Track 3: Construction & Engineering for Network Reliability

Efficient, Compliant & Visible Network Testing With Field Test Process Automation & Analytics

August 16, 2018 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

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Lane Liley


Typical network installation field testing is highly manual, so two problems often occur when technicians perform tests: unfocused/prolonged testing and low-quality/late test data. Project managers routinely receive verbal progress reports and closeout packages with thousands of test results in PDF documents from technicians, and are usually ill-equipped to track that enormous volume of test data. Therefore, about 80% of managers only spot-check test results for compliance with build/test requirements per network standards. Such testing verification raises the likelihood of poor-quality/delayed network installations, but when combined with frontline inefficiencies and bad, late and empty test data, testing management is further eroded and the probability of network construction difficulties is proportionally heightened.

Network field test process automation eliminates the problems associated with the typically inefficient and error-prone manual field testing approach by turning a complex administration-heavy process into a consistent simplified process on the frontline, thus optimizing network standards compliance and maximizing technician productivity. Network field test process analytics enable project managers to fully verify compliance with build/test specifications per network standards and empower managers/supervisors with timely actionable information by providing project visibility and tracking of user-defined metrics: high-level (e.g. construction progress, network quality, contractor efficiency and installation activity) and low-level (e.g. tests per day/technician, average test duration per technician and test duration breakdown). For network engineers/designers and operations, finance, product management and marketing executives at service providers, network field test process automation and analytics provides a foundation for the following successive, escalating benefits: faster and on-schedule deployments, high-quality network construction, reduced network installation time and costs, accelerated time-to-revenue for new services, reduced troubleshooting costs, sustained revenue from existing services, decreased subscriber churn, and enhanced and protected brand.

The basic technology pieces of any network field testing automation and analytics solution include:

  1. Centralized server with job templates, test configuration and test-result files, and metrics database.
  2. All-in-one intuitive test-unit application with support for multiple tests and these functions:
    1. Modify/run automated test sequences (job template instances) with predefined test-point (e.g. fiber-connector) labels and preconfigured tests (e.g. fiber inspection) with pass/fail thresholds.
    2. Dynamic test sequence reporting and automatic test-results logging, job closeout and test-results file (with predefined filename) uploading for results-to-metrics processing.
  3. Web-browser multidimensional metrics/dashboards.