Why OSS BSS Transformation?
Many still think that OSS BSS Transformation (or one of them) is a luxury, they think it is more like a plastic surgery to make things more beautiful but the inside is still the same. But in fact OSS BSS transformation has nothing to do with cosmetic, it is more like a heart surgery, it is a must now…Things are moving so fast and so quick and the little Operator heart that was beating in the same pace of the Voice and SMS services is no more catering with the marathon and sprint rhythm imposed today by the Convergence of the Web and the Telco, today that heart needs to change!
To know why we need OSS and BSS transformation, we need to travel back and forth in time and compare what Operator were to what they are to what they will be…so fasten your belt and get ready to travel in time…We won’t reach TRex because the history of CSPs is so short (couple of decades back in time) but we all hope they will last long… we all depend on it.
The past of OSS and BSS
Our journey starts in the past: Few years back, it was the golden age of operators. A new technology called Mobile Telephony was invented and the business case was so appealing for governments selling the licenses as well as for big investors who were acquiring these licenses…That was the age of proliferation. Operator were making a lot of revenue selling Voice and SMS, Networks were relatively easy to manage: Some Base Stations 2G or best case 3G here and there, a nice Core and a very primate OSS and BSS were doing perfectly the Job. The customers were humans and were consuming Voice and SMS, and they are acquiring the SIM by hundreds or thousands per day (maybe in some case tens of thousands) and this amount of provisioning is perfectly manageable by some basic Support Systems and the services were perfectly feasible by a “dumb” BSS system. One of the big mistake that many Operators fell in (actually forced to fall in) is that they were in a big harry to launch so they were “patching” when there is a need: if they needed an IN they will issue a quick RFP for the IN, if they needed an OCS they RFQ for an OCS and so on… that led to a mess of silos and a spaghetti architecture…that was on Technology side but what happens also around those silos is the formation of human lobbies around them, politics, resistance, bespoke processes and mostly manual tasks…But still, everybody were healthy and happy, anyway this is still past.
The present of OSS and BSS
Since that Golden Age, things have changed and changed so fast…there was a parallel Universe to Telco called Web. In Web Universe things are Open, people are young, smart, innovative and risk takers…In Web Universe the intelligence was in the edge of the Network (the servers and the computers are making the Web what it is and not the routers. But in Telco The radio and the Core are making the Telco, the end devices were so stupid made to accept calls). The Web was offering all what human needs: science, knowledge, shopping, love, emotions… Ladies and Gentleman Welcome to the present !
Few years back a smart business leader called Steve Jobs (Steve was brilliant but not Dennis Richie who died the same day as Steve is the most brilliant, and this is a tribute for him) kicked the change: The subscribers, who once were using dumb phones to call and message, have today a smart device in hands giving them freedom they were not given before, they are using the Operator as a tunnel (remember the name Dumb Pipe) to travel to the parallel Universe called Web and find the services they love and the Value they seek. In Web Universe the Services and innovation are not created as charity, Web has made many many billionaires and the services launched there are made to make money (check Google stock evolution last few years, check how much Facebook are making money, check Amazon, Netflix, Alibaba…). Operators see this flow of money running through his pipes using his network and he just can watch…Subscribers are very hungry for data, they are using data as much as they can and as much as they can pay for, but how much operator will price data, it can’t be priced as Voice (per minute), Operator can’t explain to subscribers what is a 1 MB or 1 GB and ask them to pay for use per MB (a 1 GB can be only few minutes HD movie). The need to expand the Network is never like before, Operator also needs to resist the charm of the OTT (Over The Top) by Offering more and more attractive services, Operators needs also to Better monetize the data usage through more innovative offering and better services, revenues is never like before, today Operators are obliged to reduce their Costs and at the same time to keep their customers satisfied through an excellent customer experience. Question: is the legacy OSS BSS initially designed four couple of voice and SMS services and few thousands of fulfillment requests per day can cater with this new wave?…
The answer is clear I guess but hold on don’t answer now, don’t forget we are still in present, carry on read and then answer. Our next station will be the Future…
Future Needs of OSS and BSS
Connectivity will be the keyword of the future, connectivity will be a basic human right, connectivity will go further beyond human, we are seeing that today already, but tomorrow it will be even much more. Mark Zuckerberg is talking about Connected World, Sergey Brin is making his smart glass, Hans Vestberg is talking about the Networked Society, Elon Musk is finalizing his driver-less electric car…
Dear Operator tomorrow all above will be your customers, everything on earth and beyond that can be connected you will connect it, everything means: human, cars, glass, cow, fridge, tree, dog, heart, brain…ooof that’s so scary. Dear Operator you are in Business of selling connectivity before, but you have to rethink your role: is it enough for you to sell SIM cards? you have everything to play a bigger role…Think business, technology should be an enabler of the business pasta! particularly OSS and BSS. Dear Operator, tomorrow you will have to fully automate, to virtualize, to scale up and down quickly, to be realtime, to be fast, to be process driven…What will grant these dimensions? An excellent Network ? Yes of course but that’s 20% of the answer (maybe less because Network is the same and maybe one day every operator will excel in network quality ), it is the OSS and BSS layers that will make that possible, that’s where the differentiation will happen…that’s where the heart and the brain of the operator reside, that’s what needs to be transformed.
Reality and Myth of OSS BSS transformation
In our part 2 we will talk about what in reality is OSS and BSS transformation and What are the steps of such transformation. Stay tuned…