Service Delivery Platforms
Developing flexible architectures to create a connected partner ecosystem
We have extensive hands-on experience of service delivery platforms, otherwise known as Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems (BSS/ OSS). We have worked with global and regional players alike, including Amdocs, Digitalk, MDS Global, Plintron, Tecnotree, Sinch, and Isoton.
Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems are the primary enabler for companies across the TMT industry. They are at the cutting edge for what is possible. In order to beat competition, BSS/ OSS companies constantly invest in emerging technologies. This includes virtual reality, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. In collaboration with Isoton, we developed game changing thinking on augmented decision making. See more here.
RDC can support you with:
- BSS/ OSS market intelligence
- Go to market and sales enablement strategies for BSS/ OSS companies
- Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems M&A
- Platform architecture (wholesale and retail)
The difference between OSS and BSS (with no BS)
Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems architectures are the backbone of TMT services. To the untrained eye, these two services are indistinguishable. However, there is a key difference that sets them apart from each other.
OSS (Operational Support Systems) are the systems and processes used to support the operations of a business. They are network facing and are unseen by the customer. This includes things like:
- Network management and performance
- Fault management
- Provisioning of new services
- Network inventory
- Service assurance.
BSS (Business Support Systems) are software applications that support business and customer-facing activities. This includes things like:
- Flexible billing
- Revenue management
- Self care
- Customer relationship management
- Loyalty management
- APIs (this is particularly important for a seamless user experience)
- Product catalogues.
While having distinct differences, we treat Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems the same as they are often delivered together.
The rise of BSS/ OSS
Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems have been part of business since the early days of telecommunications. At this point, service providers relied on manual processes and simple systems to manage operations. As telecoms evolved, more sophisticated systems were needed to support network and service complexity. In turn, this led to the development of BSS/ OSS. The aim was to automate and streamline various operational and business processes.
Over the years, BSS/ OSS have undergone significant changes and improvements. New technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT, led to more advanced BSS/ OSS. They forced evolution to handle a wider range of functions. Today, Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems are an essential part of the telecommunications industry. They help service providers manage and support operations efficiently and cost-effectively.
BSS/ OSS trends to watch
Artificial intelligence is the cornerstone of Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems. In our work with Isoton, we have set out the case for how valuable AI is in decision making. Big data is only valuable if leveraged effectively. Drawing insights from thousands, or millions, of data points is beyond human capabilities. So, AI supplements human capabilities in three key areas. It suggests strategic options, pre-empts customer needs and ensures customer stickiness
On another note, as generative AI becomes more prevalent, BSS/ OSS players will offer it as a service. Plug-ins will become common place from players like Amdocs, Tecnotree and Plintron. As a start, we generative AI being used in customer management. Over time, chatbots and customer servicing will become far cheaper and more efficient.
New use cases
There are a number of growing use cases and areas of expansion for BSS/ OSS players. This includes metaverse, fintech, healthtech and more. Honing in on metaverse in particular, Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems players are investing heavily to be able to support all of its uses. For example, in remote working applications. BSS/ OSS is vital to enable meetings in the metaverse. It supports all necessary functions from movement recognition to connectivity solutions.
Out-of-the-box solutions enable a quick and easy MVNO implementation. BSS/ OSS players have taken this to a new level by increasing customisability. Now, we see out of the box offerings that can adapt to specific customer needs. For example, a Fintech company will use payment gateway APIs, blockchain and security. The same solution enables a healthtech firm to support secure doctor/ patient portals and integrate with IoT devices. Using the same solutions for multiple use cases increases efficiency drastically. In turn, this enables lower cost. The result of this is a more open market to challenger brands and greater chance for disruption.
BSS/ OSS has a huge impact
Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems add value to the entire TMT sector through enablement. They support anyone anywhere implementing enterprise solutions or starting up a new business. We split this into three key sections:
Perhaps the biggest selling point of BSS/ OSS is the speed to market it enables. When employing Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems to grow your business, you can save time whatever features you are evolving. This is as a result of the plug-and-play nature of BSS/ OSS providers. The technology is already there, it just needs tailoring to your needs. The result of this is capacity to quickly react to changes to the market. As a result, you can pivot to new value propositions. Further, you can offer a more attractive customer experience.
Available to all
Price, speed, and access. These three features are key to opening up the market to new players. BSS/ OSS enables each of them. Ready to implement features built at scale often work with a global footprint. This means that in theory, any individual or company could utilise Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems.
BSS/ OSS enables clients to constantly evolve their capabilities without large investment. Imagine you see a competitor release a loyalty solution that matches your own. Using Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems you can adopt further features to differentiate yourself and stay on top of the market.
BSS/ OSS in today’s world
Platforms play a significant role in bridging the gap between consumers and networks. They provide essential operational functions and enable innovative customer services. However, all too often platforms limit themselves. Serving incumbent operator brands and virtual operators alone ignores huge potential markets. This leaves servicing of non-operator brands to challengers, start-ups, and other new entrants. Without serving greater market shares, Business Support Systems/ Operational Support Systems platforms will fall behind competitors.
To capture this new way of thinking, we developed the concept MIONs: Mobile Innovators on Networks. MIONs is one category that includes mobile brands, sub brands, MVNOs, and IoT players. In turn, this breaks down operational siloes and improves industry efficiency. Taking MIONs as a group with common needs, enables platforms to provide a standard integrated approach to service.
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