Connectivity infrastructure is key to service providers’ next-gen services strategy
SD-WAN, SASE, UCaaS and Video Collaboration are among the services Communications Service Providers are banking on to grow revenues and increase margins. They promise to improve the customer experience, expand addressable market, lower costs and solve world hunger. We may have made this last one up, but given all the hype, one can be forgiven for the slight hyperbole. That said, the potential payoff for SPs able to seamlessly deploy and properly execute on these services is real. So is the risk of losing sight of the fact these technologies are only as good as the infrastructure they ride on.
The OSI Reference Model (aka the OSI Stack) provides a useful analogy to think about the relationship these newer offers have with the underlying infrastructure that enables and sustains them. Each layer is independent from, but leverages the functionality of, the layers beneath it. These new applications and overlay services sit on top of more traditional connectivity services. Think of broadband and dedicated internet (which sit on lower layers of the OSI Stack) as the foundation on which the OTT edifice is built. If the foundation is not solid, any services riding on top of it could come crashing down like a house of cards.
The OSI Stack assumes lower layers will always be there and simply work. Unfortunately, in the real-world mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and open-ended processes have a way of creating cracks in this foundation. Multiple legacy systems with unmatched data, poor plant utilization and costly, redundant infrastructure are a few ways lower layers of the stack may be misaligned. These cracks, if left unattended, have a propensity to grow and create ripple effects throughout the customer experience. Longer quote times, activation delays and excessive costs which ultimately lead to customer dissatisfaction are all consequences of putting off important (but seldom urgent) rationalization projects.
Providers that are more efficient at network technology upgrades will have a competitive advantage over those who postpone integration and rationalization projects. A clean, reliable inventory is the make-or-break starting point for success. At Axcent, our fully managed teams have been using our proven three-point match of inventory, revenue and cost records, to streamline inventories and rationalize access networks and have successfully reconciled over 99.5% of customer source data across multiple system. Let us help you ensure there are no cracks in your service infrastructure foundation.