Managing Change is the Challenge for Operators, says Amdocs

Amdocs, which provides customer experience systems, has announced the results of an independent survey that explores the requirements and challenges for network build and rollout to support next generation services.
The survey was conducted by analyst firm Analysys Mason, who questioned Tier 1 and Tier 2 wireline, mobile and cable operators in North America, Central and Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. It found that new approaches to network operational planning and execution are needed. This is due to a technology and process gap between the increasing and changing uptake for next generation services, and the networks ability to deliver and respond at an optimised and competitive speed.
The survey examined network planners concerns as they attempt to adjust plans to accommodate rapid changes in service creation and deployment, and identified the technological and operational changes needed to respond to the new challenges.
It found that the number one challenge in network planning is managing change. Network planners must respond to changes in budget allocations, assumptions of uptake and usage of new services, equipment specifications and technical or operational problems during the rollout process. With no mechanism in place allowing them to respond quickly and efficiently, planned changes are taking too long and ad-hoc changes are disruptive to service rollout.
Another key finding was that an inability to plan efficiently and alter the network prolongs service creation and delivery. Respondents estimated that it takes six – twelve months to launch a simple service such as VoIP, and more than 12 months for  complex services such as IPTV. Nearly all interviewees said that if a service requires more than minor network capacity augmentation, it takes more than one year to plan and launch the new service. As a result, many service providers are increasingly threatened by competitors that can respond more quickly to dynamic customer and service demands.  
The survey also found that marketing and network planning organisations are siloed, and that a tighter link between the two is required. 80% of respondents said they would prefer to plan for new services using marketing forecast data (top-down view) to set the baseline, and network capacity consumption trends data (bottom-up view) to confirm marketings assumptions, plans, forecasts and needs. At present, network planners existing tools do not enable them to consolidate and share these views, and there is no consistent methodology in place, leaving service providers struggling to ensure that service expectations can be met.
Finally, the study found that a time-lined, consolidated view of network usage trends is highly desired, but unavailable. Almost 70% of respondents stated that stove-pipe solutions and legacy systems cant deliver visibility of network usage over specific time periods. With no visibility of past, current and future usage trends, service providers are unable to effectively plan, manage and deliver network capacity in real time.
Demand for new services and data consumption is increasing, says Amdocs Seth Vice President of Products and Solutions, Seth Nesbitt. Amdocs provides network planners with the technology to trend and forecast, and allows them to see where capacity demand is needed, how much, and at what rate to build it out. As a result, service providers can improve budget and network planning, and deliver next generation services quickly to remain competitive.