The communication service provider business and technology landscape is evolving rapidly and customer experience & loyalty are taking center stage. We foresee a big shift in the way network and service operations will have to be managed and run as opposed to traditional operations. This will demand a revisit of existing core foundational capabilities of OSS.
This, along with the emergence of cloud, SDN, NFV, 4G, 5G, IoT and other digital services, has introduced a higher level of complexities, demanding a shift from traditional OSS to a more agile, open, real-time, analytically driven digital OSS where customer & service experience are at the center. The classical OSS landscape is traditional and network-centric with siloed functions, and has the ability to cross-leverage, albeit not so seamlessly.
The last five years have seen the infusion of a plethora of new telecom technologies as well as software technologies into the communication arena. Network virtualization technologies like NFV (Network Function Virtualization), SDN (Software Defined Networking), MEC (Mobile Edge Computing) and the concept of network slice by 5G, augmented with advancement in analytics, AI, big data, standardized open API specifications etc. have ushered in new opportunities for financially constrained CSPs.
In today’s world of Digital Service Providers where everything is here and now, service providers are grappling to get their OSS transformed as they embrace 5G, IoT, SDN, NFV & Cloud. There is still more to be done in the preparation of next-generation OSS and there is a dire need to revisit core foundational capabilities. It is imperative that inventory demands a specific mention and focus here.
Inventory too has traditionally been network domains centric and siloed with minimal effort to transform though there has been consistent push and need to realize end-to-end service management. Now, more than ever, it is important for CSPs as they are getting their strategies & act together in an effort to transform to being a DSP. In the DSP world, you need the capability to build and decompose new services in near real-time riding on top of a hybrid network. Inventory therefore needs to be truly active, adaptive and federated to enable this at minimum.
In the 5G world, expectations of DSP services users will not be limited to providing a communication link between demarcation points. Instead, the expectation is that the services provided by DSPs are intermingled with the core businesses. This will mean that if a DSP is providing an end-to-end service, it should collaborate with the co-system enjoying the service. This would require DSP inventories to have the capability to understand and link to ecosystem resources.
In order to make the best use of this opportunity, CSPs have to ensure that their OSS/BSS solutions are not a bottleneck but further enhance the capabilities, and make them readily and cost-efficiently available to a variety of traditional and new type of customers that 5G will usher in.
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