Dear Readers, By now, most people in the industry understand why billing and customer care systems play a major strategic role in today's telecommunications companies. In this new era of competition, operations support systems (OSSs) such as order and service provisioning are also becoming strategically important. As a result, for 1997 Billing World has expanded its coverage to the other crucial OSSs.
Focusing on OSS
Here are three reasons we believe we should provide editorial focus on OSSs:
1. Integration. In the past, the focus of IT was billing and customer care integration. Developments in OSS integration weren't as meaningful to a billing and customer care audience because carriers only had to interface with one network and the interfaces were proprietary. With convergence billing and the packaging of network products from multiple suppliers, future billing systems must be integrated with multiple OSSs internally as well as externally. Integration of OSS is a crucial future requirement for carrier success.
2. New Territory. Last August, the FCC ordered the ILECs to unbundle their OSSs by January 1, 1997, and many of them have rallied around the response We don't know how to do it! The reality is that ILECs, IXCs and wireless OSSs will be unbundled and the textbook on how to do it is being written as we speak.
3. Competitive Advantage. Every carrier will have access to any network technology and services they want via resale and unbundling. In the future, the key to seamless service will be good company performance regarding OSS interfacing with internal billing and customer care systems. Competitive advantage will go to the carriers that can overcome the barrier of OSS integration.
So, what are we doing at Billing World to keep you up to date on integration developments for OSS? First, we have brought Ed Finegold on board as our OSS editor. Second, we will be providing an extensive focus on OSS starting this month. For example, Ed Finegold's article focuses on making sense of what the industry means by OSS, and Ed Bond's feature addresses the strategic importance of the OSS gateway concept. Finally, to remind ourselves about the importance of OSS, we have added the acronym to our Billing World banner.
Billing World Editors Letter