Operational Support Systems, or OSS as they are often referred to, play a critical role in ensuring that the communication networks and individual services run by Telcos are efficient, effective and operate as they should. This system, which is used in conjunction with business support systems (BSS systems), ensure that the operational activities within the mobile network are working optimally, which has an impact on service delivery as well as customer experience and ultimately profitability.
The role of OSS in telecommunications
When explaining the role of OSS in telecommunications, we like to describe this system as the back-end support system behind all operational activities within a mobile network. This is because this system makes use of specialised hardware and software to monitor, analyse, configure, and manage the operational activities within a network.
OSS is critical to the network architecture of any mobile network and uses a combination of innovative software to monitor the status of the network and its performance. This includes:
- The supply and support of communication services
- Technical and infrastructure-related operations
- The running of the network and its services
- The automation of operational tasks enhances speed, reliability, and performance
In this way, OSS can be used to monitor, identify, and alert Telcos to any critical network problems that need to be managed. This system can also be controlled remotely, meaning that you can gain real-time access to data on the mobile network at the click of a button, which is essential for tracking KPI’s, progress, performance and for reporting purposes.
Why is this so critical to telecommunications service providers? Without this system, mobile operators would not be able to manage the day-to-day operations and maintenance requirements within the network. This would lead to poor performance, lack of customer services, delays, and a number of very unhappy customers. OSS is the system that ensures that Telcos can provide and maintain customer services.
Managing the network using OSS
Telcos need to manage communication networks with several devices and to do this effectively, they need to know:
- What devices are connected to the network?
- The location of the devices?
- Need to check configurations and to be able to reconfigure them
- How customers are using the devices and their transactions
- Be able to check that there are no faults or problems
OSS is responsible for assisting Telcos with managing and tracking the above. This system ensures service performance and a positive customer experience, which is done using the FCAPS guide to network management. FCAPS can be broken up into the following:
- Fault management – this aims to identify, manage and solve problems, errors or abnormal patterns that occur in the network and includes trend analysis. The fault management process alerts Telcos to problems from the network, devices, subscribers or customers.
- Configuration management – this allows Telcos to configure network devices to enable tracking of network resources, changes in the network, enhance performance, reroute a new customer service, provide updates for network connectivity as well as software and firmware upgrades. Each of these elements can be managed remotely through OSS platforms.
- Accounting management – is vital to billing processes as it collects data and statistics relating to how a service is being used and how usage quotas can be managed. This provides critical insight into inventory management, order management and network inventory which is necessary to a Telcos business processes.
- Performance management – utilises statistics to ensure that network devices and telecommunication services are performing as they should and deliver on the capabilities that they were built for. The performance management process tracks different elements that include signal strengths, error rates latency, resource utilisation and more. Performance management can have a significant impact on customer experience, which is why it is so essential to manage and understand the customer service experience.
- Security management – aims to ensure that access to network assets are controlled and protected against unauthorised access. In these modern times, services are more agile and allow for different devices to connect from several different locations. Meaning that security needs to be managed and adapted for different customers and the way they interact with the network.
OSS Telecom: The benefits
From the above, it is clear that the implementation of an OSS plays a vital role in service management and ensuring that Telcos can provide their services to customers, effectively and efficiently.
OSS works for both large complex networks and smaller networks as it allows for the management of millions of devices, across locations, multiple device vendors, technologies, users, tasks, and projects. This system offers flexibility, agility, scalability and innovation, and can be used and configured for your unique needs as communications service providers (CSP). This system also has a significant impact and will benefit the customer experience by:
- Enabling you to create 100% customisable self-service solutions for your enterprise clients that answer to their specific needs
- Allowing for fast and efficient identification of network-related problems that could impact the customer experience
- Enabling automated service fulfillment, which includes customer self-service, which reduces the need for call centres, and enhances customer relationship management and the speed and ease at which customers can access services and support
- Allowing fast and accurate provisioning of users and new services which gives telecom companies a competitive edge
The integration of OSS has a significant impact on customer experience as they facilitate the operational day to day activities required for Telcos to ensure that their mobile networks and services are running as they should. This system manages everything from faults, performance, configuration, accounting, and security, thereby ensuring that the mobile network capabilities are functioning optimally. With OSS deployment, Telcos can enhance service assurance and ensure that their customers are getting the customer experience they need, which reduces customer churn and positively impacts profitability.
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As the Global Head of Marketing and Business Development with 20 years of experience, Agnieszka’s expertise lies in the practical implementation of digital and traditional marketing strategies for B2C and B2B companies. Through her long-term, client-focused, strategic approach, and branding experience, she continues to develop innovative marketing plans that yield significant results. Now working in the SaaS industry, she oversees a multitude of solutions within the telecommunications industry including Customer Experience & Self-service, VAS, NextGen, IoT, FinTech, and Advanced Analytics.