Have you ever been an OSS/BSS user who needs to get a job done but don’t quite know how to use the tools to do it? Where did you look to find the information that you needed?

There are various different places that you might consider looking, depending on the provider of your OSS/BSS solution

Expanding Your Assistance Options in OSS/BSS Configuration

You might have access to assistance in the form of:

  • Help files that you need to navigate to find the information you need
  • Contextual help files that direct you to support information on the specific function or user-interface you’re having problems with
  • A user or administrator guide that provides generic descriptions for how to use each feature or function (usually not customised for the client’s particular OSS/BSS configuration)
  • A work instruction for completing a particular task or process
  • Online help files or pages
  • User community portals
  • Vendor support
  • Or various other techniques

However, there’s one technique that is potentially under-utilised and we only have to look as far as Internet search trends to understand changing user preferences. 

The Dominance of Google in Information Search

As described in The Search Engine Journal’s article, “Meet the 7 Most Popular Search Engines in the World,” a majority of people looking for information or help use Google. That won’t surprise anyone. The second most popular search tool might though. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed YouTube (also owned by Google), then you guessed right.


The second most popular technique for those seeking information / help is not another search engine, but a video sharing engine. According to YouTube statistics in 2022, YouTube has around 2.6 billion active users per month and serves over a billion hours of video every day. 


It's also worth noting that the trend of video search and consumption is on the rise. Many have realised the benefits of utilising short-form video as a medium to get their message across to their audiences quickly.

How do you prefer to find and consume information when you need quick answers? Do you tap into text-based search, video-based search or both on a case-by-case basis?

The Pros and Cons of Using Video Help Snippets for Support

As the YouTube example describes above, there’s clearly a large audience that prefers visual consumption of information. The strengths of video help snippets include:

  1. Visual aids can make the instructions easier to understand and follow, particularly for complex solutions like OSS/BSS
  2. Users can see the exact steps being taken, as well as sample data sets used, making it easier to accurately and consistently replicate the process
  3. Can be more engaging and interactive for users
  4. Can describe nuances in product use that aren’t apparent in documented guides

The downsides also need to be considered though:

  • Video snippets can be more time-consuming to create and maintain than text documents
  • Video files are typically larger and may take longer to load, which can be an issue for remote users with slow internet connections
  • Videos need to be updated any time there are changes in process or data modelling
  • Videos may need to be custom-made for each different OSS/BSS installation due to unique modelling and processes for each customer
  • Videos can be difficult to optimise for fast user search and navigation
  • Videos may need special handling for users who are visually impaired or need language translation

Despite the drawbacks, it’s quite possible that video snippets could be a very useful channel for finding, navigating and consuming support information.

To simplify the video creation process, many of the video snippets could be recorded whilst conducting factory and user test for later editing.

Omnichannel in Telecommunications

Omnichannel is a term that has gained widespread use in the telecommunications industry. It takes an integrated approach to delivering customer engagement that combines online, offline, mobile, social media, etc into a single, integrated customer experience. It provides customers with the option of accessing whichever “channel” they prefer to engage with for customer service. 

We could equally consider “help” to be a form of customer service. Therefore, does it make sense for help to be provided to you via whichever delivery mechanism you prefer, potentially including the video snippets technique?