The Power of Network Inventory Solutions: Drivers, Benefits, and Return on Investment (ROI)

December 8th, 2023 by · Leave a Comment

This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Daria Batrakova, Director Business Line Telecom Solutions at FNT Software

Network inventory is a pivotal tool in driving operational efficiency for telecom operators. With the ability to manage and optimize a variety of network assets, such solutions present operators with a platform to better navigate the complexities of current and future networks. 

Yet, with evolving technologies, expanding networks, and mounting customer expectations, the task of efficiently managing network resources can quickly become overwhelming without the right processes and tools. Traditional, disjointed approaches to inventory management are proving inadequate in the face of these complexities. Modern networks call for more integrated, sophisticated solutions that are able to keep pace with the ever-changing telecom landscape.

However, the introduction of a unified, end-to-end network inventory within the telecom organization is still regarded as a huge undertaking with many uncertainties and risks. This article names such risks and advises how to address them.

The Need for Modern Network Inventory Management

Today, telecommunications networks have grown increasingly complex, spanning diverse technologies and domains, from traditional copper networks to software-defined transport to cutting-edge virtualized network function infrastructure. In this dynamic environment, static inventory management strategies of the past are no longer sufficient. Instead, the industry demands solutions that can adapt to changing market needs and network technologies. This means, that dynamic network inventory solutions are crucial for operators to manage these assets and respond swiftly to market opportunities, alterations, and disruptions.

Modern telecom landscape relies on data from various sources, including planning and engineering software, network management systems, cloud managers and VNF-M, and third-party data providers. As data sources diversify and cloud-based resources become more commonplace, the need for a unified end-to-end resource inventory becomes paramount. Operators must have comprehensive awareness of all the components that make up their network and technology stack.

Telecom operators must be able to deploy new services rapidly to stay competitive and meet customer demands. While legacy network inventory solutions can act as a major constraint – modern network inventory solutions can scale operations, optimize resource allocation, onboard new technologies and effectively accelerate time-to-market and adapt to changing market forces.

Such solutions are no longer seen as mere back-office tools for asset management but as strategic enablers. They equip telecom operators to thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape by collecting, cross-linking, and sharing data that extends beyond operational roles.

Addressing Investment Challenges

The introduction of a consolidated network inventory is not an easy task as it not only involves a significant refresh of the OSS stack, but also an organizational mindset change. Hesitations concerning adoption, such as cost implications, implementation difficulties and risk uncertainties, are understandable and expected. However, it’s important to keep the longer-term benefits in mind, so here’s how some perceived challenges can be addressed:

  • Cost implications: while the upfront costs may seem significant, emphasizing the long-term return on investment (ROI) can offset these concerns.
  • Implementation difficulties: implementing a “commercial-off-the-shelf” solution with comprehensive support minimizes disruptions and difficulties. User-friendly interfaces and integration capabilities further facilitate a smooth transition.
  • Disruption of workflows: modern network inventory solutions are adaptable and designed to enhance existing workflows rather than disrupt them. They can evolve with changing telecom landscapes.
  • User enablement costs: while retraining may be required, it empowers personnel with the skills to leverage network inventory solutions, enhancing operational efficiency and productivity. Most solution providers also offer comprehensive training and support to facilitate this process.

Network inventory solutions provide tangible and intangible benefits that lead to substantial returns over the long term: the cost savings from optimized operations, the revenue gains from reduced downtime and faster time-to-market, and the enhanced brand value from improved customer experience all contribute to a compelling ROI.

Benefits of Network Inventory Solutions

So how do intangible benefits translate into tangible when it comes to network inventory solutions? Such solutions offer a plethora of advantages:

  • Increased efficiency: network inventory solutions provide a holistic view of resources, streamlining operations, reducing errors, and optimizing resource allocation. Advanced analytics and automation generate actionable insights, saving time and improving operational efficiency.
  • Cost containment: by consolidating and unifying data sources, these solutions reduce the risk of poor data quality, which can lead to cost inefficiencies and revenue losses.
  • Higher network availability: network inventory solutions play a critical role in ensuring network reliability, swift fault detection and resolution, as well as optimizing capacity and asset management.
  • Competitive advantage: In a highly competitive telecom landscape, operators with efficient network inventory solutions experience faster time-to-market for new products and services, adapt to market dynamics, and explore new business models.
  • Impact on brand value: Network inventory solutions enhance customer satisfaction, which is a key differentiator in the telecom industry, ultimately contributing to improved brand value.

Solutions for Success in the Ever-Changing Telecommunications Industry

Telecom providers should consider implementing modern network inventory solutions for several compelling reasons.

First and foremost, the new generation of network inventory solutions is essential for managing the increasing complexity of modern telecom networks, which encompass a wide array of technologies and assets. They enable operators to optimize resource allocation and enhance network reliability.

Moreover, these solutions facilitate the unification of diverse data sources, providing a comprehensive view of the entire network and technology stack. This, in turn, equips providers with valuable insights for strategic decision-making, capacity planning, and customer experience optimization.

Ultimately, by embracing advanced network inventory solutions, telecom providers can keep up to and stay ahead of competition in the industry. The ROI in the form of cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, and faster time-to-market for new services and products can be substantial, making it a strategic choice for long-term success and sustainable growth.


Daria Batrakova is Director Business Line Telecom Solutions at FNT Software. She has worked in network operation, OSS integration and solution advisory roles in the telecommunications field for almost 20 years. Daria graduated from Moscow State University with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics. 


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