Chunghwa Telecom leveraged TM Forum’s ODA to transform 26 in-house OSS/BSS stacks to 11 ODA-based plug-and-play building blocks and implemented six sets of TM Forum Open APIs, developing an automation ecosystem to enrich its 5G supply chain.
Chunghwa Telecom’s ODA-inspired operation automation
Who: Chunghwa Telecom and Ericsson
What: Operations automation initiative to automate and streamline OSS/BSS stacks, developed automation ecosystem to enrich 5G supply chain
How: Leveraged TM Forum’s ODA to transform 26 in-house OSS/BSS stacks to 11 ODA-based plug-and-play building blocks; implemented six sets of TM Forum Open APIs
Results: 7.5-fold reduction in digital service launch time from four months to nine days; autonomous transport network operations optimized to be five times faster, with CapEx reduced 16% per year; Net Promotor Score improved by 1.3 times.
It’s not easy to stay ahead of the competition in a hypercompetitive telecom market like Taiwan, even if you’re the incumbent. Just ask Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), which has worked hard to thrive and excel amid fierce competition, market disruptions, financial pressure and a dynamic business landscape.
Like many CSPs, CHT has embarked on a digital transformation journey to not only adapt to new market realities that call for maximum flexibility and agility, but also to become even more relevant and valuable from the customer’s perspective. To that end, CHT dissected this challenge into three key attributes: revenue growth, better customer experience and improved business agility.
That’s easy to type but difficult to execute, says Dr. Rong-Shy Lin, SEVP and CTO, CHT. “Transforming into an agile, omnichannel digital business with automated, intelligent operations, DevSecOps and an established ecosystem is a tall order for any large and settled organization.”
CHT kicked off its three-year digital transformation plan in 2019, and a key propeller of that plan is its Operations Automation initiative. Working together with Ericsson, CHT leveraged TM Forum’s Open Digital Framework to transform its OSS/BSS stacks and develop an automation ecosystem to enrich its 5G supply chain. This has borne fruit particularly in the healthcare sector, with 5G remote medical and healthcare services helping Taiwan cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As long-term members of TM Forum, CHT and Ericsson tapped the TM Forum Open Digital Architecture (ODA) as its overarching automation design guide for operations automation, as well as inspiration to become a digital ecosystem enabler.
“As an enabling key technology for any CSP aiming at digital transformation and ecosystem development, the ODA and its associated design principles have served as some tangible references to uplift CHT’s BSS/OSS assets with a more secure, cloud-native, and componentized architecture,” Lin says, adding that CHT transformed its 26 legacy OSS/BSS stacks to 11 ODA-based building blocks.
CHT and Ericsson also implemented six sets of TM Forum Open APIs (including service ordering, service inventory/catalog/test management, trouble ticket, and alarm management) in order to seamlessly integrate a wide range of ICT solutions that transformed CHT into a more progressive digital service provider in 5G and IoT.
The integration was also strengthened by leveraging the Ericsson portfolio in facilitating autonomous operation. The building blocks collaborated between CHT and Ericsson constitute an adaptable and intelligible framework - spanning from the capabilities of service creation, service ordering, service orchestration to service assurance with a complete end-to-end perspective.
This approach enabled CHT to execute its transformation from the ground up, covering network, OSS/BSS, organization, etc, resulting in holistic lean operations that has also reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).
“At present, CHT’s OSS manages over 6 million heterogeneous network resources, and automatically performs service provisioning and network diagnosis up to 1.2 billion times per year,” says Lin. “This has resulted in OpEx savings of up to 9.9%.”
The impact of automating operations reaches well beyond cost optimization, Lin adds. For example, at least 67% of newly deployed CHT OSS/BSS functions have reached Level 2 maturity (as measured by the TM Forum Autonomous Networks Project) since 2019. CHT expects to reach Level 3 maturity by 2022 while its OSS/BSS assets and capabilities continue to align with ODA. “This alone has resulted in the reduction in the scale of our field-service force by about 6% in 2020, and we are confident in achieving 30% improvement by 2022,” Lin says.
Source: TM Forum, Autonomous Networks: Empowering Digital Transformation For The Telecoms Industry, May 2019
Here are additional benefits reflected by the encouraging metrics:.
Meanwhile, CHT’s digital transformation hasn't been limited to network operations. The telco has also boosted its execution capability not only by cultivating IT, CT and OT talents to enrich its OSS/BSS, network, and operations, but also by incentivizing a collaborative culture with Agile DevSecOps methodologies and processes to deliver faster, high-quality services
All of this provides the foundation for CHT’s strategy to create customer-centric value by becoming the leader of “Smart Life” and positioning itself as the enabler of the digital economy across Taiwan.
“CHT is also leveraging various AI-based, data-driven analytics capabilities and processes to ensure superior network service quality and a superb customer experience,” Lin adds.
“For example, we have applied both supervised and unsupervised AI/ML methodologies to effectively diagnose the root cause of end-to-end network problems within 20 seconds, which is at least 3 times faster than 2018. We also use AI/ML to analyze the quality degradation of about 330,000 heterogeneous access network elements to predict potential anomalies, thus enhancing service assurance from ‘proactive’ mode to ‘predictive’ mode.”
CHT has also roped various domain and industry partners into its digital transformation initiative to establish an autonomous-software ecosystem to develop a more robust supply chain in an era where supply chains in general have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, CHT collaborated with Ericsson, National Institutes of Health and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University to jointly develop 5G remote medical and healthcare services for YuanRung Medical Hospital. CHT also teamed up with Sanlih E-Television Group and Ericsson to co-create innovative 5G entertainment content.
“All these were made possible and easier because of collaboration within our autonomous operation capability umbrella,” says Lin.