Local Network Management System an experience in AM/FM project implementation in Telekom Malaysia
Ir Lai Hook Kian
Head of LNMS Project Team, Telekom Malaysia
9’hFloor, Bangunan Telekom Brickfields,
Jalan Tun Sambanthan
50470 Kuala Lumpur
The paper will highlight the applications, the justifications for a complete roll-out of the AM/FM system in Telekom Malaysia, a telecommunication operator in Malaysia with four millions subscribers base, as part of the corporate IT plan to meet competitions now and the years ahead. In addition, it will highlight implementation strategy for the fast country-wide deployment, the benefits now realized with the AM/FM application. The justification for an in-house data conversion program will also be discussed.
Telekom Malaysia is the main telecommunicationcompany in Malaysia. The company provides all types of telecommunication services to its growing customer base of about four million. The network facilities has been expanding at a very fast pace since the introduction of competition in the telecommunication industry in Malaysia. As a result of this expansion, it is becoming more difficult to cope with planning and managing the growing customer access network through the conventional method of manual drafting and paper records. Over the years, with movement of personnel and offices, the quality and completeness of paper record has deteriorated significantly. It is increasingly difficult for engineer to obtain quality paper record for planning as well as maintenance of the network, thus delaying Telekom Malaysia capability to response to market demand.
Realizing the importance of response time to market demand in the competitive environment, both in new network requirement as well as maintenance of existing, Telekom Malaysia embarked on an ambitious program of computerization to overhaul the method of planning and management of customer access network. The project LNMS was thus initiated in 1990, for a field trial of using AM/FM technology to replace manual planning and management of customer access network.
After a long pilot project, lasting from 1990 to 1995, a decision was made to implement the system nation wide in May 1995. An intemationaltender was called in October 1995. Since then, the project has progress at a very fast pace, completing stage 1 of implementation in 7 regional offices, and it is now at the second stage of nation wide roll-out to 7 more regional offices with 5 remote sites.
The overall mission of LNMS project is to plan, develop an implement an interactive computer graphic mapping and facility management for the Customer Access Network. The following are the major objectives of LNMS:
The LNMS project is to be implemented in two phases, i.e:
Pilot implementation at 2 exchange areas. The purpose of the pilot implementation is to fully test the developed application system and to gauge the extent of conversion requirements
National roll-out after completion of Phase I will be phased by Regions to more than 500 exchange areas covering an approximately 330,000 sq. km. of land. The roll-out involves extensive effort to convert over 40,000 physical maps and transform local network planning, development and management function into LNMS.
The implementation of Phase 2 is staggered over 2 stages. Stage 1 involves 7 planning sites whereas Stage 2 involve a further 7 planning sites with 5 remotes site connection.
Phase 1 Implementation
In October 1991, Phase 1 commenced. The scope of work for Phase 1 comprises the development of applications and data conversion of two pilot exchange areas, with about 20,000 ECP each. The project was completed in 1994. Implementation of Phase 1 has provided a valuable experience to the project team. Amongst others, important lessons learned from the implementation are:
Phase 2 Implementation
Critical Success Factors
Other than having a strong project team, two factors were identified as critical to the successful implementation of LNMS Phase 2 project. They are :
The management in approving the implementation of Phase 2, has requested the project team to implement the roll-out in the shortest possible timeframe. The company must benefit from the investment as soon as possible. From the experience of Phase 1 implementation, the project team begin to formulate the implementation strategy for Phase 2. The following was decided:
The major benefit of integrating production of new network with in-house conversion areas follow:
LNMS Phase 2 contains about 70% of Phase 1 application functionalities. The development of the software with full testing took about a year to complete. Major functional modules included in LNMS Phase 2 LNMS’Sareas follow:
Stage 1 of implementation involving 7 Customer Access Network Planning site has been implemented, and new network are planned using the system. Data conversion process has started, and about 30°/0of the network has been converted. The network will be fully converted by end of 1998. Stage 2 of implementation involving 7 main sites and 5 remote site has commenced and by June 1998, all sites will plan through the system. Data conversion for stage 2 is expected to complete by December 2001.
To obtain the support of top management, many presentations and briefings were held at the start of the LNMS Phase 2 implementation. Top management from the chief executive to management personnel from human resource, finance and network planning were invited. The project team highlighted various benefit of the system and importance of the system to the company and managed to gain the full hearted support of top management.
Project Implementation Committee
Project steering committee, chaired by the Senior Vice President of network services, oversees the overall implementation of the project. A user committee was setup to review application functionalitiesto ensure that all users will accept the system eventually.
Implementing at Site
The introduction of AM/FM system to regional planning offices requires careful planning and execution of plan. It is important to convince planners who are used to old system, to migrate to new ways of planning. As such, involving users in every stage of the project is extremely important. User must understand the project, its benefit and the impact to them. As such, in implementing the system at each site, the project teams has drawn up the following program:
Production Process Flow
To implement the strategy of production with in-house data conversion, the following process flow has been designed.
The process flow will allow planners to start using LNMS as soon as the Iandbase conversion is completed. However, to make it effective, planners will need proper Organisation structure to support LNMS production process
To implement of LNMS production process, the following organization structure was created.
Data conversion involves the conversion of two basic data: graphic and non-graphic (textual). In order to achieve continuity both type of data are ‘link’and integrated. Therefore, the content of the database is the model of the real network.
The model comprises of- Landbase; Detail Duct and Cable Network; Fundamental Duct and Cable Network and Duct Space Record.
The following describe the steps involved in LNMS Conversion:
Prior to any conversion process, management information tool which comprises of Man-hour and Document Control System will be established:
Before any new schemes can be converted in the system, inventory of available maps and plans against data requirements for affected existing network is required. A source data matrix will be produced in this process which identifies and list the master and supporting source of information for each attribute. Using this matrix, the process of data gathering can be streamline. Searching of information will limit to the available source documents only.
During preparation process, non-availabledata will be identified. If data required fall under critical data for designing of new scheme, field survey will be done for affected area only. Otherwise a default value will be written to indicate the need to update at the latter stage.
The first step of LNMS conversion is to start with the creation of a land database. The landbase will be used on]y as graphic presentation basically for the network facility locational referencing. Attributes associated to the Iandbase, such as street name, land use, ownership, etc will be captured in the selected environment during detail cable path conversion process.
The Malaysia map have been compiled on the standard Malaysia Rectified Skew Orthomorphic (RSO) Projection system.
The following describes the steps used in conversion:
Scan existing landbase
The land source documents gather in pre-conversionphase will be scanned. Once completed, the raster data will undergo further processes i.e:
Overview procedures for each network model are described below
The LNMS will yield a number of benefits to Telekom Malaysia. Firstly, it revolutionizes network recording. It provides the foundation for improving the quality, accuracy, uniformity and readability of Outside Plant records. It provides computer aided map and drawing functionality and capacity as well as the automatic production of reports on the network activities. Secondly, it enables automatic planning and design. It provides ability to perform automated engineering analysis. It provides more accurate, consistent and easily maintained plant location records at reduce operating expense. Thirdly, it provides improve project control & monitoring. It streamlines work order process with computer-based system. It automatically tracks and updates graphic and non-graphic records and it generates highly accurate and responsive engineering records. Lastly, it provides effective management of information. It provides a central database for Customer Access Network information and easy access to existing plant data and modeling tools for market analysis network engineering design and subscribers projection.
In conclusion, in response to the rapidly growing customers access network in the increasingly competitive environment, LNMS can provide a useful and efficient tool for planning, maintenance and management of the large and complex local network.
The salient features of the LNMS are the mechanization of the database and planning activities. By integrating and automate many of the functions related to planning, and streamlining the present work, LNMS can offer much benefit in producing plan as well as cost savings.
However, like any newly introduced information systems, the users (Perancangan CAN staff) must be mobilized and motivated to adapt to and adopt the new work environment in order that the full potentials of the LNMS can be truly realized.
I wish to express my thanks to Mr Tan Yong Teck and Madame Norliza Jaafar for their contribution and ideas in preparing this paper.