In order to run a wide-spread network and to make the business scalable, a number of functionalities need to be automated. Some of these includes:
- Customer relationship management
- Order management and service fulfillment
- Customer support
- Service assurance, etc
The above functions necessitate having an OSS/BSS system at the heart of a network management system. They comprise of a variety of software systems, which form a bridge between business services and network operations. While OSS systems deal with fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security and BSS deals with operations such as order entry, order fulfillment and the like, the two systems need to be integrated for maximum efficiency. Below are some of the important applications of these systems:
Order Management- This function is facilitated by the BSS System. This involves steps such as customer credit check, checking the capacity availability, entering the selected plan, scheduling installation and the like. The BSS system will acquire the necessary information required for the above tasks from the OSS as well as the BSS systems.
Service Fulfillment– Once the order is placed, it involves a series of steps to ensure that the order is suitably executed. For this the system needs to:
- Break down the order into relevant parts for suitable order management
- Define the equipment required
- Provision for the same
- Ensure installation as well as activation
- Ensure quality assurance
Billing– Once the order is fulfilled and service assured, the billing process is automated through the BSS system. The BSS system may, however, rely on data from the OSS system to complete this task.
Customer Support– OSS and BSS systems have an important role to play in end user support. Whenever a customer calls a support helpline, the support personnel dig into the OSS/BSS system for a whole lot of troubleshooting. There could however be issues that customers can resolve themselves through a self-care portal. In this case too, the information is presented through the OSS/BSS systems. OSS/BSS systems also come in handy in scheduling of field support as also tracing their on-call status.
Other than the above, OSS/BSS systems also find application in the following activities:
Analytics– OSS/BSS system warehouses data and converts it into meaningful reports that are used at various levels of decision-making. Analytics provide an insight into a number of areas including but not limited to break up of revenue, customer churn, the performance of marketing activities and the like.
Security compliance– Data and reports produced by the OSS/BSS systems go a long way in ensuring compliance and that no breaches occur especially in an online transaction driven economy.
API- OSS/BSS systems provide API interfaces to allow software programmers to design software that interacts with the OSS/BSS systems.
With superior customer experience at the heart of every business’ success, it is no surprise that OSS/BSS systems have become a key focus area for every communication service provider. OSS/BSS systems have brought about a massive transformation and impacted the evolution of the telecommunications industry.