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Background

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is India’s oldest and largest telecommunication company. Realising that it desperately needed to expand its mobile network in Western India, BSNL turned to Alcatel-Lucent.

The project – appropriately named BSNL 9M - referred to the 9 million additional 2G and 3G mobile lines that Alcatel-Lucent needed to deliver.

This would require the design and build of over 5,500 3G cell sites, plus the upgrading of over 7,000 existing 2G sites – all spread across 4 circles.

For Alcatel-Lucent, tying to manage their obligations under the project required some heavy lifting. Initially they began managing the work through a series of spreadsheets but major problems soon arose; in particular:

  • Significant inaccuracies within the base data
  • Excessive administration and analytical staff required to compensate for reliance on inadequate tools
  • Slow communication of progress and constraints resulted in avoidable operational delays
  • Inaccuracies and delays in stakeholder reporting
  • Reliance on manual processes and bad data resulted in operational bottlenecks

As a result of the above problems, it soon became apparent that the project was difficult enough without adding further complexity through a reliance on inadequate tools and manual processes.

What was needed was a more robust and efficient solution. And so after a formal evaluation process, Alcatel-Lucent chose the iTools Telecom work management solution.

The Challenge

The challenge facing the iTools team was to deliver a fully functional solution within 3 months. Ultimately this required the following major activities to be completed:

  • Cleansing the existing data and seamless migrating into the iTools Telecom solution
  • Translating the existing (yet undocumented) businesses processes into more streamlined and automated equivalents which were then configured within the software
  • Ensuring that the reporting requirements (already defined) could be automated within the software
  • Cutting over to the live solution over a weekend to ensure the project didn’t miss a beat

 

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The Solution

Whilst the volume of activities itself was enormous, things were made even more complex by the fact that Alcatel-Lucent were relying on over 130 different field service companies to complete the lion’s share of the work. Each of these companies were set up within iTools so as to allow for seamless communication and collaboration amongst all parties.

The project was also subject to stringent reporting requirements – which required daily updates to be provided to senior management within Alcatel-Lucent and weekly reporting to BSNL. Here, iTools’ Performance Management module was utilised in order to automate all the reporting requirements.

For each cell site, Alcatel-Lucent had to manage progress from the point the site was made available to them all the way through to final acceptance testing. This included reporting on when the site was cleared and when installation & commissioning had been completed. Each of these major milestones was set up in iTools, therefore ensuring that the status of every single site was clearly known.

Heavy emphasis was also placed on tracking the infrastructure equipment – from central warehouse to its safe arrival on site. This included everything from the Ground Base Tower (GBT) itself to the iron cages, shelters, battery banks, power plants, AC and MW equipment. All of these infrastructure-based tasks were therefore loaded into iTools.

A further requirement was to be able to proactively manage project constraints within iTools. This required 4 major constraint categories and 25 detailed reason codes to be created in order for the team to know where the bottlenecks were, what was causing them and who was responsible for removing them.

The Result

In less than 3 months, iTools delivered a fully operational system that made the spreadsheets redundant and delivered huge efficiency gains.

In total over 250,000 activities were loaded and managed within iTools.

 

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