The Best Repair Ticket You Have Is The One You Never Need to Open
My last blog outlined Lumen’s three-part philosophy on how to care for – and even surprise and delight – customers when things break. This philosophy guides how we support our customers and is a key component of how Lumen delivers a differentiated and positive customer experience.
Don’t Let it Break. When it Breaks, Fix it Fast. Communicate.
In my next few blogs, I’ll dive deeper into these three pillars with some real-world examples. Today, I’m writing about the first pillar, Don’t Let it Break.
Companies should plan for the “What-ifs”
We all know the unexpected happens. However, there are solutions companies should have to mitigate the chances of an outage occurring in the first place.
Lumen Service Assurance can always help reactively. Any service partner should have that skill. We take it a step further to partner proactively on the “what-if” scenarios.
“What if” can stop the “What now”
At Lumen, we believe the best repair ticket you have is the one you never need to open. We also believe our success is dependent on our ability to plan for the unexpected and deliver an outstanding experience.
Lumen is delivering a differentiated customer experience by investing in practices that enhance the reliability of our network, keep it stable, and give you more insight into your services, along with the flexibility to manage them. These are some key parts of our “Don’t Let it Break” strategy.
Lumen’s unique skills to make “Don’t Let it Break” a reality
- We enhance predictability by adding more modern automation techniques. A key focus continues to be on workflow orchestration processes that enable machine-to-machine interaction. This automation enables network configurations, reduces human touch and streamlines the upkeep of our network. This results in the reduction of potential for human error occurrences and increases the efficiency of network changes.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Lumen does not consider fiber cuts a cost of doing business. While we cannot completely prevent fiber cuts, we take several actions to leverage a vast amount of discrete data through predictive analytics to identify where our network may be at risk by third-party damage. We use AI to evaluate construction and fiber locate agents to pinpoint and reduce potential outages on our network. This also includes evaluating planned maintenance to minimize the impact to our customers’ services. Additionally, we use AI technologies to detect an impending equipment card failure and replace it during a far less intrusive time.
- Resiliency is perpetual. Customers build their networks using many techniques. Generally, these fall into two basic design philosophies. For higher bandwidth, it is common to use unprotected optical capacity, and two or more diverse routes allow the customers’ network to control routing decisions. The second philosophy is to use protected capacity and allow the carrier to make routing decisions when components fail within the core network. Most customers implement a hybrid of these techniques.
- In an integrated and growing network environment, it is critical to continue to invest in and make intelligent design decisions. Companies should certainly have a “Plan B.” This begins with meaningful collaboration with our customers on network diversity requirements and identifying potential weak spots in their design. At Lumen, if a path goes down, our goal is to have alternate routes to keep traffic moving. Lumen continuously implements new technologies to monitor the network and help ensure redundancy is not compromised. In addition to network routing protocols, automation plays a role in how we monitor and help ensure services work as designed even during failures.
Learn and Adjust
- We learn from outages by focusing on repeat occurrences. It is important to determine the root cause and quality of our repairs. When we do repair something, our goal is to prevent a recurrence in the future anywhere on the Lumen network. This responsibility does not end with the repair team; it’s an enterprise-wide ownership mindset to drive improvement. It’s all about the continuous line of assessing outages when they happen, learning from it, and applying those lessons learned across the network, processes and/or procedures. We’ll often apply these lessons to more than one area to capture the desired results.
- Continuous growth of a network is critical. Lumen is investing in our network for speed and efficiencies, leveraging the most up-to-date technology, adding new routers and transport gear in many markets and investing in software automation. We’re also investing in our teams by continuously providing advanced training and arming them with the skills and tools to deliver the best possible customer experience.
The Don’t Let It Break philosophy is an important part of how we serve our customers. When an outage does occur, our goal is to quickly address the issue and restore services fast. Next month, I look forward to sharing what Lumen is doing to support the second part of our philosophy: When it Breaks, Fix it Fast.
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