Streamlining Network Inventory <> BSS Integration

Streamlining Network Inventory <> BSS Integration
Following Cerillion’s recent acquisition of netSolutions, a geospatial location network inventory business, from Ubisense Group plc, Dominic Smith talks to Gillian Kendrick, Solutions Manager of the new business unit at Cerillion.

DS: Hi Gillian, and welcome to the Cerillion blog. Tell me about the new Network Inventory business unit and how this fits within Cerillion?
GK: Hi Dominic, and thanks for the chance to introduce the Network Inventory business. The new Network Inventory team are no strangers to Cerillion. In fact, we have been working together for over ten years building solutions which integrate Cerillion’s CRM solution with physical and logical network inventory to streamline business processes for telecoms operators. We have a suite of products which complement and extend the GE Smallworld Network Inventory products and which are already in use at over 40 companies worldwide. Customers include KDDI in Japan, MTN in South Africa, Telstra in Australia, Zayo in the US, and of course our long standing joint customer BTC Bahamas. 

By joining the Cerillion team we are excited about being able to streamline BSS/OSS integration to support new sales and service restoration processes, as well as addressing the big problem which most Telcos face today: keeping services running uninterrupted while upgrading networks to next generation and fibre technologies.
However, it’s not only Telcos and CATV operators that we work with; we also have customers in other sectors including gas, electricity and water companies.

DS: You’ve joined Cerillion as part of the acquisition – can you tell me about your role as Network Asset Management Solutions Manager, and the opportunities this brings for you and your team?
GK: The Network Inventory team is working as a separate business unit within Cerillion, so we are working on sales and marketing, delivering projects, supporting customers, and also very importantly investing in the evolution of our products. I am heading up the team and making sure that we are fully integrated with the rest of the Cerillion business. We have a large new joint project which has just started and is giving us the immediate opportunity to focus and further extend the integration. And the whole team are looking forward to the opportunity to expand our products, projects and of course to grow the business.

DS: The Cerillion Network Inventory (CNI) product set is built around the GE Smallworld platform. What added value does CNI provide and how is this different from rival solutions? 
GK: GE Smallworld has been the market leading solution for the Utility and Telco markets for many years. It has encouraged partners to deliver solutions and also to develop complementary products which expand the product footprint and deliver extra value to the customers. The Cerillion Network Inventory team have worked together for over 15 years in the Telco market and over that time have identified key functional requirements from our customers which we have turned into products. These add service/resource management and integration capabilities, as well as providing full mobile/wireless inventory management. These have a proven track record of success and have been widely re-sold by GE and their partners around the world. 

DS: Which industry trends are currently driving the growth in interest around Network Inventory solutions? 
GK: The only constant in the Telecoms industry is change. The networks are in a constant state of redesign as NGN technology and fibre networks are rolled out closer and closer to the customer. In conversation last night, a network architect said to me that it’s not about fibre to the kerb, or fibre to the business…its fibre to the desk.
All of this change means that it is more important than ever to have a complete understanding of where your network is, and where services are routed. Without this it is next to impossible to manage the uninterrupted cutover of service required when networks are re-engineered. And it’s not just changing technology, it’s also changes in the ownership of networks as businesses consolidate. Being able to bring all of those networks into a single consolidated network record enables great operational efficiencies.

DS: What are the typical challenges that operators face when deploying a Network Inventory solution and how does Cerillion address them? 
GK: All businesses today expect that their key enterprise systems work together to underpin business process improvements in the critical areas of new sales and service restoration. Key to this is ensuring that the data in those systems is of good quality and consistent with the data held in other applications. We have therefore focused on ensuring that our Network Inventory solutions are easy to integrate with other business and operational support systems, and have a built in set of processes which ensure that the service, work order and address information in these systems are all kept in sync.

DS: And finally, how can our readers find out more about Cerillion Network Inventory?
GK: The best starting place is of course on our website, where we have a complete overview of our Network Inventory offerings. But we’d love to hear directly from anyone who may be interested in a more in-depth discussion, either by phone, on +44 20 7927 6000, email or using our contact request form. We’re also exhibiting at the upcoming GE Digital Energy International Software Summit in Frankfurt, and we’d be delighted to meet people there.

DS: Gillian, thank you very much for your time and for introducing our readers to the new Cerillion Network Inventory business unit.