This piece is sponsored by Huawei Global Technical Services.
Swiss telco Sunrise has renewed its managed services partnership with Huawei, aiming to eliminate network defects and extend the scope into IT.
“We want to create a world where we have a defect-free network.” CEO Olaf Swantee told a press event at Mobile World Congress 2017. “Sunrise, together with Huawei, is very close.”
He said this was not just a technical target but was critical to the operator’s business. “When you ask someone about their network provider people think about the last defect they have had on their network – a dropped call or a buffering sign.”
He said Sunrise had a modern standardised network on the right frequencies and with very few fibre cuts.
The focus of the partnership of the past five years has been network quality. Swantee said its success was recognised last year with virtually all the major network benchmark firms, such as P3 and Open Signal, ranking Sunrise as the best network in Switzerland.
CTO Elmar Grasser the key to reaching zero defects was to reduce complexity.
By outsourcing network operations to Huawei, the network now experience many fewer outages, and when they occurred are they are restored much more quickly.
The reduction in complexity meant that network operations had also become much more cost-efficient. The other key factors had been the improved technology and the role of staff.
Swantee said the objective with the new agreement was to extend the scope into the operator’s IT systems.
“We have had more defects in IT, we have had more challenges there like many companies. There are certain apps where there are still problems and issues.”
Grasser said he had the same objectives for the IT operations as he has had for the network.
“All network apps, all IT apps, can run on standardised hardware. That’s where I want to go, and that’s where I am pushing the vendors.”
“On the IT side we are rethinking some of the platforms to be used. On the network side we are also going in the right direction. So, more network applications running on standardised hardware and virtualisation platforms. That leads to the fact that the operational work becomes very similar across the network and the IT part.”
Swantee said the relationship with Huawei had worked because of the company’s “good technology and good sense of partnership. They understand our objectives and they are really focused on our success.”
He also believes the company had achieved the right balance between the level of outsourcing and insourcing.
“You have critical functions in-house, you have critical functions outside, but you have to have that really well-planned and balanced. I’ve seen in a lot of telcos the balance isn’t there, either too much or too many parties involved.”
Grasser said the key was for the operator to define very clearly what it wants.
“It sounds very banal but it’s often not so easy to do – some companies don’t know what they want. That’s the most important thing. You transparently say ‘can you meet these requirements?’ and you get commitment from the partner that they will meet them.”
Byron Gao, head of the Huawei AMS marketing department, said in the past four years the vendor had focused on network quality, delivering end-to-end assurance and service quality improvement.
The partnership is now moving onto the ICT convergence, including IT operations, self-service IT and handset security.
“We hope in the future we can help extend their business to B2B digital services and be ready for digital service transformation.”