Reimagining OSS BSS Systems to Shape the Future of the Telecom Industry by@naveencharles

Reimagining OSS BSS Systems to Shape the Future of the Telecom Industry

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Naveen Charles

Telco Industrial Tech Writer.

Best defined as the ‘backbone systems’ of telcos, the OSS BSS architecture supports the end-to-end services that enhance the engagement with their customers. OSS and BSS are entities that represent the operational and business sides of the telecom respectively. Though used together, these two terms are different from each other in their functions. But, is the legacy OSS/BSS architecture capable of handling the demands of their digitally native customers? The answer is definitely ‘No,’ these legacy systems are even incapable of driving telcos’ own journey to becoming a Digital Service Provider (DSP).

Hence, it is highly imperative to modernize telecom OSS/BSS applications, which is key to enabling digital engagement, thereby meeting the evolving needs of their customers. Before heading to further details, let’s try to find answers to some basic questions such as, what is OSS/BSS, how do OSS and BSS operate together, what are the benefits of these entities in the Telecommunication sector.

OSS BSS Explained

OSS (Operational Support Systems) can be described as a vital system that consists of specialized software tools (occasionally hardware) to analyze, monitor, configure, and manage all operational activities related to the telecom network. OSS mainly helps in network performance, fault management, provisioning of new services, configuration, network inventory, and service assurance.

BSS (Business Support Systems) refers to software applications that support all business and customer-facing activities of the telecom network. BSS telecom applications deal with billing, order management, service fulfillment, revenue management, customer relationship management, product catalogs, etc. With the BSS platform/concept, telecom operators can drive agility and operational efficiency and support new business models.

Difference between OSS and BSS

Now that we have a basic understanding of OSS and BSS, let’s look into some of the major differences between these two entities.

OSS (Operational Support Systems)

BSS (Business Support Systems)

OSS primarily focuses on network management

BSS focuses on all activities in the organization

OSS is handled by back-end staff like developers, engineers, etc.

BSS is managed by front-end staff

It helps DSPs to manage and analyze network connections

It helps DSPs in the better running of the business

OSS includes information regarding the network like performance, quality, etc.

BSS includes information regarding customer payment orders, new orders, customer relationships, etc.

How do OSS and BSS operate together?

Though previously OSS and BSS were operating as separate entities, with the evolution of complex and differentiated products and services, together these systems function to allow DSPs to offer services efficiently to their customers. While BSS capture various service orders and manages the business aspects, OSS function to fulfill the orders and provide service assurance information back to the BSS. Hence, it is evident that OSS and BSS systems are the driving force of every DSP bringing together the technology and customer experience.

OSS BSS Transformation for the Digital Era

It is not surprising that communication service providers are facing massive changes at all functional levels with increasing complexities across networks, systems, and devices. A recent study by TM Forum reveals that 72% of Communication Service Providers (CSPs) believe 5G revenue growth is completely dependent on transforming their BSS and OSS.

Legacy OSS/BSS Vs Next-Generation OSS/BSS

Customers expect the service providers to keep pace with the new-age technologies and provide them a digital experience similar to OTT players. But, it is not possible with legacy OSS/BSS telecom applications as these applications’ limited features and rigid architecture are not designed for digital experiences. Hence, service providers do not have any other option but to transform their OSS and BSS systems to keep their business competitive and customers satisfied.

Much like networks, telco’s operational support systems and business support systems should undergo a transformation, thereby changing the traditional definition of OSS/BSS. Offering a service to customers now demands the right integration between OSS and BSS. Moreover, the demand for cloud OSS/BSS has recently increased with factors such as swift deployment and scalability, enhanced customer experiences and business agility, more streamlined billing systems, etc.

Unlocking 5G Potential

With a modernized OSS/BSS architecture, service providers can easily seize the benefits of 5G. It provides more flexibility and agility that enables service providers to readily offer 5G services. A next-generation OSS/BSS will help transform network systems and at the same time support DSPs to quickly introduce a host of digital services and automate business processes. Moreover, it helps service providers in enhanced customer and revenue management.

Reimagining telco’s OSS and BSS systems are the only way to combat the challenges posed by the newer competitors and the flexible market landscape. It is critical for every service provider to map their own digital transformation path and understand that the process is not a one-time activity; it should be a journey towards acquiring digital capabilities that will help businesses seize newer opportunities.

In Conclusion

Within the telecom landscape, if the customer needs to contact their service provider, change a billing address, enquire about new offerings, or report an issue, they need to rely on customer support which is also a part of the BSS system. Whether the service provider needs to quickly introduce new services, solve technical problems, control costs, or provide a good customer experience, they should modernize their OSS/BSS applications.

Modernized OSS/BSS facilitates quick time-to-value in delivering new features and helps to derive maximum ROI. Keeping pace with new technologies, the telecommunications industry is constantly evolving and therefore a robust digital OSS/BSS architecture is highly imperative to adapt to these changes in parallel.

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