Digicel – Case Study

DIGICEL complete Global Network Operations Centre Transformation Project

in partnership with Eirteic

Digicel

Digicel Group is a leading global communications provider with operations in 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 13 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network. Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the title sponsor of the Caribbean Premier League. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and the Vanuatu cricket team.

Digicel also run a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has Digicel Foundations active in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago. These foundations focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

Digicel, SOC to GNOC Transformation Journey

In 2016, Digicel kicked off their “Digicel 2030” strategy to build for the future. Part of this transformation project was to re-design the organisation which led to them consolidating five Network Operations Centres (NOCs) into one Global NOC (GNOC). This led to the consolidation of all monitoring and ticketing tools into a single instance of each. Digicel and Eirteic, successfully completed the Global Network Operations Centre (GNOC) Transformation project, as part of Digicel’s continued investment to deliver an amazing network experience.

Eirteic provided Digicel with a centralised visualisation and service & performance management consolidation solution, leading to the ultimate goal of improving operational efficiency through customer-centric service assurance. Digicel’s aim is to expand into new markets and provide new services while seeking to reduce operational costs. The reduction of operating costs was a priority for Digicel and it sought to achieve this through the reduction of headcount by 1,500 staff and the consolidation of office and NOCs.

The Challenge

Digicel had a network management environment that was distributed across five multiple NOCs (Jamaica, Trinidad, Panama, El-Salvador, and Haiti) to manage 23 countries in 4 different time zones. The management environment consisted of multiple network monitoring tools and was integrated with 5 different BMC Remedy systems ranging from v7 to v8. 

BMC Remedy consolidation was a critical part of the OSS transformation project to dramatically reduce their operating expenses and increase their efficiency, as having multiple NOCs with the existing suite of products were not meeting their goals of cost efficiency, business agility, and customer experience management.

Digicel determined that the consolidation of their five NOCs into a single GNOC with a service-centric focus would aim to:

  • Reduce OPEX by decreasing the number of tools, offices, servers, headcount etc.

  • Improve operational efficiencies while enabling growth 

  • Improve time to market for new service offerings

  • Provide proactive and customer-centric service visibility

The Solution

Digicel chose Eirteic to deliver the GNOC project to provide consolidated, consistent monitoring, and performance visibility across the Digicel Networks including:

  • Transport Applications.

  • Wireless Applications.

  • Network Applications.

  • National & International Backbone Networks.

  • With the addition of critical weather and hurricane overlays

Eirteic implemented the Assure1 unified service assurance solution from Federos and consolidated all 5 bespoke Remedy systems within the respective NOCs into a single Remedy System with Galileo Vision providing Customer Impact Visualisation.

Overall, the solution provided by Eirteic included the following:

  • Eirteic to implement Assure1 to monitor Fault & Performance of Digicel’s:
    • 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE Networks (Ericsson now, but moving to ZTE)
    • Core & Tran
  • Consolidation of 5 NOC’s to 1 Global SOC

    • Monitoring 23 countries covering 4 time-zones

    • 5 x IBM Tivoli Netcool Suites retired

    • 5 x Remedy Systems consolidated into the latest Remedy ITSM v9

  • Galileo Vision deployed to correlate network issues

    • Combine network data and external data and to provide a holistic view of the network status. Galileo Vision allows operators to visually correlate network and service issues, combined with external sources of geographical data, for example, weather and utility, providing GNOC operators with a clear image of what is happening on the network.
    • Visualise Real-time actionable insights in an intuitive format to accelerate root-cause identification of network service issues in addition to the display of Geographic and Logical (image) based dashboards. These dashboards display links between entities and are coloured based on events within the fault management system.

Figure 1- Centralised Dashboard View

Figure 2 – Satellite base map visualisation of Hurricane and Service Impact Monitoring and Tracking by Galileo Vision

Figure 3 – A simple base map visualisation of Hurricane and Service Impact Monitoring and Tracking with Distribution Links by Galileo Vision

This service-centric approach to network management enables real-time understanding of how network performance and events impact on their end users.  Their new customer-centric, service assurance processes also enable them to spot developing customer demand and deliver new services before their competitors.

Figure 4 – A close-up visualisation of Hurricane and Service Impact Monitoring and Tracking with Distribution Links by Galileo Vision

Figure 5 –  Distribution Links Monitoring by Galileo Vision

In order to provide Digicel with an optimised performance management solution, metric data was collected from the network and condensed into KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Eirteic created categories for these metrics using the ARIAM approach (Accessibility, Retainability, Integrity, Availability and Mobility). Assure1 for mobile service assurance utilises best practices to create and maintain mobile KPI formulas. The key to great service views is the availability of data, from all network resources, being presented through easy to use reports and dashboards. Assure1 dashboards gave Digicel a unified high-level view of their mobile network, whilst still enabling a user to drill drown to specific faults or metrics.

Galileo Vision was deployed to enable the visual correlation of infrastructure and service issues (fault, performance, usage and service status) based on location and environmental factors such as adverse weather and electrical outages. At Digicel, Galileo Vision was configured to visualise the status and coverage indicating current fault, performance and usage status.

 

The Implementation Plan

Eirteic analysed the business requirements and network management environment of the GNOC project and planned three phases of implementation;

Phase 1 

  • Fault consolidation through the Assure1 unified service assurance solution from Federos to replace IBM Netcool with a single platform for Fault Management.

  • Remedy Consolidation of all bespoke BMC Remedy systems (v7, v7.6 and v8) within the 5 NOCs into a single, latest version (ITSM 9.1.03), BMC Remedy System.

  • Full integration of the Federos Assure1 system with BMC Remedy ITSM v9.1.

Phase 2 

  • Consolidate Fault Management of the remaining three NOCs, in multi-country locations with a multi-tenant solution also catering for 27 countries, multiple business units, contractors and vendors.

  • On-premise infrastructure included load-shared servers and a geo-redundant disaster recovery environment for improved performance and redundancy.

  • Migrating from separate bespoke undocumented processes to standardised best practice ITIL based processes.

Phase 3

  • Implement/ Integrate Galileo Vision to provide Customer Impact Visualisation.

  • Implement Performance Management for Mobile Networks.

  • Implement Topology Management

  • Implement Service Management for Radio Access Network (RAN).

The Result

Eirteic, the Service Assurance Company, successfully consolidated five bespoke BMC Remedy platforms into a single BMC Remedy ITSM 9.1.03 instance as part of a wider Global NOC (GNOC) OSS transformation project. This project was a multi-country, multi-platform, network transformation which will ultimately improve Customer Service, operating efficiencies and increase shareholder value.

 Increasing Productivity, Decreasing Costs

The fully multi-tenanted solution (Federos Assure1, BMC Remedy and Galileo Vision all support multi-tenancy), easily supports Digicel’s business which has over 20,000 devices across 27 countries. Following the implementation by Eirteic, of the single, unified service assurance solution from Federos Software, a single Remedy ITSM instance, and customer impact visualisation tool by Galileo Software, Digicel operators now have the ability to: 

  • Monitor and manage Fault & Performance of their entire network infrastructure including:
    • 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE Networks (Ericsson now, but moving to ZTE).
    • Core & Transmission networks.
  • Raise trouble tickets, from a single UI, instead of disparate systems.
  • View consolidated event lists, filters, policies, device metrics and reports.
  • Determine customer impacting events to proactively ensure their customer requirements are being exceeded.

Real-Time Customer Impact Visualisation

Digicel also has the ability to provide external business customers with dashboards detailing where faults lie and log incidents with the BMC Remedy System. This service-centric approach to network management enables a real-time understanding of how network performance and events impact the end user.

Architecture Objectives

Some of the key architectural objectives that were set out at the beginning of the project and were approved by Digicel as delivered, are as follows:

  • Leverage COTS to reduce complexity and leverage standardisation where possible
  • Create single sources of data for the OSS functional domains for improved accuracy and data quality issues
  • Leverage automation where possible
  • Delivery scalable unified solutions to support future growth and business requirements

Delivering Transformation Goals

The end to end OSS solution provided by Eirteic is a game changer for Digicel and has enabled their critical digital transformation goals.

Their new customer-centric service assurance process enables Digicel to:

  • Identify increasing customer demand.
  • Deliver new services faster than their competitors.

The realisation of the GNOC project has enabled Digicel to reduce OPEX costs further via:

  • Headcount reduction.
  • Server warranty.
  • Lower network management costs.
  • A move from a NOC model to a Service Operations Centre and ultimately, a Customer-Centric Service Assurance Centre.
  • Advances in business agility.

Digicel, who had a long track record of providing customers with the best network was excited to have taken things to the next level with Eirteic enabling their GNOC OSS transformation, shareholders and customers have quickly seen the benefits of the changes. The completion of the GNOC project has enabled Digicel to lower their network management costs and introduced a new level of business agility. The Eirteic enabled solution enabled Digicel to redesign their organisation so that they could on their goals of delivering an amazing network experience.

Where we are:

Address: Eirteic House Eastlink Business Park Carrigtohill Co. Cork, Ireland  T45 Y381

Phone: +353 21 242 7215 Fax: +353 21 485 5212 Mail: EUinfo@eirteic.com