Top Reasons to Make GIS Your System of Record

System Security Specialist Working at System Control Center. Room is Full of Screens Displaying Various Information.

Broadband is becoming the Gold Rush of the new century. As network operators, you provide your customers with the most modern and technologically-advanced services. Your ability to adapt, plan, and build new services is what will separate you from your competitors. The question is, why would you trust the knowledge and insight of your network and its capabilities to anything less than the most innovative and cutting-edge tools available to you?

A lot has been written on the subject of how legacy systems and practices hamper network operators in their ability to efficiently operate, manage, and grow their networks. Some companies still document their network assets in cumbersome, outdated formats including CAD drawings, spreadsheets, and graphical diagrams. Others keep and manage their information in modern but diverse systems. These disparate data management processes result in a disjointed view of the network where data cannot easily be shared within an organization to support its goals. This, in turn, leads to high operational costs, wasted time and money, dissatisfied customers, lost opportunities, and endless worry for the ones having to hold it all together.

It’s common to hear from operators that there is a lack of certainty regarding where their assets are, that they are confused about how to leverage existing networks to plan for future expansions into competitive territories, or that they are frustrated with how long it takes to verify and plan overbuilds like FTTH. This, combined with operational issues like how and where to replace equipment, who will be affected by those changes, and where the weak points are in the network, make moving to a better system of record a necessity.

There are a number of advantages to having a complete and easy-to-use system of record in a telecom-specific geospatial (GIS) platform. The top three are:

1. Network Understanding

It has been said that decisions are made at the speed of trust. If operators are having to access numerous systems, platforms, and documents to trust their network, then decisions aren’t getting made quickly, and time equals money. Having a system of record that is complete, up-to-date, and readily available gives operators a leg up on their competition and delivers value to their customers. Telecom-specific GIS systems allow you to have in-depth knowledge and understanding of your network within a single source. The ability to see connections from access to endpoint and all of the inner workings of that connection along the way is priceless. Knowing and managing to the strand and port level on a map gives operators the insight and knowledge to trust their networks, and make the decisions necessary to stay in front of the technological needs of their end-users.

2. Operational Awareness and Insights

SAN DIEGO - JUNE 18: Digitizing maps at the ESRI international user conference which is held annually and is the biggest GIS conference worldwide. June 18, 2007 in San Deigo California

There are a lot of things that worry network operators, but nothing makes them all stop and focus like system outages. Operators strive to operate on a 99.999% quality service ratio. This "five nines of quality" standard means that restoration must be quick and it must not impact quality. GIS systems can automate and simplify complex maintenance processes, identify and respond to outages faster, and reduce or eliminate unnecessary truck rolls. Having these insights will reduce not only operational expenses, but will also reduce customer interruptions, and every operator knows a happy customer is the key to long-term success.

3. Analysis and Reporting

With an advanced GIS system in place, data becomes more valuable. Insights into capacity, service qualifications, budget concerns, and cost estimation are readily available at the push of a button. Informed decisions are supported with up-to-date information that would have historically taken weeks to provide. This data can be easily shared and reported to everyone in the organization, reducing the number of hours spent sitting in meetings and combing through paper records and spreadsheets. Knowledge is transformed into smart business decisions.

Having an enterprise GIS platform combined with a telecom network management software will allow you to do all of these and more. Network planners, operations managers, OSP engineers, I&R staff, marketing, sales, and upper management can all benefit from and have access to network information in a single source. This will increase productivity, standardize and automate work processes, save time, and enhance customer satisfaction. All of that translates into an ROI that any decision-maker will appreciate. In other words, you get to take control of your network and launch your company into the digital transformation age.

Speak to our experts to learn more about how you can expertly manage your network.