Telecommunications

The Value of Network Data Aggregation

A holistic view of the entire broadband service provider network

Amongst the many business and operational challenges broadband service providers experience today, one of the key challenges is how to aggregate all the pertinent network and business information stored in disparate GIS, CAD, IoT and OSS/BSS systems. With aggregated information, companies can establish a complete, holistic view of their service network and make enterprise level strategic business decisions. In today’s “best of breed” enterprise solution landscape, having aggregated data and up-to-date information about the business and the network operations can supply service providers with business intelligence that allows them to stay ahead of the competition and manage the day-to-day operations much more efficiently.

Still many broadband service providers continue to derive business intelligence from various sources through manual, disconnected efforts and extrapolation. Whereas, a single solution aggregation can deliver better, more accurate and actionable results for the business. Analysis of aggregated network, IoT, business and demographic data can provide organizations with the ability to generate a wide range of analysis and reports vital for today’s broadband service provider.

Below are a few examples of what a single solution aggregation of data sources can provide:

  • Service qualification responses can be delivered rapidly via desktop survey while eliminating unnecessary truck rolls.
  • Rapid planning for future network upgrades, new service offerings, and network expansions by identifying desirable customers in geographic regions within service areas.
  • Proactively identifying physical and logical network capacity issues through reports and thematic representation before any expensive capacity improvements.
  • Identify data integrity issues (geographic and non-geographic) between systems of record that could lead to unforeseen operational expenses when technicians reach the field to do their jobs.
  • Analyze aggregated data from the physical network, IoT and enterprise network monitoring sources as a first step to accomplishing proactive network maintenance.
  • Warehouse aggregated data from all sources to a single operational data store to analyze network growth from year to year.

Broadband service provider’s businesses, networks, and offerings are rapidly evolving due to increasing consumer demand for broadband access and network speeds. Due to this ever-increasing demand, it becomes imperative to manage the engineering architecture, operational workflows, and software to efficiently maintain optimal networks.

Special Eye

Thanks to the pioneering solution suite developed by Spatial Eye and over two decades of GIS expertise from Avineon, broadband service providers now have a partner to assist them in their continued evolution.

While Spatial Eye’s solution suite provides a single access point for service providers to access and analyze aggregated data, Avineon provides expertise in consulting, GIS and non-GIS data services for business empowerment. Together, the result is a client-centric solution experience that allows broadband service providers to make more informed business decisions. They also reap the benefits of having a valuable services partner who understands their business and the world’s evolving data landscape.

The Value of Network Data Aggregation2017-09-06T12:04:36+00:00

From Physical to Online

Moving a Telecom’s Network Asset Data to an Enterprise GIS

Deciding to move to an enterprise GIS is usually an easy decision, especially if the goal is to really achieve a full “end-to-end” model of all your network asset connectivity. If rolling out nationwide faster broadband is the frontier, then the need for a network asset connectivity model is no longer a decision of should you move to an enterprise GIS but how?

A large telecommunications company in Europe was planning to move to an enterprise Esri GIS. But, with most of their geographical and schematic data of the physical network, asset inventory, and additional data existing in raster images and paper records, they were clueless on how to do it? With over 5 million plans from over 5,000 exchanges containing over 10 million features and more than 80 million attributes, how can be especially daunting without an experienced partner!

Moving a Telecom’s Network Asset Data to an Enterprise GIS

With a long history and experience working with and migrating to an ESRI GIS environment, Avineon was one of the teams of experts engaged by the telecom company. The company wanted to ensure that all the different assets within the network would be represented accurately and transitioned to the new GIS. They were also looking for enhanced support to automate network planning activities including the move to nationwide faster broadband. Throughout a multi-year engagement, Avineon was able to deliver high-quality services and find additional areas to deliver further value to the telecom client.

Showing mastery in data quality, integration, and improvements, Avineon assisted the client with securing and enhancing asset data for the newly implemented Esri GIS. By liaising with the local client experts to frame a rule-based process, Avineon was able to resolve generic issues raised by various transformation teams.  This further helped the client to overcome issues with data capture such as source discrepancies, rule conflicts, and missing information. To ensure all data was accounted for during the collection process, Avineon’s ground resources resolved issues directly with client business units.

Avineon’s experience with automation led to efficient methods of converting all source data for copper and fiber networks into the enterprise GIS from sources such as paper, spreadsheets, and legacy digital/spatial inventories. Processes were created to account for digitization, work order posting, and fiber enhancements. Transforming and updating this converted data for accuracy and completeness required Avineon to create centralized data stitching teams to overcome matching issues in the live Esri GIS environment. Within each phase of the project, Avineon maintained a process oriented and automation based strategy to deliver and exceed the client’s expectations both on the quality of delivery and cost.

Data Transformation

With Avineon’s ability to scale onshore and offshore resources throughout the lifecycle of the engagement, Avineon was able to maintain a high quality of service and focus on adding value throughout the project.

Value added to many tasks included:

Value Added during data transformation

From Physical to Online2017-08-30T10:27:47+00:00

Small Data Improvements Can Lead to Big Savings

Limiting Truck Rolls When Providing Service

Even the smallest improvement in establishing service for a new customer can lead to substantial savings, especially in an organization that is servicing millions of customers across a region. In the process of serviceability (establishing new customers) for a utility or telecom, sending a truck out to check for service availability to a specific location (aka “rolling a truck”) can not only delay service and revenue to an organization but also become costly. Though it is sometimes necessary to roll trucks, inconclusive outcomes from these initial truck rolls can lead to repeat truck rolls further adding costs. On the other hand, focusing on a specific area of data improvement, locational accuracy of streets, and facilities can help reduce the number of truck rolls per day, returning large dollar savings to a company’s operational bottom line.

limiting truck rolls service

 

In a perfect world, any utility or telecom cable customer service representative would field a request for new service, verify the location of the request, and quickly register the requester for new service without a delay. In practice, this involves the coordination of a multitude of business units and/or systems including geographic information systems (GIS), service agents, construction groups, accounts management, regional operators, surveying groups, etc. The process and interdependencies of a new service request can be complex and daunting to change in any utility or telecom despite potential cost savings. But can there be any value to focusing on one aspect of the process for signing up new service? Just by improving aspects of location data accuracy, a utility or telecom can reap sizable savings simply by updating features in their GIS data.

A good example of this is street and facilities maps. The locational relationship between streets and facilities is one of the primary factors for serviceability. In this day and age of expanding operational regions, company consolidations, and simple organic growth, improving the locational accuracy of a utility’s or telecom’s GIS data can fall to the back burner. On the ground, discrepancies between street and facility maps can creep in on a weekly or monthly basis further antiquating the data that these companies use as the basis of their operations. In regions experiencing growth, entire subdivisions may be included in the street’s GIS database but not in the facility GIS database or vice-versa. These deviations can hinder the customer service representative’s efforts to extend service to a new customer. This all can lead to an incomplete picture of the service territory, driving up the cost of acquiring new customers and putting the utility at a competitive disadvantage.

Truck Roll Map Overlay

Blue Line (Previous Street Map) vs. Green Line (Updated Street Map)

Truck Roll Map Before

Before Asset Map

Truck Roll Map after

After Asset Map

Imagine Cable Company X provides utility or telecom service for a region of three million subscribers. On a daily basis, Cable Company X receives 2,500 calls for new service within its operating region. Conservatively, Cable Company X can accurately locate the site of needed new service 95% of the time. Meaning, Cable Company X can instantly check on the address of the particular request and know that service can be provided without issue. As a result, Cable Company X is unsure if new service can be provided to 5% of customer inquiries (250 calls per day).

Cable Company X would now need to roll a truck to that location to see if and how service can be established. With inaccurate or incomplete street or facility GIS data, rolling a truck can sometimes lead to inconclusive findings. The field operator may not be able to find the correct address or may not be able to locate the assets needed to connect a house for new service with pin point accuracy. This becomes a wasted truck roll, and wasted money, as it leads to no conclusions of serviceability due to inaccuracies in location data. The truck would have to come back, raise an exception flag, and at some point, another truck will have to roll for the same service request.

truck roll

$6 Million Lost Annually to Inaccurate Data

If this occurs in 10% of Cable Company X’s truck rolls a day and each truck roll costs $1,000 (industry average) that amounts to $25,000 a day and over $6 million a year is lost to the bottom line all due to inaccurate locational data for streets and facilities. Simply by calibrating and auditing its GIS data, Cable Company X can reduce wasted truck rolls and enable customer service representatives to accurately determine viability of more new service requests, saving millions on its overall operations annually.

So how can utility or telecoms get better locational data?

With options ranging from automated GIS data re-alignment to comprehensive GPS-based field surveying, Avineon can tailor a solution to ensure a greater return on your investment in GIS. Just like limiting truck rolls, sometimes small actions can lead to surprising results.

Small Data Improvements Can Lead to Big Savings2017-10-28T06:08:28+00:00

Field Staff Efficiency

Moving to World Geodetic System (WGS) 84 in a Live GIS Environment to Leverage Google Maps

It’s easy to focus on field staff efficiency with accurate data by leveraging the latest mapping technology and projection systems when you are creating your GIS infrastructure from scratch… but how do you migrate to a mapping technology like Google Maps that is based on a particular geodetic standard to drive efficiency when your LIVE system is based on a different datum?

A leading telecom services provider in the Middle East engaged Avineon to help them leverage Google Maps to gain Field Staff Efficiency across the organization.

Statistics showed inaccurate location information, even by a few hundred feet, led to a failed or inefficient result in at least 20% field visits.

With the data accuracy of moving to Google Maps, the telecom provider hoped to increase the accuracy of work locations, facilities and customer site visits for field crews. Even the slightest efficiency in field staff operations could result in quicker service, shorter outages and resource optimization. The challenge of migrating to Google Maps was the need to transform geodetic datum of their land base and network data from a local datum (AIN El ABD 1970) to the universally accepted datum WGS 84 with minimal downtime of a LIVE system and zero impact on the work order update process.

Network Overlay Against Google Before Datum Transformation

Network overlay against Google before Datum Transformation

Though the industry average is to focus on 5 transformation parameters in a change of this magnitude, Avineon defined and engineered 7 transformation parameters to increase positional accuracy using nationwide ground control point network along with the standard parameters needed by WGS 84. With Avineon’s extensive ESRI technology expertise, a custom tool was developed in ESRI ArcGIS and Ericsson Network Engineer, to automate the datum transformation of the LIVE system in a minimal amount of time.

For the transition, Avineon created a strategy to maintain uptime for the LIVE system with a complete system rollout all at once instead of the proposed area by area transformation originally intended by the client. While maintaining any open and pending work orders in parallel systems, the transition exceeded timeline expectations and leveraged Avineon’s experience handling LIVE operations in a transformation process while maintaining maximum uptime for all business units.

Telecom network overlay after

Network overlay against Google after Datum Transformation

Not only did Avineon assist the telecom provider to see improvements in overall service and shorter outage times but the transformation also helped the client save close to 15% on field staff time responding to sales and trouble calls. With the additional benefit of integrating network maps, operational staff was able to achieve further efficiency in routing field staff to facilities/customers.

Field Staff Efficiency2017-10-31T04:59:36+00:00