When George Faucher joined Adtran, a European telecommunications network equipment vendor, as its Senior Director of Global Services, he was already familiar with INOC. His former team, which Adtran had just acquired, had approached INOC in the past to explore a potential service engagement and was impressed by its capabilities.
After joining the Adtran team, George learned that the company had already established a customer base with INOC as its onboarding and support partner. With this relationship already in place, he was well-positioned to leverage it to tackle a primary objective in his new role: strengthening and growing Adtran’s global services portfolio—a collection of support services that complemented its network equipment business.
Adtran had identified Network Operations Center (NOC) support as an area of the service portfolio that was particularly in need of a relaunch. Demand for monitoring and management support had grown beyond what suited Adtran and INOC’s existing partnership to handle efficiently. After carefully reviewing the existing service arrangement, George and his team determined that going back to market with a more comprehensive set of 24x7 monitoring and management services would be a value-added selling point for the companies they looked to reach.
But as the Adtran team began planning to build out these service enhancements, several challenges came to his attention that would need to be addressed first:
- Unclear NOC service offerings and confusing pricing: A sense of confusion had hindered the company's existing NOC service portfolio. Some prospects did not know what NOC capabilities Adtran offered and how those capabilities translated into tangible value. Pricing these services also proved a challenge for Adtran, whose core network products required a somewhat different go-to-market strategy.
- A less-than-stellar customer onboarding process: Adtran also found that its onboarding process for new customers was underpowered and ad hoc. The critical step of gathering new customers’ requirements and the often intense phases of planning, configuring, and turning up service lacked a standardized process framework.
- Misalignment with new customers’ technologies: As Adtran and its customers challenged INOC with new technologies to monitor and manage, ensuring NOC engineers were fully trained and empowered to provide excellent support—without slowing down the onboarding process—became another concern.
- A lack of quality improvement tracking and management: Quality control and assurance was another challenge Adtran needed to address before relaunching its service portfolio with a bigger and better NOC component. Throughout its partnership with INOC, Adtran's customer base had steadily grown. As a result, the moving target of perfect service became harder for INOC to hit consistently as it was challenged to manage more devices and change across these environments.
To solve these challenges, INOC and Adtran worked together to roll out four significant improvements. We summarized each below.
- Collaboratively restructure and relaunch Adtran’s NOC service offering: INOC worked with Adtran to redesign its NOC service offering—providing input and hands-on support before and during the relaunch of its global service portfolio. Rather than wading into difficult conversations around capability and value, Adtran’s sales team was now empowered and enthusiastic to bring these services back to market with a clear and proven go-to-market strategy and pricing structure.
- Establish a dedicated quality management program: INOC enabled its dedicated quality control and quality assurance team to focus on quality management and continual service improvement for Adtran specifically to resolve lingering quality issues. This new process resulted in regular reporting, tracking, and handling of quality issues by dedicated service managers—improving the overall level of support and steadily improving the speed of quality initiatives.
- Implement an enhanced training program: INOC and Adtran also developed a collaborative training program to ensure that the NOC was confident to support new Adtran products or components in its customers' environments.
- Strengthen and standardize onboarding procedures: After highlighting gaps in the existing onboarding process, INOC gathered specialists to craft a standard onboarding process that delved much deeper into requirements gathering and close-knit configuration—complete with checklists and worksheets. They also redefined their SLAs and shared them to ensure there was alignment.
The efforts to restructure and relaunch Adtran’s NOC services, strengthen alignment between Adtran and INOC, improve quality, and rethink Adtran’s onboarding process have yielded significant improvements in critical areas:
- 100% of onboardings completed in the planned time frame
- 26% reduction in time-to-ticket
- 50% reduction in NOC time-to-resolution (defined as time managed by or responsible for by the NOC)
- Less than 1% of incidents with quality issues
- 49% decrease in quality issues resulting from “human error”
Following the smooth (and closely-watched) onboarding of a new customer shortly after rolling out the improved onboarding process, Adtran’s sales teams gained newfound confidence in presenting the refreshed NOC service offering.
As Adtran implemented its new training program for INOC staff and INOC made improvements to the quality of their services, the service experience noticeably improved. The sales team grew confident in promoting NOC services.