Are Telecom Tools Becoming Trendy? (Part 2)

What kind of online tools do engineers search for? They look for one that is easy to use, speak their language and accompanied by technical support. Ricardo Diaz explains how CommScope is working on improving its online tool catalog. That can only be done with customer feedback.

Hammer_nail_imageIn my previous blog, I outlined a trend involving high-end telecom vendors providing users with razor-sharp tools aimed at engineering needs.

Have you ever tried to use a wrench to hammer down a nail? It’s not so easy. It’s a simple case of needing the right tool for the right task. To be successful, telecom tools must meet some specific requirements including:

  • A user-friendly interface
  • Accurate calculations or documentation
  • Easy to update and maintain
  • Results-logging features
  • Multilingual capabilities
  • Customizable

Naturally, new tools imply a learning curve for the users; hence, they must provide a beneficial service to validate their need. The potential benefits for the users are:

  • Considerable time saving
  • Trusted results
  • More complete documentation for projects
  • Higher efficiency
  • Better interaction with vendors

The users must invest some time to assess and learn the tools if they suit them. To assist them in this process, a proper description should be provided by the publisher, along with ongoing support from the vendor during the initial stages of the learning process. Feedback from the user is a key component in the relationship, but vendors should reply promptly. The vendors trailblazing to release these assets can also benefit from:

  • Better customer relationships
  • Fewer repetitive queries from users
  • Accurate use of their solutions, generating fewer field issues

To improve success, any tool must rely on a multidisciplinary team able to glance at the options with a holistic approach. Let me pose an example to you: there is a tool that calculates the theoretical possibilities of second-, third- or fifth-order passive intermodulation (PIM) products or “hits” in the frequency bands. A good programmer with a shallow knowledge of RF technology might do shabby work without the assistance of a skilled RF engineer. None of them will know how to promote the tool when it’s launched. To develop an effective tool, you’ll need a team of at least:

  • One or more subject matter experts to provide the technical directions (inputs, algorithm, desired outputs)
  • One or more programmers to code the knowledge from the experts
  • A usability expert to work out the interface
  • Technical support to help the users
  • Web marketing specialists to place the tool on the website and promote it properly

That’s precisely our strategy when facing a new project. We already have a tool to further illustrate the above example: Band and Block PIM Calculators.

What other tools are you looking for? Leave a comment below and I will be sure to respond.