A disastrous OSS fail

Let us not bankrupt our todays by paying interest on the regrets of yesterday and by borrowing in advance the troubles of tomorrow.”
Ralph W. Sockman
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In yesterday’s blog, we spoke of the need to understand how money flows in a CSP and build the systems / processes to improve upon defined metrics.

Today, I recount a story of a high-flying, voice-only CSP that went bankrupt, possibly for many reasons, but largely because of an OSS / BSS configuration and audit failure.

The carrier was a relative newcomer, lasting just over 5 years before collapsing, but gained much fanfare along the way due to celebrity investors and ambitious plans, having a market capitalisation of over $5B at one stage.

A group of colleagues of mine was brought in to do a review, roughly two weeks before they collapsed as it turned out. What they uncovered was staggering. Approximately 60% of their voice switches did not have CDRs (Call Data Records) turned on, which resulted in revenue leakage on a massive scale. Customers reported that they had used this company’s services for years without ever being billed.

But sadly, my colleagues were never able to implement any changes or even bill for their initial services before the company became insolvent.

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