In the fast-paced world of telecommunications, network optimization is typically neglected. Staff is never supplemented to perform one-time network activities which can tend to be very labor intensive. Since existing resources are strained, good intentioned people are left frustrated because best practices are circumvented to meet the ultimate goal of completion. Outlined below are two common network activities that can contribute to an inefficient network.
Network migrations/integrations occur in order to avoid supporting two independent networks subsequent to either an acquisition or merger. There are many aspects of the network to consider such as: transport, minutes of use, bandwidth, and abandoned equipment. An effective migration/integration plan should encompass all dimensions of the effected network. However, to achieve synergy targets in short order, time is seldom spent on the following:
- Ensuring network inventories are accurately maintained;
- Making sure network protection is preserved;
- Evaluating existing vendor contracts to identify opportunities and revise as needed;
- Establishing new vendor relationships where beneficial;
- Disconnecting unused portions of the network;
- Redeploying abandoned equipment or inventorying the equipment as spares.
New device deployments carry aggressive timelines, especially when linked to the new product launch/enhancements, market expansion, or permanent repair of a network inadequacy. Some of the key elements to consider are as follows:
- In-service – if multiple devices are being deployed simultaneously, caution should be taken to ensure that all devices are certified and placed into service.
- Customer migration – if a new device replaces an existing one, make sure all customers are migrated to the new device so the existing device can be decommissioned.
- Decommissioning – allow time to remove inactive devices to eliminate the cost associated with ongoing maintenance and redeploy/inventory decommissioned equipment.
There is immediate value realized when network migration/integrations or new device deployments are completed but the benefit is not fully realized if any actions cited above are overlooked. Don’t discount the value these essential steps can yield and make allocating the resources/time to complete them a priority. To successfully carry out these final stages, you should start with a strong plan and include defined objectives and timelines. Then you should measure the monetary benefits achieved with every completed milestone.
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