FSM

Cut the Cost of Network Downtime with a Field Services Management Solution for Reactive and Predictive Maintenance

For any modern business, downtime costs money. For the telecommunications industry, Gartner has put a very specific price on this expense: $5 600 every minute… and that’s only for the medium-sized players. Added to that, there can be a longer-term cost impact because customers will soon leave a CSP whose network they perceive as unreliable. 

There are ways of mitigating all this, by implementing field service maintenance strategies that combine network preventive maintenance (proactive) and reactive (ad hoc) services in a cost-effective and customer-focused manner.

No system, however advanced, is 100% error-proof, so any field service maintenance strategy should take into account the requirement for reactive maintenance. This will account for anything between 50% and 80% of a CSP’s network maintenance activity in terms of workforce hours, so there is a clear need for resource optimization. This can be done by implementing a solution such as Comarch Field Service Management, which coordinates field operations, resource management, strategic planning and asset tracking through a cloud, mobile and IoT network. With advanced scheduling, dispatching, task support, mobility, analytics, forecasting and reporting capabilities, this kind of solution can optimize human and technical resources in the field to deal with reactive maintenance for fault management and network changes, all in real time.

But a solution such as Comarch FSM should handle not only a CSP’s reactive maintenance activity, but also address network preventive maintenance. In short, it needs to be able to predict and fix faults before they occur – keeping the network operational and the customers happy.

A preventive approach to field service maintenance for a telecommunications network can reduce failures by up to 25%. It will do so by minimizing the time during which equipment is under maintenance and cutting the associated lost operational hours, lowering the cost of spares and supplies, and cutting the workforce hours spent dealing with unplanned maintenance arising because of network failures.

Comarch FSM deals with network preventive maintenance on two broad bases – time and condition, both of which work according to predefined schedules of activity. The time aspect concerns the standards and warranty period set by hardware vendors; the solution should instigate predefined actions automatically during the warranty period, and according to calculations of the probability of failure thereafter. The other basis of preventive maintenance is condition – which may include seasonal actions depending on climate, special procedures in challenging environments, or cleaning at predefined intervals.

Network preventive maintenance can have drawbacks – such as calling for the replacement of a part in good working order, or relying on the manufacturer’s defined average lifetime of a given piece of equipment. But, by deploying a robust solution that is capable of learning to recognize common errors and can fix them before they happen, your organization will be in a much better position to predict and pre-empt many of the problems that can result in more costly reactive maintenance. In addition, preventive maintenance is flexible – if a higher priority issue arises, any scheduled activity can be moved to a time at which resources are more readily available.

Before deciding on a field service maintenance solution, you should ask yourself which one meets your needs in terms of functionality, the demands of your network and its elements, data collection and analysis capability, and scalability. For example, can your FSM solution integrate with sensors and other smart devices to aid data collection and predictive capability? Can it be tailored to fit your existing technology? How well will it operate as part of a broader network in the Internet of Things?
In these respects and more, Comarch FSM ticks all the boxes. Our experts are happy to consult with you about the ways in which the solution can be tailored to meet your needs.

Read more on Reinventing Infrastructure Maintenance Within Field Servicesin telecom in our White Paper.