Last week we attended Project Rollout, the UK’s most important virtual event on the road to a gigabit-capable Britain. With over sixty expert speakers and 750 virtual attendees, Project Rollout provided comprehensive and interactive coverage of all the important issues, technologies, and strategies in 2021. A few of the big themes discussed were around using data to make informed decisions, the role of technology in the rollout of networks, and changes with Covid.
I had the opportunity to speak about how Sitetracker, a project and asset management software, helps solve challenges faced in fibre rollouts. I also chatted with Jack Whiteside (Product Owner, FTTP data & reporting, CTIO) and Michelle Wallo (Fibre Delivery & Programme Management) from Openreach about how Sitetracker and Openreach are working together to deploy fibre faster and more efficiently. Below are my takeaways.
Meet increasing demand with operational efficiency
When I reflect on the past year, one thing that sticks out to me is the amount of demand for connectivity. In my household alone, I counted 15 devices online at one time, the result of the entire family being home all day, every day. The demand for connectivity is higher than ever before, and the need for fibre is not slowing down. Openreach has met those challenges head-on by implementing tools to help improve their operational efficiency.
“The relentless pace of fibre rollout doesn’t stop for new ways of working (from home)” – Jack Whiteside
Drive decisions with accurate data
Pen and paper of the past won’t cut it for future fibre projects. Teams need access to the most accurate data, from the C-suite to teams in the field.
“The targets for hitting total homes passed are only getting incrementally bigger. We’re moving away from a paper-based way of deploying fibre.” – Michelle Wallo
“Having a standardized data set across all types of builds can give you the insights and analytics you need,” – Jack Whiteside
Purpose-built technology helps rollouts
One member of the audience asked “which areas of the business are seeing a skills shortage?” This question is one lots of folks are asking right now, and in our 2020 Telecom Survey, we found that 74% of respondents were nervous about skills shortages in the industry. Sitetracker acts as a skill equalizer – with an easy to use UI, users can be up and running in no time.
“Skill retention is going to be really key as we move forward. ” – Michelle Wallo
“One big problem statement for us was solving the disconnect between all the activities taking place in the field and relaying that information back to their desk-based teams” – Jack Whiteside
If you’d like to watch the full session you can do it here.