Service providers today face a myriad of complexities and challenges as they grapple with an increasing number of hybrid workers who require remote, stable, and highly secure access to business applications. These partially remote workers interact with customers, suppliers, and partners in a highly dynamic, always-on work environment. This, combined with the introduction of new technologies like 5G, is forcing service providers to optimize fulfillment and assurance processes and remove as many repetitive manual tasks as possible.

Execution activities for new connectivity services often involve sending field engineers to the customer site to perform a site survey and install customer on-site equipment (CPE). Depending on the type of CPE, field engineers with different skills may be required to visit the site, which will increase the number of costly truck trips. Depending on the customer’s location, a typical truck move can take a few hours for on-site work and then a decent amount of driving time. The same applies when the service is faulty. On-site intervention by a field engineer may be required to troubleshoot and repair the failed CPE and return service to normal operating conditions.

In the table below, we take a closer look at generalized “back of the envelope” calculations of assumed CO2 emissions per field intervention. Calculations are based on internal Cisco studies of interaction with service providers around the world. Average CO2/km emissions vary according to car type and age, the 120gr/km considered here is an optimistic scenario. They are meant to be illustrative as each service provider will have different scenarios and numbers.

If you multiply these numbers by several hundred field jobs typically performed per day, you can quickly see that there are tons of CO2 emitted per month.

Now add to that the tens of thousands of 5G radio unit service providers that will need to be deployed to provide 5G services, which will significantly increase truck-triggered CO2 emissions. Therefore, it is very important to automate the deployment of large quantities of network devices and contribute to sustainable development efforts by saving energy, money and time.

Cisco Crosswork Network Automation for a Healthier Planet

Improved durability can easily be achieved through solutions such as the Cisco Crosswork Network Automation portfolio. This closed-loop, results-driven software suite delivers efficient network operations at scale throughout the service lifecycle. It is designed to be scalable for network operators large and small to accelerate mean time to value by monetizing new agile services and minimizing mean time to resolution to proactively prevent issues that affect the more customers.

Crosswork has many benefits that help service providers achieve their sustainability goals, such as:
• Reduces time to launch new services by 85 percent
• Significantly reduces truck trips, manual operations and field interventions to save on emissions
• Optimizes real-time network capabilities that enable operators to efficiently maximize network utility through fewer hops and less hardware/racks/space
• Minimizes resources with cloud-based automation
• Promotes higher utilization by using virtualized resources instead of more on-premises compute to perform these tasks at each customer

The Crosswork product suite includes the network controller, a turnkey solution that provides the ability to provision, maintain, and optimize intent-based, multi-vendor network services using a common user interface and API. It also includes the Network Services Orchestrator for multi-vendor, multi-domain network orchestration with programmable controls and Advanced Programmable Network Manager for simplified management of multilayer elements for converged packet and optical networks, among others.

Zero Touch Provisioning keeps trucks out of the way and hands-free computing

Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) is a key tenant of Crosswork functionality that connects your devices and the network to automate and streamline configuration management. It offers a simple, hands-free device setup process that ensures your operations staff can focus on more important tasks at hand.

With a ZTP-enabled deployment, there is no need to send qualified field engineers onsite to perform the installation of the network device(s). It is the end customer who connects and powers up the device in place prepared during the site study.

When a new device is powered on, ZTP provides the automated ability to download and apply the
loading and configuring the software to complete the provisioning of the device. This automated process allows faster activation of new services or faster restoration of failed services. It also minimizes the possibility of configuration errors which are often the root cause of outages or service degradations. Another added advantage is the reduced number of dispatches of highly qualified personnel on site. In summary, ZTP brings the following advantages:

• Significant reduction in CO2 emissions
• Faster service deployments
• Faster customer onboarding
• Reduction of configuration errors
• Faster service restorations
• OpEx Avoidance
• Better distribution of field engineering skills

Low-complexity CPE devices that are typically deployed in large numbers are the perfect opportunity for service providers to reduce their environmental impact through automation. ZTP can save millions of dollars on OpEx, avoid large CO2 bids, deliver services faster with better quality, and position service providers at the top of green business. That’s a quadruple win!

Zero Touch Provisioning through Cisco Crosswork is one of the most critical automation solutions service providers can undertake. It is relatively easy to implement into an existing operating environment and will provide immediate and tangible benefits. Qualified resources can then be allocated to more urgent needs requiring human intervention.

Learn more

We encourage you to get to know better Cisco Crosswork Network Automation and Zero Touch Provisioning to see how these solutions generate substantial business benefits while supporting green sustainability efforts that are gaining prominence around the world.

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