In this blog we’ll explore how Automation goes beyond routine tasks within Communication Service Providers (CSPs), encompassing end-to-end business processes involving people, operations, and technologies.
What does Automation mean in the context of a CSP?
It’s a common misconception that Automation simply involves automating routine yet isolated tasks. Instead, in the context of a CSP, Automation is a vast and complex concept that goes far beyond this simple task Automation. For a CSP, it encompasses an end-to-end business process, involving various levels of Automation, from task Automation through to orchestrating multiple technologies into a seamless ecosystem.
Automation is far bigger than many people perceive it to be. Automation is an end-to-end business process, with project scope often ending up bigger than first imagined and extends across all aspects of the business; people, operations, and technologies.. Although there will be a destination or goal, it really is all about how well you do the journey, and about the process of how you get there. The important thing is to get started, and then take the incremental steps required to arrive at the final destination. It’s important to emphasise that the how of automation is as important as the what; ensuring that your CSP can organise for change, develop agile mindsets, democratise, govern, and control.
‘You’ve got to start somewhere, and then grow your automation to cover the whole spectrum to get to the big project’.
-Eddie Watson, Operations Director, CORTEX
What does Automation look like in a CSP?
Firstly, it starts with an empowered and enabled ‘Implementation Team’, and a plan to move towards a Centre of Excellence (CoE) as the reach expands. This plan must also include ‘Operational Readiness’ to support automation as it moves into production. This should chart the route to a future CoE of some form to co-ordinate and enable as the automations expands laterally (cross department) and vertically (up and down the tech stack).
In the context of a CSP, Automation is not limited to standalone tools, but involves a comprehensive Automation framework encompassing various applications and technologies, including some which may already be in use. Understanding this existing landscape is crucial in crafting an effective Automation strategy for your business.
Properly executed Automation has the potential to revolutionise a CSP’s operations, increasing efficiency and optimising processes to serve the business better. To achieve an end-to-end automation goal in a CSP, it’s necessary to navigate this complex and extensive process strategically. This means there is something of a paradox of starting small yet thinking big. CSPs should seek to be continuously updating and refining the Automation journey based on the evolving context and objectives.
The Automation Hierarchy
A hierarchy helps focus your Automation implementation effort, helping you to build systems and processes in a reusable and reconfigurable manner. It can be helpful to define our terms when talking about the Automation hierarchy. At We Are CORTEX, we define it as follows:
- Business Operation. This is everything that encompasses that set of automation that is required for a solution.
- Business Processes. A business operation will have multiple businesses processes within it.
- Use Cases. Each business process will have multiple Use Cases.
- Sub Use Case. There are also possible sub Use Cases. These will have a range of tasks that are being carried out to accomplish the Use Case. Some of these will be reusable across different aspects of different business operations or different Use Cases, and some will be unique to that specific operation.
The Automation hierarchy provides a structured approach to implementing automation within a CSP, ensuring efficiency and adaptability. Using this approach and understanding the existing Automation landscape will allow CSPs to navigate the complexities of Automation and harness its potential to enhance operations and achieve strategic objectives.
Want to find out more about how to take your automation projects to the next level? Download our free eBook, An Expert’s Guide to Automation Success.