The demise of OSS

Doesn’t this [NFV] pose a problem for organizations whose communications skill sets are all tied up in maintaining OSS? The two technologies are not compatible; NFV is designed to replace traditional OSS, not provide a comfortable transition path.”
Scott M. Fulton, III
on Fierce Enterprise Communications.

I’d like to throw this over to you dear audience. Does your detailed knowledge of NFV (and OSS) lead you to believe that NFV is designed to replace OSS??

There are some aspects that I agree with on Scott’s post (see link above), but some are clearly wrong (in my mind at least). For example, the sentence “The two technologies are not compatible; NFV is designed to replace traditional OSS, not provide a comfortable transition path” could not be more wrong in my opinion. The NFV topology map* from ETSI clearly has OSS / BSS marked on it. Even if NFV’s MANO does bring about significant change and simplification of service activations (ie orchestrations), I can’t envisage it doing the full suite of functions that an OSS/BSS does (eg outside plant designs on GIS, network/project planning, field work-force management, complex workflows, etc).

[* You can find ETSI’s MANO map on slide 8 of this pack from ETSI’s NFV MANO Working Group Co-chair, Mehmet Ersue, which has a separate functional block shown for OSS/BSS and EMS too. Likewise, SDN also predicts a place for OSS in its future architecture as shown on page 14 of their SDN architecture white paper]

And the technologies absolutely must be compatible because there’s no way the telcos will just throw away millions (billions?) of dollars invested in OSS/BSS just because the first of the NFV solutions start to come through. They simply won’t cover all the required domains (eg transmission, POTS, etc) nor functionalities to just carve it out and replace it. The transition could take 5-10 years or more so they’ll have to play together happily or it just won’t work.

ETSI and TMF have both recently developed working groups to drive management of NFV (or other network virtualisation architectures).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether I have my blinkers on and the NFV revolution is going to supersede OSS. I’m certain that network virtualisation will have a profound impact on OSS in the future, but am I being too biased to foresee OSS’s demise?

PS. Thanks to great friend Frank Robert for sending the story through to me.

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