ServiceNow integrates with EXFO for network visibility and service assurance

ServiceNow and EXFO team up on a combined solution that offers service providers end-to-end visibility into their networks while also automating service assurance.

EXFO, which is a test, monitoring and analytics vendor, has joined the ServiceNow Partner Program to blend its NOVA Context solution into ServiceNow's database that stores information from communication service providers' (CSPs) services.

"We were coming across ServiceNow on many of our accounts where we're providing insights into, for example, the way the network and service construct is done," said EXFO's Claudio Mazzuca, vice president for strategic partners and alliances. "We're really adding a lot of value in terms of the way customers are looking into their services and for service assurance. We're really excited with the partnership, and we're seeing the value today with some of our accounts.

"We're continuing to work on more accounts with the ServiceNow team and we have seen a lot of value in that combination."

The combined platform enables CSPs to align and integrate their various data systems, optimize their data accuracy, and establish relationships between network services and subscribers to improve automation and deliver a better customer experience.

By providing a "single source of truth" with dynamic topology and federated inventory, EXFO and ServiceNow can provide service providers with seamless visibility and data integrity across multi-domain, multi-technology, multi-vendor networks and systems.

NOVA Context can be rapidly deployed and easily configured to help operators unify and automate their data systems in a matter of weeks. EXFO claims NOVA Context has increased data accuracy to over 98% for Tier I communications service providers and has helped increase automation efficiency from 50% to 60% success rates to over 90% in its U.S. deployments

EXFO's NOVA Context aggregates data from multiple data sources in service providers' network, which includes inventory systems and element management systems that are directly on the nodes themselves.

"What it does is it brings those multiple sources together to provide a real time and accurate view of the interrelation between physical, virtual and logical elements," said Mazzuca. "By doing that, we provide this kind of topological view in an accurate fashion and then integrate that into the ServiceNow system to provide service awareness in terms of an end-to-end service construct."

By combining NOVA Context with ServiceNow's service-aware CMDB database and automation capabilities, service providers have improved visibility as part of their own digital transformations. Service providers' digital transformation journeys include breaking down legacy service silos in order to leverage network resources where they're most needed at a given time, which is where virtualization comes in.

ServiceNow's Chris Bauschka, general manager of telecommunications media and technology business, said the integrated offering can be used by telcos, cable operators and mobile providers across legacy, hybrid and virtualized networks.

"From a ServiceNow standpoint, we support virtual, logical and physical resources equally well in representing the network," Bauschka said. "this applies across legacy networks and next-generation networks such as SDN and 5G. The challenge of virtualized networks is keeping the network information up to date since the virtualized functions are constantly changing in real-time. This is where the partnership with EXFO works so well.

"EXFO can poll the network to get the real-time network and topology view—including the virtualized functions—that is stored in ServiceNow. ServiceNow then leverages this network topology as outages occur to drive the resolution of outages and manage the customer communication through our service assurance workflows."

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As a digital workflow assurance company, ServiceNow does business across various industry verticals outside of telecommunications. ServiceNow's software enables workflows that span verticals such as field management, finance, HR, IT service management (ITSM), legal, marketing, telecommunications, and more.