Telecommunications: Futureproof OSS/BSS Functions
Communication Service providers (CSPs) are faced with a barrage of challenges that include ever- changing customer needs, commoditized traditional services, non-traditional competitors, need for business agility and new regulatory mandates. On the other hand, there have been technological and architectural evolutions with Cloud, Open Source, Microservices, Open API, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) / Network Function Virtualization (NFV), 5G, AI, Machine learning & Automation, IoT, and Blockchain that provide new opportunities to offer digital service bundles, support new business models, enhance collaboration with partners, bring in operational efficiencies, and find new ways of working to demonstrate agility.
To address the challenges, service providers or Digital Service Providers (DSPs) have embarked on a digital journey to bring in agility, enhance customer experience, bring seamless zero touch flow from customer engagement to Operations Support Systems (OSS), Business Support Systems (BSS) and Network Management Systems (NMS) and other digital eco-systems with the mentioned technology levers for innovation, collaboration and new revenue streams.
Unfortunately, legacy IT systems for BSS, OSS, NMS in many cases can handle primarily traditional telco services and are not geared up for new age digital services. Let us look at how to evolve existing BSS, OSS and NMS in order to make them future proof.
Guiding Principles for BSS, OSS and NMS Evolutions
- For a seamless customer experience across channels, focus on omni-channel, self-service/ guided service and personalized/contextualized experience
- Introduce digital experience and enablement layer with Microservices architecture, Open APIs, Cloud allied technologies (for elasticity) and Open Source (for innovation) to provide a seamless experience. Provide further support for launch of digital and partner service bundles, new brands and multiple operating companies in cases where service providers have cross country operations
- Move BSS systems towards modular plug-n-play architectures and key capabilities like product catalog, offers, ordering etc. by embracing Microservices and Open Digital Architectures (ODA)
- Opt for agile OSS and blurring of fulfilment and assurance layers to support closed loop automation and assurance of services offered
- Evolve NMS systems to support Open Network Architectures, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) / Network Function Virtualization (NFV), 5G, IoT and hybrid networks to offer new digital services. Blur OSS and NMS in the software defined, virtual network world and implement event driven, dynamic usage and SLA based charging for virtual functions
- Adopt DevOps + NetOps with seamless development and integration of capabilities in Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) from online channels to IT systems to networks
- Leverage Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques at enterprise level to support automation and build Next Generation Software Defined Operations
- Become a data driven organization with real-time insights to make businesses highly responsive and adaptive
- Focus on cyber security and digital identity for customers and new age devices and network elements
- Explore new technologies like Blockchain that bring in innovative, simplified processes and encourage agility and trust in complex and dynamic partner eco systems
- Establish high performing self-contained teams taking complete responsibility of specific domains
- Align organizational structure and its culture to embrace digitalization
- Introduce new business models in the market place for not just Over-The-Top services, but also at network layer like Virtualized Network Function (VNF), 5G network slicing licensing
As telecom companies move towards a digital future, building a strong core network and an agile BSS/OSS with the right digital technologies, will revolutionize the industry and the experiences it can deliver to its customers.
Click here to know more about how can we build the environment that will help bring automation and AI to BSS & OSS