ComSoc CQR 2019 – @ieeecqr #cqr2019
I would first like to thank IEEE CQR , Communications Quality & Reliability, and all participants attending this year’s event for the opportunity to chair the conference’s opening session, which focused on 5G capabilities in the areas of small-cell densification, millimeter wave backhauling, and end-to-end security in multivendor environments.
I am also glad about having joined a second executive panel discussion (also on 5G) as one of three speakers, sharing the stage with Verizon’s Abby Knowles, VP of Network & Technology, and Deutsche Telekom – MobileedgeX‘s Geoff Hollingworth, Chief Marketing Officer.
This was my 6th IEEE CQR conference since 2012, which I first attended as speaker for a Distinguished Expert panel discussion led by IIT’s Carol Davids, Director of the Real Time Communications Lab at the School of Applied Technology. Seven years have passed since that early engagement, which makes one reflect on what Communications and Quality entail in this year’s context.
This time around, in my opening remarks I outlined the nature of today’s human-to-human, machine-to-machine and human-machine communications. I also referred to Juran’s classic, “Quality by Design,” and his reference to Big Q and Little Q: the former refers to quality as value in the context of the user experience, while the later focuses on industrialization quality… conformance to standards just being “one of the many means to that end,” but not only.
From a Design Thinking perspective, the quality of 5G’s Human Experience is coupled with Technical Feasibility and Business Viability. Delivering quality experiences that make a substantial difference (when compared to either alternative and/or earlier generations of mobile technologies) becomes a top and critical success factor.
This is true across consumer and enterprise markets. And we shouldn’t forget the need for taking down the digital divide: gaps in digital literacy become inequalities undermining our communities’ prosperity and quality of life.
5G’s Technical Feasibility goes beyond radio technologies to include: data science, cloud systems, virtualization, software defined tools & systems, and distributed architectures that entail microservices… as well as centralization optimizing for cost efficiencies and distributed edge resources optimizing for effective service delivery… just to name some of the technical matters under consideration in 5G’s ecosystem.
5G’s Business Viability calls for new business models that reshape and transform the value chain in users’ best interest… so that 5G can actually thrive. That undoubtedly prompts more attention to Human Centered Design (HCD) in telecoms, this being the very same sector that pioneered Human Factors Engineering (HFE) in industry and coined “Designing for People” all the way back in the mid 1940s.
Thanks to Chris Mayer, Technical Committee Vice Chair, Jason Boswell and Pasi Hurri, conference co-chairs. The talent and experience that IEEE CQR manages to rally makes this be a premier industry event year after year.
IEEE CommSoc CQR 2019 – @ieeecqr #cqr2019
- IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Advancing Technology for Humanity.
- ComSoC – Communications Society, Promoting Communications Technologies.
- CQR – Communications Quality & Reliability. Bringing Together Industry and Academic Experts to Discuss Communications Quality, Reliability and Security.
Following up on my last post about IEEE ERT 2018, here are a couple of charts for my “discussion brief,” which include a Human-Machine-System Capability Mapping chart (above) and concept illustrations of the Experiential Decision Support System (below.) The charts’ text conveys context setting remarks, which I am also providing here.
The goal of furthering machine intelligence is to make humans more able and smarter: the opposite engineering approach typically becomes a source of self-defeating technical myopia waiting to happen and missed opportunities. This simple mapping exercise can be customized to assess and roadmap capability levels.
The more sophisticated automation becomes, the more obvious the criticality of the human factor in both consumer and enterprise environments… rather than less. And, in any case, customer acceptance and adoption criteria remain Quality’s litmus test for emerging technologies.
Digitalization is fostering (a) XaaS, (b) Self-Service, (c) the Shared Economy and the (d) Maker Movement. All elevate human involvement and drive the push for opening and democratizing technologies. These make (e) citizen science and citizen developers shape the next generation prosumers at mass market scale.
Digital Transformation initiatives embracing the above allow (f) nimbler enterprise teams to operate at far greater scale, scope and speed, and shift focus from routine operations to dynamic value creation coupled with extreme efficiencies.
This entails (g) interdisciplinary workstyles and collaborative organizational behaviors that include (h) customer co-creation models. In this new context, humans remain (i) the ultimate critical element in system reliability and safety. Left shifting Quality by Design (QbD) prioritizes Human-Centered-Design tools and processes to deliver high performance workforce automation systems.
Cost-effective Lean Ops systems intertwine analytics, automation, programmability and flexible systems integration. All optimized for dynamic behaviors given Soft System’s perpetual motion. This means designing “for-ever” rapid and seamless reconfigurability instead of just engineering “day 1” implementations.
Operational Excellence dictates system-wide as well as subsystem level visualization, and a combination of centralized & distributed closed loop controls under user friendly operational modes. Cognitive models involve Situational Awareness (SA,) Sense Making (SM,) Root Cause Analysis (RCA,) Scenario Planning (SP,) and ROA (Real Options Analysis.)
The Experiential element is not just about programming known rules and policies but, most importantly, it grows by assimilating iterative learning in the context of cyclical automation: routine decisions and manual operations can be streamlined and collapsed, then switching to “exception” based management for that particular event.
Productivity calls for streamlining operations so that (a) waste can be eliminated & prevented, and (b) value based tasks can be performed effortlessly, in less steps, at speed & without error. High performance behaviors and sustainable competitiveness also call for the ability to (c) experiment and create new capabilities, as well as leveraging (d) process mining for customer journeys & value stream mapping (CJM & VSM) to continuously optimize them and guarantee service levels.
Service Operations Centers (SOC) should be equipped with Experiential Decision Support Systems (DSS) featuring (d) collaborative filtering, (e) actionable data stories conveying hindsight, insight & foresight and (f) adaptive cybernetics. Advanced visualization for both (f) intuitive & highly abstracted infographics and (g) scientific views is of the essence.
Quality is best addressed as a human experience, which determines (d) meaning and, therefore, the degree to which a system is lean vs. over-engineered or subpar (both being defective and carrying obvious and hidden costs.) A new take on QbD for Soft Systems, which are inherently fluid by definition, emphasizes acceptance testing probing for: usefulness & utility, usability & affectivity, consumability & serviceability and safety thru use cases and lifecycle events.
ETR turned out to be a very productive undertaking and I would like to thank IEEE’s Spilios Markis, Chi-Ming Chen and Chris Mayer for all the help provided prior and during workshop.
My contribution focusing on addressing the unprecedented flexibility of advanced software defined systems and artificial intelligence. That intersection defines game changing technologies leading to zero-touch automation and, therefore, fostering self-service opportunities at both operational and service consumption levels.
“Zero touch” implies extreme automation to its fullest while self-service reveals that this new order elevates the criticality of HMS (Human Machine Systems.) More touch points surface compared to what legacy technologies allowed given their constraint and restricted nature. That prompts a new take on HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and QbD (Quality by Design) to best deliver service quality throughout: concept exploration and service definition, fulfilment and adaptation, assurance and security… across multi-domain, highly decomposed, re-configurable and exceptionally dynamic end-to-end systems involving integration and service delivery in continuous motion.
These are thought out to (a) dramatically optimize support personnel ratios and (b) shift staff’s attention and efforts to value based activities and innovation. These are small agile teams and new talent tasked with jobs involving (c) far greater scale with (d) a wider interdisciplinary scope, and all to be performed at (e) digital speed. In this next-level productivity and more demanding and challenging context, success relies on new tools embracing Design Thinking’s HCD (Human-Centered-Design.)
That is applied to capability models and subsequent modes of operation for (f) HITL (Human “IN” The Loop) Computing largely devoted to deep domain expertise supported by Science Visualization, as well as (g) HOTL (Human “ON” the Loop) for system-wide supervisory responsibilities and ease of service creation and onboarding. HOTL draws from highly abstracted Visualization techniques and Low Code Development revealing the behavior of end-to-end systems and subsystems and adequate flow control.
These are coupled with effective Cybernetics gearing up for context aware 360-closed-loop-control, zooming in and out between distributed and central levels. Last but not least, effective and efficient tools that are characterized by ease of use and consumability do attract many more new users from many more different domains to interact with these systems in a self-service fashion and create new business opportunities as a result.