Integrating VETRO FiberMap & Fulcrum

July 27, 2017 by Will Mitchell

In a business as ‘spatial’ as telecommunications, the physical network map truly is a core business information asset. ISPs need to know where everything in their outside plant is, how it’s connected, and its condition.

When planning new fiber builds, the planning, cost estimating, design, and construction processes all require accurate, detailed local mapping data collected in the field. For ongoing maintenance and support operations, field inspections provide critical updates to the network map that drive efficient business responses. Enabling accurate data to flow to and from the field during inventory, planning, construction, and operations and maintenance workflows is crucial to those in the telecommunications industry.

Vetro Screenshot

VETRO FiberMap™ is an innovative new fiber-optic infrastructure mapping and management platform that aims to solve these telecommunications problems. VETRO FiberMap™ can replace or supplement legacy CAD, GIS, or Google Earth mapping and circuit and splicing spreadsheets or databases, and bring your network map into workflows when and where it is needed.

Built on an open technology stack, delivered in the cloud, and designed for true ease of use, this mapping and inventory tool brings efficiencies to small and mid-sized fiber Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Integration With Fulcrum

VETRO FiberMap’s focus and strength lies in managing complex engineering mapping data and the fiber-optic strand-level data modeling needed to support its vast connectivity features. Delivering this tool set in the cloud as a SaaS offering, built atop open source geospatial foundations, and laser focused on ease of use and modern web design, is something that sets VETRO apart in the market. The same can be said about Fulcrum, a powerful field data collection platform delivered simply and atop a comparable technology stack and approach. When NBT needed to field-enable VETRO FiberMap™ data workflows, Fulcrum was a natural fit.

Utility Pole Data Collection

Pole Data Collection

Pole inventory and pole attachment is a major operational and cost issue for all ISPs. When an ISP is evaluating or planning for new build that traverses utility poles that must be leased, they will do a field inventory to map the location of every pole and capture attributes of each pole. The field tech will walk to each pole with a data collection form in Fulcrum and capture the location, IDs, ratings, field notes, and photographs. This data will flow directly into Fulcrum’s cloud database, and appear seamlessly in VETRO FiberMap™.

Troubleshooting & Storm Damage Assessment

An ISP experiences a weather event that causes damage to network assets. A field technician is sent to drive or walk the network searching for visible problem spots such as a downed utility pole or a tree overhanging a line that appears to be a threat. The field tech uses a Fulcrum App collecting location, type of damage, pole #(s), pictures and comments.

The point locations appear in a VETRO layer, pulling in directly from a linked Fulcrum account. The VETRO user can turn this layer on or off in it’s own group in the layer list. The VETRO user can click on a ‘Field Issue’ point and have the attributes and the photo(s) appear in the VETRO info panel.

Service Location Turn Up/Provisioning

An ISP engineer is assigned a set of service locations to provision and install drops and equipment. The field tech or contractor will see the service locations in Fulcrum. When they install the drop and/or ONT on the building, they collect a few fields of attribute data and take a photo. They update the status of the service location to ‘lit’. This information syncs back into the VETRO FiberMap™ database.

Manhole Inspection

Manhole Inspection

The VETRO engineer lays out a design that includes manholes which must be installed. The VETRO manhole layer is made available to a field engineer in Fulcrum. The field engineer navigates to each manhole point in the design, and confirms that the point placement will work in the field. If it will not, the engineer can move it to a new location. The engineer also has the option of deleting a manhole point, or adding a new one. The engineer adds notes in the field and takes a photo of the site where the manhole will be installed, iterating toward a verified field ready design.

Now, our integration paths are working great for several use cases and workflows. We continue to develop depth and flexibility as both platforms rapidly advance and evolve. We are extremely excited to unlock the Fulcrum-delivered power of field data collection and update in seamless harmony with VETRO FiberMap™.

About the author

Will Mitchell is the CEO of VETRO FiberMap, an innovative mapping platform for Fiber Optic broadband network operators.

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