The Strategic Advantage of Utilizing a Modern Network Inventory Management Solution

Network assets, such as routers and cables, are a fundamental component of communications services offered to customers. Accurate network inventory therefore is crucial for maintaining reliable and efficient operations. These solutions are responsible for keeping track of all the physical, logical, and virtual components of a network including devices, connections, and network overlays. Yet, not every solution is created equal, and service providers often face inventory challenges.  

One of the most significant challenges is data quality. High-quality data is essential for building an accurate representation, or digital twin, of the network. When operating with poor-quality data, significant problems can arise including incorrect decision-making, network downtime, re-work, negative customer experiences, and revenue loss.  

Reconciling data between the many different sources that contribute to a network inventory data set is a challenge that impacts the quality of data in the network inventory. This can include direct feeds from the devices themselves, network management systems, other OSS/ BSS solutions, and even other databases or data lakes. Without seamless integration, this process can be time-consuming and require manual intervention, which can in turn lead to delays and errors.  

Since network inventory solutions are a virtual representation, or digital twin, of the real network, service providers must also identify network changes and insights quickly to respond to network issues proactively. However, identifying these changes can be a daunting task, particularly when managing a large and complex network that is changing constantly.  

Perhaps the biggest challenge, and limitation, for a service provider is the utilization of a legacy network inventory management solution. Outdated, legacy solutions are inflexible and lack the necessary functionality to adapt to modern networks, especially those that involve virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN). Legacy inventory solutions are also ill-equipped to keep pace with changing conditions and demands within the network.  

While service providers require autonomous systems that improve operational efficiency, accuracy, and performance, legacy network inventory systems resemble outdated paper maps that require manual operation. Modern inventory solutions on the other hand provide comprehensive awareness across different network domains, enabling more efficient and informed decision-making.

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Unlike traditional network inventory software, dynamic inventory management solutions make it possible to efficiently operate the network from asset management to service delivery, assurance, and planning.  

Download our white paper “The Power of Network Inventory Solutions” to read more about the architecture of a modern inventory solution and how each component contributes to a functioning, high-performance network.