Raj Sahakari, Principal Consultant, Network Technology Solutions and Services, Tech Mahindra
The Initial Moves
Having been in the telecom industry for more than 15 years, I have now got accustomed to the “fast paced” changes the industry witnesses. Again, having been associated with my current organization for all those years, I have seen how Communication Service Providers (CSPs) have unceasingly been battling to contain their capital expenditures and operational costs. With time, CSPs have grown from being pure “pipe-providers”, to now offering value-added services to their end customers.
This makeover opened the gates for Managed Services Providers, who stepped in to relieve CSPs of their routine operational activities. Though network equipment vendors, by virtue of their deep skills in equipment, have kept a strong foot in the Operations game, CSPs have regularly felt vendor-locked in such an arrangement. This has made some CSPs gradually turn towards vendor-neutral Managed Services specialists, who provide them with the much needed risk sharing and day-to-day service uptime guarantees.
Where do the challenges lie?
What I have seen is that IT and Network operations have traditionally remained separate, with the CIO and CTO organisations managing their respective areas and ensuring that their systems run at the desired service levels, though of course interfacing with each other in mutually agreed areas. Again, the IT and Networks departments have had their own processes, tools, people and managed services partners that run the show for them. It goes without saying that such a setup is non-optimized and also redundant from the standpoint of processes, knowledge and tools used by the organization. Many a sleepless nights can be avoided during that nightmarish network fiasco, if only the teams get together more frequently, share knowledge openly and develop a more holistic, 360 degree view of the end-to-end system.
But alas, this sparingly happens. The eventual result being - the CSP bears all the brunt of the service outage!
Have you encountered this situation before? What are your thoughts?
Also, do read my next Blog - Moving towards Converged Network-IT Operations