Converging BSS and OSS Data for Agile Digital Operations
The only way to achieve true digital operations is with a unified data management strategy.
The digital operations future that the industry is striving towards has, at its core, a significantly more end-to-end, holistic attitude to all aspects of operations. It includes automated end-to-end workflows, data sharing and visibility, process and more. Yet aligning the customer-facing aspects of the business with the network-facing aspects has proven extremely challenging throughout the evolving history of telecom providers. Efforts to force that conceptual change within the fabric of the service-focused CSPs’ chain of command orders have fallen short. It is becoming more obvious however that large scale cultural change is achievable if we change the nature of the tools that CSPs use. This fundamentally changes the systems as well as the culture and operations within the business accordingly.
Platform solutions like Netcracker Business Cloud are starting to light the way through the murky world of digital transformation and provide the industry with a clear path to achieve not only short-term service ambitions, but to set up CSPs for digital operations in the highly competitive markets of the 2020s.
Pre-integration Goes Beyond Open Architectures
In the past, BSS and OSS architectures have been pieced together over time in a patchwork of software and services which have ultimately been extremely disconnected. The move towards automation and standards-based open architectures essentially aims to fix this disjointed state. This approach is a move in the right direction for the industry. Let’s take a look at three digital service provider scenarios where the pre-integrated platform approach is vastly more effective than a patchwork of ISV, single-function solutions.
- B2B Digital Service Setup
Enterprises are increasingly looking to purchase a bundled solution from their CSPs, including advanced connectivity, infrastructure services and enterprise applications. Being able to provide the whole solution is a complex opportunity and one that traditionally has taken months to deliver. Putting together the right carrier network infrastructure and software stack is often a bespoke project with many vendor’s products being used and systems integrator costs spiraling. By the time the CSP completes the delivery, its ROI model can be blown and profit margins cut down to very little.
A pre-integrated, cloud-based solution that has many microservice building blocks or modules is able to cut the delivery time to weeks rather than months and avoids any tricky and expensive SI work. As enterprises move to digital service bundles like SD-WAN with enterprise applications and cloud storage, the pre-integrated single-vendor platform is in a league of its own.
- Kick-starting SDN/NFV Deployments
Many operators have deployed SDN/NFV in their network, but virtualization is still a long way from being ubiquitous. One of the large stumbling blocks is the sharing of real-time data in a multi-vendor NFV environment and the limits set at the APIs. To develop the appetite to scale SDN/NFV industry-wide, CSPs need to see clearly pronounced benefits in cost, performance and agility, which may not be there in their first round of live virtualization forays. A turnkey platform solution of pre-integrated network and BSS/OSS solutions with proven results is the obvious way to make big steps forward in moving to SDN/NFV at scale. Netcracker demonstrated this recently in a multi-vendor Proof of Concept at MEF19 in Los Angeles, highlighting orchestrated virtualized multi-vendor SD-WAN Services.
- Customer-focused Front End
With an omnichannel customer experience, there is significant creation of customer data that needs to be managed behind the scenes to make that customer experience seamless across all channels. On top of this, CSPs are increasingly identifying the need for all of this data to be processed by a native analytics function that can provide insights to the business, important processing data to the OSS further down the stack and also provide a personalized journey for the customer. The move to digital services will see the complexity of product and service bundles increase, so CSPs need consistent data management and contextually-aware processes in the BSS to achieve these goals.