Managing Your Most Critical Resource

  • Your most significant capital investment is in your network
  • Delivering services effectively across the network is your “bread and butter”
  • Excellent SRM suites exist that enable telecom companies to effectively manage all resources required to deliver communications services
    • MetaSolv Inventory Management
    • NetCracker Network Inventory
    • Ericsson Granite Inventory (formerly Telcordia Granite, Xng, Xpercom)

A Complicated “Little Secret”

You have spent millions of dollars on your SRM…

  • All existing SRM suite implementations suffer from two serious, often fatal flaws
    • Inability to rapidly and accurately inventory and load the database with the current state of the network
    • Inability to reconcile the current SRM network image against the actual image in an ongoing, cost-effective manner
  • Rarely, if ever discussed until after the purchase has been made!
  • Current data sources are:
    • Scattered
      • Word, Excel, Access, CAD, home-grown tools and even the backs of Chinese food menus (Really!)
    • Non Standard
      • Different tools, formats and standards used in every part of the enterprise
    • Incomplete and inaccurate – 40-60% at BEST according to most studies!
  • Typically, the only data source that is accurate and complete is a thorough, standardized physical audit of every site in the network, followed by an on-going program for updates

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The High Price of a Poor Inventory

Without an accurate physical inventory, the SRM suite is significantly compromised.

  • Inability to recover lost or stranded assets
  • Inability to properly determine network capacity and current resource utilization
  • Inability to properly plan network growth
  • Inability to manage the network effectively
  • Inability to rapidly recover from network outages
  • Project dates slip due to Red-Line issues
  • And in the end: LOST REVENUE!

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In-House Inventory Control and Management

A physical asset inventory can be an extremely difficult project to complete using internal resources. Many organizations encounter difficulties motivating, training and supervising personnel, keeping data up to date and accurate, completing the project on time and on budget, keeping up with “day-to-day tasks” and most of all, knowing what to do with asset information once it has been collected.

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Typical “Do it Yourself” Costs…

  • Many telecommunications companies have invested millions of dollars unsuccessfully attempting to “load the inventory”
    • Inventory significantly out of date by the time data is collected, loaded and put to use
    • Existing staff unable to do their “day job” and gather and load the inventory
    • Wide ranging skills and motivation levels of inventory staff result in a mixed bag of standards, completeness and accuracy
    • Inaccurate labeling at cell sites often results in an incorrect database
    • Manual data loads across disparate teams results in additional inaccuracies and lack of standardization
    • High-value “extras” such as rack elevation drawings and GIS maps are never realized
  • True value of the SRM may take years to be realized, if ever
  • Impact to the organization:
    • Keeping the network up and running always ends up taking precedence
    • Management and staff give up and provide only “lip service” to the inventory requirements
    • Front-line management blames the SRM
      • Too difficult to use
      • Doesn’t meet their needs
      • Takes too long to implement
      • Too expensive to implement

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Inventory Services Justification

  • Inventory significantly out of date by the time data is collected, loaded and put to use
  • Existing staff unable to do their “day job” and gather and load the inventory
  • Wide ranging skills and motivation levels of inventory staff result in a mixed bag of standards, completeness and accuracy
  • Manual data loads across disparate teams results in additional inaccuracies and lack of standardization
  • Network staff focused on their number one job of keeping the network up and running and augmenting existing services
  • Hiring a service vs. “In House”:
    • No management overhead
    • No training costs
    • No ramp-up time
    • No “Day Job” to compete with scarce available resource hours
    • Consistency
    • Centralized & controlled
    • Focused on “Job #1”
    • Infrastructure of personnel and management already exists
    • Cost effective!

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What Is Service Resource Management?

  • The SRM maintains an “Image” of the entire network
    • Where network elements are located
    • How network elements are configured
    • How network elements are interconnected
    • What services the network elements support
    • Service capacity of network elements
    • Current utilization of network elements
    • Planned/future capacity utilization of network elements
    • Cost data allows for fast and efficient comparison to recurring cost invoices
  • Enables delivery of communication services in a much more cost effective manner

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Why SRM?

Your most significant capital investment is in your network infrastructure. Delivering services effectively across the network is the life blood of your business. Excellent System Resource Management (SRM) suites exist that enable telecommunication companies to effectively manage all resources required delivering effective communication services. DataField has partnered with industry leaders to help clients effectively manage infrastructure resources.

An SRM can preserve an image of the enterprise network; tracking network elements location, configuration, interconnectivity, services, capacity, utilization and trends. An efficient SRM also automates many key functions formally performed by engineers, enabling delivery of communication services in a much more efficient method. A fully and correctly populated SRM provides huge competitive advantages:

  • Reduced provisioning time and costs
  • Reduced Mean Time to Repair (MTR) for network outages
  • 10-20% recovery of network capacity through recovery of stranded assets
  • Leased facility reconciliation recovers unused or under-utilized facilities
  • Capital expenditures for vital purchases only
  • Improved budgeting for planned network growth

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The Data Integrity Problem

Postponing or ignoring network maintenance is no longer an option. Inventory and other Operations Support Systems (OSS) track network and services mostly through inefficient manual processes, often with no automated mechanism to maintain data integrity. According to the Yankee Group, the typical telecommunications “database of record” (inventory system) is 40%-60% inaccurate. Typical errors include:

  • Incomplete device records
  • Inconsistent service configurations
  • Stranded capacity, elements and other assets

The end result is excess capital spending, sub-par return on assets, time-consuming manual audits, and no way of tracing the logical network (connections). These factors add up to “Dirty Data” that hinders operational efficiency.

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