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The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

  • 1.  The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted Apr 28, 2018 11:45

    The past few years I noticed more and more conventional OSS functionality shifting towards the BSS layer. With SDN and NFV the configurable network components are at the fingertips of the customer so it may be time to identify the rise of the Customer Support System.

    Anyone sharing this idea?



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    Steven Klockaerts
    Telfort
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  • 2.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Apr 30, 2018 04:29
    Edited by Dave Milham Oct 30, 2018 14:45
    ​Interesting observation
    There has been quite a bit of TM Forum member input over the last few years on  the notion of Platforms to achieve both
    • rationalization and evolvution of  Internal OSS /BSS
    • particpate in platform based business models with both retail customers and partners in support of digital services.

    The elements of this move are captured in IG1157 Digital Platform Reference Architecture Concepts and Principles R17.5.0 which is avaialble to both members and non members. ( Non members may have to register on our web site)
    For members there is further informaton at:

    All of these point to the need to look at how organizations cooperate  in the Digital Services world, how to transform OSS/BSS  and  broaden the concept of customer to include partners.


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    Dave Milham
    TM Forum Chief Architect
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  • 3.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Apr 30, 2018 08:33
    Hi Steven,

    Agree with you. Even further, I think the terms BSS and OSS are going to disappear, as OSS merges with Network and BSS moves into a broader Commerce area, where Customer is one of the role in the ecosystem.

    Cheers

    Alexis

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    Alexis de Peufeilhoux
    Deutsche Telekom AG
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  • 4.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Apr 30, 2018 10:33
    ​Alexis you raise adn interesting point
    The term Commerce Applications /Systems has been proposed by a couple of members as s replacement for OSS/BSS in the Digital Service Provider

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    Dave Milham
    TM Forum Chief Architect
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  • 5.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted May 08, 2018 04:23
    IMO - CSS developed as a new acronym somehow in parallel with the concept of Omni-channel and Digital Transformation.
    CSS groups under the name all the processes and components that would relate to Customer Interaction within the real-time integrated digital "eco-systems" composed of Mobile Apps, Social Media, Web-Online, Enterprise Products and Services, Online Sales and Self Care functions.

    ​Traditionally, and coming from the initial stages of the Telco industry, acronyms such as BSS and OSS would refer to processes and functional components  that would address the overall management of the  :
    1. Customer - typically embedded in the BSS layer (e.g. Sales, Care, Billing, Products & Subscriptions, Lifecycle management)
    2. Network - typically embedded in the OSS layer (e.g. Provisioning, Monitoring & Assurance,  Resources and Inventory)

    As it seems CSS groups under it's name the traditional BSS components and functions hat supports the Customer processes part (Sales, Care , Product, Billing) integrated with the "digital Omni-channel" world of mobile Apps, Social Media & etc.

    While SDN/NFV would progressively ingest the name of OSS, while still keeping the core processes and functions will still be required to be maintained to address the Network Services with respect to Customer Products & Services.

    Regards,
    Sorin

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    Sorin Gatea
    Enterprise Architect
    Liberty Global
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  • 6.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted Apr 30, 2018 13:40
    I think that ​CSS is a term with rather limited scope.

    BSS/OSS - were systems to enable business operations and service delivery.  While 'Customer" experience are now in the center stage but it is just one of the many aspects that the new BSS/OSS need to enable. While the boundaries of OSS/BSS have changed but I don't think their ultimate goals have changed.

    A new and creative term might be in order for these future generation eanblers, but let's not to clash with a well adopted and familiar term in the much broader IT/web community -  CSS  makes me immediate think of Cascade Style Sheet :)

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    Jenny S Huang
    AT&T Services Inc., Standards and Industry Alliances
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  • 7.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted May 02, 2018 02:27
    @Jenny Huang echoed my mind too. Immediately I saw CSS, first thing that came to my mind was Cascade Style Sheets. But @Steven Klockaerts your observation about rise of "customer support systems" is true, but am not sure it can be a replacement, albeit a new "framework of enablers" as Jenny mentioned, may be better suited.

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    Emmanuel A. Otchere
    Industry Development & Standards, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd
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  • 8.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted May 02, 2018 05:32
    Edited by Dave Milham Oct 30, 2018 14:45
    ​I quite liked a term being used earlier about engagement.
    Maybe Engagement Systems for customers and partners  or Customer Engagement Systems (CES)

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    Dave Milham
    TM Forum Chief Architect
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  • 9.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted Mar 21, 2019 10:23
    @Dave Milham, It is not so easy to find 3-symbols​ abbreviation in the modern world :)  CES is also actively used. See https://www.ces.tech

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    Yuri Stepanenko
    UNSPECIFIED
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  • 10.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted May 06, 2018 01:02
    Hi,

    I think still the term CSS is an abstract term primarily just explain that the future OSS must be one which supports customer Digital enablement or DiY concept then the one managed by Operator CRM/BSS as command role.

    But still I not see clear reference architecture about how to split and achieve it , may be TMforum Open API is one answer but it makes boundaries open for each CSP to implement CSS as per own requirements and business case .

    What do you think about it @Stephen Fratini , @Jenny Huang
    ​​​

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    Saad Ullah Sheikh
    Saudi Telecom Company
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  • 11.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted May 06, 2018 10:21
    Yes, self-service is definitely a part of the current (and future) plans for whatever we call "OSS/BSS."
    Consider network slicing, for example. This allows the customer (could be another service provider or large enterprise) pretty much full control over some part of a service provider's network. As we know, this is a big part of 5G but is not limited to RAN.

    You may want to take a look at the Customer Facing HIP example in TMF070B. This is specifically designed for customer access to Resource Function (a TM Forum generalization of VNF, Network Service, Service Function (from SDN) and Service Function Chain (also from SDN)).

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    Stephen Fratini
    TM Forum
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  • 12.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted May 07, 2018 01:56
    ​I agree that customer interaction in operational processes is often a blind spot.  For example installation of a fixed-line service requires a technician visit, which is just as much a customer interaction as the original ordering process.  Likewise customer self-service is becoming more prevalent for problem diagnosis and other assurance tasks.  When these interactions are not managed as customer experiences, the operator misses out on the opportunity to manage and improve customer satisfaction in typically problematic areas.  (That said, not all operational processes are customer-facing so I wouldn't describe the whole stack as CSS.)

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    Russell Harrison
    Ericsson
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  • 13.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted May 08, 2018 17:52

    @Saad Ullah Sheikh to address your question about which 'layer' CSS should belong to,  I think @Sorin Gatea  raised an interesting point about  "CSS groups under the name all the processes and components that would relate to Customer Interaction".   So to me, 'CSS'  is not about a specific architecture layer but  a grouping exercise to identify the capabilities that need to be supported within the BSS (e.g. ML) and enablement within both the BSS & OSS (e.g. data analytic) to support the goals.

    This will help sorting out the responsibilities within the ecosystem and the inputs/outputs required to achieve superior customer experience.  We have done similar analysis of SLA management for Cloud ecosystems several years ago I think the motivation were along the same lines - i.e. what are the responsibilities of the "Customer Facing" CSPs and what information and upstream/downstream interactions required to support this customer facing role.

    p.s. There are some substantial work from the TM Forum on Customer Experience Management (CEM) in the last few years, they also work with the ZOOM project to assess the impact of SDN/NFV on CEM. Couple reference links:

    ​​​

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    Jenny S Huang
    AT&T Services Inc., Standards and Industry Alliances
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  • 14.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted May 08, 2018 19:43
    Within the ODA work stream, the requirement for "CSS" are handled by the "Engagement" and "Party" management blocks as well as a clean bill of underpinning business and operational processes in the adjacent blocks. The aim is  to provide that ability of having an intimate and journey-persistent experience for, not only customers but, all engaged parties in an "ecosystem cadence". I think this is an exciting new opportunity enabled by ODA for any Service Provider.

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    Emmanuel A. Otchere
    Industry Development & Standards, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd
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  • 15.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted May 11, 2018 03:40
    That said, not all operational processes are customer-facing so I wouldn't describe the whole stack as CSS.
    blog: طراحی سایت

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    ehsan sh
    TO BE VERIFIED
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  • 16.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 19, 2019 05:54
    SDN and NFV bring a lot of dynamism into the [previously considered static] network, which drive very high refresh rate requirements to any and all inventory systems used in OSS for modelling the network and its relation to customer services.​
    Suddenly it is not possible to "sync overnight", your Orchestrator becomes your inventory, and it better be knowing how Resources relate to Customer Services.
    If this is called CSS, I don't mind. In reality there will still be many systems, so having two acronyms (OSS / BSS) still in place will not hurt.
    In a hybrid world, both dynamic and non-dynamic service would interact and co-depend to deliver a service.
    It's a problem of creating and maintaining correct service models required for quick automated analysis and action.

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    Sergey [Last]
    Australia
    Senior Domain Architect
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  • 17.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 20, 2019 06:03
    Hi Steven and Sergey,

    These concepts, and the need to take a modern software architectural approach are recognised in our Open Digital Architecture work. As Forum members, please feel free to join this project and help us drive to a zero-touch integration world.

    Nik

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    Nik Willetts
    TM Forum
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  • 18.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 21, 2019 09:53
    Hello All,

    OSS/BSS as such is slowly evolving into "Underlay - the SDN/NFV bit, the OSS stuff" & the "Overlay - the Customer facing BSS side of things". ​
    So in future its the "Overlay" & the "Underlay" with a DATA LAKE in between which has all the information.
    Hypothesis at the moment. Lols.

    Regards
    Ram

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    Ram Prakash J
    Vodafone Group
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  • 19.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted Mar 21, 2019 10:24
    Steven,
    thank you for such an interesting topic you've raised!
    I also see demand in shifting BSS modules, which supposed to be focused on customers, but, are the front-end for billing and charging systems.

    I came to telco from traditional CRM: Salesforce, HubSpot, bpm'online, etc. And I see a big demand from sales and customer support in functionality, which is already standard for traditional CRMs, I mentioned above. I mean things like lead management, sales funnel management, campaign management. I am talking about companies, who use BSS solutions from TOP-5 telco vendors with "CRM modules."

    And I see a significant challenge in delivering functionality, which is available to other companies for years, for telecom companies.

    Currently, few mobile operators (as far as I know) are trying to close the gap by integrating traditional CRM on top of "telco CRM."

    Does someone face this problem? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.

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    Yuri Stepanenko,
    True Item
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  • 20.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 22, 2019 06:54
    Hi,

    My 2 Cents to the naming topic of CSS (vs. BSS, OSS)

    - In 2012 I made a similar proposal (also at TMForum) under the name "ISS" (Interaction Support Systems)
    - At the same time (independently) the term "Systems of Engagement" was introduced for a similar idea, so we might go with "Engagement Support Systems" (ESS)

    For me the upshot is it will be very hard to establish some word competing with BSS/OSS and I concluded that I need to use non-standardized terminology to make the very point you make as well.

    If we want to standardize this as an industry organization, I think we should go the ODA route which has more fine-grained differentiation here, using new terminology. We should discuss this from the "CSS" (ISS, ESS) mindset.
    Coming from there, I personally challenge the current delineation of the "Engagement Management" Domain which seems to me pure "frontend" related, but digital engagement requires much more (in terms of full support of customer journey and lifecycle.

    So I recommend to revisit ODA from the CSS point of view and see how  you view of "CSS" maps to the ODA domains to optimize them.

    Regards,

    Andreas

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    Andreas Schlueter
    NTT DATA CORPORATION
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  • 21.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 25, 2019 07:31
    This is amusing,
    can someone actually articulate the objective and the purpose of the naming discussion.
    Now people are offering individual opinions without having a common agreement of what purpose it should serve.

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    Cato Rasmussen
    Independent
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  • 22.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 25, 2019 09:55

    Hi Cato,

     

    my point of view:

    -        As I expressed it, the naming discussion is not the important one, one can easily invent names.

    -        Nevertheless, there is some value in the point Steven made, namely that adressing a Customer-centricity perspective on the same level as Business (Process) support and (Network/Service) Operations is key: Customer experience is shaped by the Digital Players with whom CSPs compete, regardless of internal processes or service technology

     

    This important point should be (and is) addressed by the TMForum, especially in ODA. In my understanding, the objective of this is to go beyond eTOM, TAM, SID in that a standardized (logical) architecture shall be defined by the TMF, including standardized functional placement. As with all standards, this aims to improve interoperability and reusability in different contexts.

     

    And for this objective, the definition of the architecture domains (Engagement, Party, Core Commerce etc.) is quintessential, and therefore it is a relevant question where to locate Customer-centricity, aka CSS (or ISS in my old terminology).

     

    Regards,

     

    Andreas

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  • 23.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 26, 2019 07:29
      |   view attached
    Hi Andreas, Thank you for your comments. While I get what you are saying, I still do not get the value and a compelling purpose.
    There is a significant difference between industry focused naming as opposed to a digital ecosystem naming.

    You mentioned business processes. In a business architecture that are made up of tangibles and intangible elements. The purpose of OSS/BSS in this context, is to Identify, understand, visualise and optimise. OSS/BSS do the optimisation bit, but after identification,, understanding and visualisation. As we know, this has led to vertical solutions and stove piping.

    In the digital ecosystem business processes cannot only identify, understand and visualise inside the companies 4 walls in order to optimise. It goes way beyond and include all partners, customers etc. Hence, standardise a name based on industry discussion run the risk of not being understood outside.

    I suspect, in a digital ecosystem that telco plays (financially) a minor part of the whole ecosystem. Hence my question; What is the value and purpose?

    In my mind; OSS/BSS/CSS etc. just give away  an old man's (or traditionalists) game. It is heavy engineering oriented and 20th century. The 21st century is more the coming together of design and engineering, in that order. A naming should reflect that to tweek peoples perceptions. But this is only my idea. Many other ideas should be gathered and tested.




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    Cato Rasmussen
    Independent
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  • 24.  RE: The rise of the CSS instead off BSS/OSS

    Posted Mar 26, 2019 07:29
    Yuri,

    Our experience is a bit different to what you are facing. We have tried both traditional Telco CRM modules for certain businesses and SAAS based CRM stack like Salesforce but what we see is there is a tendency with business to expect customization in the off the shelf CRM solution tweaking it to behave like a typical Telco CRM. We are trying to get business to adopt standard best practices on standard CRM modules to meet common sales functions you have mentioned but it is a journey to stick with best practice processes and modules that may take a more integrated approach with Customer centric digital experience that can help us get to such an outcome.

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    Sriram Vasudevan
    Vocus Group
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    Sriram Vasudevan
    Vocus Communications
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