Originally, Operations Support Systems (OSS) were developed as tools to aid specific departments in a telecommunications company with management of their responsibilities. Services being provided to customers were singular in nature (single line, single number, hard wired, little change) and limited competition reduced the need for a carrier to consider responsiveness to customers as an operational necessity.
As the demand for new services grew, carriers tried to adapt their core systems with additional applications to support new services. As a result, this "specific solution for specific problem" approach became an operational nightmare. Today, carriers may have hundreds of non-integrated or semi-integrated systems and applications while facing demands from the marketplace to provide competitive differentiation through service delivery.
According to the "Fifth Annual Telecommunications Competition Survey Report" conducted by Deloitte Consulting, the number of IXC, ILEC, and CLEC customers that are dissatisfied greatly outnumber those who remain loyal. Operational responsiveness and world-class customer service continue to be the driving forces for obtaining and retaining customer loyalty.
Therefore, there is an immediate need for carriers to streamline their internal operations. Carriers must implement Operations Support Systems (OSS) that are designed with the flexibility, scalability, and performance to promote quality customer service; fast delivery of new services; quick implementation of innovative marketing programs; and rapid expansion into new markets. The OSS implementation should require minimal customization and be easily integrated with the carrier's legacy system environment.
In order to avoid creating system mismatches, carriers are adopting support system solutions built around open system architectures. Open systems mean that new support systems can be compatible with legacy systems and have application programming interfaces (APIs) and middleware to provide interoperability with other systems that may be implemented. Furthermore, an OSS solution with a modular design approach enables service providers to add new features and functionality to their internal operations on an as needed basis.
Market requirements to manage convergent service offerings, regulatory change stimulating competition and continual technology advancement has propelled the operational support system functions to the center of attention for carriers. Those carriers that leverage the capability to rapidly deploy new services to their customers will obtain a competitive advantage in the telecommunications marketplace.
The CPqD integrated solution offers front-office to back-office business process management capabilities by providing customer care, billing, work order management, service provisioning, inside and outside plant management, workforce management, and service access management. This OSS solution is developed with open system architecture and its modular design provides flexibility in integrating with other systems and scalability for sustained support to increasing numbers of products, services, customers and transactions. Furthermore, the seamless integration of this product suite aids in consolidating the number of support systems and optimizing the carrier's operational efficiency.
This suite of software serves as a vehicle for establishing a centralized repository of real-time data needed for cross-functional communication between the Engineering, Planning, Customer Care, Marketing, and Sales functions. This concept of integration enables customers to have a single point of contact with their carrier for all of their service needs and minimizes the time required to respond to a customer's request.