Blog

Skylight takes on the challenge of automating inter-provider SLAs

Accedian, together with service provider partners, will showcase an innovative blockchain-powered PoC at MEF 2019 for dynamically managing SLA violations and penalties

During MEF 2019, Accedian will participate in a Proof of Concept (PoC) “Dynamic Connectivity and Commerce Enabled by MEF 3.0 and Blockchain” with partners Colt, PCCW, Sparkle, Tata Communications, Clear, and Amartus. The PoC uses innovative blockchain technologies and smart contracts to automate the assignment of service level agreement (SLA) violations and penalties. 

For providers to extend their footprint one of the simplest and fastest methods is to use another operator’s network to reach customers that cannot be reached from their own network.

Great, problem solved—the providers connect via an ENNI (External Network to Network Interface) and the end customer can deal with a single provider. Behind the scenes, all the interconnection and SLA negotiations are the responsibility of each service provider. SLA management is a major source of inefficiency when services run across multiple networks. 

As with any delivery chain, the weakest link is the problem and sorting out issues when two, three or even four service providers are involved in delivering services to the end customer. It can be a major challenge when attempting to settle disputes over SLA violations and penalties are distributed and accounted for. 

Automation to the rescue

This is even more of a challenge with dynamic and on-demand network services such as SD-WAN. This PoC offers a route to automate the process in a clear, transparent and secure fashion.

We all know that automation will provide great benefits for all, but the ones who can execute automation successfully in the early days will have the ability to grow rapidly and benefit from increased customer satisfaction and reduced overhead. This will snowball as the automation gets better, service providers & operators can concentrate on improving network infrastructure and other forward looking projects.

POC Overview: Dynamic connectivity and commerce enabled by MEF 3.0 and blockchain

Accurate and independent Skylight network performance data avoids the SLA blame-game 

As with any type of automation, you need high-quality software algorithms and an efficient process to account for different laws and methods. You also need to use accurate and reliable network performance data when determining what link in the chain is responsible for the SLA violation. 

An excellent example of clean accurate vendor-neutral network performance data, that is being used in this PoC as the performance management solution for all the operators in SLA dispute settlements, is Accedian Skylight.

Accedian Skylight measures SLA performance across service provider E-NNIs

Accedian Skylight measures performance management data against their assigned SLA thresholds and notifies an external penalty assignment solution. A closed blockchain is then used to assign and record the penalties via a smart contract, a pioneering use of blockchain within the data and telecom space. 

The high-quality, precise and reliable Skylight data used to manage SLA process for all providers involved in delivering the service to end customers is equivalent to the video surveillance video you can’t argue with.

For more on this award winning PoC and our partners, visit the MEF PoC site here.