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How to get Telco off its Burning Platform

I have a couple of really interesting videos to share with you today. I think they're both brilliant, though perhaps I'm biased because they largely reinforce thoughts I already share with the stars of each video. Well, reinforce, but they also significantly expand the thinking with some enlightening dots that I hadn't previously connected. Nobody is going out on a limb to suggest that our lives…

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Upcoming Webinar – Developing Practical Transformation User Guides

You may have noticed in a recent post that I've been contributing to the Transformation Project Framework (TPF) with TM Forum (document GB1011). It's an important initiative that aims to help ease the stress and reduce the risk on complex OSS/BSS transformation projects. In conjunction with the TM Forum and the Transformation User Guide (TUG) team, we're about to deliver a webinar where you will have…

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The great telco tower sell-off

You've probably noticed the great tower sell-off trend that's underway (see this article by Robert Clark as an example). Actually, I should call it the sell-off / lease-back trend because carriers are selling their towers, but leasing back space on the towers for their antennae, radio units, etc. Let's look at this trend through the lens of two of my favourite OSS books (that mostly have…

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I was surprised by this OSS innovation

I'm in the privileged position, probably as a result of founding The Blue Book OSS/BSS Vendor Directory, to speak with many vendors each week. It also means I'm lucky enough to watch in on product demos on a regular basis too. Last year DFG Consulting (www.dfgcon.si/en) reached out to tell me about their Interactively Assisted Converter (IAC) solution. Their demo showed that it was a really…

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The Network Automation Journey – It’s about Culture

I love this article by Tim Fiola, entitled “A Note to Management About the Network Automation Journey - It's About Culture.” It does a brilliant job of explaining the real challenges around network automation. I’m going to riff off it a little bit today, drawing comparisons with OSS/BSS (which do happen to have a role to play in network automation). He starts off with this gem:…

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The Most Exciting OSS/BSS Innovations of 2022

We are currently living through a revolution for the OSS/BSS industry and the customers that we serve. It’s not a question of if we need to innovate, but by how much and in what ways. Change is surrounding us and impacting us in profound ways, triggered by new technologies, business models, design & delivery techniques, customer expectations and so much more. Our why, the fundamental reasons…

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Inventory of the Future Report now Released

In collaboration with leading market analyst firm Omdia (part of the Informa Group), Passionate About OSS has just released a new (paid) report, titled Inventory of the future: flexible, scalable, and highly dynamic. The synopsis of the report is as follows:  Inventory solutions are the linchpin of a network operator’s OSS, facilitating many different work and data flows. They help manage product, service, and resource inventory, such…

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A couple of exciting announcements

We have a couple of exciting announcements to make today. The Transformation Project Framework (TPF) guidebook (GB1011) we've been working on with TM Forum has been launched with a pre-production status. That means it has passed peer review and is open for member comments. It's still a work in progress, but you'll see the basis for how it can help guide your next transformation. On a…

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What is an OSStracod?

Back on my first OSS project - all the way back, deep into the annals of time - the year 2000 to be exact, I was lucky enough to work with a really tight delivery team. We all lived in the same hotel in Taiwan and took taxis to work together. Each morning I'd read Dilbert in the newspaper. It seemed like every single day's cartoon…

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The wow-factor is in the graphics. The value is in the graph

In our last article, we showed some examples of two exciting situation enrichment innovations, including the example below. These examples have the ability to provide really exciting ways to inform and communicate across different persona groups. Becoming more involved in AR/VR, digital twin and NFT / metaverse-style projects recently, I'm finding that there's a lot of attention on the visual information. It really gets peoples' attention.…

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Two Exciting OSS Situation Enrichment Innovations

OSS have long been used to enrich operator experiences in many different ways. Raw alarms are cross-linked and enriched with inventory data to provide enhanced information (eg make/model, nearest neighbour, etc) to give operators in the NOC additional information to help them diagnose and repair. Inventory data is enriched with GIS / map data to provide equipment location, map views of assets and connectivity views to…

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The Secret Truth About OSS Innovation Limitations

It's said that the best way to sell hardware is to have compelling software and the best way to sell network services is to have compelling information to share. In the halcyon years for the telcos, they had both the network services and the singular mechanism for sharing compelling information. Voice / telephony was THE "compelling information sharing platform (CISP)". These days, compelling information is ultimately…

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How to Maintain Control of your OSS in a Cloud Outage

There was a brilliant article from Matt Kapko over at SDXCentral last week entitled, "AWS Outage Stresses Telco Cloud Challenges." It specifically highlighted lengthy outages on AWS in December and the downstream impact cloud outages can have for telcos that have dependencies on third-party cloud providers.  "The benefits of public cloud are clear — efficiency, scalability, and the ability to consolidate functions with less equipment. For telco…

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Is there an air-gap in our OSS innovation super-loops?

If you work in an OSS/BSS product company, are you able to guess what percentage of your team spends time with clients (customer-facing)? And of that percentage, how many observe the end-user interacting with your products (user-facing)? There is a really important distinction between these two groups, not to mention the implication it has on product innovation, but I'll get to that shortly. We all know…

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The Mysterious Sector 4 in a Telco IT Stack

When it comes to driving efficiency and profitability in a service provider's business, I feel there are three key pillars to consider (aside from strategic factors of course), as follows: The IT stack, led by the OSS/BSS The networks and The field services  The networks are vital. They are effectively each organisation's product because connectivity across the network is what customers are paying for. They must…

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How and why we need to Challenge our OSS Beliefs

The OSS / BSS industry tends to be quite technical in nature. The networks we manage are technical. The IT stacks we build on are technical. The workflows we design are technical. The product offerings we coordinate are technical. As such, the innovations we tend to propose are quite technical too. In some cases, too technical, but I digress. You would've no doubt noticed that the…

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How to Approach OSS Vendor Selection Differently than Most

Selecting a new OSS / BSS product, vendor or integrator for your transformation project can be an arduous assignment. Every network operator and every project has a unique set of needs. Counter to that, there are literally hundreds of vendors creating an even larger number of products to service those widely varied sets of needs. If you’re a typical buyer, how many of those products are…

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New report – Inventory of the Future

I’ve recently been co-opted to lead the development of an “Inventory of the Future” transformation guide on behalf of TM Forum and thought you, the readers, might have some interesting feedback to contribute. I had previously prepared an “Inventory of the Future” discussion paper prior to being invited into the TMF discussions about a month ago. However, my original pack had too much emphasis on a…

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Do we need more dummies working on our OSS?

I was reading an article by Chris Campbell that states, "In his book How to Rule the World, Brian J. Ford reveals the relationship between sophistication and complexity; what he calls “obscurantism.” In short, the more sophisticated the problem-solver, the more complex (and costly) the solution." Does that resonate with you in the world of OSS/BSS? Is it because we have so many unbelievably clever, sophisticated people working…

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New Report – Request for OSS/BSS Innovations

Over the next couple of months we’re planning to create a very visual report that highlights the 25 Most Exciting Innovations in OSS/BSS for 2022, expected to be ready for release in early Feb 2022.  [Ed: the report has now been released and can be found here - https://passionateaboutoss.com/innovation2022 ] It will include a few succinct paragraphs about each innovation and the problem/s it solves. Would…

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