Work Smarter, Not Harder... and Get Happy! by Beverly Ibarrola
Published on: 10/29/2018
Author: Beverly Ibarrola, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Award Solutions
Check out these automation examples that have removed time-consuming, routine tasks from the daily grind, increased individual productivity, and created an overall happier workforce.
Successful leaders in telecom have learned there are some major benefits to automation, and it goes far beyond maximizing productivity.
To support the volumes of traffic in their networks, service providers of all sizes are looking to automation as a way to make the most of their data and their resources. But key thought leaders have also learned that automation can have another great impact. When you empower individuals to automate inefficient, time-consuming processes, you also increase their happy factor.
To teach automation skills, Award Solutions would ask service providers to identify some tedious, routine tasks that they consider especially mundane, time-consuming, or possibly downright annoying. These are the chores of the workday... the daily grind, the office drudgery, the types of projects that makes one want to take a couple extra trips to the coffee machine.
Perhaps its the process of collecting data found in various documents that you need to consolidate and analyze, or the error-prone copy / paste initiatives that take so much time to do. They could be small in nature, or multi-faceted, complex ones that span a variety of sources and systems. In many cases, these aren't especially challenging tasks, but in terms of manual effort, they are fundamentally inefficient and time-consuming.
In many cases, these aren't especially challenging tasks, but in terms of manual effort, they are fundamentally inefficient and time-consuming.
Once an especially loathsome process is determined (you'll know it's a good one when you hear collective groans of agreeance upon it being suggested), the fun can begin. The first phase involves identifying the data sources, then cleaning, combining, analyzing them. the next phase involves teaching individuals how to automate those mundane tasks and make the data work for them. By the way, this is not rocket science stuff or only for those with "I HandBrake for Linux" bumper stickers on their cars. In fact, the interns at Award Solutions are veritable gurus at automation now, and it didn't take them long to learn it.
In the end, monotonous projects that often took weeks or hours of effort can now be completed quickly. Individuals now have more time to spend time on other important initiatives. Equally as notable, the fundamentally inefficient work that would normally consume an individual's day no longer keeps them from getting home in the evenings to spend time with friends and family.
Equally as notable, the fundamentally inefficient work that would normally consume an individual's day no longer keeps them from getting home in the evenings to spend time with friends and family.
Here are some recent automation projects that have left service providers glowing (and happy):
Use Case #1: Load Balancing
Load balancing involves transferring load from overloaded cells to those cells with more available capacity. This project used APIs to collect data from thousands of cell records, then used automation rules to quickly make cell load equalization decisions which can be used in an automated load balance distribution.
Use Case #2: Analytics and Data Visualization
This project involved data visualization and analytics, using APIs to collect learner datasets (such as course evaluation feedback), automation to analyze the required data, and then PowerBI to a create visual representation of the data for reporting.
Use Case #3: Validating MOPs
MOPs get created for network elements every time there’s a configuration change. This time-savings automation project used Python and APIs to create, execute, and validate new MOP commands, reducing the potential for error of manually copying and pasting.
Use Case #4: Dynamically Converting Files
This project involves taking specific datasets from Excel and Word files using Python, invoking APIs to pull data from other systems, and placing the combined data into in a formatted PDF template. This saved countless hours of mundane copy/paste effort and reduced the potential for error.
Use Case #5: Making Performance Decisions
Large amounts of data can sometimes delay critical network performance decisions. Using automation rules based on KPIs, this project significantly reduced RAN performance decisions and improved network performance.
Use Case #6: Combining Data From Multiple Sources
Multiple individuals modify roaming lists. This project used automation to minimize errors, and ensure the roaming validity of frequency, band, and sequence.
Use Case #7: Identifying Alarms
This project involved reviewing large sets of data for specific alarms. Using KPIs and with automation rules in place, data can quickly be parsed and filtered for a set of alarms, then prioritized for greatest network impact.
Use Case #8: Auditing Data
This project invoked KPIs to collect specific call log data, and using automation rules, analyzed the logs to determine if there were any missing messages, missing parameters, certain values, etc.
Use Case #9: Creating KPI Dashboards
This project involved creating a company-wide dashboard for leadership from data collected from various systems. Using APIs and automation, data from a variety of different sources was compiled. With PowerBI added to the mix, a full scale visual representation of that data is now available for on-demand reporting.
Use Case #10: Personalized Skillset Recommendations
To improve knowledge and skillsets, large service providers wanted personalized recommendations for suggested courses based on an individual’s technology background and course transcript. Using KPIs to collect data across tens of thousands of datasets, then applying automation rules via Python, this project quickly allowed teams to determine the next sequence of courses or other applicable courses in which an individual would get the most benefit.
While the above use cases are specific to service providers, the benefits of automation are not limited to a single industry, company size, or role. Automation works for everyone in every industry. So, for a transformed and happier workforce, consider empowering employees with the basics of automation. Better yet, to kickstart the process or to learn more about Award Solutions' data and productivity courses, feel free to send me a message on LinkedIn or visit www.awardsolutions.com.
About Beverly Ibarrola:
Beverly lives in the magical world of digital marketing. From graphic design and content creation, to developing and implementing comprehensive marketing strategies, Beverly enjoys crafting clever ways to reach and engage customers. You'll find her marketing fingerprint online, at the world's largest mobility conferences, and in the partnerships and professional relationships she's built along the way. She enjoys dreaming up get-rich-quick schemes for fun, and has a penchant to eat Atomic Fireballs when brainstorming.
About Award Solutions:
Award Solutions is the trusted training partner to the world's best networks. We help companies tackle new technologies by equipping their teams with knowledge and skills. Award Solutions invests heavily in technology, research, engineering, and labs to ensure our customers make the most of their resource and network investments.
Award has expertise and training across all technologies that touch wireless: 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Data Manipulation, Automation, Machine Learning, Network Virtualization, Data Visualization, 4G LTE, and more.