Operations support systems (also called operational support systems or OSS) are computer systems used by telecommunications service providers. The term OSS most frequently describes “network systems” dealing with the telecom network itself, supporting processes such as maintaining network inventory, provisioning services, configuring network components, and managing faults.

A lot of the work on OSS has been centered on defining its architecture. Put simply, there are four key elements of OSS:
Processes-the sequence of events
Data-the information that is acted upon
Applications-the components that implement processes to manage data
Technology-how we implement the applications

Business support systems (BSS) are the components that a telephone operator or telco uses to run its business operations towards customer.
Basically it deals with the taking of orders, payment issues, revenues etc. The role of business support systems in a service provider is to cover four main areas:

  • Product management
  • Order management
  • Revenue management
  • Customer management

Product management-Product management supports product development, the sales and management of products, offers and bundles to businesses and mass-market customers. Product management regularly includes offering cross-product discounts, appropriate pricing and managing how products relate to one another.
Customer management-Service providers require a single view of the customer and regularly need to support complex hierarchies across customer-facing applications (customer relationship management). Customer management also covers requirements for partner management and 24×7 web-based customer self-service. Customer management can also be thought of as full-fledged customer relationship management systems implemented to help customer care agents handle the customers in a better and more informed manner.
Revenue management-Revenue management is a BSS focus on billing, charging and settlement, that can handle any combination of OSS services, products and offers. BSS revenue management supports OSS order provisioning and often partner settlement.Billing is an integral function offered by BSS systems and is not under the purview of Operation Support Systems.
Order management-Order management as a beginning of assurance is normally associated with operations support systems though business support systems are often the business driver for fulfillment management and order provisioning.
The future of OSS and BSS
Putting the user in charge
User expectations for flexibility and self-care options will only increase in the future. In other words, consumers will expect to be able to add or remove elements of their subscriptions at will and all by themselves, without having to call customer service. This is why real-time monitoring is one of the most important aspects for operators to implement.
Getting ahead of the user
Today, operators are expected to monitor user experience by mining and understanding the information available from their networks. The next step is to get ahead and correct problems before the user even becomes aware of them. Real-time monitoring and automation are the keys to achieving this goal, saving the operator money and improving customer-satisfaction levels.
Facts and figures
12 000 consulting and systems integration professionals are part of this team
1300 Consulting and Systems Integration projects per year are run by us
1 billion licenses issued for device management
Nearly 100% of toll-free calls in North America are handled by a converged application server
68% market share on dynamic discount solution
2 Billion users are served by Ericsson Charging and Billing Solutions
1.3 Billion users for commercial activation installations
Today over 600 operators use OSS solutions from Ericsson


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