As networks grow more complex as a result of 5G, so too must customer experience management platforms evolve to meet the shifting needs of customers

When the coronavirus pandemic first struck in early 2020, many observers feared that we would experience a global delay in 5G rollouts. Now, one year later, we know better. The pandemic has shown us just how integral connectivity is to our professional and personal lives, with demand for connectivity skyrocketing. Operators around the world have continued to rollout 5G at a blistering pace, with many governments positioning the new technology to play a key role in the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
But with all these expectations for 5G, it must be remembered that building and managing these new networks is no simple feat. As data demand soars and new services like virtual reality and smart cities begin to become a reality, telecoms networks are forced to become infinitely more complex. Operators will be required to leverage all of the latest technologies if they are to manage their networks effectively and deliver the quality service their customer expects.
Simply put, digital operation transformation of the network and of the customer experience surrounding it is no longer simply ‘nice to have’ – it is a necessity. 
Simon Liang, General Manager of SmartCare Solution Domain, Global Technical Service, Huawei
For around a decade now, Huawei has offered its SmartCare customer experience management (CEM) solution to its connectivity service provider (CSP) customers, helping them to become full digital service providers to their customers in turn. But now, as the networks themselves become more complex and begin to evolve, so too must this digital solution. 
“As we enter the 5G era, it’s particularly urgent to make use of big data, artificial intelligence, and other new technologies, to build a unified, open and intelligent digital platform to enable the transformation of network operations and capabilities,” explained Simon Liang, General Manager of SmartCare Solution Domain, Global Technical Service, Huawei, at a recent Global Analyst Summit.
First introduced earlier this year at MWC Shanghai 2021, HUAWEI SmartCare 2.0 Convergence Platform, now based on the unified architecture of their General Digital Engine (GDE), will go beyond just CEM, creating a converged platform focussing on the key needs of the future: openness, intelligence, and efficiency. 
When it comes to data openness, the introduction of the DataCube module allows SmartCare 2.0 to offer 200 themed domain data models across five domains: User, Experience, Site, Network, and Device. Alongside this, it will provide a visible development tool chain, helping to solve the issues presented by the vast amount of raw and inflexible data telcos now handle every day. These solutions will allow for a major boost in development speeds, resulting not increasing process’s efficiency but also considerably reducing the new application’s time to market.
“The development efficiency could improve by 50% to 80%, and the application launch lead-time would be shortened from 45 days to 15 days on average,” explained Mr Liang. 
Incorporating intelligence and automation to manage the sheer volume of data being handled will, of course, be paramount. In this regard, SmartCare 2.0 will allow operators to make use of more than 30 intelligent out-of-the-box (OOTB) assets and more than 100 software development kits, with specific focusses on high value scenarios, such as traffic forecast and complaint prediction and prevention.
Finally, the platform will offer a significant increase in operational efficiency using intelligent algorithms to improve system performance. Flexible deployment modes and an Intelligent-powered scheduling algorithm can yield improvements to resource utilisation by up to 40%, while the hot/cold data identification algorithm can improve query performance by 50%. 
“In terms of data acquisition capability, we will continue to take the lead in 5G. Through a smooth software upgrade, we can support the most complete 5G non-standalone and standalone interfaces,” explained Mr Liang. “In terms of computing and query efficiency, the newly released platform will also be significantly improved, up to 50%.”
But while all of these technical improvements are vital to meeting the needs of operators in a 5G world, perhaps even more important is the way that the openness of this new platform will facilitate the wider ecosystem, helping operators and developers to co-innovate and constantly improve the standard of customer experiences.
“Through the open ability of SmartCare convergence platform, we are able to facilitate more developers and partners; carry out more project practice and innovation together with our operator customers; continuously improve the standard of experiences, together with industry organisations; and keep on exploring the practical path to digital operation transformation,” concluded Mr Liang.
As networks grow in complexity and customer needs diversify, having a unified platform has never been more important. Cooperation between the industries via open platforms will be crucial to the telecoms industry’s collective success in the coming decade. 
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