Changing of the guard

Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal.”
Marilyn Ferguson
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lt’s an exciting time for spatially-based OSS.

The tools that underpin them such as GIS and CAD have moved off the desktop and onto mobile devices. Sensor networks, geo-positioning and augmented reality technologies are also making significant advances at more commercially viable price points for mobile solutions.

But perhaps the most significant reason is not directly related to the tech at all.

It’s actually a changing of the guard in the workforce. The field workforce that maintains our outside plant (OSP) networks is refreshing. The older technicians who were more comfortable with A-0 paper diagrams and less familiar with technology are retiring and being replaced by Millennials who have grown up immersed in tech.

This refresh brings with it an opportunity to test completely new types of OSP OSS on these willing guinea pigs.

Our opportunities lie in the ability to get real-time information to and from the field via OSS tools.

The added benefit of these real-time communications links is in improving data quality – the bane of the existence of many OSS practitioners. It provides the ability to add feedback loops to improve data quality in the OSP networks that rarely have programmatic interfaces.

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