When you've been in the telco industry for many years, you'll begin to notice that OSS/BSS trends often move like a pendulum. The pendulum moves from off-the-shelf products to in-house-developed and back to off-the-shelf. From monolithic to modular and back. The current trend is to move away from monolithic stacks to microservices. Large telcos have fostered modularity for many years by using best-of-breed approaches. They are now increasingly adopting microservices, which represent modularity, but at a micro scale.


Trends in the telecom industry are changing the requirements of OSS and BSS systems

The pendulum swings backwards and forwards because each approach tends to have different pros and cons. For example, a common challenge faced by many large telcos today is fall-out management. Best of breed and microservice approaches provide customers with design flexibility. But on the flipside, modularity leads to an increased number of integration points. It's at these integration points where fall-outs often happen - when transactions hand off and back from one system to the next.


And it's not only fall-outs. Having an increased number of integration points has other ramifications:


  1. The cost of integration, the integration tax, tends to becomes larger. We need to add an adaption layer when we connect one system with another.
  2. Integration between systems is an afterthought. Not that integration itself is an afterthought. It's the specific integration of Product A and Product B / C / etc is rarely considered by the developers. The integrators may need to shoe-horn different data-models together, with possible misalignments. For example, two integrated systems may share a common attribute, but each has a different format or naming convention.
  3. When two vendors design data models for their products in isolation, they don't have rich data cross-linking in mind. There might be enough correlation for the interface to work, but not enough to readily support rich data analysis.
  4. Extra testing is required to ensure the interface works seamlessly across all possible scenarios. This means testing of data sets, data formats, processes and transactions. Unfortunately, fall-outs occur when testing hasn't covered all possible scenarios.



Having a tightly-coupled end-to-end solution does away with many of these challenges.

For example, let's look at an Order to Activation (O2A) scenario. It's ideal if there's a solution that manages O2A transactions from:


  • Customer onboarding to
  • Service order entry to
  • Workflow Management to
  • Network & Service Design to
  • Resource / inventory / service / workforce allocation to
  • Service Activation / Provisioning (network and system configuration) to
  • Post-implement reconciliation


Having a single vendor solution like SunVizion's, with the pre-integrated tools below, overcomes many of the challenges mentioned above:


In the case of SunVizion, pre-integration of these functions means:


  1. The adaption layer/s are in-built
  2. Data models have greater consistency by being developed together
  3. Rich cross-linking of data is inherent
  4. Testing has spanned many projects and many customers. This has allowed it to be refined and improved over the years


Point 3 in the list above is often overlooked or underestimated when planning an OSS/BSS project. Powerful insight generation tools are built into most OSS/BSS tools - within the domain of that tool. For example, every vendor's Network Inventory tool allows users to find network capacity, reserve resources, trace services / circuits through the network and many other valuable functions.


Cross-domain queries provide some of the most valuable responses from your data. But when you wish to perform a cross-domain query, you need a data set that is richly cross-linked. For example, if your marketing team wanted to know who to send promotions to, you may ask:


  • Which homes are within 500m of a new section of network you're building
  • Within a certain suburb or postcode
  • But aren't active customers yet
  • And then split out those homes between ones that had and hadn't requested a quote before or
  • Had or hadn't been connected before


To do this needs data sets linked across network inventory, network planning, service order management and CRM.


If your OSS/BSS integrations / data are loosely-coupled, it can be difficult to answer cross-domain questions. But when your O2A stack is built by one company end-to-end, as SunVizion's is, garnering these insights becomes easier.


Telecom Industry Trends - conclusion

Having customer and network data available in one place, in one common and cross-linked database, makes it easy to prepare sophisticated queries using off-the-shelf Business Intelligence tools. This unleashes the wealth of information that is typically trapped inside operations and makes it available for your other business units.