CellTracker – the Solution of Choice for Process Management
InterComms talks to Mike McPherson, CEO of ctNova and Péter Szabó, Marketing & Sales Director of FlexiTon
The article in the Intercomms magazine
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In today’s fast changing business environment companies need to use their resources more and more efficiently. In order to be competitive and successful, processes inside and outside of the organisation must be kept under control and continuously improved. If a company neglects to take these steps it may face higher costs, declining revenues, eroding customer and staff satisfaction and may end up being out of business. The first and most obvious processes were the various construction, roll-out and order handling projects, however similar processes can be defined for any other areas within the organisations.
The essence of process management is to build up a systematic approach to make workflow effective, efficient and flexible enough to accept further changes. Even the first step of analysing workflow, the focused examination of the details can highlight the weak points of the current working method, expose risks, redundancies as well as areas of improvements. Beside the improved efficiency and business agility, a well-designed process management tool can also help eliminate human errors, resulting in less administrative load on the contributors and reducing the miscommunication among the different organisations.
Important criteria of a process management solution are:
- It can replicate the every details of the processes of the organisation without compromise
- It can easily and quickly adapt to changes in the operational environment
- It provides possibilities for continuous improvement
CellTracker Limited was formed in 1996. We have installations around the globe, initially for rollout of new networks. Over time, as new mobile technologies came on-stream we were able to manage the upgrades simply by changing the customer’s configuration.
In 2005 we re-structured and became ctNova Limited. Company strategy is to maintain CellTracker’s leading position as management database of choice for network roll-out and to extend this though partnerships and acquisitions.
We continually review our products and services by both internal and external quality audits to ensure that we offer professional and high quality products and services.
ctNova Ltd is a financially independent, privately owned British company with over 25 years’ experience in the mobile market.
CellTracker (the product) is a very flexible database and process management tool. It allows rapid and agile deployment with a fine-grained security model that provides precise access to the right data for the right people.
It has built in interfaces to allow connection to Microsoft Office suite for direct preparation of documents and spreadsheets, as well as sending emails as part of the process.
An important part of the flexibility of CellTracker is that implementation includes delivery of the full development suite that we use to build a customer configuration. Full training is provided so customers can make their own changes and enhancements themselves.
The licensing model is also unique to CellTracker. We allow unlimited numbers of users to access the CellTracker system. Instead we license by Site. After all it is the Sites that generate the revenue, not the users!
In 2006 we participated in an RFP, and both CellTracker and FlexiTon’s ARIADNE/Mobile solution were sold to a mobile operator in Pakistan. That project was the starting point of a deeper co-operation between the two companies. In 2008 an agreement was signed to interface CellTracker with the ARIADNE products and to co-ordinate marketing and sales activities. CellTracker was integrated with FlexiTon’s ARIADNE product family offering the telecom operators a wider, integrated OSS solution for the complete lifecycle. The members of the ARIADNE family cover the network inventory, planning, capacity management and optimisation tasks of both fixed-line and mobile operators. The combination also enables the operators to manage their processes efficiently from network planning, through implementation, operation and maintenance to site decommissioning.
Several years of joint efforts resulted widening the scope of co-operation by establishing the CellTracker Centre of Excellence in Budapest in 2014. All new CellTracker projects are managed by the CCE. ctNova continues to provide technical expertise and second line support to the Centre of Excellence, as well as developing new features in collaboration with FlexiTon. The CCE provides customisation, system integration, data migration and other project services for both CellTracker and ARIADNE turn-key projects.
CellTracker has been managing more than one million base stations all around the world. It became number one rollout management solution in the market. But maybe it is not so well-known that besides rollout and asset management CellTracker can manage any business process at a telco company. Its extremely robust and flexible architecture allows us to configure the product to model all kinds of different business processes. For example in Nigeria it is used for controlling the supply of diesel to sites whilst in Malaysia it is also used for fleet management. The broader portfolio addresses a wider scope of workflow management for mobile and fixed line operators as well as other industry sectors.
“We don’t tell you how your process should work, you tell us how you want it to work.” This is not a pure marketing slogan. CellTracker really enables us to implement the processes exactly as the customer defines them, no limitations are coming from our side. The most important part of each project is when our consultant sits down with the representatives of different departments and discusses how the process works at the customer and how they want to work after the system is implemented. The discussion sometimes may be very emotional as different departments usually have different views about how they work, what information and how they exchange, etc. The result of this meeting is a flowchart that describes the conclusion of the discussion, which is approved by the customer. This way the delivered product does what the customer wants and not what we want.
Both ctNova and FlexiTon have a long-time experience in introduction of turnkey telecom solutions including data migration. Therefore it is quite obvious that the technologies fine-tuned during the decades of experience are utilised in CCE for the CellTracker projects, too. This way 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. There are lots of stories in the industry about unsuccessful projects due to data and software vendors finger-pointing to each other. CCE takes full responsibility for the project and guarantees to the buyer the quality of the delivery in a timely manner.
Many hardware and software companies have the policy that the products are sold on a low price but when the user needs spare parts or changes the prices are extremely high. Our business model is different. We do not want our users to depend totally on us. When new processes come or the implemented process changes the customer can do the changes later themselves, if they wish. Our approach is that naturally we handle all new requests coming from the customer but in case the client wants more independence we are ready to enable him to do changes himself. CellTracker’s Development Suite provides all the tools necessary to create new processes and to maintain the old ones. After a couple of days training the CellTracker administrators will have the knowledge to do these tasks on their own. Of course our support organisation is always there if the administrator has questions.
CellTracker is a well-established product but we also need to follow the new trends and technologies. Therefore a new user interface based on the newest technologies and web enabled usage will be at the disposal of our customers soon to allow them to enjoy the benefits of using the solution even better.
CellTracker is highly appreciated by the existing customers and also potential clients. It seems that controlling the processes became an essential need of telecommunication companies as CCE has been receiving dozens of requests about rollout-, asset- and other process management from European, African and Asian companies. We hope to increase the group of happy CellTracker users significantly in the coming years and support our clients by providing an excellent, easy-to-use, extremely flexible solution to manage their processes.
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