Legacy GIS Tools and Processes Don’t Cut It for Broadband Infrastructure 

Nearly everyone in the broadband industry has used a mapping tool like Google Earth or Esri’s ArcGIS to explore potential projects. These are great for visualizing geographic data but have limitations when it comes to managing fiber networks.

While you can use these tools to start designing a network and track resources, they’re not scalable for large operations. Operators quickly get bogged down by spreadsheets and workarounds, trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

The problem is that GIS mapping tools are not specifically designed for fiber management. And therefore, simply can’t handle detailed information and provide the functions required for efficient fiber management.

Inefficiencies of Legacy Fiber Management Tools and Processes

The reliance on outdated and manual processes in fiber management is costing service providers dearly in terms of time, money, and efficiency. Here are some examples of the inefficiencies due to legacy systems:

  • 80% of service providers still rely on manual data entry for at least some of their network records.¹

  • The average cost of correcting a data entry error is $11.³

    75% of service providers use spreadsheets to manage their fiber inventory.¹

  • 50% of service providers lack real-time visibility into their network performance.¹

  • Legacy fiber management processes can add up to 20% to the cost of network operations. ¹

  • Legacy systems are often inflexible and difficult to scale as networks grow.¹

  • They lack the agility needed to adapt to changing market conditions and technological advancements.²

The reliance on outdated and manual processes in fiber management is costing service providers dearly in terms of time, money, and efficiency. Here are some examples of the inefficiencies due to legacy systems:

  • 80% of service providers still rely on manual data entry for at least some of their network records.¹

  • The average cost of correcting a data entry error is $11.³

    75% of service providers use spreadsheets to manage their fiber inventory.¹

  • 50% of service providers lack real-time visibility into their network performance.¹

  • Legacy fiber management processes can add up to 20% to the cost of network operations. ¹

  • Legacy systems are often inflexible and difficult to scale as networks grow.¹

  • They lack the agility needed to adapt to changing market conditions and technological advancements.²

Purpose-Built Fiber Management Systems Matter. . . 

Leading network operators understand the need for a fiber management system built for broadband. You need a system that offers:

  • An architecture that stores and organizes your critical network data efficiently.

  • Visualization of a network on a map with additional information about each element, such as its location, status, and capacity.

  • Ease of use – even for non-technical users – streamlining business and operational workflows.

Your fiber management system must go beyond displaying data on a map. It should empower you to:

  • Design complete circuits, including splicing fiber strands and connecting them to OLT ports.

  • Troubleshoot issues, assess expansion feasibility, and manage resources like available ducts.

  • Simplify workflows, automate tasks, and gain valuable insights for improved network performance.

…But Your System of Record Should be Fiber-Specific Too!

Imagine trying to run any business without knowing what resources you have or where they are. It’s impossible to optimize your operations, maximize revenue, or make informed decisions. A system of record (SoR) serves as the single source of truth for all physical network information. It’s a comprehensive platform that provides visibility and control over every aspect of your network, from physical assets to customer connections.

Here’s why a fiber specific SoR matters:

  1. Streamlined Operations: An SoR automates tasks and workflows, saving you time and resources.

  2. Data-Driven Decisions: Gain valuable insights into your network performance with accurate and up-to-date data. Identify trends, forecast demand, and make informed decisions about expansion, maintenance, and upgrades.

  3. Improved Collaboration: Everyone in the organization has access to the same information in real-time.

  4. Regulatory Compliance: Maintain meticulous records to meet regulatory requirements and avoid potential fines.

  5. Operational Agility: Quickly respond to changes in the market and customer needs with real-time data and insights.

  6. Competitive Advantage: Deliver innovative services and stay ahead of the competition with a robust and efficient network infrastructure.

A fiber specific SoR is a must-have for network operators that want to compete in today’s competitive market. It’s the foundation for operational excellence, data-driven decision-making, and ultimately, a thriving business.

What to Look for in a Fiber Management System of Record

When evaluating a fiber management system of record, below are several key factors to consider.

  1. Comprehensive Digitization: Captures fiber network infrastructure details, including cable routes, splice points, patch panels, connectors, and any other relevant components.

  2. Visualization and Mapping: Easily see your network and understand how different parts connect. You should be able to add, change, and look at multiple layers of network elements. This helps with troubleshooting, planning for future needs, marketing, expanding your network, and much more.

  3. Ease of Use and User Experience: Make data input, visualization, administration, reporting, operations, troubleshooting, marketing, and other tasks easier for everyone, regardless of GIS experience. The platform needs to be accessible to everyone, meaning it shouldn’t require specialized knowledge, making it easier to manage and optimize your network.

  4. Inventory Capacity and Management: The platform must track and manage inventory, such as fiber utilization, splice management, circuit creation and visualization, and equipment management.

  5. Scalability and Flexibility: Choose a system that can scale with your network’s growth and accommodate future expansion. It should be flexible enough to adapt to changes in technology, network expansion and a growing set of complex geospatial data sets.

  6. Open Extensible Architecture: From construction management software to OSS/BSS systems, the ability to exchange data with your system of record in a controlled and efficient manner is an absolute requirement. This requires an open and well-defined API framework, pre-built connectors/integrations and a vendor that implements processes that ensure the integrity of the system of record.

  7. Change Management: A fiber management system of record should allow users to document and track any modifications or additions made to the network infrastructure, including an audit trail of all changes. Plus, it should enable collaboration across the entire system. This helps maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of the network’s history.

  8. Reporting and Analytics: The system should provide users with a summary of crucial network elements, alongside relevant features displayed on the map, in highly flexible and visual reporting. Data aggregation and summary presentation enable broadband providers to track network growth, plan strategically, and respond accurately to inquiries from management, customers, and investors by tying data-driven insights directly to the network view.

 VETRO FiberMap: One-Stop Solution for Fiber Network Management

VETRO FiberMap simplifies network management, eliminates the need for GIS expertise, and seamlessly integrates with your existing systems. Here are some of the ways we make life easier for network operators:

  • Single Platform for All Needs: Manage both fiber routes and connections in one central location, with no spreadsheets or data switching. Automated workflows further streamline operations.

  • Map-Centric View: See your entire network in context, visualizing both inventory and virtual circuits in the field, not just in tables.

  • Open and Integrated: Easily connects to CRM, B/OSS systems, and work order management software for a holistic view of your operations.

  • Built for Telecom: Forget GIS tools designed for multiple uses; VETRO FiberMap is tailored specifically for the needs of service providers. No GIS expertise required!

  • Data Integrity and Security: Maintain data accuracy with permission sets and a cloud-native SaaS platform that avoids browser limitations and crashes.

  • Informed Decision-Making: Visualize your network data to optimize resource allocation, dispatch technicians efficiently, and identify unused capacity for growth.

VETRO FiberMap goes beyond just ease of use and integration. It’s your comprehensive, secure, and reliable system of record, designed to empower service providers like you to:

  • Boost operational efficiency with automated workflows and centralized data.

  • Make informed decisions based on real-time insights into your network.

  • Improve collaboration across your organization with seamless information sharing.

  • Gain a competitive edge with a future-proof platform designed for growth.

Don’t settle for a patchwork solution. VETRO FiberMap is the one-stop platform you need to manage your fiber network with confidence and ease.  

Take Control of Your Fiber Network:

Whether you’re a service provider, investor, or anyone involved in the fiber industry, a system of record is essential for success. Contact VETRO today to learn how we can help you manage your network efficiently, optimize operations, and make informed decisions for the future.

About VETRO
VETRO builds software that makes it radically simpler and faster for broadband providers to plan, design, build, and operate their fiber optic networks. VETRO is the only SaaS-based GIS fiber management platform that optimizes the business value of networks by simplifying the digitization, data visualization and management of fiber assets through an open, highly accessible and precise system of record for network assets. Our map-based SaaS platform is easier to use and more powerful than traditional tools and enables network operators and ISPs to benefit from a modern, integrated, and connected digital hub for their physical network assets. VETRO is leveraged by broadband providers around the world for all phases of network operations vetrofibermap.com.

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