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The Hidden Threats to Service Continuity

Posted By Robert Bell, Monday, February 4, 2019

Once upon a time, a large teleport operator was hit by a major power outage. Uninterruptible power supplies immediately kicked in and the NOC staff waited for the generator to start. Nothing happened. So, they switched to the backup generator. Still nothing. Work crews rushed to trouble-shoot the generator failures while the countdown timer on the UPS batteries ticked downward…and downward…and still downward. Just minutes from total loss of power, the work crews got one of the generators started and customers suffered no loss of service.

That did not stop the operator from buying two more generators to serve as triple and quadruple backups.

The Core Deliverable

Service continuity is the core deliverable to customers. Most other aspects of service can be managed, explained or finessed, but not whether the service is off instead of on, severely degraded rather than healthy. Not surprisingly, it is the issue to which teleport engineers and managers devote most of their time, energy and money.

And yet, as the story shows, it is always the hidden issue, the weak link left unnoticed, that threatens the continuity of service, even at well-run facilities with proper procedures in place.

In 2015, WTA introduced its Teleport Certification program to help operators find the strengths and weaknesses in their facilities, technology and procedures and to receive independent, standards-based certification at one of four Tiers, from Tier 4 at the top to Tier 1. To date, WTA has certified 46 teleports operating in the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Norway, Cyprus, Switzerland, the UAE, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Bulgaria, Colombia and Brazil.

Analyzing the Hidden Threats

Teleport Certification has also generated substantial data on teleport operators from its 270-question survey instrument. WTA has analyzed that and, on February 5, is publishing the first in a series of reports on the most common but under-appreciated issues effecting quality of service. The report, High-Performance: Service Continuity, explores the hidden threats to service continuity and how teleport operators can best address them. If it motivates you to take a fresh look at your redundancies, your testing schedules and your change management procedures, the report will have done its work. It is available free to members and for sale to non-members.

Tags:  service continuity 

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