Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

The "monetization of the cloud" and service management issues, "especially related to 3G and the migration to 4G" are likely to be the hot topics at next week's Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) jamboree, Management World 2010, according to Heavy Reading senior analyst Ari Banerjee. (See Sun, Sand, SPIT & Software and The SPIT Manifesto.)

Banerjee, who recently joined Heavy Reading from Yankee Group Research Inc. and who is heading to Nice, France, next week for the confab, says the development of cloud services, and how to make money from them, are hot buttons for the vendors and the TM Forum , which organizes the event. (See Management World: Making Sense of the Cloud.)

But he sees mobile service management and service assurance, with a particular focus on helping operators migrate towards Long Term Evolution (LTE), as "absolutely critical" issues, "not just in terms of network management, but in terms of service experience and the customer experience." (See SPIT Watch: Knowing Me, Knowing You and The Buzz About CEM.)

The analyst also expects to see increasing evidence of vendors "investing in convergent charging systems to help service providers monetize [their services and applications] in different ways... to enable tiered services." Such systems include converged pre- and post-paid billing systems and the integration of policy control capabilities into charging platforms, a product strategy that's already evident in the portfolios of a number of large and specialist vendors. (See Bell Mobility Deploys Openet, Libyan Operator Bills With Ericsson, AlcaLu Wins BSS Deal in Vietnam, Orange Botswana Picks Volubill, Kabira Heads to OSS 2.0, and Redknee Upgrades TCB.)

Banerjee, who is being joined in Nice by fellow SPIT expert Caroline Chappell, says the annual event is "an event where people go to learn... They're not just showing up because it's Nice and nearly the summer time. There are a lot of good opportunities for face-to-face discussions and a lot of educational sessions." Banerjee will be participating in a couple of the sessions himself.

"There are always a lot of takeaways," he adds (though why he can't just get room service or go out to eat is another question).

For all the SPIT news leading up to the event -- plus reports from the show floor, updates from the conference halls, and gossip from the coolest bars in Nice -- keep an eye on our special Management World 2010 Show Site.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 4:36:32 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

I wonder if we will ever reach the point where a comms service provider WON'T have hundreds of separate OSS/BSS systems that are mostly running in isolation, or whether it's inevitable that the back office will always be that way?

Informed Opinion 12/5/2012 | 4:36:31 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

:-)  and we are in the communications industry ...

I believe that there will be fewer vendors (per my email) but with more technologies to deploy and monetise there will be no drop off in the requirements for OSS systems - so besides marketing spinning of branding there probably will be more complexity of support systems actually deployed.

The upside is that the IT Application layer (eg billing) should get LESS complex as functionality bleeds into the netowrk edge area.



digits 12/5/2012 | 4:36:31 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

You seem to be talking about consolidation in the marketplace, whereas I was referring (maybe not too clearly) about consolidation in the carrier back office in terms of the number of systems actually deployed.

I agree that we will likely see ongoing acquisitions, mergers, and closures among the OSS/BSS specialists, but that's been going on for a number of years now and yet... there doesn't appear to be any fewer companies in this space. I guess there are more enterprise IT companies that are entering the telecom space, especially as the volumes of IP/Ethernet data increase and public/private cloud services with SLAs start to be used across telecom operator networks.

Actually, I'm now wondering if carriers will end up with even MORE OSS/BSS systems in the coming years as they look to manage third party services/apps and the 'cloudd'.

Informed Opinion 12/5/2012 | 4:36:31 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

There is no doubt that there will be consolidation of the quantity of vendors for OSS/BSS systems - as emerging demands from the data services revolution are exposing less well engineeered solutions and these companies will be acquired or die off. There will be a remainder left however - strong independent vendors (whose value prop will be that their systems are better and are vendor agnostic which is important) and solutions from NEM's (whose value prop is that they are tightly bundled to the equipment). The lions share of business will go to the independents however over time as proprietary solutions from NEM's is not good practice for Operators.

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:36:30 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

"Too big to succeed" is a twisted phrase that comes to mind. Consolidating dozens (or hundreds) of various incompatible parts while keeping the business up and running is tough enough. Add in the new influx of systems put in place to launch new services, and the task gets even more daunting. Operators know that a seamless, completely integrated back office would boost efficiency and profits. Getting there continues to be an odyssey.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:36:29 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS


At least in the US we did have a time when we did not have hundreds of oss/bss systems.  See OSMINE with its various components (TIRKS, TEMS, SWITCH/DLE, ya da ya da ya da).  Nobody seemed to like that system either. But at least from an equipment vendors standpoint, you could go pay your pound of flesh to the New Jersey mafia and have your product deployable.

Of course, they always held that "favor" that you might have be required of you over your head.



shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:36:28 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

As a life-long resident of Sopranoland, I nod in agreement. That said, I remember speaking with a CwhateverO at Verizon about a year after the GTE deal, and he was waist deep in cement trying to bring 60+ billing systems together. And those were simple times for telcos.

digits 12/5/2012 | 4:36:28 PM
re: Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS

Wow... it's a while since OSMINE cropped up.... I think that legacy is still paying the bills in New Jersey...


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