Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Telco Energy Strategy Should Demand ZERO Impact on Service

 As energy strategies reach the boardroom, service provider management should insist on “zero-impact” on services.  The stakes are too high in the competitive zero-sum game they participate in.  Customer satisfaction, reduced churn and a strong brand are paramount in this environment.  By treating energy as a strategic initiative they will achieve the benefits of lower OPEX, enhance brand and more efficient end-to-end operations.  Tactical energy initiatives will not get funded if they have a perceivable adverse effect on consumer and business services.  These adverse effects could be short lived, as during installation, or long term, if, for example, latency is introduced.   Thus, their energy strategy should demand zero impact on services.

Note the emphasis on “services” instead of “network”.    It would be unreasonable to demand zero impact on the network if you are deploying a new architecture or energy aware protocol.  Yet, with IP (Internet Protocol) the impact on the network should not cause the perceivable impact on services. 

Is zero-impact unreasonable and wouldn’t “minimal impact” be a better goal?  The challenge here would be to define what “minimal” means?  Would it mean X amount of video anomalies per 30 minutes?  Why not X+1?  Would it mean Y dropped calls/tower/minute?  Why not Y+1?  Also, who defines X and Y? Would the CEO, CTO, or CMO define them?  Would international standards organizations set them? 

 Setting the goal of “Zero Impact” sends a clear message throughout the organization of what is expected.  Terms such as “sustainability” and “green” will have clearer meaning.  Green projects that make people feel good but have no financial justification will fail fast so the real winners can progress.  Therefore, telcos and service providers should demand Zero Impact on services.

Contact: Greg Whelan at to discuss.

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