While at ANGA this year I was told about AND (Advanced Network Design) from a fellow convention goer. He seemed really impressed with the company and it's product. Honestly, I've never gotten excited over a mapping tool. This is not normally something that I pay a lot of attention to. Sure I'm aware of them and have experience with them but I just had visions of lot's of typing, imputing data, reviewing ports on nodes and connecting lines manually. Not very exciting stuff. AND System Solutions however was very different from what I've seen in the past. It was self aware. It automated many tasks that were not normally automated and it just plain impressed me. I was given a very good demonstration by Tom Bayr from AND. I watched as ports automatically connected to systems and the system database updated itself with optical link loss budgets, cable losses, required tap values - well, it was just impressive. As if this was not enough, after Tom had completed both an EPON and HFC network, he then entered the channel plan, levels, tilt, etc. and showed me the expected CTB, CSO and Composite Intermods due to the QAM channels. Wow! I want this tool!!
In the words of Diarmuid Kelly, Director Sales International, AND. "AND is a highly intuitive solution for the design and documentation of all types of access networks. It covers every architecture - fibre, copper as well as coax – for the complete network, i.e. seamlessly from the headend/CO to the outlet/apartment/desk etc. With its intelligent drag & drop approach as well as integrated engineering, AND allows the user to complete design and documentation tasks rapidly and efficiently. It is multi-lingual - currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German. The clients can manage FTTH, FTTx, HFC, DTH, etc., as well as mixed architectures and all at the same time. Also very important - AND manages the in-buildingnetworks like no other. Probably in Germany alone more than 25 million apartments and homes are documented in AND. In India several million DTH installations (Tatasky) were designed and documented in AND. So we’ve had plenty of practice."
I did not get a demonstration of all of these capabilities but AND is also incorporating mobile applications for Android smartphones and tablets, providing technicians and service staff with access to AND documentation when out on the network via GPS co-ordinates. In addition, AND developed a bi-directional interface to Esri which would simplify anyone having to do this task with AutoCAD. The company states that with AND you’ll probably have at least a 20-fold time gain, i.e. 1 man-day in AND will cost you 1 man-month in AutoCAD. Add microducts, e.g. Emtelle, to the equation and the difference is probably 30 fold, if not more. With AND your network is engineered so you can verify the optical power of each and every ONT (in both directions) in seconds. You can also generate the Bill of Quantities at a keystroke. Lastly, AND is providing a bi-directional interface to Smallworld for EBL, a utility operator in Switzerland. Here the utilities – gas, electricity and water will remain documented in Smallworld, however all telecommunications networks will be designed and documented in AND. AND can also provide a co-habitation scenario for AutoCAD-based solutions, i.e. the AutoCAD data can still be maintained within the AND environment therefore no immediate migration would be necessary. Furthermore, the operator would benefit greatly from our interfaces and mobile solutions.
AND is also planning future roll outs of other products. So it's a company with an eye to the future. If your in the market for a mapping tool you might want to consider giving AND a shout and consider their product. AND considers it's product to be an out-of-the-box solution, regardless of the size of the project – 2,000 or 20 million connections. Visit AND at www.and-solution.com