OSS vs BSS
OSS (Operations Support System) and BSS (Business Support System) are essential components of a business. Both systems are interdependent and proper integration between both systems should be achieved in order to align the business and operations into a common goal. Proper integration between OSS and BSS systems are critical in telecom operations, where business is totally dependent on the operation of the network. OSS focuses on the status of the operation while, BSS handles the business interfacing with the customer or end user.
OSS generates important data about the status of network and facilitates maintenance of customer services. For each node in the operations system, there are separate vendor specific management and configuration systems, which are collectively known as operations support system. In case of an operational issue, OSS is used to perform diagnostics and gather useful information, which includes identification of the fault location and cause. Also, OSS system can be used to rectify the identified issue. OSS is used to monitor the status of critical nodes and their interoperability in order to maintain the uninterrupted service to the end user. Network node upgrades and maintenance are also handled by OSS and in general, OSS is used by the technical staff of the company.
BSS includes the applications that support customer interfacing activities for the services provided by the OSS. BSS support key processes such as revenue management, customer management, product management and order management. Revenue management includes major processes such as billing, charging, mediation and rating that can handle any combination of available services. Customer management basically comprises of customer care, customer relationship management and customer issue tracking systems. Product management and order management systems compose of service creation and order handling systems respectively. All these processes are closely aligned to achieve business requirements even though it seems like technically distinct. For an example billing, charging and customer care systems are interrelated and might need to share the information in between.
What is the difference between OSS and BSS?
OSS facilitates operations, while BSS facilitates the interfacing of customers to the services offered by operations. BSS and OSS are linked in order to support various end to end services and operations. Each system has its own data and service responsibilities. In service driven industries, where the focus is the customer satisfaction, BSS provides the guideline to OSS and the key areas that need to be focused during the day-to-day operation. Even though in the first sight, OSS is not directly focused on customer requirements like the BSS, its underlying ultimate goal is the end user satisfaction. For an example, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of the systems are designed in such a way so that OSS facilitates uninterrupted service to the end user.
BSS is handled by the frontend staff of a company while OSS is handled by technical backend staff. Also in OSS fault identification and troubleshooting mechanisms are designed to track the issues without interrupting the end user satisfaction or services. Even though BSS facilitates billing process, input to the BSS comes via OSS. Therefore proper integration and aligning between two systems is essential to a company in order to achieve its business objectives.
Both BSS and OSS are essential parts of a business and even though it is hardly possible for a one system to exist without other, there is virtually no value to the company without both systems. Both systems should be properly integrated and aligned towards the common objective in order to achieve the final business requirements of the company.