Why OSS, BSS is important in a networked society

By : |January 10, 2013 0

Fredrik Jejdling, head, Region, Ericsson India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Indian telecom market, with approximately 945 million subscriptions (wireless + wireline at the end of July 2012, source TRAI) is one of the most competitive and dynamic telecom markets in the world. The industry has grown leaps and bounds since the privatization of the sector in the year 1994, which resulted in better quality of services and lower tariffs.

                                 

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Since then the sector has advocated structural and technological reforms such as 3G and LTE, growth of broadband and others. This has resulted in acceleration of economic growth to stand at a pedestal where we can proudly classify India as the largest network provider in the world after China and USA.

This huge penetration of mobile telephony is now at the cusp of a transformational shift as we see the growth of data services on the mobile platform. With broadband, led largely by mobile broadband in India, we are well positioned to advance and shape the Networked Society, where everything that benefits from a connection will have one.

Ericsson ConsumerLab has recently come out with a report ‘The Digital Lives of Generation Z, which captures the digital lives of 9-18 year olds. According to the study, customer service and transparent billing/charging drives brand advocacy. Eighty three per cent of those who are likely to recommend are satisfied with customer service and transparency in billing/charging.

The change in the consumption of telecom services provides opportunities as well as implications on the service providers. Think about this. What would happen to the revenues of an operator if the billing system goes down even for a few minutes? Sometime in our lives, we all would have experienced a situation where our service providers charge us more for the calls or services that we use. Seldom must it have happened that the amount deducted from your mobile is less than what it should have been, resulting in revenue loss for the operator.

This is where operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) can take the centre stage by helping operators meet the consumers’ demands for transparency billing and charging.

There is a trend towards more personalization of services where end-users want to purchase communications services meeting their individual needs. This puts high demand on telecom operators to be able to offer flexible products bundled with customized pricing packages. Our expectations of access to communications, personalization and seamless service usage, and the drive for diversity in communication applications across industries and platforms, increase the need for efficient management solutions.

Such solutions – often referred to as OSS and BSS – are used across the industry, service providers, content providers, technology providers and other stakeholders to manage the complex value and supply chains at the heart of the well connected society. The competencies, business processes and solutions around OSS and BSS are key enablers for meeting the demands of this networked society. OSS and BSS strengthen the customer experience and serve as the engine for monetizing traffic, offerings and products that operators sell.

Everything related to availability, quality, rating and charging of the services, possibilities for personalization and self care etc is dependent on the set up and functionality of the support systems.

Even the role of the networks has moved from providing mere access to being an integral part of the total offering that requires the ability to combine business, IT and network capabilities to meet the challenges of the society. The operators need to rise to the challenge brought by the new opportunities, and face a range of more familiar issues associated with the rapid transformation of the telecom industry.

Hence, the strategic importance of OSS/BSS is gaining momentum in India as more and more things are getting connected, everything going mobile with growing importance of new business models. OSS and BSS is also important for operators to stay competitive in the rapidly developing world of the networked society.

 

That depth and breadth of portfolio needs to be accompanied by flexibility in approach and engagement to allow operators to explore all the possible business development options and choose a path that works best for their business. Only suppliers that can combine a broad portfolio of telecom and IS/IT products and services capabilities are in a position to address operators’ requirements.

The ability for operators and service providers to maximize the opportunities depends on having holistic views of operations and management solutions. Given how rapidly these cycles of business are evolving, we believe that the traditional definition of OSS/BSS will vanish. The management operations and environments in the networked society will turn networks into services. They will be converged for multiple services and simplified by automation. Repeatable business processes that deliver instant customer gratification and free up capital – in contrast to earlier, CAPEX driven OSS/BSS environments – will drive efficiency.

These are the drivers behind why vendors should invest in the management capabilities and solution areas required to realize the networked society and enable our customers to monetize the opportunities it brings.

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