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OSS vs BSS: What is the difference?

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OSS vs BSS: What is the difference?

Published: 2023/04/21

9 min read

Operational support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) architectures are at the core of the telecom software development. While OSS concentrate on the complex network operations that sustain the whole ecosystem, BSS focus on the customer-facing aspects of a company, from administration to service delivery. By comprehending the divergent roles played by these two crucial components service providers can maximize the functionality of their networks and simplify their operational procedures. Providers can also use OSS and BSS to increase levels of customer satisfaction and revenue growth with optimized operations and a better grasp of customer requirements, which will position them at the forefront of this dynamically changing industry. 

Furthermore, OSS and BSS system integration is gaining importance in the telecom sector. The complexity of telecom networks is increasing due to the emergence of new technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), and service providers must be able to successfully manage and monetize these networks. Service providers want a unified view of network operations and business processes that enables them to make more informed decisions and improve overall performance, and the integration of OSS and BSS can aid service providers in achieving this goal. 

The article will compare OSS vs BSS in the telecommunications industry. So, what is OSS and BSS? This article will examine both and provide a detailed overview of the differences between these two important aspects of the telecom industry.

What is OSS Architecture?

So, what does OSS mean in telecom? Operation Support Systems, otherwise known as OSS architecture, refers to the systems and processes that support the day-to-day operations of a telecom network. As its name implies, OSS is software that organizations typically use to manage their operational systems or communication networks. OSS architecture in telecom includes the tools and technologies used to monitor network performance, diagnose issues, and troubleshoot problems in real time. OSS architecture is the set of systems and processes that telecoms phone platforms use to manage the operational aspects of telecom operations, including network management and maintenance. 

OSS and BSS architecture are the two primary components of the telecom industry, with OSS focused on network operations and BSS focused on business and customer management. For telecommunication service providers, understanding the differences between OSS and BSS is essential to maximizing customer satisfaction and revenue. A telecom OSS architecture includes tools and technologies for monitoring, diagnosing, and troubleshooting network performance in real-time. It covers a set of systems and processes for managing the operational aspects of telecom operations, including network management and maintenance. OSS is vital in providing a reliable and efficient network infrastructure to ensure customer satisfaction. Telecom OSS architecture facilitates centralized control, management, and analysis of all network connections, leading to better performance and reduced downtime. Now that we know what OSS are, what do they look like in practice?

Read more: Umbrella architectural pattern

There are various examples of OSS in the telecom industry, including: 

Network Inventory Management System: This system is used to manage and track the network assets of a telecom service provider, including devices, cables, and circuits.

Fault Management System: This system monitors network performance and detects faults, such as network outages or hardware failures. 

Service Provisioning System: This system automates configuring and activating new customer services, such as broadband or mobile data services.

Performance Management System:
This system provides real-time monitoring and reporting of network performance metrics, such as bandwidth utilization, latency, and packet loss.

Security Management System:
This system manages network security, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and virtual private networks (VPNs).

Configuration Management System:
This system manages network configurations, including device settings and software versions. 

Network Planning and Optimization System: This system is used to plan and optimize network capacity, coverage, and quality of service (QoS) parameters. 

These are just a few examples of OSS used in telecom. Many other OSS are designed to support various aspects of network operations, maintenance, and management. 

business support systems

What is BSS Architecture?

What is BSS in telecom? BSS architecture is focused on the business side of telecom operations, such as billing and customer management. As its name suggests, Business Support System (BSS) is a software tool organizations typically use to handle all business activities, including processing, financial concerns, etc. BSS architecture encompasses various functionalities, such as order management, product management, billing, revenue management, customer management, and more. It enables telecommunication service providers to efficiently manage their customer base, create and manage pricing plans, generate bills and invoices, process payments, and resolve customer queries or complaints. 

Moreover, BSS architecture provides valuable insights into customer behavior, usage patterns, and preferences, enabling service providers to create targeted marketing campaigns and personalized services that meet the specific needs of their customers. With BSS, telecommunication service providers can streamline business operations and increase revenue while providing a superior customer experience. 

Read more: 5G Lab building and connecting to 5G network

Some examples of BSS include: 

Billing systems: These systems generate and manage bills for various telecom services. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems: They help manage customer interactions, such as customer support, sales, and marketing. 

Order management systems: These systems help customers with new service requests, service modifications, and service cancellations. 

Revenue management systems: They help manage revenue streams, including pricing, discounts, and promotions. 

Service activation and provisioning systems: These systems help activate and provide customer services. 

Operational support systems

What is the difference between OSS and BSS Architectures?

Let’s take a closer look at OSS and BSS, to see how the operational and business aspects of telecom operations differ. BSS systems typically include components such as customer billing, order management, customer relationship management, and other processes that directly interact with customers. These systems are designed to provide a seamless and positive customer experience by enabling the telecommunication service provider to manage and support the customer-facing aspects of their business effectively. 

On the other hand, OSS systems are designed to manage the technical aspects of telecommunication networks, such as network planning, inventory management, and network performance monitoring. These systems focus more on the technical aspects of network operations and less on customer-facing operations. 

While both contain elements that telecommunication service providers primarily use for improved business operations, BSS is more customer-focused than OSS because BSS systems are designed to manage and support the customer-facing aspects of the telecommunication service provider’s business.The deployment of OSS and BSS in telecom can be used to compare the technical and business components of telecom operations and how they work together to support the industry. The differences between BSS vs OSS telecom is also useful to know when when examining telecom operations’ business and operational components. OSS primarily concerns network administration, whereas BSS concentrates on all organizational tasks. While OSS support and automate all network operations, BSS supports and automates additional management tasks like order management, revenue management, and customer management. 

Backend personnel, such as employees, developers, engineers, etc., primarily manage OSS, while front-end personnel or experts primarily run BSS. OSS is also used to build, run and maintain CORE infrastructure (customer service components). Typically, BSS are utilized to serve CORE infrastructure. However, what about Customer Relationship Management (CRM ) tools? Should these CRM tools be OSS or BSS? The answer is that CRM is BSS (Business Support System) architecture. It manages customer interactions and relationships and provides customer support and service. Telecom service providers use CRMs to manage their customer base, including billing and payments, service requests, and customer feedback. CRMs help organizations maintain and improve customer relationships and satisfaction, for increased revenue and customer retention.

OSS vs BSS – what’s crucial to know

In conclusion, the use of OSS and BSS in telecom software development significantly impacts network operations and business management. OSS architecture primarily focuses on network administration, while BSS architecture handles business tasks such as billing and customer management. Both components are essential in supporting telecom operations, and understanding their differences is crucial in optimizing network performance and improving business operations. Ultimately, telecom service providers can benefit from the centralized control and analysis of both OSS and BSS architecture to provide better customer service. Take cloud calling, for instance; it can be considered a part of both OSS and BSS in the telecoms industry. It’s often integrated with OSS systems for managing network resources and BSS systems for billing, customer management, and service provisioning. 

Are you looking to adopt OSS or BSS in your telecommunication operations but are still not sure how? Partnering with Software Mind can provide you with the cross-functional team you need to own all stages of software development life cycles — from ideation to release and beyond. By leveraging our expertise, you can integrate OSS and BSS systems to optimize your network and business operations, leading to better customer satisfaction and increased revenue. Our experts are ready to help you manage and monetize your networks effectively and obtain a unified view of network operations and business processes that will enable you to make more informed decisions and improve overall performance. Use the contact form to learn more

Questions and answers:

How does OSS architecture support network management and maintenance?

Operations Support Systems (OSS) architecture supports network management and maintenance by deploying server functionalities that allow for vast network customization and cost reduction. The most crucial element of OSS architecture remains connected to fault management functionalities which monitor networks for any anomalies and prevent network failures by detecting incidents before they occur or resolving tasks at hand. Another pivotal feature allows administrators to manage network configuration and performance by collecting and examining performance and configuring the necessary elements. Custom architecture enables companies to optimize a network, identify bottlenecks and update infrastructure. Furthermore, OSS streamline provisioning processes more efficiently by automating service activation and helping deliver services to customers quickly. Security also remains crucial by monitoring and safeguarding the network against threats and attacks that could be hazardous to users. 

What are the main functionalities of BSS architecture in the telecom industry?

The main functionalities of BSS (Business Support Systems) in the telecom industry center around several solutions, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, self-serving portals, billing solutions, fraud management and various reporting tools. Let’s focus on them. The BSS architecture is comprised of CRM features that enable the management of clients’ interactions, service requests, complaints, and account details. Meanwhile, self-serving portals grant customers 24/7 access to valuable features that help them access their data, request services, find information, and resolve issues regarding their service without the need to directly contact customer service. Undoubtedly BSS architecture is a critical component in providing top-notch services and ensuring that clients are satisfied.

How can the integration of OSS and BSS systems optimize network performance and business operations? 

Integration of OSS (Operations Support Systems) and BSS (Business Support Systems) is crucial for optimizing network performance and business operations because they help deliver high-quality service. Such integration enables real-time data exchanges and provides a unified view of all network and business processes, which lead to improved service provisioning, proactive monitoring, resource allocation, improved customer experience, and efficient revenue management. This integration allows businesses to streamline their operations, maximize their profits, provide excellent customer experience, and stay ahead of their competition. With the integration of OSS and BSS systems, businesses can achieve operational excellence that would be hard to match otherwise.

How does BSS architecture enable telecom service providers to enhance customer relationships and satisfaction? 

BSS architecture enables telecom service providers to enhance customer relationships and satisfaction by implementing several solutions like self-service portals, bespoke services, issues resolution and quality assurance. What exactly do they offer? Let’s start with self-service portals offered by BSS, which enable customers to manage their accounts, services, and billing independently, all while providing greater convenience and control for customers. Bespoke (personalized) services help service providers gain insights into customers’ preferences and behavior by contributing tailored services that add value for the whole system. Issues resolution is far more efficient when a CRM handles customer inquiries and complaints quickly and effectively, thereby bolstering customer trust and satisfaction. At the same time, carriers can deliver superior quality assurance (QA) by monitoring and analyzing service performance through specialized BSS made with QA in mind.

About the authorSoftware Mind

Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world. 

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