11/15/2018

The Operations Control Center (OCC) is the brain that manages the day-to-day activities of transport operators.

The Operations Control Center (OCC) is the brain that manages the day-to-day activities of transport operators. It’s here that the magic happens to ensure that everything runs smoothly. However, sometimes passenger service can get disrupted when incidents occur such as, technical failures in the transport system, on trains, planes or any other mass transit systems; weather conditions; traffic incidents; labor strikes and accidents. These disruptions can cause unacceptable delays and resource shortages. The OCC must be able to provide a coordinated response, in a timely manner, to reduce and recover from operational interruptions and minimize the impact on passenger service.

Some of the main functions of the OCC include:

• Monitoring operations
• Anticipating problems
• Managing the planned operations schedule 
• Minimizing service disruption

At the same time, the OCC is tasked with maintaining performance, and providing quality of service, as well as lowering operational costs. In other words, the OCC is responsible for the execution of a daily schedule, as planned, without busting the budget.

Control room image for blog post

Efficient OCC operation depends on having the right solution, as well as coordinated and collaborative work between the stakeholders who represent different core business units.

A complex ecosystem of solutions converges in the OCC where they are often challenged to deliver new services that require new applications. This means everything needs to be integrated in order to have effective control of the operations.

The modules that make up the solution must be open and able to integrate with others. APIs provide the key elements for enabling interconnection between different ecosystem components. With open APIs, operators can create new services, integrate applications, and meet new requirements. Additionally, the APIs create opportunities to innovate.

Communication services are the cornerstone of an efficient OCC. These vital services enable the collaborative coordination of various stakeholders in the OCC, they can improve visibility about the information coming in, and they can reduce recovery time.

ALE offers a broad communications portfolio that covers telephony services based on the Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX® Enterprise. The portfolio includes an alarm notification server, emergency crisis management, voice recording, as well as integration and interconnection with the different functional blocks (such as Radio, PA, PDI) through standard protocols and APIs. Additionally, the OmniPCX Open Gateway, a dedicated API server, increases integration capabilities that include a set of RESTful APIs to host ALE and customer applications such as:

• Telephony services
• Management capabilities
• Analytics

Real-time collaboration is vital for OCC task coordination and information awareness between stakeholders. It improves responsiveness while minimizing the impact on end users during irregular operations. The integration of a solution with business processes and communications solutions is key to enabling efficient operations. The Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow™ CPaaS solution integrates with the customer environment to provide communication services such as chat, file sharing, voice and video, over any device. At the same time, Rainbow leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbots, system databases and analytics to automate and simplify operational processes and create new services.

Evolution to a collaborative operational environment is the next step for many OCCs. Integrating the different functional blocks is the main driver to enable interaction between the stakeholders, increase communication, improve situational awareness and enhance the decision-making process.

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About the author
Blog author photo for Enrique Bolivar

Enrique Bolivar

Solution Architect, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Enrique is responsible for the creation of solutions, value propositions and content that address the transportation industry including Rail, ATI, ITS and Ports and Logistics sectors. He has more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunication industry working in the enterprise market. Previously, Enrique worked with the International Central Presales team and has a strong background in end-to-end solutions, network VoIP design, UCC and UCaaS solutions.

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