Making the right choice for your interconnect voice OSS & BSS solution

So, you’ve come to the conclusion that it is time. It’s time for you to implement a new next gen OSS & BSS Solution to help manage your interconnect voice operations.

No more dealing with limitations imposed by the ability of your existing system to handle large rate decks.

No more limitations on how frequently you can update your LCR.

No more having someone spend hours on normalizing rate decks.

No more dealing with Excel and all its issues.

No more, no more, no more.

It’s 2016. The computing power of the iPhone is greater than the computing power of the U.S. Apollo Rockets that took men to the moon, and brought them back. Why are you living with limitations that are keeping you from doing what you want to do from an interconnect voice business perspective?

Fortunately, there are solutions. In fact, every day it seems more and more solutions are coming into the marketplace. They all promise to do much of the same: improve the way you operate your interconnect voice business, automate your back-office processes, reduce human intervention, simplify, improve quality, etc. But - and here’s the rub, they do it all differently. They emphasize different elements. In fact, once you start digging into it you realize the world of interconnect voice is actually very complex and, consequently, the solutions that support it are also complex. And that makes the whole process way harder than anyone realizes.

The reality is that Next Gen OSS & BSS Solutions, whether they are for interconnect voice or retail subscriber based services, are very similar to Enterprise Resource Planning Systems - those systems that are sold by SAP, ORACLE, and IBM that allow companies to manage cross functional business processes all in one system. Those systems are complex because they do a myriad of tasks for different functions within an organization. Well, in the world of interconnect voice OSS & BSS, these systems are, for all intents and purposes, the same.

Think about the various tasks that an interconnect voice management platform has to support:

  1. Creation, Management & Administration of Pricing (sell) Rate sheets

  2. Receiving, Processing, Management & Administration of Supplier Rate Sheets (Buying)

  3. Creation, Management & Administration of routing policy and rules

  4. QoS Management

  5. CDR Processing & Rating

  6. Supplier Management

  7. Invoicing

  8. Reporting & Analytics

  9. Credit & Risk Management

These functions cover: Sales, Product Management, Finance, NOC, Routing, Billing, Credit & Collections, Management, etc.  It’s a lot. It’s complex, and recognizing this helps carriers prepare to explore the options available to them.

Should they build a solution or should they go buy an off-the-shelf solution?   Which solution providers should they consider?   What is the most important criteria to use when evaluating?

Ultimately, the answers to the above questions are unique for each carrier,  and that makes these decisions a difficult process. We believe the right process for carriers is to begin with their priorities. Identify the top two or three areas that are causing the most pain on the company and focus on them. Too often carriers allow “scope creep” into these projects, and what starts as a project with specific objectives becomes an amorphous, ever growing wishlist of things that would solve every problem or issue the carrier has experienced or might experience. The problem, of course, is that such a solution doesn’t exist.

What ends up happening is the project goes on too long, wastes a lot of resources and the original intent is lost. What carriers need to do is stay focused, highlight the priorities of what they are solving, and then select the right solution for them. How?  By engaging the vendors that make the solutions.  At GCS, we spend the majority of our sales cycle learning about a carrier’s needs in an effort to help them determine if we are the right fit for them and if they are the right fit for us.

So, fight scope creep. Stay focused and engage the vendors about what their solutions have to offer. If you want to do the RFI/RFP process you can, but realize that is most often where scope creep happens. It’s amazing that when you start to write your requirements down, how the number of them increases.

So,if you are in the market for an OSS & BSS Solution, then give us a shout. We might be able to help you out or at least point you in the right direction.

Andrea Rona