OSS and BSS transformation has become a topic that is much discussed in our industry. That’s largely because the issue has become caught up with the more general notion of digital transformation, which is one of the most pressing of current technology trends, across many industries. Companies, organisations and institutions are eagerly rushing to embrace digital transformation projects. In this post, we explore what this means for OSS and BSS transformation in telecoms operator networks.
Somewhat confusingly, digital transformation is a rather imprecise term. While there are multiple definitions, let’s focus on a few key outcomes which will also shed light on OSS and BSS transformation goals.
First, digital transformation is supposed to enable the automation of key processes via the exchange of data between different systems. It’s a simple fact that many organisations run multiple systems that, essentially exist in isolation. They do not share common data and they cannot benefit from correlation between processes. They are often known as silos, but can also be compared to islands. Until recently, most businesses were essentially an archipelago of islands, each representing a different and separate system or process.
Connecting these islands is now a key desired outcome of digital transformation. A further key outcome is the automation of many processes. Enabling a process to take place without manual intervention or oversight saves time and money – resources that can then be deployed more effectively on other tasks that add value to the business.
There may well be other OSS and BSS transformation goals, but interconnection for the smooth and effective transfer of data, and the automation of key processes are clear and compelling objectives. Now let’s compare these general and high-level goals to the current situation in OSS and BSS.
The simple fact is that, just as with other key business processes, most OSS and BSS estates have evolved through accretion. They typically comprise a collection of different systems that have been deployed at different times and which are essentially disconnected from each other. In other words, they are also islands. If the wider landscape of organisational IT and business process systems are islands, then so too are the majority of OSS and BSS systems. OSS and BSS systems are ripe for transformation. Let’s examine this in more detail.
Most telecoms operators have a completely heterogeneous estate of OSS and BSS systems, acquired through time. Because these are not adequately integrated or connected, operators are unable to automate key processes or use data that is available in one system to inform and update another.
This has practical implications. Operators exist to supply and sell services that convey communications over what are often complex networks. They may sell such services to end users or to other operators, but they must be able to activate and deliver services quickly and efficiently. With intense competition for such services, being able to do this faster and more efficiently than a rival can lead to significant competitive advantage.
The problem is that a service may be composed of a chain of different resources that need to be connected in some way. Prior to activating and delivering such a service, the operator must know what these elements are, where they can be found and their current status. If the data to provide this information is stored in different and disconnected systems, then the operator will be unable to perform this task easily or effectively – and cannot even begin to think about automating such tasks.
Similarly, once a service has been activated, there is a need for continuous updates regarding its status, so that it can be monitored and maintained effectively. If data cannot be easily and seamlessly exchanged between different systems, this process will be undermined and will not be achievable. For most operators, OSS and BSS transformation is not only essential, it is inevitable.
Fortunately, the digital transformation of OSS and BSS can now be achieved in a series of simple but effective steps. The first requires a focus on inventory and assets, because if operators don’t know what resources are available in their networks, where they are and their status, they cannot hope to smoothly and efficiently deliver services.
Creating a new inventory is a straightforward process that can easily be accomplished with CROSS, but it’s essential to make sure that the resulting implementation can effectively share and exchange data with other solutions. That requires API integration, something also supported by CROSS. APIs enable data to be exchanged both automatically and on-request, ensuring that islands are connected. As a result, all such systems involved in the delivery and management of services can be interconnected. Without this integration, there can be no effective OSS and BSS transformation.
Just as in other businesses, digital transformation in the operator domain depends on the effective automation and interconnection of key OSS and BSS processes. This must begin from the bottom up, with a comprehensive approach to network inventory. Taking this step will enable more effective service delivery and great agility. In turn, this will enhance competitive edge while ensuring more efficient operations – and reduced costs through the elimination of unnecessary expenses. By removing inefficiencies, productivity benefits will be secured, and operators will be more able to focus on key activities and growing their businesses.
CROSS helps operators to achieve this by enabling true consolidation of inventory resources, reduced costs and better, more agile service delivery. If you are considering OSS and BSS transformation projects, get in touch to learn how CROSS can benefit your business.