Maps of wisdom.

Nov 21, 2019

Service Operations Centres (SOCs) thrive on geo-visualised representations of network analytics data.

Understanding the world around us involves grasping what happened, where, and when. On top of that, more inquisitive minds can reflect on why and how all that took place. But establishing the basic coordinates of space and time associated with any phenomenon is often the first step to making sense of it. And, for space-related representations, maps – that old human invention – still work like a charm.

A map-like representation of a mountain, river, valleys and routes around Pavlov in the Czech Republic, carved on a mammoth tusk, has been dated to 25,000 BC, making it possibly the oldest known map of all time. While much has changed since then, the usefulness of maps has not. Enter, as key witnesses, the Communications Service Providers (CSPs) of our time.

Leading in customer experience has become a number one priority for CSPs. In order to achieve that, they have been shifting from a traditional network-centric approach to a service-centric mindset that focuses on holistic operational excellence.

SOC teams are responsible for constantly monitoring the network end-to-end, in order to identify, in the blink of an eye, elements that have an impact on service quality and subscribers’ experience. To do so, they leverage network analytics systems that highlight real-time network performance with eye-catching renditions of data. In other words, they leverage real-time maps.

Maps provide context and perspective to SOC teams that are simply not possible for them to obtain with tables and charts feeding off network analytics.”

Geospatial data, combined with the ability to drill down on location-specific KPIs, can immediately help SOC operators to pinpoint issues and uncover patterns in network-wide trends.

For maximum impact, SOC users should be able to adjust their views according to KPI of interest, such as number of connected subscribers, throughput, volume, service rating, latency, packet loss, number of sessions, service access and session setup rates. While hovering over different geographical regions, key metrics should get summarised while allowing for quick identification of any service-impacting issues.

SOC maps should also adapt to any location segmentation, from national level, monitoring network condition throughout the country, down to the cell level. Navigating through different layers should be fast and easy, with quick references to Points of Interest (POI) that show all usage metrics, performance KPIs and real-time subscribers’ experience associated with them.

These simple, yet effective design constructs can help SOC teams to achieve more efficiency, significantly improving troubleshooting process and overall service assurance. That, in turn, translates into happier clients, leaner network investments and, last but not least, a perpetuation of maps as one of the most impacting human inventions.