Telecom Management Inventory: The Real Deal
Inventory has been and continues to be the foundation for effective telecom management. The volume of telecom components and use cases for inventory data are evolving, though
Inventory began as a collection of traditional telecom circuits and services and was used primarily to reconcile monthly invoice charges. An organization must know what they have and what is billing to manage the environment.
This use case is still fundamental to telecom management; however, the scope of services, applications and equipment that comprise the telecom estate is expanding, which adds to the complexity of aggregating telecom data into a single source of information. Mobility, cloud services and everything-as-a-service have contributed to scope expansion. In today’s telecom environment, the sheer volume of vendors and variety of services organizations consume have caused many to consider inventory not as a single source of truth, but as an aggregation of many sources of service, asset and billing data truth that must be aggregated.
Inventory enables organizations to manage services, vendors, charges, budget and users, but maintaining a single inventory is often challenging. There are too many sources of data and too many service and application owners to establish and maintain a single source of truth. The next generation of telecom inventory is one in which multiple inventories become source for consolidated reporting, visualization and business analytics tools. As such, data integrity for each telecom inventory is vital to valid reporting.
As telecom management evolves and the scope of circuits, services, applications and equipment expand, the approach to managing inventory must change. It’s unlikely that a single business system in any organization will house and maintain all of the telecom data organizations require to manage inventory, so using data from multiple sources to establish inventory visibility is becoming a necessity.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.