Blue Planet: enhancing customer experience through automation

Blue Planet: enhancing customer experience through automation

Chief Technology and Information Officer, Chris Voudouris, Neos Networks

At a time when many of the processes in our day-to-day lives are automated and digitised, it’s crucial that industries embrace and emulate this sought-after approach. Consumers have come to expect more from the businesses they work with, and speed, efficiency and ease of use are key.

In collaboration with Blue Planet (part of Ciena Networks) and Cerillion, we at Neos Networks have completed a seismic transformation of our BSS/OSS platforms from quoting and ordering, to fulfilment processes and service orchestration, meeting the ever-growing customer demand for better efficiency and speeds.

Fundamentally, the programme has seen us simplify and automate our processes, improve customer experience, and increase orders, enhancing customer and team satisfaction. A key part of the programme involved implementing Blue Planet Orchestration platform (MDSO) bolstering the roll-out of automation of our Ethernet services across all elements of the process.

What did we set out to achieve?

Following an increase in demand for Ethernet services via our online pricing and ordering tool, LIVEQUOTE, we recognised the vital need to automate the entire customer journey and process - from order, to deployment, to fulfilment. This created the need for a new Software-Defined Network (SDN) solution with end-to-end orchestration.

What was the process?

The new solution was deployed in four stages:

Phase one: Three SDN controllers for Nokia, Infinera and Ciena across layers 1, 2 and 3 of the network were implemented

Phase two: Blue Planet Orchestrator deployed with Neos Networks developed resource adaptors allowing for P2P, P2NNI, P2Cloud and Ethernet service fulfilment

Phase three: Blue Planet Inventory solution developed and deployed providing analytical insight into passive, service and logical network data

Phase four: Cerillion (BSS) was layered on top of the Orchestration, creating a single ecosystem. New APIs were developed to allow better integration between all layers

The new solution inspires a new way of operating, moving from manual Command Line Interface (CLI) to a fully automated solution drastically decreasing on-net provisioning times and realising Neos Networks’ vision to develop a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) capability.

This entirely new way of planning and managing the programme, following agile methodologies and a secure-by-design approach leveraging cloud, has laid the foundations for conversations around how to simplify assurance, provisioning, and management of new and existing services across the IT and network layers.

What challenges did we come across?

Neos Networks has organically grown throughout its 20+ year lifespan. This meant that entirely changing the architecture of the network wasn’t a possibility, and therefore required an extremely innovative approach. The MDSO and SDN had to overcome the hurdle of deploying new systems based on legacy architecture, which were not designed for automation.

Further challenges included the need to maintain security accreditations, minimising impact and disruption for customers, integrating multiple teams into a fusion working group and ensuring the project stayed within budget.

What was the outcome?

The new Blue Planet Orchestration/Inventory and Cerillion platforms will be fully implemented by the end of the year. The most significant successes from the programme are set to be felt by the overall business, our people, our partners and most importantly, our customers over the coming months. The key benefits include:

  • Enhanced customer experience and satisfaction - the process - from ordering to fulfilment - is an entirely digital experience. This streamlines the process, improving overall customer satisfaction. In addition, further innovation will provide a more complete customer journey and new product features and capabilities through a NaaS approach.
  • Reducing the need for repetitive tasks - the automation of the new process reduces the need for tasks of a repetitive nature to be carried out by our sales and engineering teams, allowing them to focus on delivering strategic improvements to the service.
  • Zero-touch provision of services - the project has laid the foundations for the overall BSS/OSS, allowing Neos Networks to move towards genuine zero-touch provision of services and continues to improve our services for our partners and customers.

To learn more about how you can benefit from our new, highly automated Ethernet services process, get in touch with our CTIO team.

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