Fifty-four percent of operators who responded to a recent lifecycle service orchestration (LSO) survey consider their operation support systems (OSSs) and billing support systems (BSSs) “outdated,” and 60 percent said they were lacking a capability to launch new services in a timely, cost-effective manner.
The online survey was conducted jointly by The Rayno Report and the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) in 2015, and some of its results are included in SDxCentral’s new “LSO Market Overview Report.”
The results suggest that there’s a market for technologies such as LSO if they can tackle telcos’ OSS/BSS deficiencies.
In the typical telco, the OSS and BSS reside on the information technology side of the house, running on a computing and data center network built and maintained separately from the communications network. But the introduction of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) is causing more integration between the IT side and the communications network.
“As more of these networking control functions are separated from the networking hardware and put in the telco data center, the smarts of the network will shift,” says the report. “In other words, it appears that much of the focus on service provider networks is shifting from hardware infrastructure to the IT realm.”
With network functions located a stone’s throw from IT functions, it will be easier to share data, finally eliminating the dreaded “silos” for OSS and BSS.
An LSO software platform offers the promise of taking a customer order and implementing service provisioning, orchestration, fulfillment, assurance, and monitoring across the telecom network.
When asked which LSO capabilities were most important to them, 77 percent of the service providers who responded to the survey cited both fulfillment and security as either their “top priority” or “very important.” This was followed by assurance at 76 percent, performance at 70 percent, and analytics at 49 percent, among other LSO capabilities.
The survey data also found that service providers have aggressive plans to upgrade their OSS systems, with a migration to LSO in mind. Of the operators surveyed, 25 percent said they want to build new, open, standards-based LSO systems to replace their current systems. Sixty-four percent said they want to improve their current systems and evolve away from current OSS systems where possible.