How to bridge OSS/BSS with CROSS

23 January 2023

How to bridge OSS/BSS with CROSS

Our everyday experiences are facilitated by data. Our communications, our entertainment, our work, and our purchases are all becoming increasingly dependent on streams of data. All this data moves from location to location around the globe, carried via communications networks.

Data integration, governance & insights

Moreover, these communications networks not only carry customer data streams but also generate and rely upon data too. Networks are supported by software known as Operational Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS). OSS and BSS perform many activities including:

    • Managing customer orders (fulfillment)
    • Monitoring network and service health (assurance)
    • Calculating bills and charges as well as coordinating receivables (revenue)
    • Ensuring the network evolves to meet ever-changing needs (planning)

    Each of these essential workflows relies on data stored in OSS/BSS systems like CROSS Network Inventory. The OSS/BSS data it stores includes service order details, network performance telemetry, asset/inventory details, and much, much more.

    As indicated in the diagram below, CROSS collects data from many different sources and integrates it into a single coherent store of information. These sources include customer-facing data such as CRM, Billing, customer portals, and more. But they also source data from back-office systems like the network, design tools, workforce management (WFM), and asset/spares management as well as many others. OSS/BSS tools like CROSS also often gather information from other sources entirely, including third-party suppliers, social sentiment analyses, etc.

    oss bss diagram 3

    Important operational decisions are made about the network, sometimes manually, sometimes automatically, on the basis of the masses of data collected by OSS and BSS every day. In fact, the reliable performance of global communications networks is fundamentally linked to the integrity of the data that’s collected, integrated, and processed by OSS/BSS tools. If just a single data point out of billions/trillions is erroneous, it can trigger a contagion effect, dragging overall data quality down further.

    CROSS as a Data Bridge

    It’s common for a network operator’s OSS/BSS to consist of tens or even hundreds of separate applications. In most cases, fulfillment, assurance, revenue, and planning tools are all separate solutions but linked via custom integrations that form a complex web of interconnections. This complex meshing can make it difficult for a network operator to make any change to their network management stack.

    CROSS has been intentionally designed to be different, to overcome these common problems. It bridges data from many sources, providing a consolidated location to link fulfillment, assurance, revenue, and planning data with a standard, but simplified data model. This data model consists of five core tables, two main modeling/stitching rules, and Open APIs for sharing data.

    As a Data Bridge, CROSS becomes the single, consolidated source of truth across all domains and all workstreams. Not only does it integrate the data into one place, it also provides a single toolkit to process and visualize the collected information.

    Using this toolkit and simplified data model, CROSS can act as a powerful data analytics platform. It combines customer, reference, asset, work activity, and telemetry data to support queries that are cross-linked in time (i.e. time-based views), space (i.e. map views), and finance (i.e. cost/revenue/efficiency views) without product customization. This makes powerful queries simple to generate without a team of data scientists.

    The data bridge model allows for complex OSS integrations to be disentangled, as shown in the diagram below, thus facilitating simpler OSS/BSS transformation planning and implementation.

    federation vs integration 2

    Data Bridge Architecture Models

    • Embedded Mode – CROSS can act as a lightweight, consolidated OSS/BSS solution, collecting information from Operational Networks (devices, EMS, NMS, etc) and providing support for fulfillment, assurance, revenue, and planning activities. This mode is applicable for network operators that don’t have many other existing OSS/BSS solutions and/or want a far simpler architecture without a complex web of integrations.
    • Floating Mode – CROSS can sit on top of existing OSS/BSS solutions, combining disparate data sources to provide a platform for consistent operations across all domains. This mode can also be useful as a pathway for complex transformation projects.

    architecture models 2


    CROSS's unique ability to act as a data bridge overcomes a number of significant challenges facing network operators today. It provides the following distinct features that simplify network operations and separate it from other network inventory solutions:

    • A single operational data model – CROSS discovers, integrates, and cleverly stitches data from many sources to create a coherent, multi-domain data set. Some inventory solutions provide cross-domain stitching of resource data, but not of telemetry, financial, or billing data like CROSS does.
    • Integrates rather than federates data – CROSS provides functionality that collects, cross-links, governs, and error-corrects data from different sources, unlike other solutions that only federate, linking to mismatched and/or possibly erroneous data.
    • Single pane of glass – CROSS correlates technical, operational, and financial/commercial data in a single repository, whilst also providing a comprehensive toolkit to control all network operations from a single console. This means all dashboards, metrics, and levers can be accessed via an easy-to-use browser interface instead of multiple different tools.
    • Disentangles integration complexity to facilitate simpler transformation – CROSS provides a simplified starting point, allowing operators to transform from a position of confidence rather than complexity.

    To learn how CROSS can help bridge your network's disparate data sources and OSS/BSS domains, schedule a demo today by visiting or emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..