Horizontal Integration, an AS – Telecom Network Operations Case Study
Kekovole, Stephen Andaye
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Horizontal integration within the network operations department’s Wireless Data, VoIP, and IP teams will greatly improve network availability and quality of service to AS – Telecom customers by empowering employees, improving communication, and eliminating duplicated functions and tasks. The network operations department’s Wireless Data, VoIP, and IP teams form the core of the internet, voice and data business of AS – Telecom. These teams monitor, maintain and service the backbone infrastructure ensuring adequate network availability and quality service to AS – Telecom customers. Though these teams function well as silos within their particular mandates, their activities transcend across their existing silos. If these activities are not coordinated and communicated well across all three teams, the result is loss of network availability and low quality of service to AS – Telecom customers. For example, work being performed by IP on the backbone routers, may impact the Wireless Data PCS sites and VoIP’s PVG circuits. The senior management at AS – Telecom identified the need to horizontally integrate these teams in order to improve communication, knowledge sharing, and complete situation awareness. This effort was undertaken to ensure that an activity within any of these functional units was well coordinated and communicated among all three units. Furthermore, it was approached with a view of minimizing the possibility of negatively impacting network availability and the quality of service to AS – Telecom customers. This report is a blend of empirical learning that resulted from daily interactions with all levels of the impacted units for a period of a year and theoretical research based on various academic and industry observations on horizontal integration. The research spanned multiple semesters, starting in the fall of 2010 and concluding in the fall of 2011. The research project was a tremendous success. I was able to redesign the three functional units into a new organization with three core functions: 1. Surveillance, network event ticket opening and notifications, 2. Network maintenance and upgrades 3. Process documentation. If implemented, the network operations department will see drastic improvements in service delivery to stakeholders and a $ X,XXX,XXX reduction in operating costs per year.
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