Network Transformation: As Easy as Replacing Your Old Computer? (Part I)

Jeff Townley, President, Services Business Unit for GENBAND

Each year GENBAND’s Global Services team completes hundreds of Network Transformation projects in nearly every corner of the world.

So, you may ask what do I mean by “Network Transformation”? When we refer to “Network Transformation” at GENBAND, we mean working with our service provider customers to transform the entire network to a specific or target architecture – seamlessly migrating every subscriber and every business to the new network and removing the old infrastructure.  This provides the service provider with multiple benefits including the ability to offer every subscriber new state-of-the-art services, a modernized network with a much smaller footprint, and considerably less power consumption, which means it costs less to operate.  

A typical network migration project involves the complex task of seamlessly moving subscribers from an old or legacy platform to a new one.  Network transformations can be long, complex projects involving miles of copper cables, hundreds of complex customer data tables, and they require the careful management of critical legacy back office systems.  Some vendors offer a “cap and grow” approach to network transformation. GENBAND’s Global Services team however, provides an “in service” transformation that preserves as much access and as many back office systems as possible while moving end-customers seamlessly and completely from old to new target architectures.  This approach allows the service provider to preserve subscriber service availability and quality of experience.  The implementation must go completely unnoticed by the entire subscriber base (consumer, business, enterprise and government).  They can experience no service disruption and no change in ‘look and feel’ of existing services.

Think of a typical Network Transformation project as if you were replacing a computer or your laptop.  When the time comes to get a new PC you usually replace, and often times discard, your old one. A typical PC replacement would involve three steps.  First, you would clean up your files and data in your current PC.  There is no point in moving data or applications you haven’t used in years to your new computer.  Just as when you move into a new house, you don’t want to make several trips to the trash AFTER you’ve already paid professional movers to move all of your belongings to your new home.   Secondly, you would turn in your old PC.   A good IT department will take your PC for a few hours and, when they give you the new one, it comes complete with all of your files, applications, emails, contacts, bookmarks, etc. - essentially everything that makes a PC, YOUR PC.   Finally, you test the PC to make sure everything was successfully transferred. 

In Part II of this blog I will explain how this analogy translates to a Network Transformation project.