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The Importance of Real-Time Telecoms Inventory Insights

13 April 2023
Mike Dorland

Trusted by:

Telecom Egypt
BC Hydro


National Grid
Open Fiber
TPX Communications
Ella Link
Red Iris
Surf Net

We know that effective network inventory management is critical to an operator’s commercial success, so in this blog, let’s look at 20 reasons why having access to real-time telecoms inventory insights and knowledge delivers a wide array of benefits.

The importance of real-time telecoms inventory insights and knowledge: 20 reasons it’s vital to your success

Real time network inventory insights and knowledge enable an operator to understand all the assets in service delivery chains and network operations, and  then correlate them with each other in real time. This means that operators can control, optimize, and improve the performance of its investments as well as upgrade the delivery of actual services to end users. 

In other words, it’s knowledge and insights that deliver a significant advantage in a highly competitive market. Without real-time inventory insights and knowledge, a complete picture of assets will not be readily available, and problems in the service delivery chain – which are neither acceptable nor commercially viable – will inevitably result. 

In this blog, rather than dig into the details, let’s simply look at 20 reasons why real-time telecoms inventory insights and knowledge deliver measurable benefits.

1.    Operators need to maximize the utilization of their assets. To do this requires a complete picture of all physical, logical and virtual network resources that inventory insights and knowledge provide.

2.    Most operators today are challenged to manage complex, multi-vendor, multi-domain networks efficiently. They can’t do this without a real-time awareness of the operational status of the assets that make up their networks. 

3.    Operators must be able to easily onboard new technologies when they become available. To seamlessly achieve this also requires real-time telecoms inventory insights and knowledge.

4.    Operators must manage entire, end-to-end networks with accurate, real-time knowledge of resource availability in order to make the right network management decisions.

vc4 network management

5.    Operators require a consolidated view across all of their physical, logical, virtual, and service assets in order to achieve a single version of the truth.

6.    Rationalizing network costs while simultaneously ensuring stable performance is operationally critical and can’t be achieved without network real time inventory knowledge and insights.

7.    Leveraging new technologies (for instance, SDN/SD-WAN) present challenges of network manageability and interoperability. Networks must be simple to configure, each time a new device is added.  Again, this requires real-time inventory knowledge and insights.

8.    Integration of such (new) assets is also critical to the successful aggregation of the multiple services that operators today want to deliver. Without inventory knowledge and insights, networks can become unmanageable and thus the benefits of new technologies difficult if not impossible to unlock. 

9.    Optical networks are taking hold, but their evolution isn’t static. As the network evolves, new assets, iterations, and services must be continually (and precisely) re-aligned. To remain on top of both inventory and processes so their networks meet customer demands, real-time insights and knowledge are mission critical. 

10.    With some new technologies, even simple ones, asset registration can be unexpectedly complex.  (FTTH/PON is an example.) If you don’t register assets correctly then you won’t be able to manage your network in an optimal manner.  To do that, once again, you require real-time insights and knowledge.

11.    Speaking of FTTH, it’s important because it enables customer expectations to be easily met. To deliver, the operator must understand its assets; what’s required for any service, what’s missing and what’s needed to fill any gaps: in other words, network planning. Everything is reliant on the availability of real time insights and knowledge.

12.    And what about GIS?  Detailed knowledge of each network asset is vital, and this includes its location and other contextual information. For network planning too real time network inventory knowledge and insights are vital.

13.    Agile service delivery is today’s holy grail. Yet historically, asset data has, been scattered and thus difficult to leverage. That works against efficient and profitable service delivery, which means providing the performance customers expect is difficult or impossible without real time network inventory knowledge and insights. 

14.    Ditto provisioning. When a service is provisioned, multiple usage records can be created by different network components, as well as records from the control platform managing end-user communications. Everything must be captured and correlated in real-time if end-user expectations are to be met.

15.    The points above hint at a challenge sourcing and managing an increasingly broad variety of data. Real time network inventory knowledge and insights allow the operator to collect and then differentiate how this data is processed in many ways such as being able to prioritize real-time responses for urgent, high-priority transactions.

16.    Historically, network management (OSS) infrastructure has been “siloed”. That means different components have performed the same function for different lines of business. Real time inventory management solves the crucial problem of being able to keep track of everything in one place.

17.    Worse, silos are inefficient and create costs. Operators really need to be able to connect their silos and ensure that data regarding, say, a physical fiber link and its location are available to a service engine that delivers a specific level of connectivity. Achieving this requires real time network inventory knowledge and insights.

18.    Rapid increase in fiber deployment is unlocking new high speed service opportunities ranging from increased wholesale offerings to more sophisticated business-to-business services, new consumer services and bundles. These opportunities will be tied to the availability of specific connections – so operators need to know what’s possible and what’s needed to provide them to targeted customer segments. This, too, requires real time network inventory knowledge and insights.

19.    Operators want to deliver more valuable and lucrative services to their customers. Many struggle to really capitalize because of an inability to develop the partnerships necessary for these new services to really take-off. That’s often because revenue and usage must be managed for several physical and logical entities in parallel, another challenge that’s in part overcome by having access to real time network inventory knowledge and insights.

20.    Digital Transformation requires re-designing digital customer journeys, increasing the speed and agility with which insights are accrued, driving the adoption of these new journeys by customers, and providing agility within the journeys themselves. To do this, carriers need the ability to track metrics and analyze operational performance data related to the customer relationship. The telco must be able to accrue insights that allow strategies and processes to be optimized if they want to increase their RoI.

Really, it wouldn’t be hard to double the length of the list above: twenty reasons why network inventory knowledge and insights are critical for today’s network operator only scratches the tip of the iceberg. 

Real time Network Inventory Management (NIM) software solves a myriad of problems by collecting, monitoring, and aggregating information related to all the resources used by an operator to implement its services and products so real time knowledge and insights are available related to:

•    The status all resources
•    Asset capacity
•    Asset performance (including spares)
•    Problems and returns tracking
•    Resource Activation and Resource Provisioning
•    Resource inventory management
•    Updates, automation and reconciliation related to inventory

Talk to VC4

If you’d like to discuss how you can meet the challenges we’ve outlined here, we’d be happy to talk further – and we can also provide a brief demo of VC4-IMS, the market leading network inventory management solution.  

This will show you how to bring clarity to your own assets and provide you with a foundation for ensuring that your investments in agile network evolution, deliver the network performance and results that you’re targeting.