June 18, 2019

How a Common Software Foundation Benefits Today’s Digital Service Providers

Maximizing operational efficiency and automating core processes in the digital economy can be achieved using a common software foundation for BSS and OSS.

Automation has been at the core of the BSS/OSS vendor business model for decades, yet, in most examples, this means piecemeal functions and processes rather than the end-to-end automated workflow often discussed as part of digital transformation. Achieving 100 percent automation through a process like end-to-end fulfillment of a new service is now possible, but it requires a huge overhaul of the BSS/OSS industry. The way in which these software systems are being conceived and developed has been radically rethought and one of the cornerstones of that transformation is a common software foundation (CSF).

A CSF is a response to the inefficiencies brought about by a proliferation of legacy BSS and OSS solutions. It is the core design principle behind the evolution of Netcracker’s products. A modern, standardized, modular and open API architecture eradicates excessive ongoing systems integrator (SI) costs and forms an instantly interoperable suite of coherent products and services.

Let’s take a look at the key attributes of a common software foundation, like those which make up the Netcracker suite.

Modularity and Scalability

Building modular software assets in a common model greatly benefits service providers when it comes to the issues of scaling successful service paradigms. Using BSS/OSS components as building blocks rather than tying together a complex web of custom code and proprietary scripts can drastically improve process efficiency. This approach enables service providers to have a suite of products which can effectively be dragged and dropped into place for a quick service launch. Operators can then progress to mass scale using the same solution set.

Pre-Integrated Components

The current industry demand for “open” systems is often limited to talking about interfaces. The clear benefit of “full-stack” vendors in this respect is that all components are pre-integrated at a more fundamental level, as the open-API paradigm exposes only the data that is predefined by the individual vendor. With a large modular suite from the same vendor, the level at which components can interoperate is deeper than that of a multi-vendor ecosystem. The days of the monolithic systems architecture are over, so a “full-stack” deal is akin to purchasing multiple best-in-class systems, but with no SI work and deeper pre-integration and interworking.

Developed and Refined in Agile and DevOps Models

For innovative operators, digital service architectures must be developed, tested and maintained in Agile and DevOps models. Time-to-market is much more of an important consideration in the digital services age, and being able to provide a platform on which to innovate new features is very important. Rapid product service delivery and ongoing refinement with bug-free code can be tracked directly to uplifts in most key performance metrics, such as customer experience.

Predefined Capabilities for Cloud and Big Data Analytics

It is essential for service providers to be able to have options for the delivery of solutions through various cloud models and be able to provide cloud options to their customers. Additionally, the ability to run a wide variety of big data analytics across networks and BSS/OSS is another “must have” feature. A common software foundation significantly lessens the friction for analytics platforms when it comes to crunching disparate data models to derive actionable insights.

Single View Interface

One of the more obvious upshots of a CSF is the ability to have a GUI with a single view that can manage all aspects of the operator’s operational and business systems. As an efficiency tool for users, this has obvious benefits, but the conceptual change here is more profound. The end-to-end view, at the service level, allows service providers to build an inherent awareness in its staff of the digital service provider mantra of end-to-end service management and orchestration. The underlying automation in the systems takes away the micro-level challenges and frees users to focus on a higher-level holistic attitude.

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