How to transform your OSS. The moving house analogy

In recent times, I did some work at a tier-1 telco where an adjacent project was implementing a major changeover of an essential OSS / BSS platform. The old suite is acknowledged as having lots of legacy data, processes, etc. And when I say legacy, I mean stuff that hasn’t been used for years, just clogging up the system rather than old but still useful.

The strategy being used by the migration team is to shift everything over to their new platform and then start pruning things back from the new platform.

This seems quite different to the approach that I’d take, but I’d like to get your inputs too (drop me a comment below). I would strongly recommend doing the clean-up before migration. Let me put this in an analogy:

If you were moving house and you knew you had lots of junk that you were never likely to use again, would you:

  1. Pack it up at your current house and throw it away from there, leaving less to transport and less clutter to work around at the new place
  2. Pack it up, transport it and throw it away from your new house or
  3. Pack it up, transport it then store it at the new house

Choice 1 seems the most efficient to me. It reduces costs and effort. And have you noticed that choice 2 always seems to turn into choice 3? Especially in OSS / BSS (eg product catalog, process designs, grandfathered offers, PSR inventory, etc)

We don’t seem to do subtraction projects very well in our industry, even when a migration is the perfect time to instigate them.

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4 Responses

  1. I would tend to agree with you. However if you have not “pruned” before you entered into the transformation project, it might already be too late (because this will could have a huge impact on the delivery time of the project, which the executive management will not like at all).

  2. Yes, that seems completely obvious to me too Roland. I’m surprised at the number of times I DON’T see it happening!

  3. Ryan, perfect world…doesn’t exist.
    You need to factor in project cost, the potential cost to clean up data can be prohibitive in getting a business case approved. Makes life painful down the track but it could be the difference between an OSS or no OSS….or a scaled down, poorly implemented OSS

  4. Hi Mark,

    Valid point there! I hadn’t considered the style of funding. To do a clean-up then migrate is effectively a project (ie CAPEX) cost. To do a migration then clean-up after the project sees the clean-up being an operational (ie OPEX) cost.
    Good pick up!

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