Welcome to the third installment of our 5G blog series: The 5G Transformation Needs Automated Assurance Now. In our first blog in the series, we described the challenges 5G brings, the need for automated networks and assurance and some key automation use cases to get started with: service activation and turn-up, service quality monitoring, change management and fault isolation. In the second blog, we drilled into the service activation and quality monitoring use cases with a focus on 5G network slicing. In this blog, we’ll examine the critical role change management plays in dynamic 5G networks.
Manual change management can’t keep up with 5G
What happens when the network changes faster than the changes can be validated? Problems ranging from isolated customer issues to national outages will occur – it’s just a matter of time. That’s not an educated guess about the future, it’s a story we’ve heard from multiple operations executives talking about the networks they’re running today. One operations executive for a tier 1 provider recently explained to us that her inability to comprehensively validate core network changes was the biggest driver of Enterprise customer issues and inefficiency for her team.
In her case, changes to the core network were made during a tight maintenance window. But due to a highly manual validation process, only a small subset of her total Enterprise mobility VPN customer base could be checked during the maintenance window. The team approached the day after every upgrade with trepidation – they knew that eventually an undetected issue would trigger a cascade of customer complaints. These complaints would lead to an all-hands-on-deck emergency fallback to a previous release, resulting in network downtime, wasted effort and a flood of angry calls…