Fault Management and Field Services Project

Needing a trusted pair of hands
Looking for a solution to address faults/defects on recently completed site builds, our client needed a reliable maintenance partner who could mobilise quickly, in order to address a backlog of sites unable to progress to BIS/TTO.

Why Comvergent?
Having previously demonstrated flexibility and innovation to the client, Comvergent were approached once again to propose an efficient and cost-effective solution. Utilising our already existing knowledge of the RAN estate and the OSS management platform, we could provide problem management and accurate and timely reporting.

The Project
The service scope was comprised of 3 functions:

The first element was a dedicated business hours technical support desk and ticket management function:

  • Ticket queue management and updates during normal business hours
  • Remote alarm checking on the OSS platform
  • Triage and assignment of tickets to appropriate resolving agent
  • Technical support of onsite resolving agent.
  • Bundling of tickets where appropriate, to ensure single expedited field visit, if multiple tickets exist
  • Ticket updates

Secondly there was a reactive fault field service:

  • Following access procedures for fault fix works
  • Site access responsibilities
  • Desktop gating to assess any plant / specialist climbing requirements
  • Booking of third-party plant
  • Scheduling and deployment of appropriately skilled resources, in line with fault descriptions – covering ground based and at height activities.
  • Logistics service to support spares as required, including van stock of basic hospital kit
  • On the day fault resolution wherever possible – escalation if poor workmanship that cannot be resolved on the day by the service partner that needs the original contractor to return
  • Confirmation of fault clearance/test calls with the appropriate operations centre including supporting evidence
  • Identification and evidence of root cause by HOP (e.g genuine BAU fault, early life hardware failure, FPW, quality or workmanship issue)

And lastly a problem management and reporting function:

  • Weekly/monthly reporting on ticket closure including RCA
  • Root cause analysis and problem management of known issues – trending of known issues and interfacing with stakeholders/client to resolve.

The teams encountered a number of different situations which required remedial action, for example:

  • Damaged or crossed fibre tails/trunk fibre faults
  • Faulty or incorrectly seated SFP
  • Faulty or damaged RF tails
  • Crossed RF tails
  • RRU, passive & MIMO antenna swaps
  • PIU replacement
  • Active router swaps
  • Swap GPS antenna or replace cable.

Overcoming Challenges

The service was provided across the UK including Northern Ireland, which meant advanced co-ordination between our logistics operation and our planning and dispatch functions to ensure equipment was delivered and collected from site within agreed timescales.

With the drive to get service restored as quickly as possible and faults fixed on the first visit, all teams deployed to support this service also had a viable stock of hospital kits to ensure this could be carried out.

In order to ensure that the correctly skilled resolving agent skillset would be dispatched to site (ground or climbing resources), the Comvergent technical triage service would identify the requirement by a number of means; including reviewing the RDS, checking the detailed designs, interrogating the OSS for historical and active alarms. This level of technical due diligence ensured that the desired RFT outcome was met.

The Outcome

During the duration of this service to date, Comvergent has resolved over 500 faults, with more than 65% needing climbing resources to resolve. The triage process ensured that the vast majority were resolved on the first visit, ensuring that service was restored, and that the site could progress towards the BISTTO milestone.

Comvergent, in collaboration with our customer, also helped to drive quality in the deployment process by providing a full root cause analysis report service. This ensured any previous poor workmanship was reported, trends recorded and highlighted, and ultimately actions taken to ensure common issues were managed out of the process driving an increase in RFT deployment.