 Conclusions IPTV is a game-changing technology. But for telecommunications providers to successfully roll out and drive customer adoption of IPTV services, they must leverage the interactivity delivered by the IP side of the equation. This means developing, delivering and supporting new types of complex software applications that are delivered along with the video signal, which makes providing and maintaining a high-quality customer experience a challenge. In order to address this challenge, IPTV service providers must deploy service assurance solutions that take a broader look at both networks and application stacks. Deep real-time APM must be included as a key component of new service assurance architectures. With APM technology, telecommunications providers gain the tools they need to deliver revolutionary new IPTV services that meet customer expectations and drive profitability. APM enables providers to gain deep insight into the complex web of software and hardware that combine to deliver interactive IPTV services, such as online voting, e-commerce, social networking, gaming and self-service customer support. Using APM, providers can proactively detect issues before they impact service delivery, fix problems before customers suffer and optimize their service offerings to eliminate problem areas from occurring again.8  white paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture
  11. 11. section 5ReferencesInfonetics Research, “IPTV and Switched Digital Video Equipment, Services and Subscribers”,March 2008The Yankee Group, “From Gorillas to Guerrillas: IPTV Changes Everything”, February 2008MRG, Inc., “IPTV Global Forecast—2008 to 2012”, April 2008SECTION 6About the AuthorVadim Rosenberg, Vice President, Marketing, Global Telecommunications at CA, Inc., is aveteran of marketing complex enterprise software technology. In his current role, Vadim leadstelecommunications vertical within CA’s industries group. Vadim is responsible for all aspectsof CA marketing strategy and execution for telecommunications, including evangelism,sales and channel enablement, business case development, as well as in-account support ofstrategic business opportunities worldwide. Before joining CA in 2006, Vadim was responsiblefor global sales support for Oracle’s Fusion Middleware products for telecommunications.Vadim was also the product marketing manager for BEA WebLogic Server and oversawseveral major product launches and marketing initiatives. Previously, he was a senior engineerat Tandem Computer (now HP), where he built fault-tolerant transactions processing andmission-critical messaging systems. White paper: IPTV: More than a pretty picture  9
  12. 12. CA is one of the world’s largest information technology (IT)management software companies. CA solutions ensure thepeak revenues, best operational excellence, and the highestlevels of customer satisfaction with complex, heterogeneous,standards-based telecommunications services. CA’s broadvalue proposition for telecommunications is comprised ofproven solutions for security and identity management,network and voice management, software infrastructureand applications performance management, and customerexperience management.CA Wily Technology, a division of CA, is the market-leadingprovider of enterprise application performance managementsolutions. For Telecommunication industry, CA Wilyprovides performance management software for standards-based service delivery platforms, subscriber services,business processes and related OSS/BSS infrastructure tohelp IT and network operations staff at telecommunicationscompanies increase the availability and the performanceof their applications and services, improve customersatisfaction, lower costs and assure revenue. Through end-to-end visibility into customer transactions in real time,CA Wily’s products enable organizations to successfullymanage the health and availability of their criticalapplications and 1109