https://www.excelacom.com/resources/blog/knocking-their-socks-off-introducing-noc2soc/

Sep 22, 2014

Knocking their Socks Off: Introducing NOC2SOC

By David Eckels

Since the dawn of telecommunications, operators have mainly focused on managing the networks used to deliver services, rather than managing the services themselves. However, as networks become more complex and customer experience becomes more of a focus, operators are recognizing the need to have a view of end-to-end services.

To tackle this need, operators are moving from the concept of a Network Operations Center (NOC) to a Service Operations Center (SOC). Sounds fancy, right? But what does it really mean?

A service-centric environment is all about having the big picture – a “mapping” of the relationships between 1) network elements and systems to 2) services and the customers using them (this is the end-to-end service view).

The transformation from a NOC to a SOC (or the more hip moniker “NOC2SOC,” because there aren’t nearly enough acronyms thrown around in telco) is about customer experience. That’s right – NOC2SOC is all about knocking customers’ socks off (sorry, that couldn’t be resisted).

The best way to understand the need for such a transformation and what exactly it entails is to look at the differences between a network-centric and service-centric concept. In a network-centric environment there is little or no correlation between network problems and the impacted services or customers affected. Coming from the other side, there is also usually no direct information about the root cause of customer complaints on the IT or network level.

A service-centric environment is all about having the big picture – a “mapping” of the relationships between 1) network elements and systems to 2) services and the customers using them (this is the end-to-end service view).

In a SOC, monitoring, fault and complaint systems are set up to support this view. One benefit is that it can help the operator be more proactive – instead of responding to operational alarms or customer complaints, the impact of any degradation in service quality is immediately known and can be proactively resolved. For example, instead of waiting for customers to complain, an operator can reach out to those who will be affected with some incentive (or at least a few kind words). This proactive engagement can reduce churn or at the very least cut down on bad reviews or complaints on the affected customers’ social media outlets of choice.

The mapping can also help with operational aspects, such as prioritizing network maintenance based upon which services (and therefore customers) it will impact. The whole transformation involves several different initiatives that affect various aspects of an operator’s environment – from the systems used to monitor and manage the network, handle complaints and faults; to organizational structure and processes in place.

In the coming posts of this NOC2SOC series, we’ll look at some of the ways operators are addressing these areas and the benefits they are realizing through those efforts. Although it may not be immediately apparent from just this introduction, implementing the concept of a SOC can help an operator reduce operational costs, time-to-market for new services, and churn, as well as increase service revenue. 

 
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David-Eckels

David
Eckels

David is a Principal Consultant for EMEA at Excelacom. He is involved in strategy and transformation projects, as well as advising on the product management of Excelacom’s telecom products.

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Innovation meets performance.