• Pankaj Kaushal

Operations Support System (OSS) - Explained!


 

Table of Content:

 

What is an OSS?

An operations support system (OSS) is a piece of software that allows a service provider to control, analyze, manage and keep track of the services on their network. The primary goal of this technology is to increase the enterprise's operational efficiency by providing functionalities including but not limited to:

  • Network management systems.

  • Service delivery.

  • Network inventory, activation, and provisioning and almost all part of the service fulfilment process.

  • Service assurance.

  • Customer care.

OSS is critical in ensuring that consumers of communication services have a positive experience while network operators operate efficiently and profitably. Many apps are included in OSS that a service provider needs to accomplish 'back-office' tasks. The OSS ecosystem of the service provider will consist of a large number of individual OSS apps (from tens to hundreds), each responsible for a different aspect of the enterprise.


BSS/OSS

There must be a 'front-office' tasks if there are 'back-office' chores, and there is. These are a different group of software that support commercial, revenue, and customer relationship operations, and are more correctly referred to as Business Support Systems (BSS).



When the service is turned on, the BSS applications are responsible for client-facing tasks such as appropriately recording order data, alerting the customer of charges, timeframes, and engineer visits, and initiating the billing process. The order 'flows down' from the top, through the BSS layer, OSS, and eventually to the network, where the appropriate configuration and activation modifications are implemented. Processes that are launched as a result of a network device reporting a problem are referred to as faults and these faults are directed upwards.

OSS and BSS operate together to enable network operators to provide services to large numbers of users on some of the world's most complex machines, global telecommunications networks.

OSS Architecture

Much of the effort on OSS has been focused on defining its architecture, however it can be broken down into four core components.

  • Processes: The wide range of events to be performed.

  • Data: The information that has to be processed.

  • Application: The elements that carry out data management processes.

  • Technology: The manner in which the applications are put into action.

OSS Layer: Customer satisfaction survey results are as much OSS's responsibility as a row of green lights in the network operations center.

  • Network Engineering: The network devices are quite sophisticated, with proprietary interfaces and configuration languages frequently used. These devices may be in your firm's basement, a roadside cabinet, a customer's premises, or even virtualized in a data center.

  • Data & Analytics: Data on the network, service, and customers must be collected, stored, and made available. This is critical infrastructure for many OSS procedures.

  • Customer Experience: Modern service providers place a far larger emphasis on proactive customer experience improvement, with new applications developing that improve network and service quality for all consumers or focus on specific regions or even people to meet their challenges and demands.

  • Service Fulfilment: Service Fulfillment is likely the most essential of all operational operations, accepting commands from the BSS layer and ensuring that they are deployed and enabled effectively in the network.

  • Planning: More than any other operational duty, planning takes into account not just network capacity and capabilities, but also network cost, income potential, and dependability.

Common OSS products in the market

  1. Ericson OSS: Ericsson's OSS architectural idea is guided by three main principles: service orientation, analytics and policy-driven automation, and network function virtualization and abstraction. Ericsson's OSS solutions enable digital companies across the world to fully regulate, manage, and orchestrate hybrid networks in real time, transforming traditional networks into elastic infrastructures that are lightweight, programmable, and infinitely flexible.

  2. Oracle OSS: OSS is a Kafka-compatible, secure, no-lock-in, pay-as-you-go, scalable, low-cost streaming solution that helps you to achieve the above goals with minimal effort and deployment, and you can use any Kafka API. The official confluent Kafka Java API is recommended by Oracle.

  3. Net Cracker OSS: It organizes operations in complicated hybrid systems and provides zero-touch orchestration for traditional and digital services such as SDN/NFV, cloud, IoT, and 5G. Faster service creation and delivery, increased operational agility, and lower TCO are all advantages for service providers. Large number of clients across the world have installed and used Netcracker OSS solutions to help them shift from physical to virtualized and cloud environments, embrace higher levels of Staying competitive in fast-changing marketplaces.

  4. IBM OSS: NFV is a network architectural concept that use IT virtualization to virtualize entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that form communication services. NFV specifies standards for computation, storage, and networking resources, which may be used to develop virtualized network operations. It enables CSPs and network operators to design and deploy networks based on tried-and-true software paradigms. In order to ensure agility, NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) imposes additional expectations on OSS and BSS procedures as well as vendor solutions.

  5. HPE OSS: HPE OSS Assurance Automation enables multi-vendor hybrid telecom infrastructure to operate with zero touch. Proactive remediation is possible because to data-driven root cause investigation and automated decisions. HPE OSS adapts and supports new networks and services of any sophistication and depth as a result of the eruption of a new generation of digital services. It deals with both an increase in traffic and a drop in load at times. HPE OSS nimble at any layer (network and management functions), dependable (high availability and disaster recovery), and have a short time to productize a new network or service.

Many more firms provide OSS services in a similar fashion. There has been a significant increase in the number of studies of OSS architecture in academia.

Patent analysis – Total 11,816 Patents

Patents by protection country

The graph depicts the top nations that possess patents related to OSS. United States and China has 3,460 and 3,531 patent families in OSS technology, respectively, indicating that the technology is widely utilized in both the nations. Other nations have patents related to OSS, indicating that they use OSS in a variety of technological sectors such as digital communication, computer technology, telecommunications, and so on.

Patents by Assignees (Top 10 Players)

The graph depicts the top ten firms with the most patents in the field of OSS. With 1,643 patent families under its name, Ericsson has gotten its name at the top of this list, followed by Huawei. With 559 and 329 patent families, respectively, China mobile Communications and ZTE Corporations are practically on track.


Technology investment trend over last 10 years

According to the graph, the number of patents registered in the field of OSS increased rapidly after 2013, peaking in 2018 with over 1000 patent families submitted in a single year.


OSS Future Potential and Market

The market for operational support systems (OSS) has expanded and declined in the two decades since the eruption of independent software suppliers onto the scene, as communications service providers (CSPs) have attempted to optimize their procedures. Hundreds more vendors have come and gone, or have been eaten, as they innovated their way into the core of CSP operations, hoping to reproduce the magic by keeping ahead of the next technological curve. In reality, increases in operational efficiency and network performance have occasionally triggered the next curve. Both OSS and business support systems (BSS) are used in client-facing tasks including purchasing, invoicing, and customer service. When fulfilling any of these criteria is difficult, future OSS must be flexible, automated, proactive, predictive, and programmable.

Components, OSS solution types, deployment style, organization size, industry vertical, and geography are all segments of the worldwide OSS & BSS market. The market is divided into solutions and services based on such components. Network planning & design, service delivery, service fulfilment, service assurance, customer & product management, billing & revenue management, network performance management, and others are the many types of OSS solutions. It is divided into small and medium-sized businesses and large businesses based on their size. It is divided into on-premise and cloud deployment models depending on the deployment methodology. IT & telecom firms, BFSI, retail, media & entertainment, government, manufacturing, and others are the different industrial verticals.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ibm.com/cloud/architecture/architectures/network-automation/

[2] https://www.hpe.com/us/en/collaterals/collateral.a00054139enw.html

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_support_system

[4] https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/docs/dc/em/tm%20forum%20fy20%20-%20oss%20report.pdf

[5] https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/OSS-BSS-software-market

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