An inventory system is intended to serve as master repository of network and service data. Its intention is to provide accurate data, however many tier 1 inventory systems are nothing but accurate.( Typically around 60% ). This is because most inventory systems in deployment are populated, updated and maintained manually, which invites errors, leads to inefficiencies, and can be costly and time-consuming. The databases suffer from poor data integrity and fall out of synch, impacting numerous processes, such as flow-through provisioning.
Many service providers undertake extensive data cleansing projects where network is audited and inventory updated. However this is a rather expensive exercise and by the time the audit has been completed, the inventory is probably still out of sync with the network, due to the constant network change.
To combat this issue many Tier 1 Service providers have deployed network discovery and reconciliation tools tightly integrated with the network inventory system. Do not be fooled, this can be quite challenging,however the effort of ensuring an up-to-date view of the network is provided will ensure increased operational efficiencies and less fall-out when inventory is used for service fulfillment.
It won't take long to have data issues when deploying a network inventory system if its not tightly coupled with a network discovery and reconciliation process. To ensure you’re confident the inventory system is telling the truth , it needs to discover and update inventory from the network .
The reconciliation system must provide a discrepancy management that enables the carrier staff to identify, analyze and resolve the most costly discrepancies rapidly. Typically it should automatically update the inventory in the case of known, common discrepancies, and permit the service provider to explore impact of proposed fixes on inventory data. This approach assumes that the network itself provides the truth - rather than the system/documented views of the network.