OSS mediation is operational efficiency in action
So there’s a myriad of simultaneously occurring changes in telco infrastructure; virtualisation, NFV and SDN, legacy, hybrid and next generation networks running in parallel, service convergence (for instance, fixed, VOLTE and VoIP), and so on.
And coming soon (or maybe now) is the proliferation of IoT-based business models, 5G, the digitisation of business processes and more. With so many pieces on the table, putting the jigsaw puzzle together in terms of operational efficiency is no small challenge. How do you meet it?
The task is particularly apparent when it comes to OSS (at least while there still is a traditional OSS. Some think as virtualisation takes root, it’ll move into the control plane but that’s another story for a different blog), says Keith Brody, head of Communications at DigitalRoute.
Gone are the days of single NEP supplier relationships, limited service offerings, straightforward network topologies and manageable customer volumes. Instead, multi-vendor infrastructures, myriad (and often vendor-dependent) OSS systems, layered infrastructures and an increased focus on service quality are now the order of the day.
Set against these realities is an emerging set of newly important needs, including:
- Access to holistic views of customer experience, service quality and assurance, and performance management.
- The ability to accommodate new data sources which may be dynamic and elastic and include VM and NFVi statistics.
- Developing an OSS that can handle hybrid environments, scale dynamically and be flexible enough to quickly support new Use Cases.
- The need for maintainability, without vendor dependencies and agile enough to ensure fast times-to-market for new services.
In pursuit of the above, how should future OSS be managed? Deploying OSS Mediation, which in many ways puts the CSP in prime position to leverage change, would be a good start. From the inception of the term two years ago, the deployment of OSS Mediation has expanded rapidly in the industry (at least two global Tier 1 carrier groups are standard bearers in its deployment) because it means enabling:
- Fast time to market in real-time or batch modes, with flexible business logic creation via a Graphical User Interface that supports configuration rather than time-consuming programming for changes.
- Extreme Performance through a hardware agnostic, scalable architecture.
- Future Proofing with programmatic handling of any new sources in real-time with a RESTful API and pre-configured workflows that can be dynamically activated.
- Access to smart (not just big) data at the right time via KPIs that can be defined in runtime programmatically with control of hierarchies, KPI calculations, aggregation times and thresholds and scalable through Spark/Kafka architecture.
These advantages can be seen in action in three Use Cases all related to Operational Efficiency. Briefly:
Unified collection-probe data integrated with CEM
Deployed for real-time and batch collection/processing, OSS Mediation consolidates feeds from 17 different PM systems into a single reporting function. This is based on collecting KPIs from:
- Multi-vendor EMSs
- Existing PM systems
- Session/signaling probe data
- Adapting probe data to legacy Customer Experience products
- Calculation and exposure of customer centric KPIs
OSS Mediation is deployed as a common collection layer across network elements, normalising output, correlating and aggregating the same and then pre-processing KPIs for use by higher layer applications. This delivers a holistic view of performance. Furthermore, new feeds are easy-to-integrate with no vendor dependency, control passing directly to the CSP meaning faster times-to-market and smoother operational transitions.
Fast data repository
Here, the CSP has a CEM system sitting on top of its big and fast data repositories. It uses OSS Mediation to provide:
- Normalised data from various probe vendors.
- Correlation of records between user plane and control plane.
- Enrichment of data records.
OSS Mediation gives the CSP inbuilt independence from higher layer integrations as well as the flexibility to introduce new and alter existing source formats. Its scalable and reliable architecture can accommodate already large and still growing data volumes.
As operational efficiency becomes ever more difficult to achieve in evolving telco environments, OSS Mediation has demonstrated its ability to deliver the functionality required to fine-tune operational performance and efficiency.
The author of this blog is Keith Brody, head of Communications at DigitalRoute