As carriers undertake increasingly complex network deployments, software and automation are becoming more and more important. “Operators are looking at situations where they’re talking about tens of thousands of small cells being deployed and that’s a big challenge,” said analyst Peter Jarich of Current Analysis. “[There is] a limited availability of people to go out there. How do you make the best use of those folks? How do you put as much reliance on software as possible so that we can automate as much as possible?”
Automation of network deployment processes is a key focus area for large players like MasTec, startups like Field Dailies, and for professional service provider Nexius, which is creating an entire business unit devoted to software for carriers.
“We have split Nexius into Nexius Solutions and Nexius Insight,” said co-founder Ned Taleb. “Nexius Solutions offers network services – so we design, deploy and optimize wireless networks. Nexius Insight is where we use data analytics and technology insights to help and guide the carriers into selection of technology, into mining the data, and also into implementation of some of these technologies.” Taleb said that Nexius Insight will be able to branch out beyond telecom and wireless, and has already been approached by clients in the financial services industry. Nexius also has contracts with Microsoft, AOL, Spectra Energy and SevOne.
Nexius has delivered double digit compound average growth rates for the past 12 years, and has doubled its revenue in the past year alone. The company counts eight of the world’s 10 largest mobile operators among its clients. Nexius says its expertise in developing carrier-grade software sets it apart from its competitors, most of whom are much larger companies.
“We know we are a smaller player in that field, but we have something in the background that sets us apart,” said Taleb. “Project management, asset management and inventory management … all of the skills that we have at Nexius, we put them to work in deployment. We can access data and update data at the site.”
Taleb believes that software, data and automation are key to helping carriers meet the accelerated schedules that today’s competitive environment often demands. “The automation is where you get compressed schedules,” said Taleb. For example, the Nexius solution enables clients to automate the closeout process, he said. “We get downloads from the clients systems and then we upload the final results into the clients systems,” Taleb explained.