The Winning Move: From NOC to SOC

Are you making the move to a Service Operation Center? You might be – and not even realize it yet.

Why move from a NOC to a SOC?

Well here’s the story.

I, like many folks who get their start in telecoms, used to take a low end role in the Network Operations Center. People like me, we learn the technologies that our business depends on and work our way up the ladder. Typically, while burning the midnight oil, we take it upon ourselves to find new ways to be more efficient at our job.

Back in the day, a light would come on, an annoying noise would go off, or you would get paged indicating that some piece of network equipment had a problem. Today, our networks have evolved to include a plethora of devices and applications working together to create services.

Geolocation, Video On Demand, WebRTC, Rich Communication Services, IMS application servers and multiple messaging platforms are just a few of the services taking over our networks. Multiservice offerings are bundled together to provide a great experience for the customer. A majority of these services are driven by user interaction, and moving an explosive amount of data onto the networks. This presents some new challenges in today’s environment.

Read: WebRTC: Knocking Down the Boundaries of the Web

In the past, if a circuit or hardware filled up, we just added more physical resources. That’s not so much the case anymore.

Today’s Complex Environment

There are so many devices, network components and different software-based services that are required for to ensure an end-to-end quality customer experience. To assure this level of customer experience, service providers need to take a proactive approach based on business intelligence derived from their networks. These tools need to be able to collect, extrapolate and correlate the key data. This data will guide cross organizational teams into being more productive, by arming them with the right data about their customers’ experience.

In other words, because so many components comprise the service, we are no longer NOC-centric, we are SOC folks now (Service Operation Center).

Making the NOC to SOC Move

Most migrations are well underway, but for those who aren’t already migrating, you may be on the path but just not realize it yet. If you sharpen your pencil and write down the answers to the following questions, you will be well on your way to creating your SOC path:

  • What are my key business objectives?
  • What metrics can be used to measure my objectives?
  • Where in the service path is the data most critical to the success of my service?
  • How is my data valid?
  • What is the migration path I would take from a technical trial through a commercial launch?

The challenge with creating a SOC is mostly cultural. If you can reduce the impact to your services by measuring the performance of your applications and satisfaction of your customers, then you have already cleared the highest hurdle.

Say so long to unmanageable data stores, because a SOC will aggregate and centralize the service data from multiple sources into a single platform. This also creates a company-wide data resource, making the organization even more productive.

A new breed of engineer is putting together tomorrow’s vision of a Service Operation Center. They are creating environments that are efficient, reducing service issues more quickly, and driving the overall business by making decisions based on data. They are the folks that are having the biggest impact on reducing operational expenditures, reducing churn and driving productivity for the entire business. They’re the ones with all the right moves.

Are you moving from a NOC to a SOC? Let me know your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.

Read more about the relevance of the NOC to SOC move in NOC to SOC: A Next-Gen Approach to Understanding and Assuring Customer Experience.

Written by Jason Miller – Jason on Twitter | Posts by Jason
Jason is Empirix’s expert on predictive analytics, big data, and cutting edge technologies like WebRTC and VoLTE. He has lived on both the customer and the vendor side of things so he has a unique perspective of the market. In his free time he also coaches Little League.

photo credit: karpidis via photopin cc