Tasked with finding OSP software? If you need to find an outside plant (OSP) tool to help document and manage your fiber plant, you may be […]

OSP Software: 3 Steps to Find the Right Solution

Tasked with finding OSP software? If you need to find an outside plant (OSP) tool to help document and manage your fiber plant, you may be […]

Tasked with finding OSP software? If you need to find an outside plant (OSP) tool to help document and manage your fiber plant, you may be wondering how you can get the project started and find the right OSP solution for your team’s unique needs?

First off, find out what your budget is (the cost of fiber plant tools will vary) and find out when you will be able to make a purchase. When you get these two questions answered, you can move forward with a realistic budget and timeline.

Your next step (and it’s not an insignificant one) is to select the right vendor.

Below is a short checklist which you can use when you’re on the hunt for the right fiber plant management software for your company:

1. Define Your Business Requirements
Make sure to get a clear definition of the requirements for your business unit and from your boss. What is it that this project will help you solve (such as: a need to reduce downtime, unnecessary costs, time and money)?

Are there functional requirements that are make or break? For example: some businesses may need a 100% web-based browser, some need installations on a VM environment, some need third-party tools, inside plant capabilities, and so on.

Word to the wise: unless you are required to do so by your organization, don’t waste time on a request for proposal (RFP). It is a rather long and formal process — and by the time the RFP is awarded, your requirements may have already changed!

2.Evaluate Vendors
How many OSP software vendors do you need to consider? Most of the people with whom I’ve spoken consider three vendors to be a manageable, but reasonable, number. To keep things organized, we recommend creating a simple spreadsheet to help you evaluate potential vendors.

During your meetings with OSP vendors, ask them to only focus on your requirements. You don’t need to see every last bell and whistle a product comes with if it has nothing to do with what you will need. This will save you so much time as, afterall: do you really need to see the vendors PowerPoint slides and a generic demo?

‘Feature Overload’ will only steer you off task and could possibly complicate the process. Focus on your requirements and see if your potential vendor can demonstrate these features that you are looking for.

3.Select Your Vendor and Review Pricing
It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how much fiber plant software actually costs. Further, it shouldn’t take more than a day or two to get that price quote. If a vendor takes over a week or longer to send a quote, that’s a red flag. Afterall, their prices and terms should be clearly defined.

Be aware of hidden costs. Any Professional Services work should have a clearly written Statement of Work. Be sure you know, upfront, if your vendor provides any training. Are there any additional costs or hidden add-on modules? Is the software easy to configure or will it take months (and consultants) to implement?

Conclusion
OSP software vendor selection can be a stressful and a very time-consuming process. As long as you have clearly defined requirements and funding approved for your project, you will be able to find a good vendor that will help you and your company achieve your project goals.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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