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New Centre Increases Marconi Support

Marconi today unveiled a purpose-built secure Network Operations Centre to give telecommunications operators all over Europe 24-hour support.

The centre, which is based in Liverpool, is part of a worldwide strategy to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies for operators.

It follows last week’s announcement of 2,000 new jobs in Coventry when a new headquarters is built on a disused airfield in Ansty.

The new centre is part of an international network of NOCs which already includes a new centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and will soon incorporate centres in Germany, Australia and Italy.

The round-the-clock service will be run by highly-trained telecoms experts and is designed to free firms from the burden of running their own networks.

It will allow operators to save up to 50 per cent of their network management costs – which can take up 40 per cent of overall operating costs.

Neil Sutcliffe, Chief executive Officer of Marconi Services said:

"Today's multi-vendor, multi-service networks are becoming increasingly difficult to manage because of the sheer complexity of the equipment involved.

“For operators this can translate into major headaches, in terms of both overhead costs and the difficulty of locating the right expertise to get the job done.”

"Marconi's global presence means we've worked with the leading telcos in countries all around the world.

“This gives our technical engineers an unrivalled experience supporting not only our own equipment, but a huge range of products from all the major vendors."

The Liverpool NOC will initially focus on management of Marconi's best-selling System X switches.

Support for Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) equipment will be added in September, with management of the full range of Marconi communications products, including voice over-IP and packet radio systems, integrated by the end of the year.

Marconi will also provide capability to manage multi-vendor network solutions.

The centre is equipped with best-in-class network management and performance analysis systems, which incorporate early warning alerts to enable technicians to detect potential faults before they affect quality of service on the network.

The systems will deliver the most advanced network control available, including real-time event monitoring and Web-based performance management, allowing customers to review the status of their networks at any time directly over the Internet.

A trouble-ticketing feature will also generate alerts to specialised engineers, with automatic escalation of alert messages to increasingly senior staff after a pre-set delay, to guarantee a maximum level of responsiveness.

A team of engineers and support staff working in shifts around the clock will provide NOC customers with direct, 24-hour support, proactively monitoring traffic flows across their networks and responding immediately to equipment faults or traffic overloads on high volume routes.

Each network management engineer can monitor four customer networks simultaneously from his or her console and, in the case of a serious problem, can move the display of graphical data on any of their networks to a bank of large monitors at the front of the centre to facilitate input from other team members.

Mr Sutcliffe said Marconi also sees an opportunity to act as a part-time manager for larger telcos which may already have their own management centres, by taking over night-time and weekend monitoring or providing stand-by or backup facilities.

He added:

"We see enormous demand out there for this kind of service, which meets the needs of established operators looking to re-engineer their operations to make them dynamic and more cost-effective, and fledgling operators who want to take advantage of the enormous opportunities in today's telecoms markets."

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Marconi / 23 May 00

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