OSS – the stuff of nightmares?

For the CEO of a Telco the development of major OSS/BSS capability can be the stuff of nightmares. It was these large IT systems that I most feared would be the bottleneck in rolling out services on the NBN.”
Mike Quigley
, in a presentation to TelSoc.

Mike was the founding CEO of NBN Co, Australia’s National Broadband Network, a start-up responsible for implementing the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Australia. Most estimates indicate that this is a project that will cost upwards of $40B.

The quote above is a frank admission, coming after Mike’s time at NBN had come to an end. For those not already familiar with the NBN project, Mike was at the helm of an organisation that effectively had the chance to build a green-field OSS/BSS. NBN didn’t have much in the way of legacy infrastructure or tools to integrate into. Mike’s team was also responsible for building a brand new GPON / FTTH network, meaning that the NBN OSS/BSS had a relatively simple network to manage. Note that when I say simple, I’m only referring to the fact that it doesn’t have a huge range of network domains and legacy services running across them.

Given all the other challenges of building up such a large organisation from scratch, it is interesting that OSS / BSS was Mike’s biggest fear. It’s no surprise then that incumbent tier-one carriers are so hamstrung by their OSS and BSS. Similarly, there are so many risks around making any changes to these environments.

This gives smaller, nimbler organisations like OTT players a huge advantage in an era when whole business models are built up from the speed of technological change and innovation.

Does this mean that a CSP’s perspective of their OSS varies somewhere between dream or nightmare depending on the scale and complexity of their environment? Does the position on this mindset continuum have any influence on the way you implement your OSS or when you design OSS tools for your customers?

Is your OSS a dream or a nightmare??

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