Evolve Next Gen Telecom Systems to be Flexible, Scalable and Open

Most classic Network Management Systems (NMS) are proprietary in nature, supporting traditional services and telecom network infrastructures and their architecture is closed by design. Therefore, though they provide the basic interface for consistent control and management of the network health, they do not offer flexibility in deployment or easy scalability nor do they support new interfaces required for Open Network Architectures.

With an increasing demand in services and traffic and a need to integrate with open network architectures, CIOs and CTOs of Communication Service Providers (CSPs) find it challenging to integrate their proprietary NMS with new and different vendor-specific solutions. This leaves them struggling to keep the lights on instead of focusing on innovation or developing new services.

The emergence of IoT systems and services and the evolution of 5G network have redefined the NMS and cluster of Network Domain Managers. The new parameters of an efficient NMS and new domain managers are their ability to support flexible deployment, adapt to the changing market scenarios, and create new service capabilities like:

  • Policy configuration at varied layers of network domains, automated enforcement of policies at network to be aligned with customer service levels
  • SLAs at network (physical, virtual, hybrid), network slices, partner network eco systems and monitoring in real / near real time
  • Flexibility of policy, SLA controls at various subscription levels
  • Drive through model approach. Seamless e2e template driven modeling for one click services
  • Network analytics and insights to support closed loop automation and assurance

CSPs are increasingly looking at cloud native network architectures to drive the digital transformation of their networks. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) are the two key technologies that harness cloud capabilities for networking and therefore form the basis of the Digital Telco networks. Microservices, DevOps and NetOps, Open APIs, and Containerization play a central role in the new telco operations and IT management.

While network modernization is critical to the success of the telecom industry, the significance of keeping the day to day operations running smoothly cannot be emphasized enough for maintaining an agile service lifecycle.

Why Operations Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) Matter

It will be imperative for CSPs to modernize (simplify and automate), adopt Open Digital Architectures (ODA) for their operations and processes to ensure they have the required agility to support

  • Seamless Customer Experience
  • Network evolution (SDN / NFV, 5G, IOT)

The Open Digital Architecture (ODA) program was launched in February 2018 by TM Forum, the industry association driving digital business transformation to replace / evolve the traditional Operational and Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS) architectures. The ODA is an attempt to bring standardization in the architecture of their open digital platforms in order to move towards a zero-touch and software defined operations for greater agility.

The Open Digital Architecture offers an industry-agreed blueprint, language and set of key design principles to follow. It will provide pragmatic pathways for the journey from maintaining monolithic, legacy software solutions, towards managing nimble, cloud based capabilities that can be orchestrated using AI.

- Whitepaper on 'Open Digital Architecture' from TM Forum

How Can We Build the Environment that Will Help Bring Automation and AI to BSS & OSS

Data Driven Organization: Creation of data lakes and adoption of big data technologies help in real time insights that can be leveraged for varied scenarios like AI led automation or software defined operations. BSS, OSS can evolve with this bundled data solution.

Go Agile with DevOps and Microservices: Telecom companies should build microservices to optimize existing services, rapidly build and deploy new services and for cost effective IT maintenance and upgrade. Microservices are small, flexible, installable and scalable independent software that are designed to perform a specific function. They are built using DevOps and other Agile methodologies and therefore bring a lot of flexibility, agility and speed to telco processes and operations.

Make Customer Experience Central to Your Business Strategy: OSS and BSS systems can provide invaluable insights into customer behavior using analytics to drive activities that can help telecom operators respond to the market faster with new offers and services. Also, the run time, the design time dynamic templates and meta models provide an e2e integrated (IT and network), seamless flow through solution and drives one click orchestration of services.

Open Ecosystem: Adopting open source throws open the door to a large new range of protocols, solution options and makes it easy to integrate with third party systems. It helps companies move away from silos to management functions that work in a multi-vendor environment besides opening up opportunities to collaborate and innovate

Adopt New Ways of Working: Establish self-contained high performing distributed agile teams and create a culture of collaborative working amongst business, IT, network, partners and other eco systems

Click here to know more about what are the guiding principles for BSS, OSS and NMS evolutions.