This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Ramiro Nobre, vice president of global strategy and solutions, Accedian
Unplanned downtime – even for a few minutes – is costly and disruptive in this age of sophisticated and interconnected networks. Interruptions in performance can resonate across the ecosystem. The cost per hour of downtime has risen to more than $300,000 for 91% of small, mid-sized and large businesses, according to an ITIC study. That’s a steep price tag, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Proactive monitoring can help prevent downtime by examining the network’s performance and observing specific components of it. Organizations can maintain complete visibility into the network using proactive monitoring; this will help them notice potential problems before they impact users. It may be used to hunt down and report issues such as packet loss, jitter and application and network latency – and, in the end, it can help you achieve crucial business objectives.
Addressing key business initiatives
There are five key ways that proactive monitoring aids in achieving better business results:
Improved services: Guaranteeing uptime and availability results in more customers, higher customer satisfaction, reduced churn and other beneficial business results. Trying to supply ultra-low-latency services without an ultra-low-latency network won’t work without proactive monitoring. Proactive monitoring can help you optimize your networks by strategically investing in them to offer an ultra-low latency service with little packet loss and extremely high bandwidth.
Redundancy reduction: In supplying telco services, there is a lot of redundancy. When customers pay a premium for the privilege, ensuring connectivity is vital.
Greater transparency, added value: When providers charge a premium for these services, they can offer customers real-time performance monitoring via portals, which adds another layer of confidence and value. Customers may see how the service is functioning in relation to the service level agreements (SLAs) they’ve agreed to, which is a novel concept. Providing a customer with access to a portal where they can visualize how their network is doing has advantages from both an operational and a financial standpoint.
Faster resolution: Proactive monitoring improves the mean time to resolution, or how quickly consumers can get their problems fixed. There are enormous organizational savings to be had from optimization if service providers have applications and services operating without interruption.
Lower costs: Use proactive monitoring to see if you need two premium services. By monitoring both services, you can determine the need for potentially lowering overall operational costs. The value to the end user is the ability to have a high-quality experience in terms of performance, availability and uptime.
Proactive monitoring: Make it work for your organization
It’s a mistake to assume someone else is doing the proactive monitoring for you. When an end-user firm purchases a service from an operator, they often think monitoring is the operator’s job. While they may be doing basic monitoring, they may miss the specific network and application performance requirements the firm requires. The problem is that deploying the service when it’s needed isn’t as simple as calling the operator and asking them to switch on the proactive monitoring.
To gain insights via manual processes, having to contact several departments within the enterprise and attempt to get information is inefficient. It entails determining how many calls or trouble tickets the operator has had to open. Then it takes some time to work your way through the organization’s tiers, building each of their insights in order to get a thorough understanding.
It does not, however, have to be difficult or decentralized. Operators in large businesses don’t manage the applications; they may be managed by numerous other operators. Large enterprises with 20 or 30 branches may have branches that span a number of providers, and they must purchase connectivity between them.
Customers may think that if they have a connectivity or performance issue, it is the fault of the provider, but might it be the fault of the customer’s database in Germany? Is there, perhaps, a poorly configured printer in Brazil that is constantly performing DNS lookups on a server in Hong Kong? As a result, company IT departments frequently believe that proactive monitoring will be prohibitively expensive or complex, leading some businesses to disregard it.
But it must not be disregarded. There’s a widespread misconception that proactive monitoring isn’t cost-effective, but this isn’t true. Service companies frequently budget to construct, manage and deploy services, leaving no money to optimize and monitor those services. When proactive monitoring is the final item on the budget, it is frequently overlooked. “How much business impact have we had with this issue?” executives might wonder as they consider the problem. They may believe they can live with various problems, but they may reconsider if one of them affects the entire network.
Where to begin
All of the advantages mentioned above certainly have their appeal. So, how can you tell if proactive monitoring is a good fit for your enterprise? And where do you begin? It’s crucial to begin by determining whether you’re ready for it by answering these questions:
- Do you have a network that can handle the number of customers and the amount of traffic you’ll be putting on it?
- Is your operator or network infrastructure ready to provide a specific service to customers from Day One, if you’re contracting to supply that specific service?
- Are you prepared to deliver the operator quality that your customers are expecting based on their SLAs?
- Have you run the appropriate stress testing to verify that the service criteria is being met?
With the introduction of 5G and other next-generation technologies, service providers will be unable to create, implement or manage these service levels unless they have the necessary network infrastructure and services. Consumers have the expectation of a faultless 5G network with great performance.
No longer an afterthought
There are already a lot of difficult scenarios to deal with when it comes to network coverage. Today’s networks have progressed to the point where they are no longer just channels for traffic; they are now vital components of the total service purchased. As a result, proactive monitoring can no longer be seen as an afterthought. The commercial benefits of proactive monitoring outweigh any perceived complexity. Follow the steps outlined above to deploy proactive monitoring successfully.
About the author
Ramiro Nobre is the vice president of global strategy and solutions for Accedian, the industry leader in providing end-to-end network performance visibility. Nobre and his team have assisted numerous operators around the globe to ensure they maximize the benefits and value of network health visibility via actionable insights, thereby improving the overall customer experience.
Over the past two decades, Nobre has held leadership positions ranging from manufacturing to engineering, training and sales/business development with such industry leaders as Radio Frequency Systems, Andrew Corporation (now Commscope) and Powerwave Technologie. Nobre spent several years in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear engineering division and holds a BSBM degree from the University of Phoenix.
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