Cloud transformation in the telecommunication market has been hyped a lot in recent years. It is a known fact that cloud deployments are not favored by mobile operators due to the possible exposure of data to the public. An outcome of this trend was that operators have opted for private cloud deployments in which physically isolated computing resources reside at the customer or solution provider premises. 

As the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown, remote working is becoming the new normal for companies from different industries, and telecom operators are not an exception to that. This brings a challenge to the operations, optimization and rollout teams of mobile operators as they must continue to carry out their daily responsibilities and implement new hardware and software solutions needed for these activities. Enabling secure, fast and cost-effective deployment of software solutions is a major challenge for these teams as the required hardware infrastructure is expensive and hard to maintain – especially if these teams are working remotely. 

There is a simple yet effective response to tackle deployment challenges, which is the hybrid cloud model. P.I. Works offers its private cloud servers to mobile operators worldwide to enable secure, seamless and faster deployments of its automated network management solutions. When needed, we can use our private cloud platform together with any of the trusted public cloud solutions in a way that operators’ data will not be exposed to any security risks and will not violate any privacy laws and regulations imposed by the local telecom authorities. 

One example to the use of hybrid cloud comes from a recent deployment of our Performance Management solution for a Tier-1 mobile operator in Latin America. In the early days of Covid-19 outbreak, our customer requested a solution for the 24/7 monitoring of the network performance during remote working.  In order to ensure the smooth and fast implementation of our Performance Management solution, hybrid cloud was the most viable deployment model. In this model, we offered our private cloud servers located in the region as the platform to deploy the solution - which meets the security and privacy requirements of our customer. In order to provide a secure access channel to the platform, we worked with a prominent public cloud service provider for the secure authentication of the identity of the users who work for the operator. The hybrid cloud model enabled the faster deployment of the solution, as the entire process was managed by P.I. Works, eliminating the need for long hardware procurement cycles.

  • The benefits after gained after the deployment includes:
  • Product activation completed in 3 weeks
  • No hardware procurement and installation required from the customer
  • Completely remote network performance management
  • Complete transparency for the performance of the network during COVID-19
  • Proactive network alarms to notify the relevant teams of the operator

The cloud architecture that enabled the remote monitoring and optimization of the network is shown in Figure-1. Based on this architecture, all operator needed to do was provide the VPN and firewall access to the highly secure Private Cloud servers of P.I. Works. Once access is granted, we deployed the data mediation platform and the network performance management products to the private cloud servers and gave access to operator’s users. Users who want to access the platform are tunneled through a highly secure VPN server that runs on public cloud and routed back to P.I. Works' platform. By doing so, operator’s and P.I. Works’ engineers can use P.I. Works Next Generation Network Automation solutions no matter where they work from.

Hybrid Cloud Architecture

The COVID-19 pandemic has already started to change the way businesses operate and the only way to thrive during these uncertain times is to adapt to this new normal. By adopting remote network automation and monitoring capabilities that are delivered through P.I. Works private cloud, operators can adapt to cope with the challenges of the new normal. As explained in this case, P.I. Works is fully capable of delivering its solutions through an architecture built on cloud model and keep operators’ data secure while enabling the seamless remote optimization and monitoring of the network. 

This business model shift provides financial benefits as well. Operators can deploy P.I. Works solutions in 2 weeks with no hardware requirement and start benefiting from advanced automation and network monitoring. This way, operators can reduce manual workload and enable seamless operations of the network. With such capabilities on hand, OpEx and CapEx reductions can be achieved much faster.

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