We don’t need to tell you that the fiberglass market is currently growing exponentially. And not only in the Netherlands. During the FTTH Conference in Vienna, we saw many numbers and expectations for the European countries. In a period of five years, both the UK (8.4% to 59.9%) and Germany (8.8 to 63.1%) will move up the rankings. For Speer IT this of course offers opportunities that are in line with our strategic plans and vision.
Kees Jonker – CEO says: “As Speer IT we have the ambition to grow to multiple countries in Europe. As an indicator of the growth in the importance of fiber, you can see that the FTTH Council predicts that there will be 197 million FTTH subscribers in Europe by 2026. Similar growth is also to be expected in the B2B fiber market. Originally, many of our customers are active in B2B but the FttH growth is getting more attention in the media.
With numbers like these, good asset management is an indispensable link. Because not only now but also in 30 years time you want to be able to provide insight into how you have protected your capital investment and where the fiber connections are.”
To meet this huge growth, Speer IT has adapted its long-term (product) strategy accordingly. “To take these kinds of big steps like expanding abroad, moving with our customers who are operating in other countries on the one hand, and focusing our own focus on expansion, on the other hand, requires adjustment of the organization, policy, structure, and roadmap,” Jonker explains.
“This requires a number of things. You will have to further professionalize as an organization and develop into an Enterprise solution. For that, we invest a lot in all our software solutions, our people, and in our company. If you look at the core of what this is about, then we see that every company in the future needs asset management that is shareable in all processes and in all capillaries of the organization.”, concludes Jonker.
The strategic focus of the roadmap in a nutshell
In view of these future developments, our strategists and product owners have created a long-term roadmap that we would like to share with you. The roadmap of the Speer IT solutions is in the hands of Product Owners Stephan Abbes and Alexander van den Berg. In addition, there is frequent coordination with Rogier Schrama, the Solution Architect.
Alexander van den Berg: “We have made choices in this high-level roadmap and see three main categories that are of great strategic importance.
1. Data sharing
Data sharing is, in our view, the enabler for the future because it is reflected in all processes and capillaries within a company. In addition, internationalization plays a big role. We will also have to ensure that our solution works in many countries at the same time. As Kees has already explained, on the one hand because we grow along with existing customers who also operate their fiber optics abroad. And on the other hand we have our own internationalization strategy.
In addition, number three is our focus on our joint ventures in which we do new product development together with other parties in new markets and that is all based on continuous technical development. Examples include our joint ventures with Gridsz, FiberFit and collaborations such as Cyclomedia and Soil Risk Map.
Some of the developments
In our upcoming newsletters, we will each time highlight and zoom in on a topic from the roadmap. In this case we will focus on the development of a standard address system and our cooperation with Simac for FiberFIT.
As mentioned in the introduction by Kees Jonker, Speer IT will be actively expanding abroad. At this moment we are active in seven countries. For this internationalization we have mapped the right architecture for the Speer IT address system and the components are already being developed. This architecture sketch is the result of several brainstorming sessions in which the functional and non-functional requirements and wishes were inventoried.
First of all, it is important to define what exactly is meant by address. According to the common definition, an address is a place where someone lives. Within the context of the Speer IT address system, an address is a place. Where place is a geolocation (not a residence) and can be either a point or a plane.
A number of requirements have a major impact on what the architecture for the address system looks like:
1. Independence from the specific format of sources of address data.
2. Support for multiple countries in the same system.
3. Geocoding (address to geolocation) and reverse geocoding (geolocation to address(es)).
4. Support for multiple sources of address data side-by-side.
5. Fuzzy search, think about how you search in Google and get the results displayed.
“In the Netherlands we are very spoiled with the unique zip code house number combination. In our search for standard address sources it turned out that there is no such thing on the market yet. And to come up with such a standard that we can actually use worldwide is a lot of work. We are actively working on this and will provide regular updates on the status of this,” says Van den Berg.
The first collaboration we would like to tell you more about is FiberFIT. Testing, measuring, monitoring and managing high-quality business fiber connections!
A reliable fiber optic network requires measuring and knowing. Fiber Intelligent Testing allows you to handle measurement data intelligently. The advantages this brings are:
a. You can see the disruption coming, so that you can intervene in time.
b. With all the insights and tooling FiberFIT has to offer, the time it takes to resolve the disruption is significantly reduced by 4 to 6 hours.
FiberFIT comes in two variants: FiberFIT Home (FFH) and FiberFIT Monitoring. The latter provides the necessary online real-time insight into the operation of fiber optic routes, including failures, intrusions (including fiber tapping) and degradation. With FFH, the real-time measurement results are directly linked to ‘affected’ homes, providing insight into the impact of a disruption down to the fiber level. It thus also enables the operator to inform the affected end customers.
At the heart of FiberFIT is Speer IT’s Cocon database and the Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) measurement tool carried by Simac Electronics. “The integration of the two provides deep, real-time insight into the fiber optic network,” says Van den Berg. “You get the monitoring data projected directly onto the network, literally on the map, right down to the fiber in question. As a result, a disturbance or event in the route of a cable can be seen directly in the context of its surroundings. Including valuable information such as the exact location of the disruption, which customers are affected and whether a temporary reroute can be created.”