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OSS/BSS Has a Critical Part to Play as NFV and SDN Ramp Up

By Tara Seals June 09, 2015

Service provider roles are changing rapidly in the brave new digital world, as they evolve beyond traditional network services. The key to success in today’s over-the-top (OTT) driven, app-filled world is the ability to adapt, quickly, to deliver what customers want, on-demand, anytime and anywhere.

Gaining that kind of true business agility requires flexibility in terms of networks, services and customers—which the combination of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are set to address. According to Ericsson, this is also driving a shift in support systems.

Apart from decoupling services from underlying physical resources, together SDN and NFV enable lifecycle management to be detached from physical constraints. Today, for example, it is possible to provision an SDN/NFV service instantaneously without the need to deploy new hardware. This flexibility is the foundation of network agility. To adequately capitalize on such a massive network transformation, both telecom networks and support systems – OSS/BSS – need to gear up.

“Support systems – OSS/BSS – naturally play a key role in automating the different workflows, as ideas for new services move from concept to implementation and into operation,” Ericsson noted in a white paper. “The concepts of SDN, NFV, the virtual data center and rapid adaption to changing consumer needs form the pillars upon which network, service and customer agility are built.”

For instance, consider time to market—one of the most significant challenges for operators and service providers today. Traditionally, TTM has been about putting services into the hands of paying users as quickly as possible. Today, TTM is about reacting quickly to the rapidly changing needs of the modern user—on-the-fly, and on-demand.

“The OSS and BSS naturally play a key role in enabling the operation of this new paradigm,” Ericsson noted. “Automating the different flows required, from the idea of the new service to the implementation and operation of it, ensures operators and service providers are in full control of their network and services, and are empowered to act on insights and how they are used.”

Support systems – OSS/BSS – also provide the capabilities to manage partners and developers, to handle all communication channels, and to organize the administration of products and services. Technologies like SDN and OpenStack provide developers with programmable interfaces, which can be used together with OSS/BSS capabilities so that new services can be deployed and executed in isolated virtual environments.

“In the digital economy, the role of partnerships and ecosystems is more significant than traditional economies,” the vendor added. “Digitalized businesses collaborate more, and combine their assets together with partner assets to provide customers with the best services. In this environment, new ways that enable mashed offerings, service exposure and blended services are needed.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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