For network administrator and IT/operations teams, configuration changes to critical network infrastructure are integral to everyday life. Customers are already struggling with resource constraints caused by manual network changes and human errors. Regardless, it’s imperative for organizations to ensure that network changes are validated to adhere to organizational policies. An automation solution is desired to improve operational efficiency, reduce complex labor-intensive tasks and IT failures, and improve ROI where these changes can be detected immediately, analyzed for compliance, and solved through quick remediation.
● Increase operational efficiencies and reduce costly errors through automation of complicated Methods and Operating Procedures (MOPs)
● Improve business agility and enable competitive services to quickly respond to demand
● Reduce risk of failed operations by integrating and automating legacy service environments and new service definitions
● Deliver faster return on automation investment by leveraging Cisco® intellectual capital, best practices, and operational strategies
● Enable faster rollout of new services, saving time and money by leveraging Cisco’s lifecycle of services
Cisco Business Process Automation (BPA) architecture includes open-source components and is comprised of the following functional areas:
● User interface: Simplified modular user interface portal for a single pane of glass view
● Process and workflow automation: Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 compliant workflow engine that devises and manages use cases, and aligned business/technical processes
● Reusable Apps: Out of box use cases offer pre-built standard applications
● Integration across controllers: BPA is pre-integrated with Cisco Network Service Orchestrator (NSO), but can also work with third-party or other Cisco controllers and orchestrators
Cisco Customer Experience offers BPA Services, an end-to-end consulting and support services portfolio for process and workflow automation and orchestration. BPA is comprised of a scalable, microservices-based platform with an embedded workflow engine, digital user interface, and common integration middleware that helps customers automate complex network configuration changes and associated processes. Adopted by both service provider customers and large global enterprises, BPA Services include access to a customer-facing, customizable portal that enables seamless integration of the underlying network orchestrators to external business processes and applications. This helps:
● Automate complicated methods and operating procedures
● Augment your teams’ expertise to speed automation initiatives
● Accelerate the rollout of new services with an enhanced user interface/portal
● Integrate a legacy network with new automation capabilities
The BPA platform hosts business and IT/operational use cases and applications, such as OS upgrades, service provisioning, and integration to orchestration engines. Customers have access to a lifecycle of services and BPA capabilities including advisory, implementation, business critical services, and solution support delivered through Cisco experts, best practices, and proven techniques and methodologies that help automate their business processes and de-risk their systems.
These lifecycle capabilities can be subscription-based or customized to individual needs. Implementation services help define, integrate, and deploy tools and processes to accelerate automation. Cisco experts conduct a formal process for gathering requirements, designs and develops user stories based on agile processes and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CICD) tools, and implements flexible services with automated testing of new or existing workflows, devices, and services. With Solution Support, customers get access to 24/7, centralized support with a focus on software-centric issues coupled with multivendor and open-source support offered through Cisco’s tiered software model. Cisco solution support experts help manage your case from first call to final resolution and act as the main point of contact working with multiple vendors simultaneously. You could experience up to 44 percent fewer issues working with solution-level experts, helping you maintain business continuity and get faster return on your BPA investment.
Some of the most common BPA use cases include the following.
For network engineering teams:
● Device activation and onboarding helps deliver more with better Service Level Agreements (SLAs), reducing human error
● Device management uses orchestration software to provision services, resulting in drastic reduction in Command-Line Interface (CLI) scripting
● Service Management helps save time and reduce expenses by managing multiple device configurations
For operations teams:
● OS upgrades, golden configuration compliance and templates, and pre/post-checks help reduce network incidents while executing on new services and network changes, thus increasing overall operational efficiencies
● Zero-touch provisioning helps build orchestration and connect the business processes, tools, teams, and networks, thus reducing network downtime
For IT DevOps teams:
● Custom apps and integrations helps each customer meet their ever-expanding needs for new applications and innovation that have very different integration and automation requirements
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