Network Certification Insight: Equipping Your Team with the Tools to Succeed
Network Pro Objectives
Whether your game is golf or snowboarding, one thing matters above all else: you need the best possible equipment to win. At the pro level, it’s even more important, as even a slight advantage can be the difference between standing on the podium and being a runner up.
It’s the same for network pros: a foreman managing technicians that install copper and fiber on the job site, or a project manager overseeing multiple projects for various enterprise and data center customers, they both have a few simple objectives: ensure that the job is done right, on time, and on budget. <see application note offered at the bottom of this blog post>
For contractors installing copper and fiber in data center and enterprise networks, their test tools need to work, and the team needs to know how to use them productively. Any honest job foreman will admit they depend on their technician team. But there are two big challenges: the beginner techs haven’t yet fully developed their skill set, and keeping your staff motivated and engaged is not the easiest of tasks.
All of this means getting the above-mentioned goals met—getting the job done right, on time and on budget seems simple enough. But there’s a lot that goes into these three seemingly simple goals.
The perils of ignoring innovation in favor of habit
Expectations of network pros are greater than ever in the move to 10g, 40g or even 100g. The tools they rely on not only need to work, but the techs need to know how best to use them. For many contractors, it is tempting to simply stick with the tools they had grown accustomed to, even if they were clunky, hard to use or obsolete. While legacy tools still work, they only provide basic information when diagnosing a network. Contractors that switch to VIAVI solutions often tell us how they ended up getting more than they ever expected when it comes to team productivity.
When innovation leads to benefits you didn’t anticipate
One of our customers recently switched to the VIAVI Certifier because they could decrease the time needed for each cable test by 3.5 seconds compared to their legacy tester. While this may not seem like a big deal for some people, it was very important to them. With projects that have more than 9,000 drops, that 3.5 seconds translates to more than 8 hours of time saved on a single project.
Once they started using it on the jobsite, they began discovering the advantages of the Certifier were even more than they expected. The biggest benefits came from having identical local and remote units to provide full control at both ends of the test.
Truly innovative tools change the way you and your team work
Beyond improving efficiency, having dual screens provides automatic on-the-job training for less-experienced techs. It gives them visibility into what’s happening during the test in real time, when they can learn from the more experienced tech they’re paired with on that job. They can improve their skills and feel greater accountability for the outcome of each job—all keys to keeping a workforce engaged in what they’re doing.
And of course, this all leads to even greater efficiencies and faster workflows on future jobs where the newer techs can apply what they’ve learned without as much oversight, freeing up the more experienced techs to focus on more difficult scenarios.
Having the right tools for the job is a necessity in every profession. When it comes to testing equipment, it can literally make or break the task at hand. There are plenty of tools out there to help get the job done, but not many are so well-designed that they change the workflow for the better and result in a more knowledgeable, engaged workforce.
For more of the detailed benefits, check out this application note on how field technicians can leverage full control at both Local and Remote ends of test solutions.