Bringing your physical plant into the digital age
Industry experts agree data governance is necessary to move communication service providers into using their outside plant data for business decisions. The data management strategy must help recognize the value of assets, while allowing for the establishment of policies to ensure data quality, consistency, and availability.1 In turn, the network management system must allow for the implementation and maintenance of this strategy to advance the business.
As you continue to make significant investments into expanding your network, wonder if your legacy network management system will serve you over the next 15 years. It is time to make sure your network management system can keep up with the new network and services you are building by asking the following:
- Will your software vendor continue to provide product updates that enable you to drive toward your strategic digital transformation goals?
- Does your vendor have system architecture, resources, and policies to protect your data from loss, intrusion, and corruption?
- Can your entire organization access your network data when needed?
- Does your vendor have the industry focus and support required to help you remain competitive as standards change?
If your answer to any of the above questions is “no,” it is time to make the switch to a network management system that takes your operations forward. Find a vendor focused on solving your daily challenges with a future-ready system that elevates your business processes by migrating your aging legacy data into a framework designed to work seamlessly with changing standards. The criteria for a modern network management system can be summarized within six future-ready facets:
1. Anywhere, anytime access
Ensure your network management system offers full availability of your data whenever and wherever you need it. Systems limiting data access hinder operational processes dependent upon on-demand data exchanges. A web-based solution keeps data accessible when the office is not.
2. Geospatial awareness
Knowing where your network assets are located is crucial to informing your downstream business processes. Spatially referenced data reduces arduous record searching and time spent in the field by providing an interactive map view for every asset. Further utilize your interactive map to automate the creation of more efficient service routes based on proximity to current assets to expand to new areas faster.
3. A to Z visibility
Your physical network assets offer just part of the picture. Your network management system must provide A to Z information for each signal path in your logical network, to understand downstream impacts, available capacity, and how each network asset provides service to the end user.
4. Enterprise data
Working from a holistic view of your data promotes consistency, veracity, and completeness. Break down data silos by choosing a system that allows your data to be used to inform the entire enterprise through real time collaboration. When necessary, share your data with third party contractors, while limiting what they view and how they interact with your data.
5. Adaptable data model
Adopt a flexible management system that can not only sustain your current network data but also support your other internal operations. Whether through tying systems together through API integration or running routine reports, the data from your network management system should weave within your existing processes.
6. Ready-set usability
Your network management system should be usable from the first time the application is opened. In addition to providing the tools needed to capture, migrate, and enhance the information stored in your current system (or systems) of record, make certain the system is highly configurable and can be tailored to your individual project needs. Whichever solution you choose, ensure your vendor offers a variety of software deployment options to unburden valuable resources within your organization.
Don’t let your legacy network management lock you into yesterday’s problems. Envision your outside plant data being available on the ready throughout your enterprise with secure, fast browser access, then decide where you can improve and streamline your operations to take you into the future today. Switching to a new system may be difficult and require considerable evaluation. However, using forward-thinking, enterprise-wide criteria will let you choose a system that can help you outpace your competition in a continuously growing market.
1 D. Bauhaus, “Telecoms needs a standardized, agile data governance framework,” TM Forum. February 2021. https://inform.tmforum.org/data-analytics-and-ai/2021/02/telecoms-needs-a-standardized-agile-data-governance-framework/, accessed February 23, 2021