Skip to main content

The advantages of implementing automated inventory solutions in the telecom industry

Automated inventory refers to the use of technology and computer systems to monitor and manage a business’s inventory in an efficient and accurate manner. This approach largely eliminates the need to perform manual inventory counting and monitoring processes, allowing instead the use of advanced software solutions and automated identification technologies.

Laurențiu Baltaru, GIS Consultant within Realworld Eastern Europe, a company specialized in the provision of software services, believes that the obvious advantages of integrating automated inventory in the telecommunications industry can be deduced from the two terms. On the one hand, inventory – representing the digitalization of inventory: the real record of the elements on which the offered services are based, the availability of resources in order to diversify or allocate new services and the planning of resources as an indispensable action in the development of services. On the other hand, automated – representing the automation of inventory documentation and processes that depend on inventory data or interact directly or indirectly with this component.

The main advantages of the integration of such a system should be mentioned: the elimination of repetitive actions having as the first effect the relief of human resources from monotonous activities and double checks, the complete or partial automation of complex processes in which different departments and applications are involved, as well as inventory synchronization through correction or update processes from various data sources, whether we are talking about interaction with equipment management systems, import of network plans or orders from various processes (work planning, defects, service management)“, says Laurentiu Baltaru

An automated inventory solution (AIS) can have a significant business impact for a telecommunications operator, enjoying a lot of benefits.

• These include reducing operational costs, by reducing the time and costs required to maintain and update inventory, but also increasing operational efficiency, by optimizing the use of equipment and network resources.

• Also not to be neglected is improving the customer experience by identifying and fixing problems faster, which can reduce service downtime and increase customer satisfaction.

• Optimizing speed to market by identifying network investment and upgrade needs more quickly can enable the company to react nimbly to market changes and launch new services faster.

• Increasing network security and reducing the risk of human error or security issues is another important benefit.

“The goal of a successful business is to have happy customers, and this means that market analysis, resource planning, contract initiation and above all keeping the service active are processes that require absolute control, which can only be achieved by automating the processes that connect various systems and supported by a resource record system (inventory) as accurate as possible“, said Laurentiu Baltaru.

Inventory automation is a growing solution on the Romanian market, and the development potential is very high, including other industries outside of telecommunications.

“There is room for growth in Romania, especially in the field of telecommunications, but it is also valid for utility companies: water, gas, electricity. If there are still actions on the “automation” side (shy or not), network inventory is a sensitive and difficult topic, and even if there are solutions already implemented, either they have not been used or they have not been updated, the discrepancy between the field and the application being sometimes so large that extra validations or even auditing are needed,” says the representative of Realworld Eastern Europe.

The company, with headquarters worldwide and a top player in the profile market, proposes an automated inventory solution based on 3 components.

CROSS, used as network inventory because it is a platform built on top of modern technologies, designed to aggregate all network resources in a unique model, regardless of technology. It features a number of specific features and several important modules, including:

SYNCHRO – synchronization mode with various data sources from new or legacy systems, allowing complete data migration (initial popularization or replacement of older platforms) or continuous synchronization with management systems on various technologies;

CROSS API – REST interfaces that allow complete data control through external mechanisms;

CROSS ALARMER – the mode whose role is to identify resources or services affected by incidents in the network, as well as finding the most likely cause (Service Impact Analysis and Root Cause Analysis).

DTS (Data Transit System) as an integrator system capable of ensuring secure access to data from various systems at the database level (tables, stored procedures, etc.), web-services or functionality at the application level (through dedicated libraries).

CORTEX as a business process orchestrator having two important roles: defining the “overall” business process and identifying the areas that can be optimized / automated, and implementing the end-to-end process, managing in an easy and unified way the logic behind the flows in terms of data direction, interaction between systems and reaction (notifications to the user or other systems).

“Realworld Systems has created an integrated and complex solution that includes several types of existing automated inventory tools and that adapts to the needs of each client. We focused on the development of the 3 automation systems, namely: the inventory system, which manages network resources geographically and topologically allowing automation, the integration system, which is the link between the inventory system and the orchestration system, responsible for defining and managing the flows of actions and data between applications as part of business processes”, concluded Laurentiu Baltaru.

Companies that want to implement such a solution should take into account a number of aspects that cannot be neglected, including: functionality, scalability, integration, support and assistance, costs and data security, but also the fact that automation involves an analysis of activities and existing, manual or semi-automatic, intra or inter-departmental processes and defining new optimized flows and the systems or resources involved.

Inventory automation represents a significant technological innovation in effective network management. By eliminating manual processes and adopting software solutions and advanced technologies, companies can benefit from increased precision, accuracy and efficiency in the inventory management process, automated inventory bringing numerous advantages that can contribute to the long-term success of a business.

Realworld Systems and Cortex® supports Orange Romania in accelerating its automation journey for IT operations

Realworld Systems and Cortex® support Orange Romania in accelerating its automation journey for IT operations

By Kate Evans – Cortex

Realworld Systems and Cortex® are proud to be one of the main partners of Orange Romania supporting and accelerating their automation journey for IT operations.

Orange Romania is future-proofing its IT operations to meet tomorrow’s challenges. Intelligent Automation will enable Orange to accelerate their evolution with new technologies, manage increasingly complex networks, and support next-generation load. The strategic move to automation centric operations will ensure continuing service delivery excellence through increased efficiency, reliability, and placing customer experience at the heart of operations.

To facilitate this, Orange Romania turned to Realworld Systems, a world-wide integrator that builds, sells, and implements intelligent solutions to accelerate digital transformation with who they have a trusted working relationship.

“Business expectations from IT are quite straightforward: simplicity, fast time to market, performance and reliability. Discussing with different IT leaders, always the same question arises: how to transform your organization to achieve these “straightforward” expectations?

Achieving simplicity and fast time to market without trading off performance and reliability, (unintuitively) means that your IT ecosystem gets even more complex. Therefore, one of the key ingredients is cultivating and nurturing an automation mindset inside your organization. Automation has to come by design!

In Orange Romania we are quite advanced in the automation journey (CI/CD, IaC, intelligent operations, etc), however, we consider it key to accelerate even more the automation of our end-to-end process.

Cortex and RealWorld are one of our main partners in this automation journey, proposing the strategies, methods and technology that will make this journey a success. After less than 3 months, we are starting to see the results and they are quite impressive!” Horia Stefanescu, Head of IT Operations, Orange Romania

“Automation is a central point inside the IT operations Strategy, as part of our digital transformation, with great focus and commitment from all the involved parties. We believe that through intelligent automation we can achieve our goal to deliver reliable and seamless services to our customers. Besides the tool, which is also important, we needed partners who can support us through the automation journey and empower us with the right methodologies in order to implement automation efficiently and timely.

Together with Realworld Systems and Cortex, we can achieve our goal to implement intelligent automation by using the best combination between the tool and mindset.” Marian Merisescu, Lead Automation Architect, Orange Romania

The Realworld Systems ethos, of supporting companies on a strategic, tactical, and operational level, mirrors the Cortex mission of a “World where everyone can automate” through technological accessibility and innovations in strategies and methodologies for success in Intelligent Automation. The partnership came together following TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World 2019. It combines two decades of Realworld Systems’ extensive experience in digital transformation with the industry-leading innovation of Cortex’s and two decades of success in developing and delivering Intelligent Automation software.
“We are delighted that Orange Romania selected Realworld and Cortex for delivering the solution for automating its IT Operations landscape. This is just the beginning of a journey that aims for a radical business transformation that will allow Orange to deal with the increasing complexity of its IT Operations and Network landscape. Realworld is committed to assist its long-time customer Orange Romania, and to deliver the best strategies and methodologies in implementing intelligent automation,” Bogdan Hebean, Business Development Lead at RealWorld Systems said.

A proven, unique engagement process began in late 2019, with a Cortex Kickstarter™ project that goes beyond a traditional POC. In two days, this provides a rapid prototype intelligent automation solution, applied in context for Orange. The initial automation focus of IT Ops was driven by the ongoing convergence of IT and network operations. With impending pressure from new technologies such as 5G, SDN, NFV, microservices and cloud transformation, IT infrastructure is ever more vital to underpin service operations. Phase one of the intelligent automation initiative, a Cortex Launch Program™, guarantees tangible outcomes within 3 months.
“The future of work where intelligent machines can share the burden of ever more complex, and demanding operations. We are excited to be bringing the strategies, methods, and technology we have developed over the last 3 decades to enable Orange to be successful in this transformation. Our experience in major communication service providers combined with intelligent automation will provide Orange with the accelerate the release of the highly skilled workforce to support the evolving world of 5G, SDN, NFV, cloud transformation and microservices,” Jonathan Hobday, Commercial Director at Cortex, concludes.

Realworld Eastern Europe and CROSS selected by AFR-IX

CROSS selected by pan-African carrier AFR-IX to boost operational performance.

Gearing up for growth – moving from open source to centralised network inventory management

Recently, we closed a contract with a fast-growing, pan-African carrier and service provider, AFR-IX. Our new client has built an advanced, Cisco-based network to deliver connectivity services across the African continent. The portfolio includes L2/L3 services, direct internet access, international private leased circuits, as well as managed co-location services.

With a growing footprint of data centres and surging customer demand for reliable, cost-effect connectivity solutions, AFR-IX had enjoyed great success. However, managing this growing footprint began to present challenges.

In particular, the ability to deliver new services, quickly and easily, while delivering promised SLAs became increasingly difficult for AFR-IX. Both factors are key differentiators against established and incumbent providers, with legacy processes. Maintaining the operational and service agility became a key strategic goal for the leadership team.

From open source to a proven, future-proof, consolidated solution

Until recently, AFR-IX had relied on an open-source inventory management solution across its growing footprint. However, this had a number of limitations which negatively impacted operational performance – and created barriers to future growth. To retain competitive advantage, the carrier decided to invest in a new, centralised solution.

We’re thrilled to announce that CROSS has been chosen by AFR-IX, and will become the new, consolidated common inventory platform to help support the carrier’s growth and performance optimisation plans.

As a result of the deployment, all network components – switches and routers – will be integrated with CROSS. The auto-discovery tools will enable detailed information regarding resource availability and location (for example, devices, cards, ports and transceivers) to be obtained, when required – accelerating deployment times.

The project is in its early stages but will also extend to CRM integration for sales and order management, with automation planned as an additional step to create zero-touch processes.

All in all, it’s an exciting project that takes CROSS to another network operator that’s seeking to build competitive advantage – AFR-IX. Watch this space for future updates!


Groundwater Office at Water Corporation





Groundwater asset information was previously stored across multiple systems within Water Corporation. This data was managed by various business units creating duplication of information and the loss of information considered not important. Investigations relating to groundwater were thus time consuming and resource heavy creating delays in providing advice and additional time allocations/rework for each project. Further, some regulatory commitments were not being entirely met and quality assurances of the data could not be guaranteed.

The catalyst for change was caused when a production bore in the Leederville aquifer was proposed within the Whitfords Borefield to provide flexibility in Perth’s Integrated Water Supply Scheme. However, a Leederville bore had been previously been drilled at this site identifying unsuitable water quality. The report identifying the water quality was not easily accessible and only a casual conversation at the planning phase identified the issue. This resulted in a cost avoidance of ~$2,500,000 in rework associated with completing a production well in this area and saving 6-9 months in project delay.

Water Corporation investigated several products that would provide:

  • A central data source that could provide a ‘Source of Truth’ on hydrogeological information;
  • Ability to capture all information in a consistent approach (QA/QC);
  • Integration with the Asset Registration process; and
  • A tool for ongoing Asset Management and Operations.

Water Corporation identified a combination of Smallworld’s Groundwater Office and GeODin software as the preferred solution. In addition, Groundwater Office (GWO) provided the ability to link with other databases to provide a ‘One-Stop-Shop’, in particular ODSS which stores water quality and summarised operational data.

GeODin is a platform designed to aid with a consistent approach to documentation of hydrogeological and drilling data. The system provides a method by which all those involved in groundwater investigations and drilling data acquisition, analysis and reporting may remain aligned with a consistent and proper documentation standard. It also allows for consultants to have a tool for direct input of data into Water Corporations system without the need for double handling of the data.

GWO is the repository of groundwater bore/well related data which can then be utilised with other programs throughout Water Corporation. It is connected to SAP, Water Office, and ODSS to ensure there is a single point of truth for all data and has the ability to output data into specifically designed reports within GWO or other programs including Datalab and GeODin.

Even though the current migration and use of GWO is still in its infancy, significant efficiencies have already been seen on a day-to-day review of data. The biggest challenge has been aligning the data within several databases into one repository, especially where conflicting information may exist. Changes have been completed on an incremental basis: firstly inputting the data into GWO; secondly aligning with asset registration information; thirdly the inclusion of new data; and finally an iterative approach to ongoing QA/QC of data. This method has meant that while data currently may not be accurate, consistency across different systems has now occurred and allows for changes to be made in one location, GWO, which can then be reflected across the different systems.

GWO also has significant functionality that is currently not being utilised. With its highly flexible framework allowing for complex queries, the data can be interrogated in infinite ways allowing for the system to be set up for risk assessments and asset management. The ability to store specific filters allows for regular tasks to be set up and saved by more experienced administrative users, making the queries available for general users at the click of a button. Its flexibility with connecting to other databases will also allow for all data collected by Water Corporation to potentially be available within the one database.