Telkom SA deploys Ontology to align network inventory and deliver a single, authoritative source for network data.


Telkom SA, a leading provider of communications services in South Africa and on the African continent, implemented an Ontology data migration solution to improve transitioning of network inventory data to an MDM implementation. All Communication Service Providers (CSPs) have a proliferation of asset inventories. These inventories are spread across the organisation and contain critical customer and operational data that often conflict with the same information in different systems.

For Telekom, this data misalignment problem resulted in delays, added cost and inconsistent customer experiences. To address these issues, Telkom implemented an MDM solution to help to align the data across these inventories to improve data integrity for its planning, engineering and support processes. 

The challenge Telkom faced was that, due to data inconsistencies, it proved difficult for the MDM solution to identify the same customers, services or network infrastructure components across the various OSS, BSS and inventory systems. Whilst the MDM solution performed exactly as expected, only ~60% of network data was able to be aligned using traditional linking techniques. It also took 4 months to load just one of eight network data sources. These results prompted Telkom to look for an approach that would transition reliable data from existing sources into its new MDM environment.


Telkom implemented an Ontology data migration solution to search, validate and align data before transitioning to the MDM implmentation. Traditional techniques to link data across different systems rely on linking database structures but don't understand the relationships and dependencies between the things in the data.

The Ontology solution uses a semantic model to understand the things in the data such as routers, set top boxes, customers or bills. Using semantic rules, classification and inference, Ontology is able to link far more of the data than traditional approaches.


After two months of using the Ontology solution to search existing data sources to construct its Network Data Hub, Telkom achieved an overall 93 percent alignment between the data discovered from the operating network and the Network Data Hub, including:

  • 100% of cabinets 
  • 97% of nodes
  • 91% of ports
  • 91% of service links
  • 85% of topology links
The Network Data Hub is monitored by Ontology, and alignment with existing data stores is evaluated daily.

Read how Telkom South Africa aligned data from multiple systems and sources.