Case study

OptiComm automated 90% of optical network terminal activations after deploying Resco Mobile CRM

90% of ONT activations automated

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Jobs completed on the first visit

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User adoption improvements

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OptiComm is one of Australia’s largest open-access, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) wholesale network infrastructure operators, servicing new residential housing, apartment, and commercial building markets. To install optical network terminals (ONTs), OptiComm’s field technicians started to utilize Resco Mobile CRM solution to activate and capture installation data for FTTP network equipment.

Since deploying the app, the company has seen 90% of ONT activations being automated. The Resco mobile solution enabled the field team to significantly reduce the volume of manual work, boost mobile technology adoption, and complete the on-site tasks during their first visit.

Business challenge

OptiComm designs, builds, operates, and maintains fixed-line access, fiber-based telecommunications networks. The company’s network infrastructure comprises the final section (or ‘last mile’) of telecommunication networks. It connects homes, apartments, and commercial premises within OptiComm-connected estates to a central exchange point.

For field technicians, new installations of FTTP equipment require an optical network terminal (ONT) device installation to set the service demarcation. They need to set up and activate the ONT to complete the installation process.

To optimize this procedure, OptiComm previously used an older web-based mobile solution. But, an increasing number of issues constrained its usability in the field.

The older mobile solution was web-based and not a native mobile client. This caused problems with rendering and presentation of data, support for offline modes, along with several other issues tied to a non-native client. It also wasn’t regularly maintained and therefore rarely worked properly – resulting in manual activity and time-consuming efforts to activate and install new FTTP equipment, reveals Ben Liew, Chief Network Officer in OptiComm.

As the previous ONT installation app did not work properly, OptiComm’s field techs had to call to the Network Operations Center (NOC) during every ONT installation. While on the call, the NOC manually activated the ONT and then informed the field technician about the outcome – successful or failed installation. If the installation failed, the field technician had to fix it and call up the NOC once again to reactivate. Therefore, OptiComm had to find a new solution enabling employees to work more efficiently.

Each call would take 5-10minutes. If you can imagine this occurring 1000 times in a month, that equates to a lot of time spent on the phone and manual activity that could be better used elsewhere, added Ben Liew.

Solution

As OptiComm’s management decided to move its Operation Support Systems (OSS) to Microsoft Dynamics architecture, they were looking for a mobile solution that would smoothly integrate with this environment.

We understood that Resco-to-Dynamics integration was one of Resco’s strengths due to its partnership with Microsoft. We wanted a mobile solution that would easily fit into our Dynamics architecture and leverage the automation and processes we were building into our stack, Ben Liew further explains.

So, after quick customization, OptiComm started to use Resco Mobile CRM within the technicians’ workflows. The primary use case was for field technicians’ new installations of FTTP optical network terminals. Resco enabled employees to automate the activation process and use the mobile application to get rid of long calls to the Network Operations Center.

The automation is now performed entirely through the Resco app. It helps us to validate and activate the new ONT and provide instant feedback to technicians. If the installation fails, the process allows the technician to immediately re-submit the activation and check if it had gone through.

The technicians are also able to check the signal quality of the device through the app immediately, further streamlining their workflows.

Through the app, we are able to automatically approve or fail the job based on the signal quality input. If the signal quality is lower than expected, the field tech can immediately rectify the issue and bring it up to our standards, Ben adds.

Benefits

90% of ONT activations automated

OptiComm technicians conduct approximately 1000 installations a month that included a significant amount of time spent on calls with the Network Operations Center. This process was streamlined and automated by Resco. Since deploying the app, OptiComm saw 90% of ONT activations being automated, significantly reducing manual activations and saving 10 minutes per activation, which were previously spent on calls with the Network Operations Center.

Job completion on the first visit

The Resco app enables the company’s technicians to gather much more accurate inventory and signal quality data. The workers use it to conduct on-site signal checks so that they can rectify any issues on the same visit, rather than it results in two visits.

User adoption improvement

The constraints of the old mobile solution that OptiComm utilized also mitigated its user adoption among the technicians. Thanks to the highly responsive support team and minimal training required to use Resco, employees were quick to adopt the new app in the field.

The ease of receiving technical support from Resco, regarding any issues, was really surprising. The previous web-based app wasn’t used by the technicians as it was perceived as a non-functional tool. This resulted in every ONT installation being conducted manually.

Evaluation and future plans

OptiComm’s field staff successfully switched from the old web-based solution to Resco Mobile CRM, which enabled further automation of their field processes. As Ben Liew concluded during the final evaluation of Resco: “The product, as well as the provided support, is what has stood out for us.” And regarding OptiComm’s future plans with mobility, he adds: “Now, we’re looking to extend its integration not just to ONT installations and activations, but also to faults and service assurance operations.”

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