I have been harping on for years – many years – that the terms BSS and OSS are defunct and should be replaced with something far more generic like MMB: Money Making Bits.
You may laugh, but BSS (business support systems) and OSS (operational support systems) are leftovers from a bygone era when communications service providers (known as PTTs or phone companies then) had to clearly define and separate network functions from the rest. In fact, there were many more silos back in the day because every new bit of technology that came along and couldn’t be slotted into an existing space created its own
Tony Poulos
here on Telecom Asia.

Tony isn’t the only person I’ve heard mention that the terms OSS and BSS are quickly losing relevance (or have already lost it).

By my interpretation, something only stays relevant if it is making a difference in the lives of others.

For OSS / BSS to remain relevant, they have to make a difference in the lives of others. But who are those “others?”

The answer to that question is different for every different OSS / BSS. It is a question for each of us to answer in our own context.

How are our OSS / BSS making a difference in the lives of:

  1. The direct customer (eg a CSP’s project implementation team)
  2. Their customers (eg the CSP’s operators and admins that use the OSS / BSS)
  3. Their customers (eg the organisations that buy communications services managed using OSS / BSS)
  4. Their customers (eg the people who buy goods / services from the organisations that rely on communications services)

But the more important question to ask yourself, to Tony’s point, is ‘are there new approaches that could make a bigger difference in the lives of those people?’

And the interesting point is that if we know we are adding value to the lives of others, we tend to feel more satisfied and valued ourselves.

BTW. As you’ll notice from the comment I left under Tony’s post (here’s the link again), I tend to disagree with his statement that the term OSS / BSS is defunct. However, I do agree that OSS solutions need to evolve to become vastly more relevant.

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