Traditionally telco & IT networks undertake a ‘change freeze’ in December in order to ensure stability through a traditionally busy time of year when also network operations teams are running at leanest resource levels.
By placing an embargo on changes to the network, other than external incidents (rogue activity) this should keep faults to a minimum level, in turn making network activity easier to predict and to resource.
The ‘change embargo’ itself is variable but generally runs from mid Dec to mid Jan in Europe. With the embargo looming, trouble ticket levels tend to rise as engineering teams come under pressure to complete as many jobs (changes) as possible in the 4-6 weeks leading up to the moratorium!
Because of the optimised and supply chain management nature of telco operations, this not only impacts on the run up to network freeze, but also into the immediate period post-freeze in January when the operations teams have a backlog of provisioning work for new business in whatever form. This can manifest itself as slowness to react and for sure can get sales teams quite frustrated as the nature of their world is Q1 targets!
As a support services partner we track November as the busiest month of the year for trouble tickets and order activity, while December we swing into ‘guardian’ mode as we take over scheduled activities & monitoring on a 24*7 basis through the holiday season, so that engineering and operations teams enjoy their holiday time with the frontline NOC shared with us.