The picture of an ideal Network Migration setup
‘Planning’ is the most critical step in a migration process. A successful migration is a result of clear planning across project tasks - ordering, provisioning, turn-up, cut-over, equipment installation and smooth running. Immaculate planning increases the probability of positively impacting customer expectations, managing service issues, CSAT scores and reduces the burden of customer escalations. It avoids the risk of mismatch on the OSS and BSS stack, which normally occurs when the actual migration deviates from the conceptualized plan.
Appropriate inventory management has a direct impact on Service Assurance. To get it right, a timely involvement between the Engineering team for core telecom requirement and the Finance team for estimating cost of network, network consolidation, opting for a technically advanced network, and planning the migration remains an important stage.
If these checks and balances are not set right, right from start, telcos begin to feel the heat half-way into the transition due to unanticipated costs, technology requirements and customer desires for enhanced services that the current network cannot provide.
Evidently, smooth migrations are a result of a well thought out plan, proven delivery models and managed by a core project team that sits outside of your delivery team. The credit belongs to this core project team that comprises of telecom experts, delivery experts, customer interface experts and the project management experts. This team is responsible for establishing a roadmap for migration- a good plan will help meet time lines, client’s core objectives, cost estimates, optimize resource utilization, predict and reduce cost of failure, integrate legacy and new systems and combat any adverse customer impact. The telco benefit from a shortened migration cycle time.
Perfect picture of a successful migration promises retained customers, retained revenue pipeline, and enhanced network for consumers that provides multiple services and above all meets cost challenges as per plan. Even if there are minor possibilities of a downtime during the process, a good project team will ensure open communication and prepare the telco in advance for the downtime.
Steps for successful Network Migration
As stated in the beginning, network migrations are not perfect however the secret lies in the attempts to score 10! Here are a few steps that must be perfected and carried out in a sequence for increased success:
- Establish the project team- Select a team with the right set of credentials. Include a mix of specialists who understand the OSS BSS stack, the delivery model, business objectives and thereby the network requirements with proven experience of managing projects. In case a third party/vendor is trusted with the network migration piece then this is the right time to get them involved. It is also perfect timing to involve the Finance team. Follow it up with the announcement of the project support team, reporting structure and reporting intervals, financial teams, data setup and the HR setup.
- Define the solution architecture and craft the migration strategy- Begin with service mapping (as-is state v/s to-be state). This needs to happen across both levels – physical (on the ground) and network (inventory). Also, decide on the nomenclature and service level specifications at this stage. The solution architecture must take into account all the aspects that need to get migrated and have a drill down at various levels to an industry standard framework (example: eTOM). Data migration strategy needs to be spelt out clearly; it must tell how the data migration will line up with the customer migration strategy (system level, manual or scripted). Once migrated, the customer data needs to be in sync (data and system). Conclude this step with conducting data mapping and modeling for fitting data into the to-be state.
- Test the architecture and strategy – Conduct a simulated test on services that are actually migrated. Test to know if the model actually works on ground, identify showstoppers, fix them across data and inventory levels, and document this information. This will give clear scores to your architecture and solution strategy.
- Plan the migration rollout - Define the phases of the migration. Chose the logic basis which you will line up queues for migration – based on geographies, top 500 customers, critical customers, network types, service types, etc. Within each queue you need to have an execution plan, control plan and a mitigation plan – these three constitute the rollout plan. Entities that you need to consider in the rollout are resource planning (people, systems), times lines, outcomes expected, control plan (quality) for each outcome and a mitigation plan for every risk identified.