A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE IN AUTOMATION

A bold journey

A key element in Elisa’s journey towards automation, which started more than ten years ago, was the ability to make genuine changes in its network operations. Taking action, Elisa chose to improve processes, transform people, and develop tools that solve their challenges. Today, more than 60 use cases are in use for network optimization and operation. The result is Elisa SON – a self-organizing network built for operators.

Moving towards “zero-touch”

Pressured by data growth, quality issues and increasingly complex network, Elisa decided to aim for a completely automated network. Network Operations Centre (NOC) has been fully automated since 2010. Today, only one person is required to manage the entire NOC. Today, 90% of network incidents are resolved automatically and as much as 75% of network incident are proactively corrected before they were visible to customers. It’s expected that the network operations will be close to “zero-touch” by 2020.

Processes first, then IT

Elisa had ambitious objectives for automation development. Rather than adapting to a product, Elisa decided to use their own engineering skills to develop their own algorithms for automation. This way automation becomes part of the processes, bit-by-bit. “When developing simple use cases, then also the assessment of the automation becomes simple. That increases the human confidence. People have time to adjust to automation”, Jarno Niemelä, Technical Lead Elisa SON.

People transformation is key to success

Elisa had deep knowledge of software development and telecom operations, but had never combined the two areas. “We noticed that our personnel were afraid that automation would take their jobs. That is why we felt that offering them the chance to participate in the development of automation is vital”, says Jarno.

"Rather than forcing something onto them, we gave our engineers the opportunity to participate in the development of automation"

– Dr. Jarno Niemelä, Technical Lead, Elisa

Developed by an operator, for operators

When talking with operators in other markets, the interest in automation and unlimited has been quite apparent. Executive Vice President, Vesa-Pekka Nikula explains: “We thought why not, if so many operators are interested, and we have the experience, we might as well commercialise Elisa SON.” The automation solution, Elisa SON, also fits well to the company’s strategy of finding new revenue streams and expanding internationally.

The future is here

Elisa SON is ready for deployment and customisation for operators with multivendor networks and dynamically changing requirements for network optimisation. As the industry moves towards 5G and denser networks the need for collective network optimisation will grow in importance. Elisa is already today simulating AI and Machine Learning algorithms in test cells in the real network to measure results and gradually move towards automation through AI – with early deployments expected towards the end of 2018.

The future is here

Elisa SON is ready for deployment and customisation for operators with multivendor networks and dynamically changing requirements for network optimisation. As the industry moves towards 5G and denser networks the need for collective network optimisation will grow in importance. Elisa is already today simulating AI and Machine Learning algorithms in test cells in the real network to measure results and gradually move towards automation through AI – with early deployments expected towards the end of 2018.

"With the move towards 5G comes also the need for more capacity. To provide more sites for the capacity, automation becomes increasingly important"

– Toomas Polli, CTO, Elisa Estonia

Let’s have a meeting

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