Navigating vendor equipment swaps: Minimizing risk while maximizing outcomes leveraging data-informed tools and automation
Vendor equipment swaps are typically complex from a technical as well as an operational standpoint due to the need to ensure network service continuity and stability during the transition process. Chris Antlitz details a real-world use case that involved multiple vendors and an aggressive timetable.
By Chris Antlitz – The increased focus on protecting critical infrastructure has prompted situations where communication service providers (CSPs) have had to adjust their networks, specifically to replace equipment provided by certain vendors that are deemed by governments in some countries to pose network security and/or customer privacy risks. These network adjustments typically involve swapping out gear from an unapproved vendor with gear from an approved vendor. Also referred to as vendor swaps, these situations are typically complex from a technical as well as an operational standpoint because the CSP needs to ensure network service continuity and performance is stable during the transition process.
Fortunately, there are approved vendors that have a proven track record of providing the replacement equipment and/or the services required to perform equipment swaps. There are also situations where multiple vendors participate in the swap, in some cases with one or more vendors providing equipment and one or more vendors providing the services as third parties.
In one such case, a large CSP with global operations had a DWDM network that required the replacement of thousands of circuits from one untrusted vendor with circuits from an approved vendor. To align with government mandates, the swap had an aggressive timetable of two years. The scope of the project also implicated network management systems (NMS), IP multimedia subsystems (IMS) and operational support systems (OSS) that were tied to the untrusted vendor’s equipment. more>