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Issue 20 Articles

Kapsch CarrierCom logoNo-risk integration -
Delivering success for multi-vendor network deployments

Dr Kari Kapsch, CEO of Kapsch CarrierCom, says public operators can reduce risk by partnering with experienced integration specialists

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Kari Kapsch, CEO, Kapsch CarrierCom
Kari Kapsch, CEO, Kapsch CarrierCom

Kari Kapsch is CEO of Kapsch CarrierCom and a member of the company’s Managing Board. Kapsch CarrierCom is an independent systems integrator for public fixed and mobile operators, providing unbiased, end-to-end support for multi-vendor network deployments.

Q: What is driving Public Operators to transform their networks based on multi-vendor technologies?
A: There are lots of factors that are playing a part. Many operators are de-commissioning end-of-life equipment that’s no longer supported, or migrating from TDM networks to converged IP-based infrastructure that can support all services and traffic types seamlessly. At the same time, mobile operators are replacing legacy infrastructure with new IP-based networks to support their Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) initiatives. At the highest level, all multi-vendor network transformations are driven by changing user behaviour and demands. People want to be constantly connected to the internet via their PCs, tablets and smartphones, which is putting additional strain on operator networks. What’s more, ubiquitous adoption of high-bandwidth services like streamed video and IPTV is increasing bandwidth requirements and driving deployment of next-generation, multi-vendor infrastructure.

Q: When it comes to deploying multi-vendor networks, what are the main risks for operators?
A: In the 1980s, there were a very small number of companies that sold TDM network infrastructure. Now, in the IP world, there are literally hundreds of equipment vendors, and not all their equipment is designed to work together. It’s true that vendors do a lot of interoperability testing, especially with preferred partners, but there’s still a significant risk that products won’t work together in an optimal way out of the box. If products from several vendors are being deployed in the same network, complexity increases by orders of magnitude. If any combination of technologies causes a compatibility issue or compromises network performance, the risks can be very significant for operators and critical, customer-facing services may even be affected. If this happens, there may be a concrete loss of revenues, but subscriber confidence will also be impacted, increasing the risk of churn. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the issue of fault resolution. In any multi-vendor environment there’s a chance that one OEM will blame another for a network fault. A knowledgeable integrator partner can mitigate that risk by taking responsibility for end-to-end network deployment and monitoring.

Q: Why does it make sense to delegate network planning, installation and migration to a specialist integration partner?
A: I think the most important reason is the multi-vendor knowledge that integration partners bring to the table. Most operators, and especially smaller operators and operators with IT and utilities backgrounds, have only limited knowledge of telecommunication network equipment from multiple vendors. As a result, they need to work with experienced integration partners who know exactly what different products on the market can do, and how they work best together. For very large operators, we often see different departments taking care of different areas of the network – such as the core network, the access network, network applications, and so on. A knowledgeable integration partner can help bring the whole picture together and ensure that the multi-vendor network is optimised to support the best possible quality of service from end to end, which ultimately delivers a better experience for subscribers. Whatever the situation, operators need to realise that adding a new component to the network can impact all other areas of the network. By working with an integration partner, they can be sure that any changes will have minimal impact and that performance will be optimal.

System Integration Modules. © Kapsch
System Integration Modules. © Kapsch

Q: Why should operators consider partnering with Kapsch to deploy their multi-vendor networks?
A: When it comes to choosing an integration partner, knowledge of multi-vendor technologies isn’t enough. The partner must have total independence from the vendor as well – which is what Kapsch CarrierCom offers. Unlike large systems integrators who are also OEMs, we have no vested interests in terms of what technologies we deploy for our customers. We only ever look at what will deliver the best technical and business outcomes in a particular case, and make our recommendations accordingly. As well as being totally unbiased, we are extremely knowledgeable about network technologies from a large number of vendors. That means we know from the outset which technologies work well together, and we can make recommendations based on our extensive past experiences of managing end-to-end deployments for customers. We can also optimise network configurations to deliver the best possible performance and uptime. Our integration expertise is built on a 30-year history of deploying multi-vendor networks for operators of all sizes. We started working on first generation networks, and we have been involved in every major generational evolution since. Finally, we are a large, financially secure, global organisation, which means we can protect customers’ investments with us. We’re not too big, though, which means we can get to know every customer and deliver flexible network solutions that meet their specific needs. Our 20 local subsidiaries ensure we can provide excellent service on the ground, with a strong presence in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia.

Q: How does Kapsch support multi-vendor network deployments from end to end?
A: We always start from a customer’s business needs and then look for technologies that deliver the greatest value. To make sure we choose the right technologies, we consider the existing infrastructure and the likely impact of the proposed deployment. If the combination of technologies looks good on paper, we take customers through the deployment process and fine-tune equipment to ensure everything is working in an optimal way. Once a project has been implemented, we follow up over a period of months or even a year to check that the network as a whole is delivering the required performance and availability. To support the end-to-end deployment and monitoring process, we assign a project manager to each customer. This person owns the project from day one and becomes a trusted point of contact. Having a trusted project manager is critical for any sensitive work we need to do, such as migrating customer data from TDM infrastructure to new, IP-based infrastructure.

Professional Service Lifecycle. © Kapsch
Professional Service Lifecycle. © Kapsch

Q: How can partnering with Kapsch help operators to future proof their networks?
A: We can help operators understand the root causes of poor network performance, from too many subscribers on one part of the network, to under-performing end-of-life equipment or configuration issues. We also monitor trends, such as growth in subscriber numbers, to predict where network enhancements will be needed in the near future. Armed with all this insight, we can help customers make immediate changes to improve performance. What’s more, we can help them build a roadmap for network evolution that will keep them one step ahead of subscriber demands and preferences and ensure their services always deliver the high levels of quality and uptime required. Ultimately, we can help them ensure that they can meet subscribers’ future bandwidth demands and increase their ability to complete and succeed long term.

System Integration Modules. © Kapsch
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