9 episodes

This is Fiberside Chat, a 3-GIS podcast. Bringing you the latest practices in the world of fiber networks and plus architecture. Subscribe and listen along to how 3-GIS is transforming the management of the outside plant and harnessing the power of the physical layer data.

Fiberside Chat 3-GIS

    • Technology

This is Fiberside Chat, a 3-GIS podcast. Bringing you the latest practices in the world of fiber networks and plus architecture. Subscribe and listen along to how 3-GIS is transforming the management of the outside plant and harnessing the power of the physical layer data.

    Fiberside Chat: Discussing the Benefits of Automation in Network Planning

    Fiberside Chat: Discussing the Benefits of Automation in Network Planning

    Speed and efficiency. That’s what automation can bring to a process.

    Involving automation in network deployment is no different, said Michael Measels, Vice President of Product Management for 3-GIS, who has seen processes go from days-long to being measured in hours.

    “To design an area might have taken two and a half days with a CAD-like workflow. Then, bringing in this idea of GIS into the mix and a web-based system to design that network, we were able to shift from two and a half days to a day,” he said. “Once we brought automation to the mix, we could design that same area in a matter of minutes but, more importantly, provide the ability to redesign that area should we not appreciate the output.”

    Even with that quick turnaround, Measles said the planning phase and something that starts even sooner than that, the company’s culture and willingness to adapt, can be the most critical thing in successfully bringing automation to the network planning process.

    “Engineering companies are rooted in a pretty steep history and tradition in terms of how they’ve approached products in the past, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think the biggest challenges with adoption have been that,” Measles said. “That’s essentially changing who you are culturally as a company. That’s difficult and takes some progressive thinking inside the company as to how to approach that change in your culture in a way that allows for broader user adoption.”

    And, while changes can now happen quickly, it will mean nothing, Measles said, if the output isn’t what the user wants to see.

    • 32 min
    The Evolution of GIS in the Telecom Industry

    The Evolution of GIS in the Telecom Industry

    Fifteen years ago, the role of GIS in telecommunications networks was somewhat limited. Michael Measels, VP Product Management, 3-GIS, and Patrick Huls, Senior Solutions Engineer at Esri, discuss how today it’s a much different story. The migration from desktop-based to web-based operations took its time, but now the telecom world is ready to adapt cloud-based GIS technology solutions. “GIS has always been a support tool, maybe for the design, maybe for the physical network,” Huls said. “A lot of that still happens today behind the scenes. But I think what we’re seeing is a trend where GIS and location are becoming more and more important in the industry, and that is because of the evolving networks of the communications network.” With the advent of 5G and the complexity of today’s network architecture, designers need spatial tools to handle mapping and designing these networks from anywhere. GIS provides that assistance network designers need. “Location is a driver to planning and engineering these networks as more complex technologies come into play,” Measels said. “Now, as this convergence between wired and wireless networks happens, we see the necessity and interlock between these two entities with customers more and more.” “As companies move towards GIS-based ecosystems to deliver their telecommunications services, they ultimately see the benefit by meeting these build-outs at scale,” Measels said. “Building out at scale is the idea of being able to provide service to customers as quickly as possible that either haven't had it, were dissatisfied with their existing service provider, or were not getting the necessarily required speeds in today’s digital economy.”

    • 29 min
    Umstellung auf die Cloud

    Umstellung auf die Cloud

    Seit Jahren hat man Cloud-hosting missverstanden, oft wurde es sogar als nicht besonders vertrauenswürdig angesehen. Selbst von Namensgebung her könnte es “neblig” scheinen! Wer besitzt meine Daten? Ist es nicht kostspielig? Sind die Cloudanbieter für GDPR bereit und gegen Hackern geschützt?

    Heute wird aber die Cloud schrittweise entmystifiziert, unter Führung von vielen Großkonzernen, die zunehmend der Cloud vertrauen und stellen ihre eigenen Kernsysteme darauf um. Aus der Sicht 3-GIS: bei einem Telekommunikationsunternehmen, das selber Clouddienste seinen Kunden anbietet, heißt es, “lass Worten Taten folgen!”. Wir unterstützten die mit Fachwissen und Zuverlässigkeit.

    “Insgesamt steht es dafür, dass man sich auf dem “eigentlichen” Job fokussieren kann - sprich auf der Verwaltung und Planung eines Glasfasernetzes - und sich nicht um das Backend kümmern muss.”, sagte Richard Weiss, Director of Operations EMEA bei 3-GIS.

    Der herkömmlichen Meinung nach war die IT-Abteilung der Torwächter sowie der Verwahrer der kritischen Business Systems. Aber die Flexibilität, der “immer aktuell, immer am Laufen” Ruf der cloudbasierten Lösungen hat Leute langsam überzeugt.

    “Die Möglichkeit um die Software jederzeit und von Überall zugreifen zu können - von jedem Laptop oder Endgerät, von jedem Land, vom Homeoffice oder Büro - sogar vom Strand in Griechenland! Und das ist sehr wichtig in dieser “neuen Welt” nach der Covid-Pandemie.”, präzisiert Herr Weiss weiter.

    Nichtsdestotrotz muss man sorgfältig hingehen, die richtige Fragen stellen, den richtigen Partner wählen. Cloud ist nicht immer günstiger, aber mit einem guten Plan in Einsatz sollte doch sein.

    Nun, dass sich der Nebel langsam auflöst, machen viele Geschäfte den Wechsel, und zwar mit schnellem Tempo. Es macht halt Sinn aus vielen finanziellen und betrieblichen Gründen, sowie wegen Risikominimierung.

    • 13 min
    What Will the Telecommunications Industry Look Like Post-Pandemic?

    What Will the Telecommunications Industry Look Like Post-Pandemic?

    3-GIS had a pandemic policy ready, but it did not expect to have to use it.

    After the SARS-CoV-1 coronavirus crisis in the early 2000s, 3-GIS CEO Tom Counts thought it was important to draw up some regulations.

    Even as prepared as 3-GIS was, however, there still were plenty of things they had to adapt to on the fly.

    “The pandemic policy did lay out some of those communication guidelines, but it was one of those things that, as you’re going through your policy manual, you kind of skip that page. You think, ‘That was needed for the Spanish flu days, not 2020,’” said Dustin Sutton, 3-GIS’ President. “So, we did have to dust that off and really dig into, ‘How are we going to communicate?’”

    Being a tech-first company, there already were measures in place and a high level of familiarity with tools like Zoom, which Sutton pointed out has entered the vernacular as a verb these days with children “Zooming” their friends after their online school.

    While everyone has made modifications in both their personal and professional lives, the telecommunications industry has been slow to implement tweaks because of COVID-19 and, more or less, things are continuing as they were at the end of 2019.

    “I haven’t seen any fundamental change, really, in the way networks are being designed, built or architected today. There’s a lot of concern. You always hear the phrase ‘new normal.’ I don’t think we know what that is yet,” Counts said. “I think normal is yet to be determined. I think we’re on a journey to a normal, and I really hope to God we get back to old normal.”

    Even if we have to adjust to a different world around us, Counts and 3-GIS will be ready to adapt quickly - especially after seeing his team adapt to the current pandemic.

    “A beautiful benefit to us that we didn’t expect was increased productivity,” he said. “I would’ve been so happy if we could’ve had the same productivity, but it’s actually up.”

    • 31 min
    GIS Brings A Better View of Fiber Network Deployment

    GIS Brings A Better View of Fiber Network Deployment

    GIS technology’s application in the telecom industry over the past decade has been vast. Just ask Julia Teply, Product Solutions Specialist at 3-GIS.

    Teply’s experienced the changes and growth in GIS technology use and adoption firsthand, and she dropped by Fiberside Chat to share her thoughts on the exciting developments happening with GIS as more and more 5G projects kick into high gear.

    “GIS is the standard right now for fiber network design,” Teply said. “It allows telecom companies to scale their projects across multiple markets and vendors quickly, as well as increase their speed to market.”

    Teply’s current workload includes a large-scale fiber-optic project that spans across 70 markets and more than 20 different vendors.

    Some of the advantages of utilizing GIS in today’s fiber network design is in the technology’s adaptability and scalability, which aids in both high-level and low-level automation.

    “You can customize GIS not only for design, but for other business needs, as well,” Teply said.

    The design improvements GIS provides helps standardize 5G networks. which are beginning to expand nationwide.

    “We are leaving additional conduit and fiber cable to expand upon the network when the time comes to upgrade to 6G,” Teply said.

    The flexibility and adaptability of the design utilizing GIS will make the transition to 6G easier than the previous transition from 4G to 5G.

    • 16 min
    How Taking Network Management to the Cloud Can Lead to Success with Tommy Siniard and Damion Harrylal

    How Taking Network Management to the Cloud Can Lead to Success with Tommy Siniard and Damion Harrylal

    For years, the concept of “the cloud” seemed nebulous and difficult to get a grasp on. That’s understandable, given the nature of clouds both in the sky and as computer utilities.

    Today, though, cloud storage is being increasingly demystified, with many communications service providers moving their network management systems to the cloud.

    For 3-GIS, helping a CSP move to cloud technology is simply practicing what they preach. With so many people around the world currently working remotely, it’s been a good time to be set up with a cloud system.

    “The flexibility and ability of the cloud to access those things just seems to be much simpler and easier to use, and people understand it better,” said Tommy Siniard, Chief Technical Officer for 3-GIS. “Pretty much all our applications, and even our development, is done up in the cloud today, so we’ve embraced it, internally, and we see our customers doing so, also.”

    Conventional wisdom in IT departments may have trended toward proprietary systems that set up the department almost as gatekeepers. Yet, in today’s collaborative world, there are plenty of benefits to allowing more users access to those systems (while IT maintains control over access and other functions).

    “What we see is the breadth at which the organization can access the same data. So, that data can be sent to other systems inside of the organization, where a salesforce could go look at a client being built live and be able to turn their strategies around using that information,” 3-GIS Solutions Engineer Damion Harrylal said. “It does make it really helpful when you have a centralized store of data that is managed and scaled accordingly for an entire large organization.”

    Now that the fog is clearing, more and more businesses are realizing switching to the cloud makes sense for them for many reasons.

    • 21 min

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