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Top 10 key considerations for selecting the right OSS solutions in telecom

In this post, we’ll look at what we consider the 10 most important considerations to keep in mind to evaluate the best OSS solution for your needs.
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March 13, 2024
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If you are reading this, it means your company is ready to propel its business into the future. So, congrats, you’ve come to the right place!

As the industry continues to evolve at lightning speed, staying ahead of the curve can be difficult and overwhelming at times – yet we all agree it’s a necessary pain. That’s why learning how to choose the right vendor and solution is key.

Gone are the days of cumbersome, on-premises OSS solutions. What we all need now is to futureproof our businesses by leveraging the power of cloud-native technologies. Therefore, finding a scalable and resilient solution, allowing you to scale your operations effortlessly is not just a future aspiration but a present necessity. And it is the only way to move forward.

In this post, we’ll look at what we consider the 10 most important considerations to keep in mind to evaluate the best OSS solution for your needs.

Criteria for evaluating OSS Vendors

As mentioned in the introduction, selecting the best Operational Support System vendor involves evaluating several criteria to ensure that the chosen one can meet your organization’s specific needs effectively.

To streamline your vendor evaluation process and ensure an informed decision, consider the following:

1. Functionality and features

Assessing the functionality and features of an OSS vendor’s solution may be an obvious first step, yet paramount to ensuring it meets your organization’s specific operational needs.

Beyond basic functionalities, delve into the specific capabilities offered by the vendor, such as fallout management, performance management, service or product provisioning, inventory management, and network management.

Look for a comprehensive suite of tools and functionalities that align with your organization’s requirements, enabling efficient management and optimization of your telecommunications operations.

2. Scalability

In today’s dynamic telecommunications landscape, scalability is non-negotiable. Evaluate whether the OSS solution can scale according to your organization’s current and future needs. It should be capable of handling increased network complexity and growth without significant performance degradation.

Scalability also ensures that your OSS solution can accommodate evolving business demands and seamlessly adapt tochanging operational requirements without compromising performance or efficiency. And this should be a top priority.

3.  Integration capabilities

Integration with existing system sand technologies is essential for maximizing the value of your OSS investment. Evaluate the vendor’s ability to integrate with various network elements, protocols, databases, and third-party applications within your organization’s IT ecosystem.

Look for compatibility and flexibility in integration options to ensure smooth interoperability and data exchange between systems, optimizing operational efficiency and workflow management.

Also, prioritize selecting a cloud-agnostic OSS solution provider to ensure compatibility and ease of transition across different cloud infrastructures. This approach not only safeguards data but also facilitates present and future scalability by offering flexibility in cloud deployment strategies.

4.  Customization and flexibility

Every organization has unique operational requirements and workflows. Determine the level of customization and flexibility offered by the OSS solution to tailor configurations and workflows according to your specific business needs.

The solution should allow for easy customization and adaptation to evolving operational requirements, enabling you to optimize processes and enhance productivity effectively.

5.  Usability and User Interface

In the world of B2B, not everything needs to be daunting and difficult to manage. Let’s be honest, old OSS systems used to be and look cumbersome, and quite frankly, difficult to use. However, we’ve evolved, and we need to recognize that the usability and interface of our solutions are pivotal in streamlining workflow and operations across all industries.

As you may have teams working withyour OSS that are not necessarily the most tech-savvy, assess first whether the solution’s user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate for both technical and non-technical users. An easy and intuitive interface will streamline processes, simplify tasks, and enhance workflow efficiency, ultimately improving your team’s efficiency, productivity and, why not, their happiness at work.

6.  Reliability and performance

Reliability and performance are fundamental aspects of any OSS solution. Evaluate the solution’s reliability and performance under different operational conditions, ensuring high availability, robustness, and performance to ensure uninterrupted service delivery. Look for performance metrics and reliability benchmarks to gauge the solution’s ability to meet your organization’s operational requirements consistently.

Evaluate the vendor’s reputation for delivering reliable solutions, considering factors such as system uptime, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery capabilities. Look for features like redundancy, failover mechanisms, automation, and proactive monitoring to mitigate the risk of service disruptions and ensure uninterrupted operations.

7.  Security

With the increasing importance of data security and regulatory compliance, ensuring that the OSS solution incorporates robust security features is paramount.

Evaluate the solution’s security measures and compliance with industry standards to protect sensitive data and maintain regulatory compliance. Look for features such as data encryption, access controls, and compliance with relevant regulations to safeguard your organization’s data and infrastructure effectively.

8.  Support and maintenance

The availability of comprehensive support and maintenance services is essential for ensuring the smooth operationof your OSS solution. Assess the vendor’s support offerings, including the availability of technical support, training programs, software updates, and ongoing maintenance services.

Look for a vendor that offers responsive and reliable support services to address any issues or challenges promptly, ensuring minimal downtime and optimal system performance.

9.  Cost

Of course, considering the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with the OSS solution is crucial for making an informed investment decision. Evaluate the TCO, including upfront licensing fees, implementation costs, ongoing maintenance expenses, and any additional charges for customization or support services.

Assess the cost-effectiveness of the solution in comparison to its features and benefits, ensuring that it aligns with your organization’s budgetary constraints and delivers tangible value and return on investment (ROI) over time.

10.  Standardization

And last, but not least, it’s essential to consider the vendor’s approach to standardization. This plays a crucial role in ensuring many of the aspects discussed previously. It becomes paramount when ensuring interoperability and seamless integration across different systems and networks within the telecommunications ecosystem.

Look for OSS vendors that adhere to industry standards established by organizations such as the TM Forum. These standards provide Open APIs, and a framework for interoperability, while enabling seamless integration between OSS solutions and other systems, applications, and platforms. By adopting standards like TM Forum and the ODA framework, vendors can facilitate greater collaboration and interoperability across the industry.

Open APIs are a key component of standardization efforts. Evaluate whether the OSS vendor offers Open APIs that adhere to industry standards, as this will allow for seamless integration with your current systems, network elements, and third-party applications. Moreover, they offer greater flexibility, scalability, and innovation, empowering your business to leverage a diverse ecosystem of solutions and services to meet your evolving needs.

You may also be interested in: TM Forum - ODA Component Directory

Wrapping up of the OSS Solutions

Selecting the best Operational Support System for your telecom is a multifaceted task that requires careful consideration of various factors. By carefully evaluating criteria such as functionality, scalability, integration capabilities, security, and adherenceto industry standards like TM Forum, you can future-proof your OSS architecture and position your business for long-term success.

And remember, like everything in life, the right OSS solution isn’t just about meeting the current needs but about leveraging future aspirations so you can adapt and thrive in the dynamic telecommunications landscape of tomorrow.

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