The Evolution of Service Assurance

The Service Assurance segment is evolving. Service providers now require Service Assurance solutions that provide greater levels of visibility – not only into the network, but also into the services and vendor devices deployed in the environment. The real change, however, lies in the ability to provide specific insight into the customer base, so the Service Provider can mine that information to understand where there are gaps in the service or concentrated areas of problems reported. This knowledge then empowers the Service Provider to enhance the service capabilities and reduce churn.

Service Providers are also changing how they view and manage their customers. Previously, there was a limited number of services offered to each customer. Even for Mobile Service Providers (MSPs), the services once available to their customers did not extend beyond Voice and SMS. But the explosion in mobile broadband and data, along with the availability of smart phones and devices has changed all of that. Customers now access a multitude of services each day, including accessing email, surfing the web, video communications, 3rd party applications for almost everything and of course the plethora of social media applications.

With the introduction of each new service or application, Service Providers can now leverage the underlying network technology to determine the Quality of Service (QoS) down to the individual customer level. This is more important as many of the world’s leading MSPs are now competing based on service quality rather than service quantity or usage. A great example of this can be seen as Service Providers try to monetize new technologies such as 4G or LTE. As a result, today’s Service Assurance solutions have to evolve to address key aspects of the customer experience, in order to better manage the Service Providers’ customer base on an individual basis.

The ability of Service Assurance solutions to collect customer experience information provides additional benefits for Service Providers. Consider that traditionally, the vast majority of customer issues had to be resolved by Tier 2 or Tier 3 network engineering and operations teams. However, as the volume of issues increases due to the growth in available data services and number of actual users, Service Providers will find that this type of model is not sustainable. Deploying a Service Assurance solution within a customer care/ Technical Support environment allows non-expert staff to troubleshoot basic customer affecting problems. The result is that Technical Support staff can then deal with a higher percentage of customer calls (issues) and deliver better service from the customers’ perspective. A concept known as “shift left” within the Service Provider space.

In addition, there is also an overall reduction in the failure or issue Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), which is an objective most Service Providers strive to achieve. Reducing MTTR not only minimizes the operational expenses involved in resolving customer affecting problems, but also lowers the potential revenue lost as part of any service outage. All of these positive outcomes contribute significantly to a service providers bottom line.

In order for Service Providers to take their customers experience to the next level, they need Service Assurance solutions that can ensure the appropriate level of visibility, reporting and analytics. Stop by the Empirix booth 6H10 at Mobile World Congress to learn more how our Customer Experience solutions take Service Assurance to the next level.

Written by Graham Kunz – Graham on Twitter | Posts by Graham
Graham is Empirix’s European Service Assurance Expert and he’s worked in the tech industry for nearly twenty years. More than 14 years of that time has been in Service Assurance, working with wireless customers and internal teams to understand and capture product requirements, as well as develop and introduce products. His global outlook, wireless technology knowledge and technical know-how provide him with an excellent perspective on the current and future direction of mobility and the wireless industry.

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