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The Definition of OSS and BSS

What is OSS and BSS? Getting back-to-basics can be a challenge at times. How to explain what OSS and BSS mean? Concisely. Accurately. There’s always been debate and opinion on their respective roles. And people can’t even agree what OSS stands for. OSS Line shines a light on this thorny but fundamental topic…

OSS is either Operational Support Systems or Operations Support Systems.

You have too much time on your hands if you want to argue over which is the ‘correct’ definition. Historically, I have used Operational, but I acknowledge that Operations sort of makes more sense when you think about it…

BSS stands for Business Support Systems. Simple. No debate.

What are Operational Support Systems?

Software (occasionally hardware) applications that support back-office activities which operate a telco’s network, provision and maintain customer services.

OSS is traditionally used by network planners, service designers, operations, architects, support, and engineering teams in the service provider. Increasingly product managers and senior staff under the CTO or COO may also use or rely on OSS to some extent

Software applications that support customer-facing activities. Billing, order management, customer relationship management, call centre automation, are all BSS applications.

BSS may also encompass the customer-facing veneer of OSS application such as trouble-ticketing and service assurance – these are back-office activities but initiated directly by contact with the customer.