Overcome the CAPEX challenges: ROC Asset Assurance
According to a PwC survey telecoms operators indicated that they could be wasting up to 20% or $65 billion/year in capex and in the last decade the long term return on investment (ROI) has been 6%, three percent less than the cost of capital. Their survey also revealed that the current capex process was deeply flawed and capex decisions were driven by technology and not business and commercial objectives. These findings are not surprising given that the asset lifecycle transcends multiple functions each of who have their own information data bases and processes to aid decision making. But lack of data quality in these information data bases, absence of a holistic view of budgets, assets, programs coupled with missing insights results in poor decision making and diluted accountability.
Traditionally telecom operators have deployed stakeholder specific solutions to aid capex decision making. For example, Finance has budget planning, Fixed Asset Register (FAR), manual regulatory and audit compliance focuses, which are mostly BSS functions, whereas the networks team have deployed OSS solutions such as inventory systems, asset management systems, as their primary sources of asset information. But lack of synchronization of these information databases results in visibility and governance issues and thereby making collective and business relevant decisions on CAPEX a challenging task.
Fig 1: Finance and Network Operations have different views of assets
There has long been an acknowledgement among many operators on the short comings associated with governance of the asset lifecycle. To optimize network capital spending and remain profitable, effective collaboration among various stakeholders, in particular finance and network, is essential. The CTO within an operator wants to know whether all network assets are being used with the greatest possible efficiency while being able to ward off competitive pressures, whereas the CFO wants to be assured that the capital is being efficiently deployed where it is needed. The ambitions and objectives of both the CTO and CFO organization can be met by bringing them on to a common platform and rolling out an effective asset assurance program that will give them the confidence that their network can grow to meet market demands while guaranteeing ROI on every dollar of capital budget spent.
Network analytics applied at each stage of the asset lifecycle can result in significant capital savings annually for the operator. The CAPEX problem requires complete, holistic views into current assets as well as the consumption and placement of those assets. This problem also requires comprehensive analytics that are not only descriptive (show current states, trending etc.), but also predictive, to accurately predict asset exhaustion, procurement triggering levels, time to value, necessary asset warehouse levels, impacts of failure and growth rates on sparing levels, and retirement strategies.