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In any industry, the network is the backbone of an organization’s operations. It allows team members to use collaboration tools, connects customers via digital platforms to their orders and support, and lets their suppliers and partners transact within their ecosystem.

A reliable network is therefore key to business success. The challenge, however, is that as technology advances and data demands become more intense, you have to evolve your network to keep it fit for purpose – which takes time and consumes your budget.

On top of this, the large number of players in the market can make it hard to find the perfect solutions for your business. Often, this means you’re forced to “make do” instead of operating at peak efficiency.

Making sense of carrier services

NTT DATA’s Carrier Management Services (CMS) assists organizations weighed down by their network management needs. We’re one of the largest aggregators of carrier products such as ethernet, fibre, wireless, Wi-Fi and broadband in Africa, with access to a vast range of suppliers and services.

First, we evaluate your requirements and do a site survey. Then, we then match your business needs with the best carrier solution for your organization.

Because we work with more than 40 providers, we can build and scale unique, industry-specific solutions. For example, large retailers have different needs for small, medium-sized and large branch architectures; financial service organizations such as banks need guaranteed redundancies; and call centers often deal with low-latency traffic.

So, CMS will combine services such as ethernet, broadband, satellite and LTE to manage your network availability through an architecture tailored to your needs, so that you can continue to focus on your business.

Quick, flexible networking

By matching your organization with the providers you need and then managing these services, CMS helps you operate with more flexibility than running your network in-house would offer.

This is the beauty of working with a service aggregator rather than with an infrastructure or network owner. We select the most relevant carriers for your needs, so you can keep your network operating at top efficiency and eliminate elements that might slow down the system.

And, should your needs change, you don’t face upgrading an internally managed network: we can more easily change your providers to suit your new circumstances and scale your network to support your business growth.

Working with CMS also frees up your in-house IT experts so they can concentrate on initiatives that advance your business goals and increase productivity.

Automation, time savings and rapid issue resolution

However, CMS offers far more than simple network management. For instance:

  • We also realize the full potential of your network through automation and other developing technologies, so that the network delivers even under difficult circumstances. For example, we can deploy satellite technology to deliver real-time, reliable internet to inaccessible areas or regions where power failures frequently occur.
  • Because we manage all of your carriers, there is improved communication across your network – which, in turn, supports automation and other technologies in streamlining your workflows.
  • Our integrated vendor ecosystem has allowed us to reduce the mean time to order and install by as much as 30%. Having services delivered consistently and on time is a key enabler of scaling and reduces the overheads and delays associated with paper-based or manual procurement.
  • When your own teams and your suppliers all have access to the same information in real time, everyone knows immediately when issues occur, which can then quickly be corrected.

Reliability and security

You want your network to be as reliable as possible, but there are factors that can keep it from operating at peak efficiency.

For instance, there are always software updates waiting in the wings, but network changes can be time-intensive and risky. With CMS, you have access to experts who are familiar with your business operations and network. So, you’ll make only necessary changes in the most efficient way possible. Your network stays up to date with minimal downtime.

Security threats can also bring your network to its knees. When more people have access to the network, there is a greater risk of human error, cyberattacks or other vulnerabilities. Our managed service removes the need to secure and manage your network day to day, so you benefit from less risk and complexity while your firewalls and other data protection services are always up to date.

Should something go wrong, such as a network outage, a network administrator would usually have to communicate with several of your providers to isolate and repair the problem. But, because CMS has visibility of your entire network across carriers, we can alert your organization and your suppliers to problems at the same time so that they can be resolved quickly.

The benefits of scale

Considering all of the benefits, you might assume CMS is an expensive proposition – but this is not the case.

The carrier and internet service provider market is scale-based: the more you purchase, the more cost-effective services become. We are one of the largest buyers in Africa, and the sheer scale of NTT DATA’s business operations gives us access to a range of providers, making us vendor agnostic. We then pass market-leading price points on to our clients.

Additionally, engaging CMS to deploy your carrier infrastructure can lower network-related risk within your organization and reduce your infrastructure costs.

With so many benefits to be gained from working with a service provider like CMS, why are you still trying to manage your network availability yourself instead of leaving it to the experts?