Automation, is it just a buzzword?

by Automation, Blog Post, opEvents

When you hear Opmantek refer to ‘Automation’, it’s not just a buzzword – it’s kind of a big deal! But..what exactly is it, and why should you care? Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of it.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) focuses on automating human processes and functional tasks.
Operational Process Automation (OPA) is the next evolution of RPA, which delivers specifically to IT and network operations teams and carries out advanced analysis and troubleshooting tasks.
So, whilst RPA focuses on only automating actions, OPA also integrates thinking and decision making.
When Opmantek talks about Automation, it’s OPA we’re referring to – It Detects, Diagnoses and Acts.

But “How does that help me?” I hear you ask…

The purpose of OPA is to get the right systems and workflows in place to:

  • Remove repetitive tasks from your workload
  • Predict faults before they arise
  • Remediate issues on your behalf
  • Assist you with maintenance tasks, and
  • Interpret complex data for you

In short, OPA serves to augment a network engineering or system administration role. That’s right, it’s the extra set of hands you didn’t know you had and allows you to give your tasks to machines.

Meet the new recruit

The good news is your newest team member doesn’t eat, sleep, or take time off! They complete tasks accurately and the same way each time, and like a human – learn and become more efficient as time goes on. The great news is they come experienced and will hit the ground running, but OPA can also be trained to take on more complex tasks that are specific to your network.

OPA’s Resumé

Let’s look at some of OPA’s experience working in real organizations.

Telecommunications Carrier – USA

In a Network Operations Center (NOC) environment: the team gets an alert, does some diagnosis and if they deem the problem can’t be fixed remotely, a field service team member is sent out to resolve the fault.
During recent snowstorms, field service calls were extremely high and they were finding over 50% to be false reports. That’s right, real-world field services team members were being sent into the snow to fix faults that didn’t exist.

OPA came onboard to handle alerts and find the source of problems. Event storms were brought to zero, deduplication was no longer a problem and only real events were pushed to the human team. Consequently, field service calls were reduced and the network was brought back to normal in half the time.

Energy Company – USA

New federal and state mandates required the company to provide in-depth and detailed accounting audits of devices and software licenses.

Their existing team didn’t have extensive IT experience, they were working in the confines of a highly restricted secure network, and they had a very limited budget to find a solution.
With OPA on the team, they can now generate detailed ad-hoc reports for internal management or audit demands. Federal and State audit requirements are now met and they’ve even saved 30% on their annual budget.

Wireless Internet Service Provider – USA

A WISP with infrastructure based in desert areas was experiencing equipment failure due to temperature shifts. They were constantly inundated with alerts and the resolution process involved physically attending the site to restart the affected equipment.

Failing to meet their service level agreements, they were losing customers.
They’ve now revised their operational playbook to incorporate OPA. Issues are being automatically remediated as they occur, and an escalation process has been built to look out for symptoms before they’re even triggered into events. They now proactively resolve faults before they turn into issues, with customers unaware there was ever even a problem.

Curious to see whether OPA could be the right fit for your organization? Speak to a network engineer about your requirements and learn more about automation. We’re a technically led team, so prepare for a conversation about solutions, not sales;

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