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OSS and BSS – The Dynamic Duo – Part 1

23 April 2024
Melanie Gomersall

Trusted by:

Telecom Egypt
BC Hydro


National Grid
Open Fiber
TPX Communications
Ella Link
Red Iris
Surf Net

The modern world runs on data. Many say it’s a currency in its own right. From seamless video calls to lightning-fast internet browsing, our insatiable demand for connectivity is pushing the boundaries of telecom infrastructure. As service providers have to evolve and expand with ever-increasing bandwidth needs, they may find their traditional management systems are struggling to keep pace and they will soon be overshadowed by their competitors. Enter OSS and BSS and the conversation changes completely.

OSS (Operation Support Systems) and BSS (Business Support Systems) emerge as the unsung heroes, silently conducting the complex symphony of telecom operations. Often hidden from the end user, these integrated systems play a vital role in managing the entire telecom ecosystem, from the physical network infrastructure to customer billing and service delivery.

In the past, telecom networks were managed through siloed systems, each focusing on specific aspects of the operation. This fragmented approach created inefficiencies and limited visibility into the overall health of the network. OSS and BSS bridge this gap, offering a holistic view and centralized control over the entire infrastructure. What does OSS and BSS mean exactly? And where does OSS/BSS overlap or intersect with each other? Let’s explore this in Part 1 of our OSS/BSS 2 Part article.

Understanding OSS and BSS

Before we delve into their transformative prowess, let’s look at what OSS and BSS is, so we can understand each one and also how they are different, but indeed work together.

Operations Support Systems (OSS) represent the technological backbone of telecom networks. They encompass an array of software applications dedicated to managing and optimizing the technical facets of telecommunications infrastructure. From network monitoring and network inventory, to fault management and performance analysis, OSS ensures the seamless operation of networks, thereby minimizing downtime and maximizing efficiency.

Conversely, Business Support Systems (BSS) are the customer-facing aspect of telecom operations. These systems are intricately woven into the fabric of customer relationship management, billing, and revenue management. BSS empowers telecom companies to deliver personalized services, manage customer interactions, and orchestrate billing and payments effectively.

It’s easier to see now, why having two systems work seamlessly together can make the operations of any telecom operator a lot easier. If these systems are siloed and fragmented, then you get a broken internal eco-system that’s hard to update and navigate. Ultimately customers can suffer from inefficiencies.

OSS and BSS – Their Impact on Telecom Infrastructure Today

To fully appreciate the power of OSS/BSS, let’s look into their specific functionalities and unpack these a bit more:

OSS: As mentioned, typically OSS provides network-facing or network-operations-facing functioning including, but not limited to:

  • Network Inventory Management: OSS keeps track of every network element, from routers to fiber optic cables. It’s like having a detailed map of all the instruments in the orchestra.
  • Performance Monitoring and Fault Management: OSS constantly monitors network performance, identifying and resolving issues before they disrupt service. This is akin to the conductor having a keen ear for any discordant notes.
  • Service Activation and Lifecycle Management: OSS automates the process of activating new services and managing their lifecycle from provisioning to termination. Just like assigning parts to different sections within the orchestra.

BSS: As described, typically coined as the front-end or customer-facing functionality within an organization which can include:

  • Customer Management: BSS handles all customer interactions, from creating accounts to managing subscriptions and profiles. Imagine the BSS as the program director, keeping track of the audience and their preferences.
  • Billing and Revenue Management: BSS ensures accurate billing for all services used and generates revenue reports. It’s the orchestra’s accountant, keeping track of ticket sales and ensuring everyone gets paid.
  • Partner Integration and Service Provisioning: BSS facilitates partnerships with other providers and enables the seamless provisioning of new services. Think of it as collaborating with guest musicians to expand the orchestra’s repertoire.

OSS and BSS – The Power of Intersection with this Duo

The power of OSS and BSS in revolutionizing telecom infrastructure lies in their ability to adapt to the changing needs of telecommunications. Here are some key areas where OSS and BSS are making a powerful impact as a duo:

  • Digital Transformation: Telecom companies are undergoing digital transformation, leveraging OSS and BSS to offer digital services, enhance customer experience, and automate processes.
  • 5G and Beyond: The roll-out of 5G technology is a game-changer for OSS and BSS. These systems are crucial in network slicing, a process that allows multiple virtual networks to be created on top of a single physical infrastructure. Each slice can be optimized for a specific type of service, such as high bandwidth, low latency, or massive IoT connectivity. This not only maximizes network efficiency but also opens up new business models and services, including smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and advanced mobile broadband services..
  • Cloud Computing and Virtualization: OSS and BSS are moving to the cloud, offering telecom operators scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Virtualization of network functions requires robust OSS for managing these virtual networks.
  • Enabling Dynamic Pricing Models: BSS platforms have evolved to support dynamic and flexible pricing models. With real-time analytics and customer usage patterns, telecom companies can now offer personalized pricing and promotional offers. This means customers could get better deals based on their usage patterns, time of day, or even their loyalty status, making telecommunications services more accessible and customized.
  • Empowering Sustainability Initiatives: Both OSS and BSS are playing roles in driving sustainability in the telecom sector. Advanced analytics and monitoring can optimize energy consumption across network operations, significantly reducing the carbon footprint. Additionally, BSS can support the implementation of green billing and environmentally friendly initiatives, encouraging both the company and its customers to move towards sustainable practices.

OSS and BSS – The Integrated Solution sits with VC4

VC4 provides a comprehensive OSS and BSS solution designed to address the complexities of modern telecommunications infrastructure. The system integrates various functionalities to support the planning, deployment, operation, and management of telecom networks. Mostly importantly VC4-IMS gives you end-to-end visibility of your network.

OSS Solutions with VC4-IMS:

  • Network Planning and Design: VC4-IMS offers tools for efficient network planning and design, accommodating the dynamic needs of telecom infrastructure, including physical and logical inventory management for various network types (fiber, copper, radio, etc.)​​.
  • Service Fulfillment and Assurance: Ensures that telecom operators can quickly fulfill service requests and assure service quality through real-time inventory data and automated workflows, minimizing downtime and improving customer satisfaction​​.
  • Automated Operations: By automating key operational processes, VC4-IMS enhances operational efficiency, enabling telecom providers to manage their networks more effectively with less manual intervention​​.
  • Integration and Reconciliation: VC4-IMS supports the integration with NMS/EMS systems, allowing for automated network discovery and reconciliation, ensuring that the inventory is always up to date with the actual network state​​.

BSS Solutions with VC4-IMS:

  • Billing and Revenue Management: While VC4-IMS primarily focuses on OSS functionalities, its integration capabilities mean it can connect with BSS platforms for billing and revenue management, ensuring accurate billing information and supporting revenue assurance activities​​.
  • Customer and Product Management: Through integration with BSS systems, VC4-IMS can support comprehensive customer and product management, allowing telecom operators to deliver personalized services and manage customer relationships effectively​​​​.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: By leveraging accurate, real-time data from the OSS side, operators can improve customer satisfaction through better service delivery, rapid fault resolution, and tailored services, which are key aspects of BSS objectives​​.

Ready to revolutionize your telecom operations? Contact us or explore more on our website today and discover how we can help you streamline your OSS & BSS integration and automation processes. Take the first step towards a more efficient and agile telecom future with VC4.