ARIADNE – the guiding thread through the labyrinth of telecommunications.Kornél Kedvessy, Marketing & Sales Director of FlexiTon, talks to InterComms about the company’s ARIADNE product.
Q: Could you give me an overview of the company?
The company is dedicated to deliver turnkey solutions based on the ARIADNE product family developed by FlexiTon for telecommunication network operators. (The name “ARIADNE” comes from Greek mythology). The ARIADNE product family is a powerful set of solutions for network operators to make it possible to manage large, complex telecom networks.
Unlike most software houses, FlexiTon has also built-up a data engineering operation for high quality, large quantity data migration and production of digital maps, engineering documents and digital terrain models. For example, more than 7 million km2 of terrain, linear information, clutter, 3D building model databases from about 50 countries over five continents have been created for several clients including Nokia, Siemens, Vodafone, Pannon GSM, Westel, Nortel Networks, Istar, BKS and Infoterra.
Q: What distinguishes you from others?
There is no “box product” in this industry segment, so the success depends on how a project is organised and executed. We have over 1,000 man years of experience in telecoms management, so we speak their language and understand their problems. Therefore ARIADNE functionality provides solutions in full detail, it digs down to the root of the problems instead of only touching the problems on the surface. Our approach is professional, very flexible and customer focused.
A key to the success is a powerful and easy to use graphical interface. We follow the engineers’ working practices; they prefer to work with graphical information rather than explore figures and tables.
And finally the client can get a one-vendor solution for the software, data migration and project services during the execution of the project and after that. We’ve seen lot of unsuccessful projects due to vendors finger-pointing to each other.
Q: Could you give me an overview of the ARIADNE product line?
Q: What type of user are you targeting and in which countries and regions?
Our data services are delivered mainly to mobile and fixed line operators and big digital data provider organizations. Data services may be part of the ARIADNE project delivery or sold as an independent service.
Q: What is the regional breakdown of customers?
ARIADNE product family members are used in more than 50 cities; for example in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, München, Paris,Stuttgart, Tokyo, Valencia, Vienna and Zürich.
The ARIADNE product family members are used by Colt Telecommunications, PanTel, Invitel (ex-UTI and ex-Vivendi Telecom Hungary), VW NB (ex KPN NB), Balatel and a telecom company in Japan.
Q: What are the key benefits of the product to the user?
The large-scale data migration (data audit) results in highly consistent & accurate data. All the information on the network and its associated assets are migrated into a single database.Implementation of the systems removes dependency within a company. Over- reliance on a small group of people can create serious problems when they are ill, unavailable or leave the company. When a system includes all the critical and relevant information this dependency is minimal.Quick access to time critical data results in faster response times. When a problem occurs the maintenance staff know exactly where it is, what elements are involved and which customers are affected.The time and resources required for network planning, network records and network management activities are significantly reduced by using ARIADNE.Overall we believe that companies, who implement ARIADNE, see a return on their investment in six to twelve months.
Q: What do you estimate the savings that companies using your services have made?
Using ARIADNE, there are direct and indirect savings in a number of areas; staff reduction or re-allocation, maintenance cost saving, quicker response time to customers (resulting in winning more subscribers), more optimal use of existing network resources, higher quality service resulting in fewer SLA penalty payments and rapid and more accurate planning and decision making, to name a few.
Q: How does the system differ between the solutions you offer for business communications, PSTN and GSM/UMTS/GPRS?
All programs have the same outlook and have the same data representation philosophy. From a telecom business rule point of view, however, they match the needs of the particular customer segment: the ARIADNE/MNM – mobile network management, ARIADNE/TNM – business communication network management (outside & inside plant); the ARIADNE/ANM and ARIADNE/NMT – telephone subscriber network management
All the family members provide an end-user solution (even though customisation is always needed) to the network operator covering in a detailed and deep manner; network inventory, capacity management, planning, marketing support, workflow and in some cases even customer service and trouble ticketing.
Q: What measures are you taking to ensure that the man-machine interface is easy to use?
Therefore it takes only a couple of days for an engineer to learn how to use the system.
Q: How are you taking the product forward? What new functionality/releases do you plan in the near future?
Q: What are the important issues for telecommunications in Hungary and/or the region and how is that influencing what you do?
It seems that the situation is now getting better. Companies are starting to recover gradually and are starting to be open for system implementations like ARIADNE again.
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