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L100 OSS BSS Domain

Certification Reference Material

Note: This material is a reference in addition to the


e-learning course hosted in the LMS server from
TeleStrategies.
Version History

Sl. No. Version No. Date Owner Details

1 0.0 10-Dec-2005 Gnanapriya C Draft version of all the modules

2 0.1 30-Dec-2005 Gnanapriya C Enhanced various topics (Standards, NGOSS,


Market data)
Table of Contents
1. LESSON 0: INTRODUCTION................................................................................................... 6
1.1 Operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS) agenda..............................................10
1.1.1 Reason #1 OSSs/BSSs enable operators to manage their customers......................10
1.1.2 Reason #2 OSSs/BSSs enable operators manage their service offerings.................11
1.1.3 Reason #3 OSSs/BSSs enable operators to manage their network...........................11
1.2 Why is the OSS/BSS domain so challenging?.........................................................................12
2. LESSON 1: OSS STRUCTURE / MODELS............................................................................12
2.1 Operations Support Systems................................................................................................... 12
2.1.1 Network Management OSS............................................................................................ 13
2.1.2 Business Support System (BSS)....................................................................................15
2.1.3 Service OSSs............................................................................................................... 16
2.2 BSS, Service Infrastructure and OSS......................................................................................16
2.3 OSS / BSS Functionality.......................................................................................................... 17
2.4 Complexity of Network Management OSSs.............................................................................18
2.5 Market, Sales and Partner Strategy.........................................................................................18
2.6 Complexity of OSS.................................................................................................................. 19
2.7 Industry standards / models..................................................................................................... 19
2.7.1 Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) model.............................................19
2.7.2 The TMF Model.............................................................................................................. 22
2.7.3 Standards & Forums in Telecom Arena..........................................................................30
2.8 High level functionalities of the various FAB components........................................................32
2.8.1 Order Management......................................................................................................... 32
2.8.2 Provisioning (Service Configuration, Network Provisioning and Activation)....................32
2.8.3 Inventory Management................................................................................................... 33
2.8.4 Trouble Ticket Management........................................................................................... 33
2.8.5 Workflow......................................................................................................................... 34
2.8.6 Workforce management................................................................................................. 34
2.8.7 Billing.............................................................................................................................. 34
2.8.8 Sample end to end flow for a new telephony order.........................................................35
3. LESSON 2: FULFILLMENT OSS............................................................................................ 35
3.1 Fulfillment process................................................................................................................... 35
3.2 Order Management and Provisioning......................................................................................36
3.2.1 Benefits of having an Order management system is......................................................37
3.2.2 Features of an Order Management System....................................................................37
3.2.3 Core processes in Order Management includes.............................................................38
3.2.4 The Order Manager........................................................................................................ 39
3.2.5 Provisioning OSS............................................................................................................ 40
3.2.6 Service Fulfillment flow................................................................................................... 42
3.3 The Inventory Management OSS............................................................................................43
3.3.1 Need for automated inventory management system......................................................44
3.3.2 Inventory Management system functionality...................................................................46
3.4 Provisioning detailed flow on the back end...........................................................................46
3.5 The complexity of the fulfillment process.................................................................................47
3.6 The Key Order Management, Inventory & Provisioning players..............................................48
4. LESSON 3: THE ASSURANCE PROCESS........................................................................49
4.1 The Role of Network Management OSS..................................................................................50
4.2 Network Management Systems............................................................................................... 50
4.3 Service management OSS...................................................................................................... 51
4.4 Assurance today detailed flow for assurance process..........................................................52
4.5 Assurance Workflow for Assurance process.........................................................................53
4.6 Service Assurance System Issues...........................................................................................53
4.7 Who are key Network Management players?..........................................................................54
5. LESSON 4: BILLING PROCESSES.......................................................................................54
5.1 Billing Big picture.................................................................................................................. 55
5.2 Purpose of a billing System (Key functionality)........................................................................55
5.3 Illustrative functionality of a billing system...............................................................................56
5.4 Billing Interfaces...................................................................................................................... 58
5.5 Mediation Systems.................................................................................................................. 58
5.5.1 Traditional Mediation Systems........................................................................................ 60
5.5.2 The Complexity of contemporary mediation....................................................................60
5.6 The Role of Rating Engine....................................................................................................... 61
5.6.1 Rating steps:................................................................................................................... 61
5.6.2 Steps to rate a call.......................................................................................................... 62
5.6.3 How does Rating work?.................................................................................................. 63
5.7 How the billing system is used?............................................................................................... 64
5.8 eTOM Beyond Fulfillment, Assurance and Billing.................................................................65
5.8.1 CRM Managing the expanding scope of customer relationship...................................65
5.8.2 The customer-centric OSS becomes a critical differentiator, adding pressure to CRM 66
5.9 Who are the key mediation & rating players?..........................................................................67
5.10 Who are the key billing players?.......................................................................................... 68
5.11 Pulling the various OSS / BSS together..............................................................................68
6. LESSON 5: INTEGRATION.................................................................................................... 69
6.1 Electronic Integration of Support Systems (EAI)......................................................................69
6.2 The Role of EAI....................................................................................................................... 70
6.3 OSS, critical to operators business.........................................................................................71
7. SUMMARY.............................................................................................................................. 71
7.1 OSS remains a hybrid integration of loosely coupled systems................................................72
7.2 Considerable Depth to Each of the OSS Issues......................................................................72
7.3 OSS Market and Spending...................................................................................................... 73
7.3.1 Overview of OSS market................................................................................................ 73
7.3.2 Market analysis data from OSS Observer.......................................................................73
8. References.............................................................................................................................. 76

Index of Figures

FIGURE 1PRINCIPAL SUPPORT PROCESSES....................................................................................................9


FIGURE 2SUPPORT SYSTEMS...........................................................................................................................10
FIGURE 3OSS CATEGORIES...............................................................................................................................13
FIGURE 4BROADBAND SERVICES..................................................................................................................14
FIGURE 5WIRELESS, ISP SERVICES.................................................................................................................15
FIGURE 6BUSINESS SUPPORT SYSTEMS.......................................................................................................15
FIGURE 7SERVICE OSS.......................................................................................................................................16
FIGURE 8SUPPORT SYSTEMS FOR REVENUE...............................................................................................17
FIGURE 9BUSINESS PLANNING & OSS REQUIREMENTS...........................................................................17
FIGURE 10INFRASTRUCTURE & SERVICES COMPLEXITY........................................................................18
FIGURE 11COMPLEX OSS..................................................................................................................................19
FIGURE 12TMN MODEL.....................................................................................................................................20
FIGURE 13TMN VS TMF MODELS (MAPPING)..............................................................................................21
FIGURE 14TMF FUNCTIONALITIES EXPANDED...........................................................................................22
FIGURE 15TMF ETOM MODEL..........................................................................................................................23
FIGURE 16ETOM LEVEL 0 PROCESSES...........................................................................................................24
FIGURE 17ETOM LEVEL 1 PROCESSES...........................................................................................................25
FIGURE 18ETOM LEVEL 2 PROCESSES...........................................................................................................26
FIGURE 19 CHANGE IN FOCUS.........................................................................................................................29
FIGURE 20 NGOSS VIEWS..................................................................................................................................30
FIGURE 21 ETOM LINKAGE TO NGOSS..........................................................................................................30
FIGURE 22 SAMPLE END TO END FLOW FOR A NEW TELEPHONY ORDER.........................................35
FIGURE 23FULFILLMENT PROCESSES...........................................................................................................36
FIGURE 24ORDER HANDLING PROCESSES...................................................................................................38
FIGURE 25FLOW THRO' FULFILLMENT.........................................................................................................39
FIGURE 26ORDER MANAGER...........................................................................................................................40
FIGURE 27PROVISIONING OSS.........................................................................................................................40
FIGURE 28PROVISIONING OSS (EXAMPLE)..................................................................................................41
FIGURE 29SERVICE FULFILLMENT FLOW....................................................................................................42
FIGURE 30INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM........................................................................................44
FIGURE 31PROVISIONING - DETAILED FLOW..............................................................................................47
FIGURE 32COMPLEX FULFILLMENT PROCESS............................................................................................48
FIGURE 33ASSURANCE PROCESSES...............................................................................................................49
FIGURE 34NETWORK OPERATIONS CENTER...............................................................................................50
FIGURE 35NETWORK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM...........................................................................................51
FIGURE 36SERVICE MANAGEMENT...............................................................................................................52
FIGURE 37WORKFLOW FOR ASSURANCE PROCESS..................................................................................53
FIGURE 38SERVICE ASSURANCE SYSTEM ISSUES.....................................................................................53
FIGURE 39BILLING PROCESSES......................................................................................................................54
FIGURE 40BILLING - BIG PICTURE.................................................................................................................55
FIGURE 41SIMPLE TELECOM NETWORK......................................................................................................55
FIGURE 42ILLUSTRATIVE FUNCTIONALITY OF A BIILING SYSTEM......................................................56
FIGURE 43BILLING INTERFACES....................................................................................................................58
FIGURE 44MEDIATION SYSTEM......................................................................................................................59
FIGURE 45TRADITIONAL MEDIATION SYSTEM..........................................................................................60
FIGURE 46COMPLEXITY OF MEDIATION SYSTEM......................................................................................61
FIGURE 47RATING ENGINE...............................................................................................................................63
FIGURE 48RATING CORE...................................................................................................................................63
FIGURE 49RATING ENGINE...............................................................................................................................64
FIGURE 50BILLING SYSTEM.............................................................................................................................64
FIGURE 51ETOM..................................................................................................................................................65
FIGURE 52COMPLEXITY OF CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP..........................................................................66
FIGURE 53CRM....................................................................................................................................................66
FIGURE 54FAB COMBINED...............................................................................................................................69
FIGURE 55SAMPLE BACK OFFICE OPERATIONS.........................................................................................70
FIGURE 56EAI.......................................................................................................................................................70
FIGURE 57OSS INTERCONNECTION...............................................................................................................72
FIGURE 58HYBRID INTEGRATION..................................................................................................................72
FIGURE 59 OSS SPENDING................................................................................................................................73
FIGURE 60 OSS SPENDING MARKET SHARE................................................................................................74
FIGURE 61 TELECOM MARKET - FINANCIAL RESULTS (2002 TO2004)...................................................74
Figure 62 Services Growth (2003, 2004)................................................................................................................75
1. Lesson 0: Introduction

The communications industry is moving towards a world where we can


communicate anywhere and anytime. It is a world where we can be
always on, without the hassle of waiting to be connected. It is a world
where easy and effortless communications, based on mobility and
personalized services increases quality-of-life, productivity and enables a
more resource efficient world through freedom of choice. This vision of a
communicating world implies drastic developments in telecommunication
technologies, infrastructures and services.

The emerging broadband multi-service networks and 3G enabled mobile


networks will create exciting new possibilities. Users will get faster and
more convenient access to services and applications, helping them to
enlighten and entertain them and to become more productive. Service
Providers will get much more effective channels to reach the most
attractive part of their customer base with new services and applications.
They also face the challenges of changing business logic, intensified
competition and appropriate support systems for service delivery,
assurance and billing.

Operations Support Systems (OSS) includes all systems used to support


the daily operations of a telecommunication service provider. Examples of
these systems include billing, provisioning, element management, and
network management applications.

Support systems that will reduce your operating expenses while increasing
system performance, productivity and availability.

OSS can be defined as the hardware and software that service providers
use to manage their network infrastructure, deploy services and provide
connectivity.

Why OSS?
Provisioning a simple phone line can involve from 25 to 40 separate
tasks
Numerous groups would need to be coordinated to make it work
resulting in time delays, human errors and rework costs.
Lucent Technologies reports that at one large carrier, the 60-day
interval required to provision a data circuit represented only 12 hours
of actual work

Due to the opportunities given by deregulation in many countries, there


are a number of new entrants in the telecommunications service industry.
Products and services portfolios need some fine tuning in most cases
because customers are faced with overlapping offers from various service
providers. Service creation and provisioning are becoming more dynamic,
and provider-customer interconnections are getting simpler by using
Internet technologies.

Telecommunications service providers can be grouped as follows:

Local Exchange Carrier (LEC), ILEC, and CLEC - A LEC is simply a


telephone company that provides service to a local calling area. An ILEC
(incumbent local exchange carrier) is a telephone company that provided
local service prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Competitive
Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) have come into existence since the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. CLECs attempt to compete with pre-
existing LECs by using their own switches and networks.

Long distance reseller - A company that purchases blocks of long-


distance telephone service in bulk at a reduced price and then sells the
long-distance to consumers at a rate below that which they would
normally pay.

Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC): Congress passed the


Telecommunications Act of 1996 that forced the Incumbent Local
Exchange Carriers (ILECs) to offer the use of the local loop or last mile in
order to facilitate competition. CLECs compete with the ILECs or RBOCs
(Regional Bell Operating Companies) to offer local phone service to retail
and business customers. CLECs either resell ILEC services or use their
own facilities to offer value-added services that include long distance and
Internet access.

Inter Exchange Carrier (IXC): Analogous to a RBOC or an Incumbent


Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) that provides local phone service, an IXC is
a telecom carrier that provides long distance services. These carriers
complete a long distance call by routing it from its originating point in
one ILECs domain - to its destination, which lies in another local service
providers domain.
Internet Service Provider (ISP): These service providers have a direct
relationship with the end-user and provide varying levels of Internet
connectivity. An ISP can be a facility-based provider, meaning it has its
own backbone connection to the Internet, or it can transparently resell
services bought from a telecom service provider that has high bandwidth
access to the Internet.

MSP (Managed Service Provider): An outsourcer that deploys,


manages and maintains the back-end infrastructure for Internet
businesses.

Application Service Provider (ASP): SP who combine application,


systems and network management. Service level expectations are
extremely high; the whole business of a customer may rely on this
provider.

Content Service Provider: SP who concentrate on the value, quality and


timeliness of content in eCommerce, mCommerce environments. They
strongly cooperate with ISPs, ASPs, WSPs.

Network Service Provider (NSP): They are responsible for providing a


highly reliable networking infrastructure, consisting of equipment and
facilities.

Wireless Service Provider (WSP): Carrier who provides cellular,


personal and mobile communication services.

The various industry issues of support systems include:

(1) Convergence and telecom consolidation


(2) Developing support systems market
(3) Emergence of complex, multi-platform environments
(4) Emphasis on telecom system integration
(5) Growth of support systems is tied to share-shift among telecom
end markets and carriers
(6) Outsourcing
(7) Product based vendor driven solutions
(8) Upgrade cycles in support systems

The market drivers for support systems are

(1) Growth of the global telecommunications market


(2) Increasing network complexity
(3) Emerging standards for telecommunications providers
(4) Deregulation & Privatization
(5) Communication convergence
(6) Customer orientation
(7) ASP model

The telecommunications industry today is experiencing a number of


changes and challenges. Deregulation, new services, new technologies,
reengineering business processes, mergers and acquisitions are just a few
that demand attention. Also, multiple concepts such as service
differentiation, quality of service, time-to-market, customer care, return
on investment and total cost of ownership request attention on behalf of
business managers of service providers. Quality of processes, automation
of processes and integration of support and management tools may mean
difference between business success and failure.

Business processes may be organized in several ways, such as

Customer care, service development, order processing, provisioning,


network and systems management and billing
Fulfillment, service assurance and billing

Simplified view of the business processes is provided below:

Figure 1Principal Support Processes


1.1 Operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS)
agenda

Lesson 0: Introduction
Lesson 1: Models
Lesson 2: Service fulfillment
Lesson 3: Service assurance
Lesson 4: Service billing
Lesson 5: OSS/BSS integration
Summary and wrap-up

Telecommunications OSSs are the collection of software systems that help


telecommunications operators manage and deliver their communications
services (i.e., run their business).

Figure 2Support Systems

Why are OSSs/BSSs so important?


Why do operators invest in them?
Why are they "mission critical" systems?

1.1.1 Reason #1 OSSs/BSSs enable operators to manage their


customers

Manage the customer account


Contact information admin, technical, billing, ...
Track products purchased, contracts

Manage the sales process


Correlate customer requirements with service offering
Service ordering
Service changes, termination, etc.

Manage the billing process


Determine how much a customer owes
Invoicing, apply payments, adjustments

Manage customer expectations


Communication of service performance
Failure resolution
SLA credits
Delivery dates, downtime, and more ...

1.1.2 Reason #2 OSSs/BSSs enable operators manage their service


offerings

Defines technical, legal and contractual specifications of service


(SLA, regulatory)
Catalogs services into product offerings
o Pricing, promotions, discounts
o Availability, eligibility
o Facilitate quote generation
Manage the order process
Configures the network to deliver services purchased
Determines the quality of service (QoS) actually delivered by
network
Reconciles the delivered QoS with customer expectation / contract
(SLA)
Provides business-oriented reports of resource capacity and
utilization
Facilitates resource planning

1.1.3 Reason #3 OSSs/BSSs enable operators to manage their


network

Ensures proper operations of equipment


Installation
Configuration
Testing
Inventory and assignment
Maintenance
Fault detection and resolution
Security
Usage collection
Fraud detection

OSS becomes more critical to manage diversified services, support


multiple network technologies and meeting customers expectations.

1.2 Why is the OSS/BSS domain so challenging?

Network services are complicated


Challenging IT problems
Requirements are a constantly moving target
Legacy heritage
Cost tradeoffs difficult to quantify and predict
Difficult to get it right the first time
Multiple generations software and infrastructure
Theory (getting it right) doesn't align with pragmatics (good
enough)

Next Generation OSS refers to OSS that is optimized for innovative, value-
added IP services.

2. Lesson 1: OSS Structure / Models

2.1 Operations Support Systems

OSS are generally divided into 3 domains

1. BSS Handles business operations and is customer centric, done by


operations team and they report to operations officers
2. OSS - Handles service oriented OSS like Assurance, manage
services reporting mostly to IT department
3. NMS Handles management of network resources, done by network
engineers
Figure 3OSS Categories

2.1.1 Network Management OSS

Network Management OSSs (NMS) are designed to manage specific


hardware elements deployed by the operator.

For example, broadband deliver services that are based on data transport
equipment / technologies. Hence, their NMS are optimized for broadband
infrastructure such as DSL, IP, ATM, and Frame Relay equipment.
Figure 4Broadband services

NMSs also manage server infrastructure. For example, IP operators utilize


a range of application server equipment to deliver various value-added
services. Hence, their NMSs are optimized for various server platforms
(e.g., Sun Unix, NT) and server applications (e.g., Apache Wed, Real
Video).
Figure 5Wireless, ISP Services

2.1.2 Business Support System (BSS)

The business support systems (BSS) domain encompasses the systems


designed to support business processes including billing, CRM,
marketing/sales support, partner management, and more.

Figure 6Business Support Systems

Billing masters account, invoicing, payment processing, taxes, bill


calc, rating, discounts, cycles (if any), adjustments, ERP interface,
recurring charges, credit management, ...
Customer relationship management (CRM) masters customer
record, product catalog, order entry, contract, trouble management,
SLA violations, service order, order status, ...
Sales force automation (SFA) manage the sales process, product
configuration, eligibility, custom contract negotiation, RFI/RFP
processes, SLA negotiation, upsell
Decision support (DSS) market analysis tools, pricing analysis,
data warehouse

2.1.3 Service OSSs

The "service" OSSs are used to bridge together the BSS and NMS domains
enabling seamless, flow-through integration of each.

Figure 7Service OSS

2.2 BSS, Service Infrastructure and OSS

Together, the BSSs, service infrastructure and OSS are all critical for an
operator to run their business, and ultimately deliver revenue.
Figure 8Support Systems for Revenue

2.3 OSS / BSS Functionality

The exact OSS/BSS functionality required is driven by the business


objectives.

CEO mindset is "how do I drive ARPU, lower churn, expand customer


base, differentiate my products AND execute both quickly and efficiently?"

Figure 9Business planning & OSS requirements


2.4 Complexity of Network Management OSSs

Ultimately, the complexity of Network Management OSSs is driven by


complexity of the underlying infrastructure that is required to deliver the
services defined in the product strategy.

Figure 10Infrastructure & Services Complexity

2.5 Market, Sales and Partner Strategy

Retail large customer base, few contract options, small volume


each, large-scale CC
Wholesale small customer base, large volume, custom deals,
reconciliation is key
Enterprise small customer base, custom deals, SFA, performance
feedback / account-
management style interfaces

Pricing strategy
Granular -> complex usage processing/management, accounting,
articulation, revenue assurance processes, integrated customer
care, ...
Flat-rate -> subscription-oriented billing/customer care (automated)
Credit -> post-paid, pre-pay, any-pay, blended.

Partner strategy ... a complex the value chain implies


Open OSSs provisioning, ordering, etc.
Settlement processes
Partner management

Indirect sales strategies - extend requirements to resellers and


channels

2.6 Complexity of OSS

The complexity of the OSS is determined by the functionality gap between


the BSS and infrastructure domains, and difficulty filling it.

Figure 11Complex OSS

2.7 Industry standards / models

2.7.1 Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) model

The Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) model was defined


by the ITU to help operators formalize the structure of their OSSs.
Figure 12TMN Model

2.7.1.1 TMNs Service Management / Network Management layers

The TMF has expanded the TMN's service management / network


management layers, in the telecommunications operations map (the so-
called TOM model).
Figure 13TMN Vs TMF models (mapping)
Figure 14TMF functionalities expanded

2.7.2 The TMF Model

From an operations perspective, the TMF model is commonly divided into


three core functional areas, namely: fulfillment, assurance and billing
(FAB).
Figure 15TMF eTOM model

eTOM is
Business process model or framework that provides the
enterprise processes required for the service provider
Based on the Telecom Operations Map (TOM)
Most service providers are working with eTOM since they need an
industry standard framework for procuring software and
equipment as well as to interface with other service providers in
an increasingly complex network of business relationships
Figure 16eTOM Level 0 processes

2.7.2.1 eTOM for Telco business processes


Highest conceptual view of the business process framework
Differentiates strategy and lifecycle processes from Operations
processes
Differentiates the key functional areas in five horizontal layers
At the overall conceptual level eTOM can be viewed as having 3
major areas of process-
o Strategy Infrastructure and Product Management ( Covering
Planning and Life Cycle Management)
o Operations ( Covering the core of operational management)
o Enterprise Management ( Covering corporate or business
support management)
The four supporting functional process areas are-
o Marketing, Product and Customer processes( sales and
channel management, marketing management, product and
offer management)
o Service (Service development, configuration, problem
management and rating)
o Resource( Development and management of firms
infrastructure)
o Supplier Partner( Dealing with the firms interaction with its
suppliers and partners)
Figure 17eTOM Level 1 processes

Operations

FAB is still the core of the Operations area


Operations Support & Readiness is separated from FAB
OPS also supports functional process groupings shown as
horizontal layers

Strategy, Infrastructure & Product

SIP encompasses strategy and lifecycle management processes in


support of operations
o Strategy & Commit
o Infrastructure Lifecycle Management
o Product Lifecycle Management
SIP also has functional groupings, aligned with those in OPS

Enterprise Management: this grouping involves the knowledge of


Enterprise-level actions and needs, and encompasses all business
management processes necessary to support the rest of the enterprise.
These processes are necessary in any business because they are needed
to run the business at the enterprise level, to direct the business, and are
critical to support the direct and indirect Customer Processes. Enterprise
Management processes include processes for financial management, legal
management, regulatory management, etc. This area also sets corporate
strategies and directions, and provides guidelines and targets for the rest
of the business. These are sometimes considered as the corporate
functions and/or processes. Enterprise Management also includes strategic
planning for the enterprise as well as information systems strategy
development and management. Enterprise Management processes in
general do not have a customized aspect for information and
communications service providers.

The Enterprise Management process groupings are:


Strategic & Enterprise Planning
Brand Management, Market Research & Advertising
Financial & Asset Management
Human Resources Management
Stakeholder & External Relations Management
Research & Development, Technology Acquisition
Enterprise Quality Management, Process & IT Planning &
Architecture
Disaster Recovery, Security & Fraud Management

Figure 18eTOM Level 2 processes


S/P Settlements & Billing Management (S/PRM - B)
For a value network and particularly, for service providers, settlements
and billing management is complex. In many cases, the supplier cost can
be the largest single cost and incorrect settlement or billing can mean the
difference between profit and loss. S/P Settlements & Billing Management
processes manage all settlements and billing for the enterprise, including
bill validation and verification and payment authorization. These S/P
Settlements and Billing Management processes interface with the
suppliers Customer Relationship Management process of Billing and
Collection Management.
Service & Specific Instance Rating (SM&O - B)
Service & Specific Instance Rating processes manage service events by
correlating and formatting them into a useful format. These processes
include the service level rating of usage information. Investigation of
service related billing event problems is also part of these processes.
These processes provide information on Customer-related and Service-
related events to other process areas. This includes reports on
unchargeable Events and overcharged Events and analysis of Event
records to identify fraud and prevent further occurrences.
SM&O Readiness (SM&O - OSR)
These processes are also responsible for supporting new product and
feature introductions and enhancements in development and/or review of
processes and methods and procedures, as well conducting Operations
Readiness Testing (ORT) and acceptance. Readiness processes develop
the methods and procedures for the specific process and function and
keep them up-to-date, including making improvements. Before Operations
accepts a new product, feature or enhancement, operations readiness
testing is required that is hands off from the developers. After fixes
identified in operations readiness testing are completed, these processes
accept the new or enhanced product and features in full-scale introduction
or general availability.

2.7.2.2 Motivation for NGOSS

TM Forum provides strategic leadership and guidance on:

New Generation Operations Systems and Software (NGOSS)


Business process modeling and sutomation
Managing next generation network technologies
Systems Integration and Implementation
Service Management
Web-based Customer Care (E-care) and Customer Relationship
Management (CRM)
Managing E-Commerce

TM Forum enables collaborative, business-driven solutions based on


commercially available software and industry standards

The Operational Challenges are growing, hence market demands that next
generation systems to provide

Rapid service development


Real time flow-through service delivery
Proactive, real-time, content-based, location based billing
Web-based, customer self service
Service level guarantees across multiple service, multi-technology,
multi-provider, infrastructures
Flexible and responsive technology base

But yesterdays systems cant cope with these rapid requirements.


Yesterdays OSSs have become a roadblock to innovation and not a tool
for competitive success as

Systems development / integration can take too long, and is too


expensive and risky
Business processes and systems are
o Slow to evolve unable to support new services
o Cant meet rapid time to market requirements
o Cant deliver superior customer service that determines
market winners
o Affecting companies bottom line

So, the need is to redesign systems to handle chaos

Easy and flexible response to changing business models and


software technologies
Reduced overall cost of OSS ownership, with increased functionality
and reduced development time
Lower cost of change
Integrated billing proactive / content based billing
Supprot for legacy integration
Commercially available, off-the-shelf software (COTS)

NGOSS revolutionizes OSSs


OSSs span business, system and network needs
o How come OSS components dont?
NGOSS has two important goals
o To enable business, system and implementation requirements
to be specified and developed
o To facilitate the rapid development of OSS components and
solutions to meet the business needs of the Internet enabled
economy
NGOSS solves this by defining a methodology
o More than just an architectural specification!

Changing the focus

Figure 19 Change in focus

NGOSS key concepts

View focus on particular concerns within a system


Framework supporting or enclosing structure
Methodology system of principles and procedures applied to a
discipline
Architecture style or method of design and construction
Figure 20 NGOSS Views

eTOM linkage to NGOSS

Figure 21 eTOM linkage to NGOSS

2.7.3 Standards & Forums in Telecom Arena


Some of the standards are provided below

Standard bodies / Forum Details


3GPP (http://www.3gpp.org) GSM, GPRS, UMTS
standards
3GPP2 (http://www.3gpp2.org ) CDMA 2000 standards
Metro Ethernet Forum Focuses on
(http://www.metroethernetforum.org/) Management,
Architecture,
Protocol/Transport and
Services
ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications North American service
Industry solutions) provider body
(http://www.atis.org/) developing telecom
standards
CDMA development group The CDMA Development
(http://www.cdg.org/) Group (CDG) is a
consortium of
companies focused on
adopting and evolving
CDMA wireless systems
TM Forum (http://www.tmforum.org/) Supports the
information and
communications
services (ICS)
industries
DSL Forum
(http://www.dslforum.org/index.shtml)
MPLS Forum
(http://www.mfaforum.org/)
Open Mobile Alliance
(http://www.openmobilealliance.org/)
Parlay The Parlay Group aims
(http://www.parlay.org/en/index.asp) to intimately link IT
applications with the
capabilities of the
telecommunications
world by specifying and
promoting application
programming interfaces
(APIs) that are secure,
easy to use, rich in
functionality, and based
on open standards
SIP Forum The SIP Forum is an
(http://www.sipforum.org/) industry organization
with members from the
leading SIP technology
companies. Its mission
is to advance the
adoption of products
and services based on
SIP.

Table 1 Industry Standards and Forums

More details are available in http://www.consortiuminfo.org/links/telecom/

2.8 High level functionalities of the various FAB components

2.8.1 Order Management

Uses GUI which guides order takers or customer-care


representatives through the ordering process for any number of
services.
Services range from basic telephony lines to complex services such
as ISDN, ADSL etc.
Incorporate some default data common to each service a provider
offers to ease the keystroke burden
Also perform a certain amount of error checking
Integrates with other systems like Work Force Management etc.
The system generates specific tasks for other systems that must be
completed to activate service on the network

2.8.2 Provisioning (Service Configuration, Network Provisioning and


Activation)

Involves specifying which pieces of equipment and network routes a


given service will utilize
The activation system activates service on the proper network
elements (any piece of network hardware, such as a switch,
multiplexer, or cross-connect system)
The Network Provisioning System encompasses the configuration of
network resources, and logical resource provisioning for individual
customer instances.
Current network elements are generally designed with an intelligent
element manager built in that can receive and execute commands
sent by activation systems.
Element managers also can feed equipment status data back to
upstream systems for network-and trouble-management functions.
Element managers use protocols such as SNMP for traditional data
equipment to communicate with activation and other systems.
Todays service providers are working toward enabling flow-through
provisioning and activation, combining provisioning and activation
systems to allow order and design-and-assign systems to issue
commands to an activation system.

2.8.3 Inventory Management

Maintains the status of communication equipment. Gives an in-use


view of the Inventory
Helps you identify the different equipment details, how and where it
is being used. The inventory items includes Switches, Routers
Ports, Hubs, CPE, Servers, Back bone circuits(includes cabling),
Third-party access circuits, Location, Building, Floor space (routers,
Access Points, reference to CPE data),Cards, Dish Antenna,
Equipment Code, Relay Rack, Shelves, Slot, Circuit Name, Phone
number and IP address ranges, bandwidth capacity etc.
The inventory data includes serial number ,warranty dates
,acquisition dates, whether they are owned or leased, item cost ,
location of equipment ,date assigned ,maintenance cost ,one-time
and/or recurring charges
Maintenance of information on Vendor, Manufacturer of various
equipment. Inventory management of items in geographical
warehouses
Capacity Planning and Performance Monitoring
Generation of various Inventory Reports for Management review.

2.8.4 Trouble Ticket Management

Interfaces with Fault Management modules & other OSS for the
acquisition of network faults and trouble-tickets.
Trouble-ticket generation, distribution, log, and resolution
management capabilities to improve service quality and response
time.
Reports to illustrate staff efficiency in clearing problems
Support for reduced response times and increased service quality
Network Fault monitoring capabilities

2.8.5 Workflow

Brings all the pieces together, enabling work to flow electronically


across your organization
Key tools in Work Management are provisioning plans. Provisioning
plans help you organize the flow of tasks and resources that are
critical to your success. Provisioning plans include information such
as task assignments, dependencies between tasks, and expected
completion intervals.
A service request triggers the correct provisioning plan to be applied
and generates tasks for the respective employee(s) involved.

2.8.6 Workforce management

Suggesting technicians based on skill sets/location.


Assigning resources to appointments
Optimizing Appointments based on location, change in customer
orders, order cancellations.

2.8.7 Billing

Call detail Records (CDR) are generated by the switch for each call
made. One CDR can have more than one call record. CDR contains
information on the source number, destination number, call duration
etc.
Mediation device picks up the call records from different switches
and converts them into format that is understood by the billing and
rating systems
Rating Engine applies the tariff plan on the call along with discounts
etc as applicable and then the rated record is stored in the database
When Billing is run at the end of each month( the period is variable
and is decided by the service provider ), the rated records are
aggregated, discounts, taxes and other fixed prices as applicable are
added and sent to the invoicing system to generate an invoice

2.8.8 Sample end to end flow for a new telephony order

Figure 22 Sample end to end flow for a new telephony order

3. Lesson 2: Fulfillment OSS

3.1 Fulfillment process

The "fulfillment" process embodies a range of OSSs including order


management, inventory, provisioning, service activation and more; and
BSSs including order entry, SFA, product configurators, and more.
Figure 23Fulfillment processes

3.2 Order Management and Provisioning

The order management and provisioning processes is the key OSSs


involved in configuring the network to deliver the service desired by the
customer (i.e., fulfillment).

The aim of an order management system (OMS) is to order the


service the customer requests, support changes when necessary,
keep the customer informed with meaningful progress of their order,
and track and manage to successful and on-time completion.
The process begins with an order or, in some cases, pre-sale
activity. The process ends with a completed order, a delighted
customer and sufficient information to build or update a customer
account record in trouble/problem handling, performance reporting
and billing processes and systems.

3.2.1 Benefits of having an Order management system is

Time-to-market for new services is minimized


Failed orders is reduced to zero
Time to deliver services is minimized
Labor-intensive manual processes are eliminated
Reliable service to customers

3.2.2 Features of an Order Management System

3.2.2.1 Mandatory

Accepting orders
Pre-order activity
Integration with Inventory database
Integration with SLA to know whether the customer is eligible for
the service ordered and also to estimate the price for the service.
Reserve available facilities to support the order.
Initiate service installation
Notifying the customer
Initiate billing process
Integration with E911 database

3.2.2.2 Optional

Order plan development


Request customer deposit
Issue order and tracking order status
Integration with workflow management system to dispatch a
technician to install a service
Web ordering
Data-driven Architecture
API Support
Workflow engine
Notification for new ticket assignments or escalations to appropriate
personnel, individuals or teams
Multi Platform Support
Quote service price
Payment engine
Integration with CRM

3.2.3 Core processes in Order Management includes

Accepting orders
Pre-order activity and Credit Check
Price estimates
Order plan development
Request customer deposit
Reserve number
Initiate service installation
Notifying the customer
Initiate billing process

Figure 24Order Handling processes


Figure 25Flow thro' fulfillment

3.2.4 The Order Manager

The order manager coordinates all aspects and processes related to


fulfilling an order including validation, service decomposition, inventory
update, provisioning, billing and testing.
Figure 26Order Manager

3.2.5 Provisioning OSS

The provisioning OSS works with the order manager to activate the
service within the corresponding network element(s).

Figure 27Provisioning OSS


The provisioning OSS also handles configuring the network for
dynamically-oriented transactions such as authentication, accounting,
authorization, roaming, etc.

Figure 28Provisioning OSS (example)


Figure 29Service Fulfillment flow

3.2.6 Service Fulfillment flow

Sales process caters for the customer queries, for the various
available services (1,2).

Customer places the service order directly to the order management


system or through sales process (3,3A).

Order management process hands over this order to Service


Configuration process to activate the service (4). Customer related
details are saved in the OMS, which can be used by the assurance
and billing processes.

Service Configuration system assigns this service request to


Network Provisioning System (5), that in turn sends this request to
its sub-process Network Configuration and Routing to actually
configure the service at Network Element Level (6).
Network Configuration and Routing system checks the validity and
availability of the network data through Network Inventory
Management sub-process (7,8) and then configures the service on
Network Element Management and network elements (9,10).

After configuration of Service, Security sub-process checks for the


network access on the configured elements (11,12).

Network Configuration and Routing sub-process requests the Test


Management sub-process to check the configured service (13). This
test sub-process checks whether configured service is working or
not (14,15). Test completion results are sent back to the Network
Configuration and Routing sub-process (16).

Network Configuration and routing sub-process sends the network


completion status to the Network Provisioning process (17). If the
Service is successfully configured, Network Inventory Management
sub-process is updated with data used for assigning the service.

Network provisioning system updates the Service Configuration


process after assignment of service is completed (18).

Service Provisioning process informs the Order Management about


the result of Service Request (19). It also updates billing system to
start the billing for the given customer.

Sales process or Order Management system informs the Customer


about the activation of service it has asked for (20,20A).

3.3 The Inventory Management OSS

The inventory management OSS keeps track of all the physical, logical
and other network assets, as well as the assignment of those assets to
customers.
Figure 30Inventory management system

3.3.1 Need for automated inventory management system

As communications networks evolve into more complex service


platforms with layered technologies and multi-vendor systems, it is
imperative to have a simple, flexible, and consistent way to manage
and to maintain how networks are configured.
Telecom operators must maintain configuration records and without
integration, these records rapidly become unmanageable being a
mixture of paper files, spread sheets or in-house localized
databases.

Benefits include

Increases the quality of the data in the system, and minimizes the
administrative burden of re-keying data
It achieves flow through provisioning by integrating with
o Pre-Ordering processes.
o Service Provisioning
o Service Assurance

The Network Inventory and Design subsystem brings together several


vital functions
1. planning and development,
2. intelligent routing, and
3. inventory management

In Inventory system, a carrier stores all its information regarding the


inventory (facilities and equipment) available on its network.

Determine whether or not the requested service can be supplied.

Answers questions such as:


Is the proper equipment in place or must new equipment be
installed?
Are the proper facility circuits-the high-capacity circuits that provide
backbone transport-already assigned, or do they need to be
configured?

Inventory management includes both:


Inventory creation: Inventory creation refers to creating new
network resources in the inventory in accordance with network
growth forecasts.
The provisioning of customer services utilizes powerful network
o Provisioning of customer services.
o Inventory algorithms to design and assign network
components, ensuring rapid and accurate service delivery.

Network Inventory Management system does network maintenance and


restoration to maintain the operational integrity of the network.

Network inventory manager provides you with wide variety of powerful


tools to document almost every aspect of your network

Network Circuit Design

The circuit design module designs many different configurations of


the network before finalizing on the optimum one based on the
service provider's strengths and weaknesses.
These networks can be displayed graphically with drill-down
capabilities to equipment, including routers and ports.
The user has the ability to manage capacity at the link/connection
level, as well as the equipment level, in order to support the
provisioning of traditional and converged networks.
Rules-based Design functionality promotes following capabilities:
o Define Logical Network SystemsYou can specify a collection
of elements that can be combined and arranged to define
logical network systems and the services enabled by the
networks.
o Define Logical Network TemplatesThese templates allow you
to define and maintain rules governing the ordering, design
and provisioning of various logical network systems.
o Design ConnectionsYou can design connections for data,
voice and video.In addition Graphical Layout Record (GLR)
supports the design of physical connections.
Circuit design is more related to the service delivery part as it
involves configuration and design for providing a service to the end
customer.
The network inventory provides the service assurance part as it
takes care of the network data, fault management and recovery
from disasters.

3.3.2 Inventory Management system functionality

Standard interfaces to integrate with order management, customer


care and provisioning etc.
Web enabled solutions.
Real time discovery of network elements and fault management.
Client/server distributed architecture
Scalabilityintegrate with server group to reduce database traffic,
allowing more users to work expeditiously
Sophisticated but easy-to-track system of network views
Network configuration data represented by maps, drawings,
symbols, and icons
Dynamic, interactive relationship with hierarchical browser display
and graphics window display, thus providing up-to-date physical
locations and specifications in text and graphics
Easily accessible vendor information on all network objects
Built-in library of maps, locations, floor drawings, and network
object symbols
Management of network design stages and role assignments

3.4 Provisioning detailed flow on the back end


Figure 31Provisioning - detailed flow

3.5 The complexity of the fulfillment process

Ultimately, the complexity of the fulfillment process is driven by the


complexity of the product bundle, delivery infrastructure, supply chain and
workforce.
Figure 32Complex Fulfillment process

3.6 The Key Order Management, Inventory & Provisioning


players

Who are the key order management, provisioning and inventory


players?

OSS product vendors


ADC (provisioning: wireline, cable)
AI Metrics (order management, inventory and provisioning: wireline,
next-gen, enterprise)
Co-Manage (inventory, provisioning: data -
ATM/FR/DSL/SONET/IP/IP-VPN) Cramer (provisioning, inventory,
order management: mobile, voice, data)
Eftia OSS Solutions (order management, provisioning, inventory:
wireline, CLEC)
Granite (provisioning and inventory: wireline, mobile, enterprise)
Metasolv (order management, provisioning, inventory: wireline,
wireless, data, isp)
NetCracker (order management, provisioning, inventory: wireline,
next-gen, data)
Peregrine Systems (inventory management: wireline, next-gen)
Sigma Systems (provisioning: cable)
Telecordia: (order management, provisioning, inventory, dispatch:
RBOC wireline)
Visionael (inventory management: next-gen)

Others
In-house developers
ILEC/CLEC provisioning gateways (DSET, Nightfire, Quintessant,
Wisor)
Billing services vendors: Amdocs, Convergys, CSG, Infodirections
Custom solutions (consultants/integrators)
Legacy systems

4. Lesson 3: The Assurance Process

The "assurance" process embodies a range of OSSs designed to ensure


that network is operating properly, and that service quality thresholds are
maintained.

Figure 33Assurance processes


4.1 The Role of Network Management OSS

The role of network management OSSs is to provide network operators


the critical performance and fault information required to ensure smooth
network operation

Figure 34Network Operations Center

4.2 Network Management Systems

Network management systems work by collecting events from the


network, then quickly consolidates analyzes and distributes the relevant
data to ensure fast resolution of problems.
Figure 35Network Management System

4.3 Service management OSS

Service management OSSs reconcile network performance against


service guarantees and/or customer-specific SLAs.
Quality of Service (QoS) is defined in standard Service
Descriptions as well as individually negotiated customer-
negotiated SLAs
o Performance - latency, error rates, throughput, dropped calls,
blocking
o Service - downtime, order completion time, MTTR, MTBF,
notice of failures
o Softer issues billing articulation/accuracy, customer service,
proactive AM

Reporting
o Standard (predefined) and exception reports, including
dashboards
o Performance of a service against an SLA Reports of any
developing capacity problems
o Reports of customer usage patterns, etc.
o Performance reviews with the customer
o Responses to performance inquiries from the customer

Credits to customers (rating)


Charge-back to suppliers (rating)
Utilization network planning, blocking trends, etc.

Service management OSSs monitor network performance, reconciles


against customer SLAs, and generates credits and other service-oriented
reports for planning and customer care systems.

Figure 36Service Management

4.4 Assurance today detailed flow for assurance process

Key drivers
Customer satisfaction high expectations, low loyalty
QoS as a competitive differentiator
Revenue and profitability
Competitiveness / differentiation
Enterprise accounts

Key issues
Network technology evolution
IP networking
Advances in end-user devices
Complex service infrastructure

Goal: customer-centric assurance


Rapidly identify root cause of customer complaints
Total view of customer experience through real-time monitoring
Monitor and report performance on a service or customer
(enterprise) basis
Expand scope to third-party suppliers

4.5 Assurance Workflow for Assurance process

Figure 37Workflow for Assurance process

4.6 Service Assurance System Issues

Figure 38Service Assurance System Issues


4.7 Who are key Network Management players?

Network management
Micromuse (level 1,2,3 faults; data, next-gen, enterprise, voice)
HP Openview (network-level: data, access, transport, application
servers)
Tivoli, Computer Associates (application servers)
Telecordia (wireline)
TTI (wireless)
Concord and Infovista (service management only)

Others
Equipment manufacturers
Custom solutions (consultants/integrators)
In-house developers

5. Lesson 4: Billing Processes

Network data management (i.e., mediation) and rating are the key OSS
elements that support the billing process.

Figure 39Billing Processes


5.1 Billing Big picture

operator
internet
applications
access
access

service services including


- content/ infotainment
networks platform - CRM and bill
IP/ WAP/ IVR payments applications
- retail service servers
service credit check request/
control authorise or deny
call for balance check
supplier
traffic records check balances or payment issue
accounts
& control service statements
& settle

traffic collect balance check/ payments balance check/


all usage deduction switch deduction
records traffic
payment for
customer
rateable usage content, or
accounts
to update
rate & other
rated accounts
tariffs update events
balances Banks and other
financial institutions
physical
payments

NEXT GENERATION
periodic & ad-hoc
issue bills
unbilled CHARGING &
charges transactions COLLECTIONS

receivables
& ledgers

Figure 40Billing - Big Picture

5.2 Purpose of a billing System (Key functionality)

Figure 41Simple Telecom Network


Meter and bill the services consumed by the customer
Allow definition of different rates for services
Allow easy management of customer accounts
Maintain record of payments received

5.3 Illustrative functionality of a billing system

Figure 42Illustrative functionality of a biiling system

Billing is more than just a means of collecting money. In a marketplace


fueled by competition, Carriers are recognizing billing as a strategic
weapon in the battle for new and retained business.

Various types of telecom billing includes

Wireless Billing
Convergent Billing
Interconnect Billing
IP Billing
Critical Billing requirements include

Flexible rating capability for new services


Multi-mode processing : real time, hot or batch
Multi-party settlement capability
Service convergent
Unified accounting: postpay/ prepay/ nowpay
Adaptability and ease of use
Multi-territory and multi-role capabilities
Carrier- grade performance
Functional
Scalable
Useable
Available

Key definitions

Account: Any customer is represented in the billing system as an


account. One account can have only one customer
Plan: A plan is a bundle of services associated with the account
Service / Product: Different billing vendors have different definitions
for service. check out the definition for specific package
Billing cycle: A periodic cycle for which the customer is billed. E.g.
from the 4th of a month to the 3rd of the next month. Can be
weekly, monthly, bi monthly, quarterly
Accounting cycle: A cycle for which the charges against an account
are calculated (not billed)typically monthly.
Recurring Charge (RC): A predetermined charge associated with a
product or service that is assessed on a regular interval i.e.,
monthly, quarterly, annually
5.4 Billing Interfaces

Figure 43Billing Interfaces

5.5 Mediation Systems

The role of mediation systems is to capture usage information from the


network and service infrastructure, and distribute it to upstream billing,
settlement, marketing and other BSSs.
Figure 44Mediation System

Mediation processes the Call Detail Record (CDR), call, message, usage,
traffic, ticket, event, xDR

Usage types can be

Fixed to Fixed
Fixed to Mobile
Mobile to Fixed
Mobile to Mobile
Roaming
Value Added Services (SMS, Call Forward, etc.)

Key activities in Mediation Usage collection

Polling / Data Collection


Consolidator across network elements
Standardize inputs to Biller
Support for real time applications
Drop non-billable usage
Reformat, validate, number translations
Direct usage between applications
Insulate the biller from Network elements
The validation functions in mediation includes

Duplicate checks
Drop calls
Perform edits and translations
Creating message legs
Table look up and conversion (CLLI -> country code, city code,
exchange)
Assign a unique tag number to the event

5.5.1 Traditional Mediation Systems

Traditional mediation systems focus on voice usage and CDR collection


and routing to retail, interconnect and roaming billers.

Figure 45Traditional Mediation System

5.5.2 The Complexity of contemporary mediation

The complexity of contemporary mediation systems is driven by the


granularity of pricing, real-time constraints, regulatory requirements,
scale and diversity of network elements.
Figure 46Complexity of mediation system

5.6 The Role of Rating Engine

The role of the rating engine is to apply pricing rules to a given


transaction, and route to the rated transaction to the appropriate
billing/settlement system.

5.6.1 Rating steps:

(1) Determine
a. Connection date & time
b. Duration
c. Rate period for discounts
i. Time of day (TOD)
ii. Day of week (DOW), holidays
d. Rating increments
i. 1, 6, 10, 30, 60 second increments
ii. Per packet, per byte
e. Jurisdiction
i. Regional, National, International
ii. May be used for rating, settlement, tax
(2) Rate table look-up using
a. Event date
b. Event type
c. Optionally
i. Rate table ID
ii. Rate period
iii. Jurisdiction
(3) Calculate event charge
(4) Calculate tax (optional)
(5) Store relevant information on the xDR

5.6.2 Steps to rate a call

(1) Determine charge points


a. Originating charge point
i. A number from the CDR (May be the originating cell
site address)
ii. Originating charge point = country code + city code +
exchange
b. Terminating charge point
i. B number from the CDR (May be the terminating cell
site address)
ii. Terminating charge point = country code + city code +
exchange
(2) Retrieve place names
a. Table: Charge point place names
b. Originating & terminating
c. Store on CDR
(3) Determine band
a. Fixed or Mobile
b. Terminating country
c. Terminating network
d. First 5 minutes etc
(4) Rate table look up using
a. Rate Table ID (optional)
i. Assuming rates specific to rate plans
b. Call date
c. Call type
d. Band
e. Rate period (optional)
i. May be a flat discount percentage applied
(5) Rate table look up may return
a. Flat price per event
b. Rate per increment
c. Rate per increment + discounts
Figure 47Rating Engine

5.6.3 How does Rating work?

Figure 48Rating Core


Figure 49Rating Engine

5.7 How the billing system is used?

The Billing system is used to manage the receivables invoicing, payment,


collection and crediting functions.

Figure 50Billing System


5.8 eTOM Beyond Fulfillment, Assurance and Billing

Figure 51eTOM

5.8.1 CRM Managing the expanding scope of customer relationship

Traditional customer relationship management (CRM) master customer


record, product catalog, order entry, contract, trouble reporting, SLA
violations, service order, order status, etc

Traditionally, CRM is not that complicated


Single service
Reliable network
Single payment model
Limited customer touch points
Telecoms were a utility consumer had no choice

Today, CRM is complicated: bundles, entertainment, value-add services,


pricing, packaging, etc
Figure 52Complexity of Customer Relationship

5.8.2 The customer-centric OSS becomes a critical differentiator,


adding pressure to CRM

Figure 53CRM

Customer experience - Which provider offers the best ease of use and a
superior buying/delivery experience?

Market and present service options in a sensible manner


Make services and offers easy to purchase
Instant gratification by immediately fulfilling what was soldno
delay, no issues
Provide all-around smooth interaction, from ordering to service
delivery
Articulate service usage in a way that consumers can easily
understand

Pricing and packaging - Which provider offers the best deal and pricing
that aligns with the customers understanding and expectation of the
value delivered?
Differentiate offerings with custom packages or bundles
Align offers by affinity group, customer segment, family and/or
individual
Develop pricing plans that maximize ROI and profits
Personalize product offerings, offers
Drive impulse buys and upsell at every opportunity
One-time and limited try it/buy it offers
Uniquely market to customers one-to-one, opportunistically.
Price and manage offerings in a way that aligns with consumers
preference and their view of the value delivered

Customer service Which provider is the easiest to deal with, and has a
reputation for responsiveness?

Unified, real-time view of the customer that details all the


products/services purchased
Understand customer across all the related accounts
Possess the information necessary to set realistic and accurate
expectations for the customer
Recognize the value (profitability) of each customer
Manage the account by a single ID
Know the complete status of each service delivered successfully,
unsuccessfully or with unknown status, and be able to validate,
communicate or otherwise address the issue.
Deliver all customer interactions seamlessly through a single website
experience
Instantaneously and automatically identify choice opportunities for
upselling, cross-selling and churn avoidance
Execute appropriate marketing and sales responses.

5.9 Who are the key mediation & rating players?

Mediation
Ace*Comm voice, data
Comptel wireless voice
Ericsson wireless voice
Intec voice, interconnect
HP next-gen, data
Narus next-gen
Sigma - cable
Xacct next-gen

Rating
Every billing vendor
Stand-alone: RateIntegration, Sepro (Opennet), Am-Beo,
Boldworks, Highdeal, Redknee

Others
Equipment manufacturers (Pre-pay)
Custom solutions (consultants/integrators)
In-house developers
Legacy systems

5.10 Who are the key billing players?

Product-oriented (50+ vendors!)


Amdocs
ADC (Saville)
AMS
BCG
Billing concepts
Convergys (Geneva)
CSG (Kenan)
Daleen
Portal
Schlumberger (Sema/LHS)
Telcordia (Legacy, Daleen, Abiliti)
Telution
Ushacomm

Service bureaus
Tier 1: Amdocs, Convergys, CSG
Tier 2: Alltel, DST, EUR Systems, Infodirections, Verisign

Others
Custom solutions (consultants/integrators)
In-house developers
Legacy systems

5.11 Pulling the various OSS / BSS together


Figure 54FAB combined

6. Lesson 5: integration

6.1 Electronic Integration of Support Systems (EAI)

EAI = electronic integration of support systems is required for an


automated back-office in large-scale operations.
Figure 55Sample back office operations

6.2 The Role of EAI

The role of EAI is to simplify the integration headache by creating an open


data exchange platform optimized for heterogeneous inter-process
communication ("plug and play").

EAI is the software designed to support communication between software


systems, including OSS

Figure 56EAI
6.3 OSS, critical to operators business

Summary OSSs deal with the range of issues critical to an


operator's success.
Order management systems allow operators to coordinate the
process of configuring the network to deliver the services ordered by
a customer.
Provisioning systems allow operators to turn up (activate) services
on the network/service infrastructure.
Inventory systems allow operators to accurately track their network
assets, and assign those assets to customers.
Mediation systems allow operators to determine service usage.
Rating systems allow operators to determine how much to bill based
on the service usage for a particular customer.
Network management systems allow operators to detect and isolate
network failures, and quickly restore service.
Service assurance systems allow operators to correlate network
performance with service quality requirements, and appropriately
communicate and compensate customers for any disruption.
EAI systems allow operators to quickly integrate diverse support
systems and network elements.

7. Summary

OSS remain a complex interconnection of systems

Summary OSSs remain a complex interconnection of system, with the


complexity driven by the customer management, resource management
and service management requirements.
Figure 57OSS interconnection

7.1 OSS remains a hybrid integration of loosely coupled


systems

Unfortunately, in many network operations, the reality is that the OSS


remains a hybrid integration of loosely coupled systems (so-called
"smoke-stacks") built over time in an ad-hoc basis.

Figure 58Hybrid integration

7.2 Considerable Depth to Each of the OSS Issues

There is also considerable depth to each of the OSS issues


addressed, and others not addressed, depending on the service
providers specific business plan and maturity.
Account hierarchies
Settlement and real-time AAA with content providers
Flow through between OSS, and between partners.
Product catalog
Supporting the ordering process (OSS integration)
Roaming
Security
Fraud
Assurance
Pre-pay
Auto-discovery of inventory
Directory-based provisioning
Standards

7.3 OSS Market and Spending

7.3.1 Overview of OSS market

Communications service providers spend about 3% of total revenue


on OSS software to improve the quality and efficiency of their
operations ~$ 30B
About 2/3 of OSS spending for custom developed systems; about
1/3 is for commercial software
The Top 100 CSPs buy almost all the commercial software ~$ 9B
Over 400 vendors compete in the OSS market

7.3.2 Market analysis data from OSS Observer

Figure 59 OSS spending


And the market share is

Figure 60 OSS Spending Market share

Figure 61 Telecom Market - financial results (2002 to2004)


Figure 62 Services Growth (2003, 2004)

OSS/BSS estimated at $30B market


Investment in OSSs are driven by new revenue opportunity from
emerging services
o New network technology (10:1 ratio of equipment to
communications software)
o Credit models (prepay, postpay), bundles, regulatory
o Competitive advantage, time to market
Investment in OSSs are driven by cost savings
o Scale stresses architectures, subsystems
o Real-time requirements for online customer care applications
o Employee productivity / flow-through

Is the incremental revenue & operational savings > costs?


New revenue? Yes and no more wishful thinking than results
lately.
OPEX savings? Yes and no 6-9 ROI very tough unless current
processes are a mess.
Regulatory? Yes and no lobbyists/penalties are sometimes
cheaper.

Reality: today's market is tough but there remains a lot of


opportunity
OSSs are very expensive
License, hardware, support, HR, migration, integration, testing
10% success rate, 30% failure, 60% 2x over budget/time
In-house development prevalent
Difficult area to productize

8. References

Telestrategies OSS BSS slides


OSS Essentials
L1 CSP domain training material
Market reports (Ovum, OSS Observer)