Imagine how happy a mobile service provider (MSP) would be if instead of a customer calling in to complain “I’m having trouble with YouTube” they simply said “The video queuing mechanism on server SW-304 is overloaded.” The company could just fix the problem instead of transferring the call to an engineer to manually sort through the hundreds of possible factors that degrade service – all while the caller waits for an answer.
Today’s MSPs face an ever growing language barrier – customers speak in terms of applications and their support systems don’t. The systems know the answers, but require a translator – usually an engineer – to phrase the question differently (is there a problem with the transport layer? the streaming protocols? the device?) and interpret the results for the customer.
This disconnect is only getting worse. As applications become more sophisticated, they need more services, connections, elements, network protocols and third party systems to work together seamlessly – any glitch could impact the quality of that service.
As MSPs look to improve the “I’m having trouble with YouTube” conversation, many are considering an operational shift from the existing Network Operations Center model to one centered on the Service Operations Center. There they hope to aggregate data on all the processes utilized by a specific application into a master view of how it is performing from that customer’s perspective. From there, the support agent could then drill into any anomalies detected to quickly get at the root of the problem.
Creating a Service Operations Center is an ambitious project, one that requires new, more sophisticated measurements for performance. It needs vision and a deep understanding of how each minuscule piece of a mobile communication can impact the user’s experience – and powerful analytics to correlate those connections.
Despite the effort, the projected benefits are clear. Designing support systems to speak from the customer’s perspective means the difference between a fruitful conversation and a vague comment before a transfer.