“Enlightenment must come little by little – otherwise it would overwhelm.”
It was whilst heading up a communications roll-out at a huge gas processing plant in the middle east that I realised what a massive opportunity existed for OSS vendors outside the traditional CSP market.
We designed a converged network that encapsulated traditional technologies such as IP (Internet Protocol data networks), SDH, DWDM, VoIP, POTS, network security devices, etc. But it also converged data from non-traditional systems such as PAGA (Public Address and General Alarm), BMS (Building Management System), F&G (Fire and Gas), A/V (Audio Visual Systems), TETRA (secure wireless radio), Physical Security (radar, CCTV, intrusion detection, Access Control) and others. We also planned out the structured cabling in each of those buildings in addition to hundreds of kilometres of optical fibre cable around the plant.
In total, there were around 30 systems converging onto the IP core and being delivered to around 120+ buildings across the port complex.
Sounds like the perfect environment for an OSS, particularly a spatially-based OSS right? I thought so.
Unfortunately, I was unable to convince the customer to look past their traditional CAD tools and reams of printed as-built drawings as a means of managing their enormous infrastructure network. For example, any change to the location of a building by the architects resulted in downstream modifications to about 30 CAD drawings.
This opportunity still exists for the persuasive OSS vendor. Enlightenment must come to the customer little by little. It will only take a few early adopters to see the benefits of an OSS in this environment and there is no doubt that it will spread quickly throughout sectors such as oil and gas, utilities (electricity, water, rail), ports, mine sites, etc.