Is Telecom Putting the Brakes on Global Communications?
Let’s take a look at a fairly basic telecom business process: switching on a complex cross-network service (see Figure 5).
Figure 5 A typical telecom service
The service (and its customers) illustrated in Figure 5 requires multiple routers in the service provider network. It could be a virtual private network (linking geographically distributed sites), an IPv6 transport, an IP telephony solution, or something else. The exact service isn’t of interest to us here; suffice to say the service requires more than one router in Figure 5 and might also require use of routers in other service provider networks.
Let’s assume the network in Figure 5 is made up of routers from more than one vendor. How is a service such as the one depicted in Figure 5 created by the service provider? Normally, this is done as part of a business process called service provisioning, an often labyrinthine combination of software, human input, truck rolls, and customer service. The facility that implements all this is called the operational support system (OSS). The OSS orchestrates the overall service provisioning process.
OSS installations are massively complex bodies of software and business process logic. Many have been built up over 20 or more years. Again, the business process and software logic is inextricably interwoven. While there are many OSS vendors, it is a fragmented inefficient market that serves overly complex installations. The same principles apply to the OSS area as were discussed in relation to Figures 1, 2, and 3.