Implementation of a Network Inventory at Poland’s INEA
Triple play telecommunications refers to networks that offer Internet, television, and telephone services over a single broadband connection. INEA S.A., one of the largest Polish triple play operators, operates a network that covers more than 360,000 households. The company is growing its network progressively and increasing its market share dynamically. Owing to a steady increase in the number of customers who have a big appetite for data services, a modern network inventory system becomes an essential tool to support the operator’s key business processes.
Failure management and fast access to information about network resources are essential services provided by telecom operators. Efficient management of a telecommunications network provides customers with immediate access to a vast flow of information. Customer satisfaction largely depends on the efficiency of the system responsible for such networks’ inventory control.
With a goal of fast-tracking and honing its systems, INEA sought just the right partner with the skills to help implement a professional network inventory system. Having analyzed a number of offers, INEA selected Esri Silver Tier Partner Suntech S.A. of Warsaw, Poland. Suntech’s ArcGIS based software system SunVizion Network Inventory now supports INEA’s processes in the areas of sales and management services, optimum planning of network expansion, fast failure repair, and reporting.
The system is based on ArcGIS spatial data representation. A digital network map comprises full technical data and allows users to manage information intuitively; visually; and, most importantly, simply.
“The main business benefit we sought was the ability to reduce operating costs due to collecting and processing information in a single coherent IT environment,” says Maciej Wachowiak, head of the Network Inventory Department at INEA. “Graphic representation of data based on GIS allows quick and effective management of the telecommunications network.”
The central repository of information about the network resources and their use allows intelligent network management and streamlines key business processes carried out by INEA.
“The technological development of the telecommunications industry results in the growing complexity of the networks,” says Piotr Saczuk, president of Suntech S.A. “We are trying to ensure that the management of such networks is as easy as possible, providing our clients with an advanced IT platform that optimizes the network maintenance process and generates significant savings.”
The implementation of the SunVizion Network Inventory solution began with the geopositioning of the surveyors’ maps and their placement into the system. Then, in such an environment, all elements of the local fiber-optic networks, the teletechnical infrastructure, and the coaxial distribution and subscriber network were modeled. This created a coherent database model, which allowed smooth migration of the INEA-owned optical, concentric, and radio network into the system. The next step of the implementation process was to establish procedures that would provide the system with information on any changes within the network so that the system data always corresponds with the current state. Reports were subsequently created in the system, whereby the system users receive any required information in an accessible manner.
Instant information about available network resources that appears next to a customer address significantly reduces the time needed to perform a technical diagnosis and to design a service prior to signing a contract. Based on the reservation of the network resources, the technical teams receive coherent configuration and installation documentation required to launch a new service.
The fact that the system is based on the professional ArcGIS environment offers numerous benefits. In the event of equipment failure, the digital network map with full data makes it much easier to locate the fault and shortens recovery time. Based on the data concerning the geographic and functional correlation of equipment, the system also quickly identifies the extent of the failure, indicating which services, on which area, will be unavailable to the customers. Thus, the operator is able to provide the customers who have had their Internet or telephone cut off with exhaustive information on what has happened and when the issue will be resolved. Such an approach contributes largely to maintaining good customer relations and has a positive influence on the operator’s image.
Very important functions of the SunVizion Network Inventory solution are support of the network design and expansion and the process of modernizing the existing network. This feature of the system is especially important in the case of INEA, which is growing dynamically and undergoing continuous modernization. The inventory system supports the design process, which saves time and ensures that all data is coherent and stored in one place. Additionally, it allows contextual analysis of investments and efficient preparation of documents for the execution resources. The final step of the design process is the very fast entering of postdesign data.
These qualities allow the network to function effectively and to win new customers. Thanks to the system, the scale effect that was achieved is a clear advantage. Documentation is collected in one coherent application, which makes it possible to combine many investments (which earlier seemed totally unrelated to each other). All modifications that have been made are immediately visible to other users. It is no longer necessary to engage in time-consuming data updating or to worry about data synchronization.
Thanks to the faster and more efficient services, the improvement of customer opinions about the service provider is the biggest benefit.