Drive for world-class service levels supported by process automation assignment, completed by Agile Networks

Overview

Enet is Ireland’s largest open access network provider. It builds and operates the largest alternative wholesale telecoms network in Ireland, which facilitates the delivery of affordable, world-class broadband and wireless services to homes and businesses on a nationwide basis.

Enet currently works with over 80 carriers to bring high-quality fibre and wireless connectivity to over 1 million end users throughout the country. Its ambition is to make it even easier and more cost-effective for carriers to deliver broadband and high-performance connectivity solutions to more customers.

Enet does not compete with its customers. It operates exclusively on an open access, wholesale-only basis. All authorised telecom carriers can have access to its infrastructure on the same basis, enabling them to deliver more cost-effective, high-performance connectivity solutions to more customers in regional and rural Ireland.

Business Challenge

Enet recently opened its state-of-the-art Network Operations Centre (NOC), which is part of the new €1M headquarters facility in Limerick.

The NOC operates on a 24/7/365 basis, monitoring 5,400km of fibre infrastructure, including the Irish State’s Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), proprietary metro networks, a unique dark fibre backhaul infrastructure, as well as one of the largest licensed wireless networks in the country.

And with that investment comes an unwavering commitment to innovate and provide world-class service levels to its customers.

The operations team at Enet recognised early on that automation has a key role to play in improving its business processes.

They engaged the Agile Networks team to review some of those processes and implement selected automation to help achieve its operational goals.

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Client

Enet

Solution

  • Business Process Consulting Exercise and Workshops
  • Deployment of Customised System Automation to Achieve Objectives Set

Project Outcomes

  • Improved service levels through accelerated notifications on service status to Enet’s 80 carrier customers
  • More responsive communications protocol from the NOC delivering positive customer experience
  • Better utilisation of engineering resources with less time spent on communications and more time invested in core activities such as fault resolution and service upgrades
  • Facillitates a more pro-active approach to communications covering everything from planned works to outages and severe weather events
  • A big step forward to Enet’s strategic goal of automated service build

Automation Starts with Discovery

The engagement began with a discovery exercise to explore key NOC processes and understand the feasibility and operational impact of automating them.

Enet recognised that network and business process automation could play an important role in operations performance improvement, but were unsure of where to start. Through Agile’s consulting process, led by Michal Krzysztofowicz (Network Automation Team Lead) and Michael Kinsella (Sector Director for Service Provider), a series of discovery workshops were conducted to identify Enet’s unique needs, use cases and challenges.

The Agile team advised on the establishment of certain foundational requirements for automation. In other words, what is required to make Enet’s network environment automatable?

Areas such as a solid and repeatable naming, numbering and addressing convention as well as the strict adherence to same was encouraged. Agile also implemented a dedicated server environment upon which both test and production applications reside and function. This allowed for demarcation and a disciplined approach to automation development.

The reaction to the new automation from our staff carrying out this work, is great Since rollout, it's working well, without any issues. Change requests are responded to quickly by the Agile team and they're very professional to work with.

Jean ToomeyHead of Customer Operations, Enet

Productivity Improvements for Engineering Staff

Working together with Enet, several processes, which represented automation ‘quick wins’ were identified. These processes primarily focused on planned works or fault notifications, critical and time-sensitive communications for the organisation’s 80 carrier customers.

The success of the automation project lay in the accurate retrieval of customer records from Enet’s CRM system. With 80 carrier customers, some contracting one service from Enet and others contracting hundreds, the key lay in the ability to automatically spin up a dataset that met the requirements for a particular notification.

For example, with planned work notifications, NOC staff can now quickly pull customer information from affected circuit IDs and send out an appropriate notification in a fraction of the time it would have taken previously. Similarly, in the case of a service impacting event, the process of communicating the effects to customers is timely and precise.

The automation of these processes yields many benefits for Enet including productivity improvements for engineering staff, allowing more time to be spent on fault resolution or faster completion of planned works.

Increased responsiveness to Enet’s customers has not gone unnoticed and the reliability and consistency of accurate outbound communication builds trust and confidence in Enet’s service. In a market where competition is intense and price is not always the deciding factor, positive customer experience becomes more important as a distinct competitive advantage.

Automation helps to reach long-term operational goals

The success of the project has prompted Jim Molony and his team to look at other initiatives that will help Enet to fulfill its longer term strategy of automated service build.

And while he’s conscious that there’s a lot of work still required to reach that goal, he views Agile Networks as a strategic partner to help them get there.

Project Outcomes

Improved Service Levels

  • Improved service levels through accelerated notifications on service status to Enet’s 80 carrier customers
  • More responsive communications protocol from the NOC delivering positive customer experience
  • Better utilisation of engineering resources with less time spent on communications and more time invested in core activities such as fault resolution and service upgrades

 

Well on the Way to Automated Service-Build

  • Facillitates a more pro-active approach to communications covering everything from planned works to outages and severe weather events
  • A big step forward to Enet’s strategic goal of automated service build

“We're looking at a number of short-term initiatives focused on network security, network and service discovery and some legacy platforms. We also need to put in place a governance structure around our automation infrastructure.”

Jim MolonyHead of Engineering, Enet