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By Devon Maresco
Telecom companies have a growing footprint in urban epicenters across the world. Every day, more data centers power on, customer service departments grow, and the physical telecom infrastructure gets a little bigger. As telecom becomes more and more entwined with everyday life, it becomes more and more important for telecom providers to take a top-down view of facilities, to ensure they support growing demand. The solution is often telecom stack planning.
Stack plans offer visual insights into how and where telecom companies use the space and real estate assets available to them. At a macro level, it might show that 58% of a telecom’s property holdings are data farms. Looking closer, space in the clerical building in Tulsa is 34% occupied by customer service reps. Whether looking at the full property portfolio, a specific building or a line of business, there’s opportunity for optimization in stack planning.
Here’s a look at the role of stack planning as it relates to a growing telecommunications infrastructure and the real estate assets behind it.
What is telecom stack planning?
A stack plan is a top-down look at the allocation of space across a telecom company’s full real estate portfolio. Moreover, there are numerous lenses administrators can look through. Examples can include:
- How much of total space does X occupy?
- What percentage of Y does Y occupy?
- What facility costs are attributed to X cost center?
- What’s the spread of X over a single facility? The full portfolio?
The stack plan simply informs a better understanding of where and how space gets used within the company. Therefore, stack planning is an active strategy for using a high-level understanding of space to inform better allocation and administration. For example, using stack plan data, it might make sense to cut back on total seats in the data admin department and increase seats in sales.
Stack planning is an ongoing practice. As facilities evolve and grow, the stack plan allocation changes. With this change comes the need to reevaluate and rebalance facilities, to ensure they’re operating at peak efficiency.
The benefits of telecom stack planning
Telecom stack planning offers companies numerous benefits. Some equate to bottom-line savings; others, to top-line growth. No matter what form the benefits take, they’re the direct result of more efficient asset management. Some of the key benefits associated with stack planning for telecoms include:
- More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
- Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
- Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of employees
- Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
- Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
- Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility
Stack planning enables a macro-level of optimization for telecoms that translates into additional downstream benefits. Making adjustments to facility layouts can increase the standard of work done by those business units, which results in tangible benefits for customers and the company. It’s an imperative focus as telecoms expand and their operations become more in-demand.
The role of telecom stack planning software
To use a stack plan, administrators need to see one. This has become a function of telecom stack planning software. These platforms pull workplace and facility data into a single dashboard, to create a data visualization of the telecom’s real estate portfolio or a specific building. More than a visual breakdown, software also contextualizes the allocation with appropriate data about the makeup of the stack plan.
Stack planning software unlocks a wealth of opportunities in sandboxing and planning. Administrators can make adjustments to floor plans and allocations to see their effect on the overall space strategy—all without changing the physical environment. Moreover, automation and AI tools make it easy to predict how new space allocations ripple outward from a modified stack plan.
The many lenses of stack planning also become easier to understand with software. Flip between analytics to see the difference between cost, space allocation, occupancy totals and more—then, compare and contrast for additional insights about to best-use space.
Finally, software makes it easier for a full breadth of stakeholders to collaborate on a stack plan and subsequent floor plans. From facility managers, to portfolio managers, to c-suite executives, the accessibility of software-driven insights puts telecom teams on the same page as they work together to optimize real estate assets.
A top-down view of growing telecom infrastructure
Telecom companies are no strangers to taking a top-down approach. Whether it’s assessing expanding infrastructure or figuring out the best way to orchestrate a data center, it helps to see the whole picture. Telecoms can apply this same concept and see the same benefits from a top-down assessment of facilities and real estate.
Telecom stack planning is a useful tool in measuring and planning for specific growth areas. Putting real estate assets to work in a way that generates maximum ROI is a great way to power the telecom industry forward, at a great margin for the companies investing in its infrastructure.
Keep reading: Telecom Space Planning