Estracom (Italy)

Estracom is an Internet Service Provider company, deals with telecommunications services for companies, individuals and public institutions. It is a Company of the Estra Group, which is an Italian public multi-utility company that provides services ranging from the supply of methane, LPG and electricity, to telecommunications, from the distribution of natural gas to energy services.

During the CMDBuild DAY 2018, Mr. Alessio Neri speaks about his Company and their use of CMDBuild:

“Estracom was born in 2001 and at that time was called ConsiagNet, became Estracom in 2009 and it’s grown a lot becoming an important Internet Service Provider in Tuscany. We have a proprietary fiber-optic network and we provide as well many services and with different kinds of technology (Fiber Optic, GPON, Gigabit Ethernet, Intranet Level Three, Layer Two, Dark Fiber, FTTH, VoIP, HiperLAN, etc.).

My job in the company is to manage the new client activation processes. I evaluate the contract signed by the customer, decide the right connectivity to implement, coordinate the IT technicians and provide them with data and configurations of the network devices to be installed. I also deal with the management of the customer troubleshooting: I call the customer, try to understand the problem, and I must quickly decide the solution. In this phase, it’s critical to have all the technical data of the customer, to know which services and solutions provide.

I had problems for years, because I used many technical portals, different Excel and Word documents, emails, notes, etc. It was very difficult to access quickly to basic customer’s information, and above all it was a very long and time-consuming process.

Telecommunications is a world in full growth, and constantly evolving, every day. The complexity of connectivity is manifested by the rapid evolution of technologies and standards. Estracom is committed to all new transmission technologies, both with active services and with research activities, like 5G and related applications (like IoT). Prato is one of the 5 Italian cities (with Milan, L'Aquila, Bari and Matera) where 5G testing is starting, and Estracom is actively participating in some projects, for example with an implementation of 5G video-surveillance. To implement the 5G technology, IPv6 must also be implemented, as the number of devices increases exponentially. In this case as well it is needed to have a proper and easy database to manage data, it would be very difficult to manage the assignments of IPv6 addresses with Excel tables.

We have therefore adopted the CMDBuild solution, since we needed a flexible, scalable, easy to modify tool; it was necessary to have an application that could link the assets with the services, and these with the users, and with customers. It was necessary to have a solution that, whatever the starting object is, can find all the relationships and connections. CMDBuild is inspired by ITIL and therefore by a service logic (like IT Service Management). It is also important the presence of processes that support the activities necessary for the management of services, from the initial phase to activities entrusted to partners.

In simple and practical terms, what we need is a tool that allows us to be efficient, to have a quick access to all information, and that can be easy to modify. It’s unthinkable in year 2018 to work with many different technical portals, or several files and documents saved on a computer, or server... it’s mandatory to have all documentation updated, without the risk of losing any data.

Since our goal is the quality of services, we need a solution that fits completely our needs. We started with the CMDBuild READY2USE version, which made us understand very well the potential of this product. We built and verified the data model and the relationships, then we imported from previous applications the services, the assets and the customers.

My personal experience with CMDBuild is great, I work with it many hours a day and I'm always faster with data entry, I like it because it’s intuitive, and then it allows to follow a logical scheme. Another winning aspect is that CMDBuild gives us the possibility to choose the logical scheme to follow in relation to our needs. It’s the same also with the troubleshooting activities: when I call a customer, with a few clicks I can get all the overview of the services provided, the equipment and IP addresses needed to evaluate the problem. In this way I can save a lot of time, both to research customer information, and to act promptly to solve the problem.

At the beginning the priority was to store all information related to services provided to customers, services purchased from suppliers, equipment serial numbers, logical positions on the different connectivity, etc. then, when the migration phase is completed, we will begin to work with the CMDBuild processes.

We are also working to make CMDBuild the tool to communicate not only with external technicians, but also for internal communications. It would be very useful to be able to schedule activities, so everyone, from administration to sales, can be aware of the status of the work, of the activations or of the faulty resolutions. A unique portal to communicate internally between us. The portal is also needed to manage customer data, but it is essential to have a system to manage the core of our network, the heart of Estracom. Finally, we can collect all the documentation we have in a single place. With CMDBuild this will be possible.

I would also like that in the future the customer is able to manage a problem or request information autonomously through the CMDBuild Portal, without calling the call-center like now. The possible developments with CMDBuild are endless, and the ideas simply arise with the daily work, “we should do this”, “we could do also that”…”.

See the full speech of Mr. Alessio Neri at the CMDBuild DAY 2018