Total Telecom spoke to Mentor Europe partner Ian Waters to discuss the many challenges telcos face with their complex programs, as well as why catching issues early can be paramount to program success

From fibre to 5G, modern telcos are inundated with a variety of complex programs, each of which is designed to be robust but can, in fact, be just a short step from disaster. 
Typically, telcos only realise their programs are in jeopardy once they have already failed. At this point the programs will need to be rescued, entailing a lengthy at complex diagnostic process.
“This works as a process,” explained Waters. “But we’ve always been conscious that there are drawbacks with this process. It’s time consuming, sometimes taking several weeks; its disruptive, with consultants on site firefighting in the midst of a challenging program; its not particularly cheap; and inevitably it is quite a bespoke process, that is not really repeatable and is hard to justify doing multiple times.”

But what if there was a way to catch these flaws before the damage was done? 
Mentor is using state-of-the-art AI and analytics as part of their Mentor Execution Index (MEI), a program health tool that can help to identify weaknesses in a program before they fail. The MEI aggregates data from a wide range of program participants, including employees, customers, and suppliers, using AI and statistical modeling to score the various players, exploring their performance and alignment with the program. In this way, weaknesses can be spotted early in the program’s lifecycle and issues can be handled before it becomes too late. 
“What we can pull out of this Execution Index is a series of lead rather than lag indicators – the sort of issues that are going to sink a program if they are not addressed and addressed quickly,” said Waters. “We can then give recommendations to act upon, before the program gets into trouble.”
You can watch the full interview with Ian Waters from the link above, wherein he goes into much greater detail about the MEI and how it can help telcos with everything from fibre deployment to re-engineering their core networks.
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