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An Orange tint to managing tech service providers

An Orange tint to managing tech service providers

With the ever-increasing complexity associated with IT management – particularly that of multinational enterprises – and the shift towards SDWAN and virtualisation, French telecommunications company Orange believes its Multi-sourcing Service Integration (MSI) solution has never been more relevant for Africa.

Orange says MSI, which was introduced into its portfolio in 2016, uses technologies like RPA (Robotics Process Automation) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to cope with this growing complexity and bring operational efficiencies. The company says these technologies enable anticipation and correlation of events, contextualisation, prioritisation and effective root cause identification.

The solution is structured with well-defined processes around infrastructure management, contract management, service delivery management and governance. It covers technology stacks including WAN, LAN, SDWAN, telephony and security, all of which are delivered by different service providers.

MSI is positioned to manage these on behalf of customers, according to Orange.

Stephane Pommereau, Business Development Director for Middle East, Africa & Indirect, Enterprise Services, Orange Business Services, says MSI is a break-away from conventional managed services.

"Traditionally, enterprise customers contract services from a service provider, who then sub-contracts with other providers to fulfil its contract. In the MSI world, the situation is different because the contract remains between the customer and the service provider. This means that when a customer chooses Orange as a service integrator, to govern e.g. BT, AT&T, Verizon or Singtel, we work with a letter of agency. In the end we work as the sole agent in front of our customer."

Pommereau says according to MSI, each implementation is adapted based on customer needs.

"During the bid phase we define with our customer their pain points, and we propose a model to address these operational problems. Orange Business Services has developed the JOA (Joint Opportunity Assessment) concept: we assess our customer pain points, identify the root causes and solutions, and design the MSI model that will generate the best ROI for our customer by addressing both OPEX reduction/optimisation and improved customer experience."

Pommereau adds that MSI is a modular solution created by using building blocks.

"First, Orange Business Services will determine what kind of ITSM (IT service management) strategy the customer needs via this JOA consulting engagement. Once the strategy is determined, we build a service management model using service desk and end-to-end monitoring solutions to ensure the end-to-end management of the customer's infrastructure. Contract management ensures that all service providers deliver according to their contracts. Visibility on all contracted services from a single point is ensured by implementing a unified service catalogue and a service delivery management model. The solution always includes a flexible governance model based on the customer's needs."

MSI critical to transformation

With digital transformation a priority among business leaders on the continent, Orange asserts that MSI is a key enabler for this process.

The company explains that during the transformation from a traditional MPLS environment to SD-WAN, network function virtualisation and moving applications to the cloud, the number of service providers multiplies dramatically in a short period of time.

"During the transformation from a traditional MPLS environment to SD-WAN, network function virtualisation and moving applications to the cloud, the number of service providers multiplies dramatically in a short period of time," says Pommereau.

Orange says there is a growing need for a single service integrator to support companies on the continent in achieving their digital transformation and business benefits.

"For example, MSI is a logical way for a company to manage the SD-WAN, because it enables a service integrator to take charge of performance measurement, contract management and control," Pommereau adds.

The next tier includes Cognitive RPA, which adds a system to propose remediation and an Orange Business Services engineer decides whether to implement it or not.

"The most advanced model is full automation in basic, non-critical areas where RPA can match patterns well enough to automatically implement a solution. Despite the focus on automation technology, the knowledge and expertise of our team is a significant contributor to the successful application of automation."

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