Push-button site management technology for the challenging African market
Nexsysone draws together critical operational data into an easy-to-use platform
Read this article to learn:
How nexsysone grew from Finnish roots to lead the Myanmar market
How integrating data onto one platform can improve efficiency, visibility and tenant relationships
The importance of ongoing training for workers in the field
The growth of mobile solutions to enable visibility across a portfolio
Nexsysone had the vision to take the software from a global system integrator and apply it to the burgeoning tower industry.
Focussing on their core market of telecoms, nexsysone offers operators, towercos and system integrators an integrated software platform to deliver
turnkey projects from site acquisition to tower site sharing and network maintenance. Having been used exclusively to support Lemcon Networks projects
across 40 countries since 1996, nexsysone has now become the software platform of choice in Myanmar. The next step for nexsysone is to embed itself
further into the African market to help facilitate the growing tower sharing market.
TowerXchange: Tell us about nexsysone’s current offering and footprint?
Nexsysone is a system that has been moulded through 20 years of experience of designing, building and operating mobile networks. We have secured two thirds of Myanmar market because of the completeness and suitability of our offering.
Consistently, in all the deployments I have been involved with over the last 20 years, we’ve found that operators, and now towercos, require a scalable management system managed through a single interface. They need to: consolidate documentation; control progress; manage leases, rental billing, and cost control; maintain the network; provide quality assurance; manage their workforce; provide end-to-end asset management; consolidate RMS data; and develop the competence of their resources and subcontractors. Our offering has five software modules which address all these issues. For us it’s all about synchronizing the data and aligning processes between departments and companies into a single interface to manage communication within turnkey projects.
Currently our busiest regions are the USA and Myanmar. In Myanmar two of the three MNOs (Ooredoo and MPT) use nexsysone to manage their rollouts. This means it is being used by all the active towercos, system integrators and OEMs in Myanmar. The Myanmar network rollout is a greenfield network rollout with a strong focus on site sharing. In the USA, Mycom International use our software to manage their extensive Sprint, Verizon and AT&T turnkey rollouts. We’re also in Zimbabwe, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
TowerXchange: What drivers are making your clients make the switch to nexsysone’s solutions? Is the decision simply financial?
I firmly believe that it is the tacit knowledge that exudes from nexsysone that appeals to our customers.
It is a robust and dependable solution, with an unrivalled history of experience inside it. So no, it is not just a financial decision. It is all about understanding our customer needs and adapting the system to meet them. No project is ever the same. I worked on enough to know that!
To understand nexsysone it is important to understand its history and pedigree. Nexsysone is not new to the telecoms industry. Nexsysone was part of Lemcon Networks until 3 years ago. Lemcon was a Finnish system integrator operating in 40 countries across five continents, which grew with Nokia in the 90s and 2000s. When Lemcon’s parent company divested I took full ownership of nexsysone. Nexsysone was at the heart of planning, building, integrating, upgrading and modernising well over 150,000 cell sites since 1996. It was a system my team and I designed and built for our company. We were constantly adapting it to meet the challenges of the dynamic telecoms industry.
It is all about understanding our customer needs and adapting the system to meet them. No project is ever the same. I worked on enough to know that!
It is a product that helped me manage some of the world’s toughest rollouts and implement game changing rollout management strategies, which are now common practices.
Having used our solution, towercos come to us with their own requests for additional stand-alone features, or to integrate their existing systems with nexsysone. Nexsysone allows them to confidentially manage their own projects or unrelated projects. They also have other projects on going and other things happening that doesn’t necessarily need to be shared – meaning they need their own central asset database for example for passive infrastructure or task work force management solutions.
TowerXchange: How does the relationship between nexsysone, operator and towerco work?
Nexsysone is the relationship between the operator and the towerco. We work together with our customers and their supplier ecosystem so that nexsysone defines those relationships.
In Myanmar our first customers were the operators Ooredoo and MPT. Nexsysone binds the objectives and operations of their stakeholders together, and has become the primary single source of truth for official project communication and progress measurement.
Any experienced rollout manager will tell you that the biggest challenge in every large rollout is getting all the stakeholders on the same page. In its simplest form, it boils down to inter- and intra- company communication. We understand the conflicts that arise between stakeholders in a rollout. In a towerco scenario we focus on making the agreements between operators and towercos as transparent as possible. Transparency reduces unnecessary communication and improves time to market.
Time to market is critical during a new rollout. Harmonising the complex needs of marketers, planners, designers, OEMs and contractors, with different priorities in different companies is essential. Providing a single interface to attain efficient interaction is the key. And that is where nexsysone comes in.
TowerXchange: Tell us more about how you help operators and towercos work together more effectively? How does that stack up against the other options on the market?
We listen and customize nexsysone to meet our customers’ exact requirements.
Whilst the macro objective is always the same: build the best network for the lowest cost in the quickest time; the processes to get there are always different. Different countries require different permits and different acquisition procedures. Efficient construction methods differ from country to country, so lead times differ. Contract and regulatory requirements mandate a different focus and priority. All these issues must be captured within the management system if the project is to run successfully.
Choosing a system to manage your project or network is all about saving money, improving efficiency and obtaining visibility. Once you have made the decision to spend hard fought budget on such a system, it must deliver for you. We believe nexsysone offers the best value in the market in this regard. We don’t just invest in standardisation; we invest in customisation. As a result our approach allows us to deliver highly customised solutions at very affordable costs.
TowerXchange: Which of your applications is most popular? Why do you think that is?
The Projectone and Towerone platforms are the most popular. They are the most popular, because they are the applications needed at the start of the rollout. As time progresses our customers may expand their used modules. Assetone, Taskone and Staffone may come into play as their pain point shifts. We however with our project experience try to address these future pain points before they happen by implementing the correct customized platform from day one.
Our project management platform is popular but it focusses on the actual site build process rather than the site sharing process. It therefore has a lot more features. Towerone captures the processes of sharing sites. All the modules are extremely scalable and designed to work together.
Light versions have been used by system integrators for simple milestone tracking, documentation control and quality assurance.
The taskone platform manages the workforce’s daily activities is becoming very popular. Its attraction is that it helps manage operational teams, and more significantly it measures their performance. It comes with an advanced geo locator to track the location of resources or teams with an associated easy to use ticketing system. Site build and maintenance tasks are made easy with taskone.
The mobile apps which are integrated in to our system are very popular. They provide field resources, project managers and executives quick access to key project or company KPIs.
TowerXchange: How would you sum up the lessons learned from working with towerco and MNO partners in Africa?
In our experience, the focus in Africa is competence development. And more importantly the management of competence development in the field.
Constantly changing technology, and the availability of skilled resources means our customers typically rely on trained expatriate resources in Africa. This results in an artificially high cost base. Staffone addresses this pain point by combining the feedback from passive and active network elements (RMS systems and Base Station alarms) with field team’s operational data. Staffone allows you to track your employees or your subcontractor employees. It allows you to register and monitor their skill set, as well as any network issues linked specially to their actions needed in the field. The result allows our customers to develop highly focused and effective training sessions that address issues which are adversely effecting SLA performance.
Constantly changing technology, and the availability of skilled resources means our customers typically rely on trained expatriate resources in Africa. This results in an artificially high cost base
What we do in practice is to register all the staff into Staffone and track their competencies via a unique staff ID number. We register their skill sets and schedule and track their training. As an optional service, we offer training and build modal sites to continually train employees or contractors.
For example, if a worker has performed a maintenance task on a generator multiple times, but the same failure continues to reoccur, Staffone helps us recognize this. Appropriate training is devised and implemented to stop the mistake from being made again. This improves staff satisfaction and hence retention, and therefore leads to reduced costs in the long run.
TowerXchange: As well as integrating acquired towers into their portfolios, towercos are investigating BTS opportunities – can you talk us through some of the challenges they face in optimising both types of opportunity and how nexsysone can help?
I am no stranger to multi-project environments. Nexsysone came about to better manage multiple sub projects within a bigger project. In fact this is the reason behind our modular approach.
It allows a combined internal view without compromising the external view. This is critical to towercos involved in various BTS programmes with different customers. Internally it is one project, however, externally it can be reported in whichever way suits the respective customers.