Supply chain management

The problem

The packet network supply chain frequently delivers disappointment, conflict and acrimony. While service delivery suffers, different parties in the chain blame each other for poor performance, with no recourse except expensive, and typically unproductive, escalation.

Even fully delivering on a contract expressed as averages (bandwidth, monthly loss rates, average delays) does not guarantee a satisfactory service outcome. nor can such contracts be combined in a meaningful way.

Current approaches to characterising network 'supply' and application/user 'demand' do not line up to deliver satisfaction. Network operators are frustrated when all their available indicators are 'green' and yet their customers complain, and customers are disappointed when even 'premium services' fail to deliver what they need.

A solution using Quality Attenuation budgets

Quality attenuation is both composable along a path (unlike typical measures such as bandwidth) and a strong proxy for satisfactory UX delivery, and so provides a solid basis for effective digital supply chain contracts. In other words, it relates the desired service outcomes to the required end-to-end delivery characteristics, and allows those to be divided into design and operational 'budgets' for each element of the chain.

This enables supply contracts to be clearly expressed; combined with predictable consequences; and effectively enforced.

Composition of ∆Q
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