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This report seeks to identify the key factors that CSPs must bear in mind as they develop their network automation strategies and how vendors can adapt networking software and automation portfolios and strategies to address these demands.


  • Communications service providers (CSPs) fully accept that automation will be critical to making further progress with their network transformation initiatives. However, how to implement automation is not well understood.
  • Effective network automation sits not just at the network element layer but also at the service delivery layer, where OSS/BSS, such as service orchestration, play a role in ensuring that CSP services are requested and delivered in a timely and efficient way.

Features and Benefits

  • Guides CSPs on how to successfully deploy network automation.
  • Assesses the growing market landscape for SDN/NFV software and its impact on network automation.

Key questions answered

  • What are the key factors that could drive successful deployment of network automation strategies?
  • What challenges have CSPs faced in deploying network automation?
  • What should CSPs bear in mind when executing their network automation projects?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for service providers
  • Recommendations for vendors

CSP network automation criteria

  • A multidomain service orchestration framework
  • Network programmability
  • Big data, analytics, and AI
  • Enriching network engineering teams with software capabilities
  • Transforming OSS/BSS systems

Automation developments in SDN and NFV

  • Automation required to address complexities introduced by SDN/NFV software
  • Benefits of SDN in network automation
  • Increased automation in the control plane using SDN telemetry and analytics
  • Open source SDN accelerates network automation
  • Benefits of NFV in network automation
  • Test automation and better lifecycle management are integral to the VNF onboarding process

Best practices when beginning network automation

  • Start small
  • Greenfield deployments using SDN/NFV provide easier paths to network automation
  • Get a good understanding of the services you offer
  • Reassess processes
  • Clean up the network
  • Track the success of the automation strategy


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Authors

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