Keeping Track of the Network
As enterprise networks become larger and more complex, they become too unwieldy to track on a whiteboard with sticky notes. Tackling this conundrum, operational support system, or OSS, vendors that traditionally catered to service providers are now adaptNetwork upgrades and expansions are typically implemented to eke greater efficiencies out of a communications system, but paradoxically such upgrades can create their own management inefficiencies. As enterprise networks become larger and more complex, they become too unwieldy to track on a whiteboard with sticky notes. Tackling this conundrum, operational support system, or OSS, vendors that traditionally catered to service providers are now adapting their products to private networks. Large network operators typically have an accurate view of only 60 percent of the network inventory and available capacity, according to Sanjay Mewada, analyst with The Yankee Group in Boston. "With effectively 40 percent of the network, you do not have an effective idea of how much is available for provisioning," Mewada said. "By implementing service resource management software, you have a very good tracking of what is in the network." Another telecommunications industry trend -- the rapidly shrinking CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) industry -- is also spurring OSS developers to turn their attention to network operators other than carriers, namely the largest enterprises. What they are finding, however, is that enterprises have a different set of network inventory requirements, including the need for flexible interfaces.
This year, Granite Systems Inc., of Manchester, N.H., will market a recoded version of its service resource management software, built with the flexibility to adapt to enterprise communications systems. Granite Systems Xpercom database system not only keeps an accurate record of network inventory, but also provides a logical view of the network, including IP addresses and floor plans. It acts as a central repository for other operational support systems, including order management, service activation, fault management, trouble ticketing and electronic gateways.