There was a time when OSS/BSS build and transformation projects were sexy. They were the hot new technology projects that carriers around the world were embarking on. They offered the promise of lifting operations teams up a level from what the NMS (Network Management Systems) tools provided that they had previously relied upon. The promises of those OSS/BSS transformations were tantalising. They offered drastic improvements, increasing operator effectiveness and business optimisation compared with the manual, swivel-chair approaches required with NMS-level operations.

That was around the time of the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s. The exciting part is that many of those promises were actually delivered upon with ground-breaking efficiency improvements. But despite the improvements made, some of the gloss came off OSS/BSS transformation. In most cases it wasn't from a lack of outcomes, but because the transformation projects often took more time and resources than (optimistically) forecast.

Significant operational benefits tend to come from significant effort. As the old saying goes, "you get back what you put in." There's little doubt that well-designed OSS/BSS, that are implemented via well-run projects, will deliver competitive advantage to the organisations that have the courage to invest in them. But as any experienced OSS/BSS architect knows, it can be difficult to persuade those organisations, and the sponsors that hold the budgets, to embark on an OSS/BSS transformation these days.

Waves of transformation - significant OSS/BSS architecture changes

George Glass, the CTO of TM Forum, provided some fantastic transformation insights recently a guest on Episode 017 of The Passionate About OSS Podcast. From his time as a senior executive at BT, George had learnt to use what the podcast host referred to as "Burning Platforms," or radical change events, to initiative significant OSS/BSS architecture changes. George referred to it as, "looking for the waves of transformation that are coming along and see if you can ride one of those waves to actually get your architecture (and/or business case) implemented."

The examples of waves of transformation that George described include:

  1. Realisation of fierce competition (driving a need for new competitive advantages)
  2. Availability of new technology
  3. The merger of, or combination of, products and services to make attractive offers to the marketplace that provide big revenue opportunities
  4. Legal and regulatory change
  5. Corporate acquisition and/or merger or even internal re-organisations
  6. And a whole number of other things to look out for

Some of these waves of transformation will be unique to your business. Others will relate to macro events or trends across the industry. As we describe in the article OSS transformation, the industry is already seeing significant transformation waves build in the form of programmable networks (SDN, NFV), 5G, cloud-native service offerings and Internet of Things (IoT). Whilst it’s the networks and infrastructure that get most of the attention in the boardroom, the back-office refurbishment is just as important to deliver benefits from these infrastructure investments.

As you know full well, the networks alone are unable to deliver the outcomes that your organisation desires. It's your OSS and BSS that will instantiate the operational improvement and service innovation that these technologies support.

OSS/BSS architecture changes - challenges

Are you currently trying to convince your colleagues that it's no longer viable to transform your OSS/BSS with small projects or incremental changes? Are you trying to convince them that you need to move to a more modern architecture that provides speed and flexibility to the operations and business teams that rely on your tools? Will you struggle to implement new network models like 5G on your current OSS/BSS stack? Have you already written business cases for the stand-up of more simple, elegant and future-proof architectures, but had them rejected?

These are common challenges that we see our customers and prospects dealing with, especially those who are trying to drive significant change via digital transformation.

Professional assistance in implementing changes

In addition to being constantly on the lookout for "the waves of transformation you can ride," as George described it above, we may be able to assist you in other ways. We can provide you with guidance that comes from having helped many service provider organisations to initiate and deliver on significant digital transformations.

Whether that's assisting you with:

  • Proven optimisation metrics that approved business cases have been created around
  • Demonstrated implementation techniques that de-risk transformations
  • Modern architectural models to build a compelling OSS/BSS architecture with
  • Or providing you with the out-of-the-box application and data models to support the waves of transformation that are most relevant to you, including programmable networks, 5G, cloud offerings, IoT or so much more

We would be delighted to have an introductory meeting with you and discuss ways we can help you ride the waves of transformation and get your next OSS/BSS transformation or project underway.