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Decisions Management use case : Telecom Customer Support Automation

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This presentation talks about the use of Passerelle EDM (the workflow and decisions management platform of iSencia Belgium) for automating the Customer Support division of an important Belgian telecom provider.

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Decisions Management use case : Telecom Customer Support Automation

  1. 1. Telecom Customer Support Process Automation erwin.de.ley@isencia.be
  2. 2. Setting the scene We work with Belgium's largest telecom provider Traditional telecom services : • voice, internet, IDTV, mobile Nomadic services : • personal cloud, streaming, video-on-demand, gaming, … iSencia Belgium NV 2 Millions of customers
  3. 3. Setting the scene Technical support & repair • 15K calls / day • 10K field interventions • 700 call center operators • 2500 field technicians After-sales, billing support • 30K calls / day • 1500 call center operators iSencia Belgium NV 3
  4. 4. Setting the scene The network is the service. Geographically distributed network, multitude of street cabinets, devices, … Many variations of complex products and line technologies Rapidly evolving products and services Long half-life of old products and devices iSencia Belgium NV 4
  5. 5. What was in the past iSencia Belgium NV 5
  6. 6. Old-style repair support process Rem.intervention Customer calls 0800-... Gets an operator (after a while) Operator tries to understand what the customer's problem is And starts consulting all kinds of BSS/OSS support systems, launching network measurements, retrieving equipment states... Manual analysis of the information On-the-spot diagnosis and resolution decision iSencia Belgium NV 6 Call Manual Collect data Manual Analyse and diagnose Field intervention Solution
  7. 7. This doesn't help either Large organization with many separate teams Each historically had own tools and methods Customers get sent around between teams Operators and technicians are often subcontracted => Volumes i.o. customer satisfaction BSS/OSS systems owned by many application teams Mix of legacy systems, new technologies, packages, in-house dvp ... iSencia Belgium NV 7
  8. 8. Issues Customer often fails to correctly describe problem Manual data retrieval and line measurements are slow Customer and operator are blocked waiting for results Approach and results depend on individual skills Long average call handling times Risk for errors & inconsistent support decisions Technician's tools inconsistent with operator decision Low first-time-right ratio Low customer satisfaction Huge learning curve and high recurrent training costs iSencia Belgium NV 8
  9. 9. Improving the support processes iSencia Belgium NV 9
  10. 10. Where do we want to go? iSencia Belgium NV 10 Customer Experience • Consistent support answers and decisions • Improved FTR Simplification • Integrated view on customer, services, network • Automate steps where possible • Support the interactions with the customer Efficiency • Always access to up-to-date best practices & formalized knowledge • Shorter handling times • Less rework, training, knowledge transfer
  11. 11. How to get there DARE : Diagnosis And Repair Engine Single system for automated and interactive support processes • Call Center Operators for retail and professional customers iSencia Belgium NV 11 • Field Technicians • OLO Operators and Technicians for regulated and commercial products • Customer Self Repair • Proactive repair, automated line profiling, ... Consolidated, up to date business logic with 360°customer view • Frequent business logic updates • Data collection and remote repair in the network, even in home equipments • Integrated data views and interactive guidance
  12. 12. How to feed it Call center coaches and field intervention experts extract support&repair cases and best practices iSencia Belgium NV 12 Organize support tasks : • Automated data collection • Interactive forms • Analysis modules • Diagnostic decisions • Advises for (automated) repair actions
  13. 13. How to feed it Define and build a library of : • Data connectors to OSS/BSS systems iSencia Belgium NV 13 • Analysis modules • Reusable sub-processes Define domain-specific support processes : • reusing connectors and modules • specializing diagnostic decisions
  14. 14. Example Refactoring the end-2-end process for repair support iSencia Belgium NV 14 X DARE IVR 1 2 3 4 4
  15. 15. Pretroubleshooting & troubleshooting While customer on queue : • automated pre-troubleshooting • data collection • rules-based problem analysis • root-cause diagnosis • identify and prioritize troubleshooting processes • advise on possible repair actions iSencia Belgium NV 15
  16. 16. Pretroubleshooting & troubleshooting When the operator gets the customer call : • diagnostic report available • detailed underlying data • guided interactive troubleshooting iSencia Belgium NV 16
  17. 17. Diagnostic report iSencia Belgium NV 17
  18. 18. Interactive guidance iSencia Belgium NV 18
  19. 19. Decision examples iSencia Belgium NV 19 IVR Filtering and routing decisions based on • Global outages, planned works in the area ? • Customer info : Bad payer? SLA? … • Customer's products • Language
  20. 20. Decision examples Pre-troubleshooting process • Check customer's ordered products • Measure the physical line characteristics • Read network configuration, device status • Reach to customer modem and other CPEs • Check service configurations FIA, IDTV, VOIP, … • Compare configuration in the network and service management systems with expected values (e.g. activation of TV packages, VOIP features, ...) iSencia Belgium NV 20
  21. 21. Decision examples Troubleshooting process • Is the PTS diagnosis what the customer is calling for? • Can the issue be solved by the operator? iSencia Belgium NV 21 • Must a ticket be created? • Is a field intervention required?
  22. 22. And now a bit more technical... iSencia Belgium NV 22
  23. 23. DARE system overview IVR Service Gateway BIQ E2E testing SALY UTS/eTS Callback manager Pretrouble shooting ABR Technical situation iSencia Belgium NV 23 Backends NPS TBF Procodac Hlog & XDSL parameters SAFE expected attenuation ROSY (SALY GUI) DSLAM 4TEL BAS ABD FH NFH PSTE Customer facing serv/Assigned prod LAM Local Address Management SGW Modem Interaction Homer Skynet accounts SOCCABIS Skynet login/password DARE DARE Rules Engine DARE Process Engine DARE Manager Syst. Admin 2 STB HGW IMS NGN UMS … Product catalog PILA LLD OFA WFM Operator Cockpit CLI/CLE 1 Troubleshooting Console Advisor DATAMINER STB Info
  24. 24. DARE modules Built on iSencia's Passerelle EDM Orange boxes : extensions Process editor iSencia Belgium NV 24 Passerelle process engine Jboss Drools rules engine Asset repository Application modules Backend adapters Task form entry raw data views Role-based security Process scheduler Application Preferences Execution traces Support modules Web Services (SOAP & REST) Operator Console Admin Manager Interface layer Backend simulator Diagnostic processes Analysis rules End-user Console Task form entry Web Services (SOAP & REST)
  25. 25. Asset repository • Process models, rules packages, images, translations … iSencia Belgium NV 25 • 2-digit versioning schema • Packaging/grouping of related groups of assets • Root-level : Project • Simple preparation, activation, roll-back of new project releases • Export/import of project packages between test envs & PROD
  26. 26. Backend adapters iSencia Belgium NV 26 • >150 adapters • Typically slow tasks (2s – 2min) • Asynch/synch bridge with internal buffering, resource pools (minimize internal resource blocking) • Configurable throttling settings to protect backends from overload • New/updated adapters can be uploaded without downtime
  27. 27. Application preferences iSencia Belgium NV 27 • Stored in DB • Web UI to import/export, CRUD, … • DARE modules & services can be reconfigured “live” • Used for analysis thresholds, refdata, backend connection settings etc
  28. 28. Some usage scenarios iSencia Belgium NV 28
  29. 29. Collaborative process definition Workflow editor Task form entry raw data views iSencia Belgium NV 29 Take advantage of : • Web-based access • Role-based security • Fully-featured graphical model editor • Asset versioning, personal workspace, model locking • Activate,update,rollback sets of related assets atomically • Test & simulation modes Passerelle process engine Drools rules engine Asset repository Application modules Backend adapters Role-based security Process scheduler Application Preferences Execution traces Support modules Web Services (SOAP & REST) Operator Console Admin Manager Interface layer Backend simulator Workflow processes Analysis rules End-user Console Task form entry
  30. 30. (Don't) work at night Workflow editor Task form entry raw data views iSencia Belgium NV 30 For automated/pro-active/batch runs • Schedule runs day-and-night • Not just remote in location, but also in time ! • Integrate automated self-diagnostics in your workflows • Automated notifications when needed • Role-based security for secure support and collaboration • Connect to your sysadmin monitoring tools via adapters, web-services, event logs etc Passerelle process engine Drools rules engine Asset repository Application modules Backend adapters Role-based security Process scheduler Application Preferences Execution traces Support modules Web Services (SOAP & REST) Operator Console Admin Manager Interface layer Backend simulator Workflow processes Analysis rules End-user Console Task form entry
  31. 31. Execution monitoring & support Workflow editor Task form entry raw data views iSencia Belgium NV 31 The platform enables : • Browse active workflows • Integrated execution tracing, provenance info raw data views, graphical execution traces, Task form replay ... • Secure pause/stop/resume • Collaboration between business analysts and IT support • Testing options : mock testing, replay etc Passerelle process engine Drools rules engine Asset repository Application modules Backend adapters Role-based security Process scheduler Application Preferences Execution traces Support modules Web Services (SOAP & REST) Operator Console Admin Manager Interface layer Backend simulator Workflow processes Analysis rules End-user Console Task form entry
  32. 32. Traceability approach • Each process execution gets unique ID, communicated to client apps • Each task's lifecylce is stored iSencia Belgium NV 32 • With backend data, analysis results etc • Internal monitoring, timing & error statistics
  33. 33. Execution browser & raw data views iSencia Belgium NV 33
  34. 34. Graphical execution trace iSencia Belgium NV 34
  35. 35. Finally, log files! • All those application features are nice but... • In the end sys admins want log files! • Errors, timeouts etc get logged with specific error codes • Monitoring tools have their own rule-based decisions to react on error frequencies, assign tickets to application teams... iSencia Belgium NV 35
  36. 36. Lessons learned iSencia Belgium NV 36
  37. 37. Graphical tools: Sales pitch vs facts • Graphical process models, rules-based logic … often presented as a way to let non-developers build business solutions • We've noticed that this works for contained scopes • But for larger contexts, with long-term maintenance, performance requirements etc …? iSencia Belgium NV 37
  38. 38. Graphical tools: Sales pitch vs facts What works best in our situation : • Close collaboration • Process experts formalize the definitions • Functional experts turned developers maintain : • Interactive processes with simpler decision rules • Threshold values for complex decision modules • Reference data iSencia Belgium NV 38 • IT team maintains : • Complex, high-throughput flows, modules • Builds adapters • & coaches the business developers
  39. 39. Agility and Testing • Built for fast implementation & maintenance cycles. But errors have large impacts. • Gradually evolved to traditional release-bound test cycles for non-minor changes • Live changes still allowed for : iSencia Belgium NV 39 • Threshold changes • Ref data • Urgent rules fixes
  40. 40. Data issues • Data distributed across many applications, databases... • For repair processes we need live data from network, devices, ongoing provisioning flows, … • Confronted with many intermediate layers & conventions • Backend systems all have different backgrounds, data structures • Data quality issues become visible in your projects (as in all integration solutions) • Where to find the authorative data source (batch replications, plain duplication, ...) iSencia Belgium NV 40
  41. 41. Data issues • We store lots of data per diagnostic run (approx 150M data items / day) • Maintain 6 weeks of results in the operational DB • Older weekly partitions off-loaded to DWH • Decision analytics done there iSencia Belgium NV 41
  42. 42. Organization issues • Meeting culture, budget allocations etc all slow down the real implementation work • Many different teams are impacted • They may see your integration work as a threat • End-users will see your work as threat (your decision automation project is paid for by cost-cutting programs) iSencia Belgium NV 42
  43. 43. Thank you iSencia Belgium NV 43

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