Mastering Your OSS – Operational Support System Implementation Tips and Techniques

“Mastering your OSS” is a book that answers over 20 of the most commonly asked OSS implementation questions.




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Are you able to recognise the risks that await you on your next OSS Project?

Have you been tasked with planning and leading an OSS/BSS transformation, but are seeking help to avoid the many pitfalls of these complex and challenging projects?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you’ve found the right book to guide you. Here’s why…

Let’s face it, OSS, or Operational Support Systems, can be incredibly challenging beasts. You’re possibly one of a very unique breed – one of the many highly intelligent people who work on OSS. So why, with that much intellectual firepower, are OSS still so rarely tamed? Read on.

If you’re taking a closer look into what this book contains, it’s safe to assume that you have either already experienced the world of OSS or are about to come along on its exciting ride. This book isn’t based on the history of OSS or academic theory, nor even a deep-dive into the technologies that are currently in vogue within OSS circles. With the speed of change in our industry, they’re unlikely to be in vogue for long anyway.

No, this book is based on the enduring techniques, tools, processes and insights that have been developed and refined whilst implementing many different OSS.

This book is NOT for you if…

If you’re already well versed in the OSS and BSS implementations – if you’ve already wrestled the beast day-in, day-out for many years – then this book probably isn’t for you. You’ve probably already developed many of your own ways of working. You’re probably already aware of many of the risks that could bite you on any given OSS project.

Or, if you need a book that dives into the technical minutiae of your unique implementation, to provide answers to all your technical questions, then this one is not for you. If I’m being blunt, I’d be surprised if there can be a book for you because every OSS project and OSS product is just too different to capture in that level of detail. I’ve bought plenty of OSS books over the years and have seen some that do get into the nitty-gritty technical-level detail. Unfortunately I found little useful content in those books because they were more of an auto-biography of the author’s unique journey, environment and accomplishments. Most of the technology discussions were already out of date by the time each of those books were launched.

Since that’s mostly a description of what it isn’t, you’re probably asking what it is.

This book IS for you if…

If you only deal with OSS from time-to-time or you’re starting out on the journey of OSS. You may already be highly experienced in other aspects of telecommunications, such as networks, project management, IT and more. You may already have the battle-scars of telecommunications projects, but where few of those scars have been caused by OSS projects directly.

This book is built upon 22 of the most commonly asked big-picture questions in OSS, particularly by readers who have yet to tackle every facet of OSS implementation before. Each question has its own dedicated chapter, so if you have a particular question in mind then you can go straight to the content that’s most pertinent to you. You could read every chapter in series too but your OSS is probably consuming too much time to afford you that luxury.

Are you interested to know what those questions are and whether they align with any of the challenges that you’re currently facing? Since there’s a chapter dedicated to each, you’d probably guess that the Table of Contents would show the list of questions?

You’d be right. The Table of Contents is shown in the “Look inside” link that you can find below, but we’ll summarise for you here too. Saves you a few precious minutes.

The 22 most commonly asked OSS implementation questions, ones that span the project life-cycle from start to end include:

After an introduction section, the following questions are answered for you:

  1. What is an OSS exactly?
  2. What is the history of OSS and related standards?
  3. Why are common OSS terminologies important?
  4. Where do you start when planning an OSS/BSS project?
  5. How do you prepare a compelling OSS business case?
  6. What are your biggest risks and how do you manage them?
  7. Why is OSS change management important?
  8. Should you perform an OSS impact analysis?
  9. Why are OSS naming conventions so important?
  10. How do you capture OSS requirements?
  11. How do you define your organisation’s OSS roadmap?
  12. How do you select an OSS vendor / integrator?
  13. What insights can help your OSS negotiation strategies?
  14. Who should be in your OSS implementation team?
  15. How do you plan to conduct OSS testing?
  16. How do you define and refine business processes?
  17. What do you need to know about data collection and reporting?
  18. How should you kick off an OSS project?
  19. How do you coordinate a vendor-led implementation?
  20. What post project operations issues should you consider?
  21. What training should you take?
  22. What does the future hold for OSS?

Chances are that you have many other questions. It’s also likely that quite a few of those questions are answered somewhere in the book too. If not answered in the book directly, they are probably covered in the long list of external materials that are referenced, including ones from the PassionateAboutOSS blog.

And that’s still not all. Do you like analogies? Most people do, especially when the subject matter is as complicated as OSS tend to be. Well, to close out the book, there are some helpful analogies for you to consider, including:

  • The television analogy
  • The chess-board analogy
  • The air traffic control analogy
  • The radar analogy
  • The puppy analogy

You’re probably wondering what television, chess, air traffic control, radar and puppies have to do with OSS. As unlikely as it sounds, they assuredly do.

OSS / BSS Transformation

Would it be right to say that you’re facing a significant transformation with your OSS (it feels like every day is a transformation in this industry doesn’t it?) Well, this book has been written to show you how to get your organisation ready for the big changes that an OSS project will cause. Not only that, but to then carry your OSS into an exciting new era. “Mastering your OSS” has come about because the same questions keep popping up on each of the OSS transformation projects the author works on. Each time, the tips, tools and techniques get refined that little bit more.

OSS are entering a period of massive change, with disruptive innovation impacting any organisation that is dependent upon communications networks. This includes traditional Communication Service Providers (CSPs), their modern evolution into Digital Service Providers (DSPs), Utilities, Data Centres, Content Providers and Enterprise / Corporate organisations.

Each have different business models and different key metrics – speed to market, innovation, flexibility and customer relationships are vital differentiators for many of these organisations. Despite what others say, we know that these are all attributes that our OSS can either help or hinder. Successful organisations achieve agility and responsiveness through their OSS, whilst others are prevented from changing quickly because of the complexity of the OSS. On which side of that coin does your OSS and your organisation reside?

In “Mastering your OSS” you’ll learn many counter-intuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you, ideas that have been built and refined over more than a decade of practical experience. “Mastering your OSS” shows you better, faster, easier, less risky ways to implement all aspects of your OSS projects. With straightforward language and a simplify-everything approach, “Mastering your OSS” is the innovative playbook for anyone who has been tasked with implementing an OSS project.

Jim Rohn said that, “You can have more – if you become more.” This is as true of our OSS as it is of ourselves. Many people use the name Operational Support Systems to put an electric fence around our OSS, to limit uses to just operational activities. However, the reach, awareness and power of what they (we) offer goes far beyond that. We have powerful insights to deliver to almost every department in an organisation – beyond just operations and IT. But first we need to give them something useful. “Mastering your OSS” gives you the insights to help inspire you and your OSS to become more.

If you’re ready to lead your OSS into an exciting new future, then let this book help you to Master your OSS. But, this book is probably not for you. Buying this book puts you into a unique community, the OSS community, one that Apple accurately referred to as, “…the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things different.” This book certainly applies to those who see things differently, or would like to.

Who am I and why should you pay any attention to the contents of this book?

My name is Ryan Jeffery, the author, and I am Passionate About OSS.

With degrees in Computer Science and Engineering (telecommunications), it was perhaps inevitable that I would cross paths with OSS. I say inevitable because OSS meet at the cross-road where software (ie Computer Science) intersects with the management of telecommunications networks (ie Engineering). But that’s definitely not where the passion stems from.

My first significant contact with an OSS goes back, way back, back into time. All the way back to 2000 in fact when I was shipped off (kicking and screaming I might add) to Taiwan to work with their first new fixed-line telco after de-regulation.

I can vividly recall how out of my depth I felt on that first OSS project. I was in my 20s and had relocated to a foreign country for the first time. I had a million questions (probably more actually). The challenges seemed immense (they were). I was working with talented and seasoned telco veterans who had led as many as 500 people, but they had little OSS experience either. None of us had worked together before. We were all struggling. We were all about to embark on an incredibly steep learning curve, by far the steepest of my career, even to date.

There were no resources dedicated to the nuances and pitfalls of OSS implementations back then. Nothing that helped us climb the learning curve and avoid the many mis-steps along the way.

Despite that, a passion quickly took hold for OSS products and projects. So much so that I willingly averaged an 85 hour work week across the next few years and jumped from country to country implementing OSS for some of Australasia’s biggest telcos. There was still so much to learn!

Since that first project in Taiwan, carriers, service providers, vendors, utilities and enterprise customers have all allowed me the honour of working on their projects. These customers include iconic organisations such as Telstra, SingTel-Optus, Alcatel-Lucent (now part of Nokia), Kearney, Tech Mahindra, Reliance InfoCom (India), VNPT (Vietnam), PT Telkom (Indonesia), Motorola, IBM, NBN Co, ANZ Bank, ETSA, Western Power, Infosys, Powerlink and TFN (Taiwan) to name but a few.

Their projects have traversed the full end-to-end life cycle of NMS / OSS projects including:

  • Strategic advisory
  • Due diligence
  • Requirement identification / capture
  • Marketing development
  • Supplier / vendor selection
  • Program / project management
  • Enterprise / solutions architecture
  • Business analysis / process design
  • Testing
  • Training
  • Data migration
  • and more

In fulfilling these projects, we’ve developed a multitude of systems, methodologies, stories and insights. Many of them are included in “Mastering your OSS.” This is the book that I wished I had back in 2000.

Not sure whether “Mastering your OSS” is right for you?

Would you like to take a look inside? We’ll send you a copy of the first two chapters and the Table of Contents.

Further questions?

You’re great at what you do and since you’re in OSS (or are about to be), chances are you’re a great questioner and an awesome problem solver. Therefore it’s natural that you might still have unanswered questions – questions like:

  • I’m not sure if the book applies to my specific OSS; or
  • My role is highly unique and you couldn’t provide any insights or tools that are relevant to me; or
  • The technologies I work with are old / current / futuristic so your approaches couldn’t possibly be relevant to me; or
  • I don’t even use the term OSS anymore because it conjures up images of clunky old solutions so how can an OSS book relate to me; or
  • I’m not sure whether the selectable geographic regions in the order form apply to me; and
  • So many other possibilities.

There’s a simple answer to all of those questions – Send us a message via the contact form below and try us out. We may not have every answer for you, but we’re sure to try.

But you’re wondering whether there’s value in the information we provide

That’s a reasonable question. I expect any non-fiction book to deliver at least 10x the value of the purchase price. I’m sure you’d expect the same.

If you’re choosing or implementing a new OSS, then the risks are high. There are so many potential pitfalls. Any one of them could cost you many thousands of dollars in contract variations, or add to a list of regrets for you and your colleagues that endure over the entire life of the OSS/BSS.

Any one of the tips provided in this book could easily provide you with a 100x-1000x return in risk mitigation.

Could the risk mitigation techniques provided do even more than that – providing you with protection of your job or even your career? I can’t make that claim, but I can cite many examples where the learnings contained in this book would’ve save millions of dollars had I known them earlier.

100% Money-back guarantee

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase of “Mastering your OSS,” within the first 45 days then we will return all costs incurred, including shipping and handling. Just email us and we’ll give all your money back. We’re not going to ask you to go to the effort of return shipping the book. It’s yours to keep. Now we acknowledge that you could just order the book, have it shipped to you and request a refund even if you do find it useful. That’s our risk. We have confidence that you’ll find so much valuable information in “Mastering your OSS” that you won’t do that to us.

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PS. The time is now. Twenty-two of the most commonly asked questions on OSS projects and their answers. Dozens of ways to reduce complexity and risk on your next project. All you have to do is click on the form above and they’ll be whisked to you by our distributors, all packaged up as the book, “Mastering your OSS.”

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