A CTO's Thoughts on OSS Modernization

By: David Deng

All communications service providers (CSP) have accumulated operational support systems (OSS) as they have built out their networks and services over their years of operation. A CSP’s OSS ecosystem may look like an ever-growing and tangling spider web as depicted in Figure 1, where many siloed systems are woven together across OSS, network management system (NMS), and element management system (EMS) layers.

Current OSS Ecosystem
Fig. 1 - Existing OSS Ecosystem

Problems with such existing OSS ecosystems include maintenance complexity, high costs, low operational efficiency, and long service time to market. Furthermore, each time a new system is added, operational complexity and cost increase exponentially, while efficiency drops dramatically. Technically, the information stored in each system either becomes a data island or requires intensive integration and synchronization. It also becomes very expensive and time consuming to ensure data consistency and integrity, and the functionalities of multiple domains becomes harder to implement as the number of systems grow. In one sentence: there are too many problems to describe and the pain lives in every user of every operator that hasn’t gone through a modernization exercise.


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