As the tools and networks for network visualization are beginning to deploy at scale, networks are seeing decreased downtime and the ability to self-diagnose, gain flexibility for enterprise users by deploying specific network slices for different scenarios, and take the manual elements out of the automation process allowing the freeing of resources, decreasing errors and the ability to provide a better end customer experience. Network Automation Week, a three-day virtual event taking place September 27-29, will cover automation & AI, the journey to zero touch networking, network slicing, automation and orchestration, and intent based networking.

AGENDA
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

11:00AM-12:15PM ET:
AUTOMATION & AI AT THE HEART OF NETWORK STRATEGY

The capacity to run, comprehend and keep up with the complexity of modern cellular networks has far outgrown the capacity to do so manually. Autonomous systems and machine-led technology are now a necessity to ensure 100% uptime for customers, and enterprises alike. Machine-learning and AI play a key role in this evolution of network automation. CSPs must deploy AI and ML in their networks to not only keep up with increasing complexity, but to remain competitive in creating new services and a great customer experience for all subscribers. As such, network evolution needs to focus not only on outward selling points such as speed and reach, but on the technology underpinning its functionality inside. What opportunities and new business ventures does AI and ML create for CSPs? How can carriers put innovation at the heart of network deployment and evolution to put automation at the heart of investment in the network? What role does AI play in the future of network technology? What are the key challenges to building AI and ML into legacy networks? 

11:00AM-11:15AM: Keynote with Verizon's Linda Avery
11:15AM-11:30AM: Partner Keynote with Nokia's Jitin Bhandari
11:30AM-12:15PM: Panel Discussion

AGENDA
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

2:00PM-3:15PM ET:
THE JOURNEY TO ZERO TOUCH NETWORKING 

AI and Machine Learning, as previously covered, allow for self-running and self-maintaining networks to a large extent. As virtual networks become increasing prevalent, zero-touch networking is a becoming a real possibility. Networks will be able to determine what actions to take and make decisions with minimal, if any, human input. This has an immediate impact – by allowing skilled staff to move away from the day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of networks, a service provider can reduce costs and wasted time, whilst allowing team members to focus on innovation and new services. As we move to increasingly complex automated networks, this shift in focus raises several questions. What support do CSPs require from traditional ICT providers and the wider ecosystem to deliver zero-touch networking? What role do zero-touch networks play in the deployment and creation of new enterprise and IoT services for large-scale deployments?

2:00PM-2:15PM: Keynote with LightCounting's Stéphane Teral 
2:15PM-2:30PM: Partner Keynote with OpenGear's Douglas Wadkins
2:30PM-3:15PM: Panel Discussion

AGENDA
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

11:00AM-12:15PM ET:
NETWORK SLICING AUTOMATION & ORCHESTRATION 

Whilst 4G paved the way for cellular IoT services, 5G was designed with the enterprise in mind. The complexities of deploying massive IoT services are not few; they are complex, highly customized and often require not only 100% run time, but high throughput. Network slicing will play a key role in enabling new services to enterprises, by doing so over a fit-for-purpose virtual network built over shared infrastructure. Network slicing is becoming an end-to-end solution, with the increased capability to cover not only the RAN, but core processes, OSS, BSS, transport and more. As 5G technology matures, the industry is working towards building greater autonomy into slices, allowing for greater flexibility as requirements change, be it over the course of a day, or in different geographical settings. How can CSPs leverage network slicing, and its automation, to quickly deploy services to targeted use cases? What benefits does end-to-end automated network slicing bring not only to the carrier, but to its customers? 

11:00AM-11:15AM: Keynote with Rakuten Symphony's Rahul Atri
11:15AM-11:30AM: Partner Keynote with Red Hat's Rob Wilmoth
11:30AM-12:15PM: Panel Discussion

AGENDA
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

11:00AM-12:15PM ET:

INTENT BASED NETWORKING

Whilst Intent-based networking (IBN) has long been talked about, 2020 was the year when it finally gained a firm foothold in the network evolution roadmap. By incorporating AI, ML and automation, the network can respond to requests autonomously, whether these relate to application service layers, security policies, compliance, or operational processes. According to Gartner, the network accomplishes this by constantly gathering data monitoring network operations, understanding the commands from engineers, and implementing these autonomously, finally using ML capabilities to ensure these have been implemented correctly and amend any errors. By removing the manual labor associated with these administrative tasks, IBN allows for greater flexibility, speed and level assurance across a network. How can IBN co-exist, or rather, build upon SDN capabilities built into a network? What audit of existing network processes must CSPs and enterprises alike undertake to fully understand the potential benefit of IBN in their networks?

11:00AM-11:15AM: Keynote with China Telecom Research Institute's Dr. Dong Wang
11:15AM-11:30AM: Partner Keynote with IBM's Denis Murphy
11:30AM-12:15PM: Panel Discussion