How Audicas saved a 5G customer

Pssst. Want a competitive advantage? Yes. Well read on, but keep it to yourself.

The telco industry is starting to get very, very busy. It’s ramping up for 5G deployments and people are already working extremely hard, with much more work to come. So, setting up efficient processes now has never been more important.

What follows is an example of how one of our customers is using Audicas to complete EME surveys in real-time. They estimate that it’s halved the total time to get a survey completed and that it has allowed their design teams back in the office to get started on designs while the survey is still in progress.


Our customer was experiencing long delays while waiting to get information back from site. Sometimes, important photos and information was missing and a revisit was needed.

On site, a project manager would walk around with a paper copy of a satellite map overlayed with the site’s EME exclusions zones. They would then identify points of interest (POI) within the zones, take photos and measure the POI’s longitude, latitude and height. All of this information was recorded using paper and a digital camera.

When the survey was over, the project manager would spend around the same time they’d spent on site creating a report. This involved working with the report template their client had supplied and transposing paper answers into the relevant fields. Photos would be downloaded from the camera, resized, named, put in a zip file, and where needed, inserted into the report and emailed back to the office and client.

On top of all this, they would use the POI height and horizontal measurements taken on site to work out the relative height above ground level to the antenna centre. Simple trigonometry, but time consuming nonetheless for project managers who were overworked and desperate for help.


Speaking to the project manangers, their biggest issue was fatigue. They had too many site visits each week and they couldn’t keep up with the backlog of reports.

Two things got them the most excited: one was our ability to take their legacy report and convert it to a report template so they didn’t have to double handle information; and two, our use of formulas to auto-name photos and calculate POI locations.

Management was more interested in being able to see what was being collected in real-time, and in turn, get their design teams working in parallel. This would then help them win more work, quickly issue invoices, and most importantly, improve their cash flow.

The solution was to take their customer’s report and create an Audicas form template out of it. Then each field name used in the template was inserted into the report to create a report template. Once that was linked to the form template, each time an audit was completed, at the click of the report link, all of the collected information was automatically merged into the report.

What follows is their new, high-level process.


1. Before going to site, a satellite map, overlaid with EME exclusion zones, is uploaded.

2. As the project manager walks around site, they identify POIs and tap the ‘+ Add POI’ button to start logging it in the form. They also mark it on the satellite map with the POI number just created.

3. In order to get the POI location, they tap the ‘Set Location’ button to open up a satellite map.

4. When the map opens, in the background it gets the iPad’s geolocation and places a pin at that spot. The project manager then drags it over to the POI to get its location.

5. For each POI, the project manager uses a laser rangefinder to measure the horizontal and vertical distances. Audicas then uses those inputs to calculate the POI height relative to the antenna centre.

6. As the information is collected, it is sent back to the Audicas admin website for real-time use. If needed, third parties can also be given any level of access from read-only to read-write-delete.

7. From the Audicas admin website, clicking on the links under the report section automatically creates the audit report and zips up all images.


So, for the example used in this article, the audit form and report template took around half a day to create. However, for a typical report of average length, it takes around four days to set everything up.

Deploying Audicas on an iPad takes 30 seconds. User training takes 30 minutes at most and can be done in a group via a webinar.

So, for an average project, we could get you up and running in one week. Yes, you read right. One week!

Total cost for five users and all of the above setup would be in the order of AUD7,000 (+GST). That’s in the first year. From then on, each year your subscription would be in the order of AUD3,000 (+GST).

So, now that you know the ballpark cost and time to setup, how long do you think it would take you to breakeven? What benefits could having a efficient solution like Audicas have on your team, project and cashflow?

Billion dollar Telco calls on Audicas to get their assets in order

Four years ago, a major Telco had a problem. For a while they’d been maintaining their very large list of site assets in a spreadsheet, but over time, through sharing it with external parties like build contractors, they’d lost control and no longer knew for sure what was on their sites.

As anyone in asset management will tell you, not knowing your assets is a risky business. More often than not, it’ll come back to bite you at the most inopportune time.

In this case, they were about to embark on a 4G network upgrade and knowing what existed on site was a critical factor in keeping costs down and delivering the project on time.

So, Audicas was approached and asked to come up with a way to harness the power of our site audit solution combined with our Asset Module.

Through a consultative process, the telco decided what they wanted to include in their asset database and what spreadsheet version they wanted to load into Audicas’ Asset Module.

We then took that information and built their Audicas asset template by interpreting their spreadsheet and adding more fields where needed.

Cleaning up the spreadsheet data was a pretty big job and took around a month to complete. Unfortunately, the most time consuming part is always dealing with free-form text. For example, it still seems incredible to me that one antenna model can have over a hundred different spellings!

Although it took a month to complete the cleanup, compare this with a similar project I worked on at Crown Castle in 2001 when I spent over two years helping design and implement their asset management system, CCIsites, and cleaning up and loading their recently purchased Vodafone and Optus sites into the system.

So, how did we go from two years to one month? It was a combination of better technology and operator experience. I’ve done this sort of work many times since 2001, so I know all the tricks of the trade.

Once the data was cleaning, I loaded it into the Asset Module as an asset portfolio and then created their first asset audit template which was based on a subset of the fields in the asset portfolio.

Then, Audicas forms and associated Word and Excel report template were created for each stage of the design and construction process.

Once the audits were underway, in real-time, the design teams back in the office could start their work based on accurate information. In fact, it was estimated that during a normal 10-day site design period, Audicas saved them four days per site by speeding up the flow of information and having teams work in parallel.

In addition, using the asset reconciliation feature found in the Asset Module, the telco was able to quickly see on each site what asset information had changed and update their records accordingly.

Subsequently, the telco put in place a policy that for all future site visits, Audicas would be used: their contractors would effectively be cleaning up their asset records during their normal work events, like doing site maintenance work.

Now, over four years later, the telco has accurate, up-to-date asset records across all their sites, and they pretty much got it done for free.

If you have a similar issues, get in contact with us today and we can schedule a meeting to discuss your issues and how we can help you.

Audicas asset audits helps a billion dollar company achieve the impossible!

To realise the full value of their recently implemented asset management system, a broadcast infrastructure company needed to collect asset hierarchy information for their 100,000 plus ground based assets in an extremely short period of time.


Having a portfolio of over 600 sites, with many in remote and hard to get at places, the company needed a software tool to quickly collect information, be able to work offline, and have software improvements and fixes deployed in real-time. And whenever an internet connection was available, automatically send all asset information, including photos, back to their project office.

Audicas was approached after they had first experimented with using another solution, which for various reasons, did not work as expected. Unfortunately, the delivery date was fixed, so only 3 months remained.

Undaunted, the Audicas project team held a series of meetings over a week to fully understand the project requirements.

What we learnt was that a field tech would go to a site and walk from building to building, room to room, searching for assets. Most of them had been barcoded in the past, so they would check it against a long list of assets.

When found, the asset would be identified using a asset hierarchy list (E.g. system / sub-system / description) and a series of questions would be answered and photos taken.

Newly found assets would have a barcode attached and they would then follow the same process as that used on “known” assets.


With only 3 months to work with, we realised that we’d have to move fast and use as much of Audicas’ existing functionality as possible. The scope would have to be laser focused.

Using the Audicas Asset Module, we created an asset database and loaded it up with their asset data.

We then created an asset inspection form for the Audicas iPad app which stored a site’s asset information on a hidden, “unassigned” asset page.

Then Audicas’ hierarchy buttons were used to give the field techs a quick way to capture the asset hierarchy information.

Finally, Audicas’ barcode scanner was configured to search through the list of “unassigned” assets and when found, assign the asset to the page/system the field tech was currently looking at.


From the field tech’s perspective, having Audicas on a lightweight iPad versus a laptop was a big plus.

The layout of the form and size of the buttons and other interactive components was easy for them to use.

Having everything running in the background, being synchronised and upgraded without their input, gave them time to focus on collecting quality information.

For the business, having a working solution two weeks after they had engaged Audicas was a huge benefit. Then receiving ongoing support and customisation during the project gave them confidence that the project was going to be completed successfully.

In the financial year after the asset hierarchy information was gathered, the company is getting full benefit from the asset data collected and imported into their asset management system.

Within two weeks we had deployed Audicas and trained a core group of field techs who then trained the remainder. They then started fanning out across the country to visit sites and give us feedback.

The asset audit form was improved, bugs fixed and all of the upgrades were pushed out in real-time with no need for the field techs to send their iPads back to head office.

Significantly, the project was a big success and when it was completed, all of the new and updated asset information was exported from Audicas back into their asset management system.

As a bonus, they also received a large library of site photos which had been automatically named and categorised by Audicas for quick and efficient searches.

What a relief! Audicas helps field techs deliver real-time site reports.

A couple of months ago we picked up Motorola Solutions as a customer, so I recently drove out to a remote NSW site to meet some of their field techs to get their feedback about Audicas whilst they upgraded equipment.

The guys had already been going at it for a few hours when I walked in the shelter at around 10 AM. One of them was sitting on the floor working on some cable when he looked up and told me what a relief it was to have Audicas: no longer would he have to work back late each day after the site visit pulling together the reports. He was pretty happy and also threw in a prediction that I’d retire one day soon because I’d struck gold with Audicas. Ha, ha, always great to meet a happy user.

The Motorola form for this project had to deal with many different design solutions. So, in Audicas we used conditional formulas to show and hide entire pages, along with branching questions. That way it dynamically resized the form to fit the design solution they picked on site. It also used the site number to pull in site information from their customer’s asset database and send information back to it in real-time as they completed the form.

Audicas question branching

Audicas show and hide pages

Their customer also had a long list of photos they needed taken, along with their naming convention format. So again, we set all of that up in their form template using Audicas formulas to auto-name photos as they were being taken. The guys were extremely happy with that feature.

It wasn’t all wine and roses. I did get feedback that some of the questions and button values needed to be changed. They also found that some of the equipment boxes had two barcodes to scan instead of the one we’d allowed for. Not a problem. Audicas was designed to be dynamic, so updating form templates is super easy. I made the changes in five minutes and pushed the update out to their audit form in real-time.

Finally, I heard that their manager and the customer were enjoying occasionally checking the Audicas admin website to see the progress they were making: it’s actually pretty addictive siting their watching as photos come in.

I’m happy to report that since my site visit, Motorola Solutions have continued with their equipment upgrade project and have been using Audicas on a regular basis.

Oh, and I’m also not retired…nor would I really want to because Audicas is my passion. Really!

If you’d like to learn more about Audicas, including any questions about our 30-day free trial, send an email to me at

Field tech working up a ladder