Microservices transforming the coming-of-age OSS/BSS model


Microservices transforming the coming-of-age OSS/BSS model

Microservices transforming the coming-of-age OSS/BSS model

Microservices transforming the coming-of-age OSS/BSS model

Digitization is the key to staying in any business, in particular telecom.  Communication service providers have come to realize that their existing operational support systems (OSSs) and business support systems (BSSs) need an upgrade.  Microservices is an architecture approach followed in organizations related to software development.  Basically, the software is made up of small services, owned by small self-contained teams that interact with well-defined application program interface (APIs) and these can be added easily into the existing system without significant investments and reorganization. 

CSPs feel that applying a microservices approach to its OSS/BSS combined with DevOps practices is ideal for achieving OSS and BSS transformation.  Such transitioning to cloud-native OSS/BSS is done through virtualization. CSPs can now do it with virtualized network functions (VNFs) enabled through a virtual environment.

Cloud migration will help CSPs turn away from the regular and significant capital expenditures involved in upgrading and replacing hardware and software components instead of having lower operational expenses for updating microservices code, ensuring lower risk, better performance, and higher customer satisfaction.

In the drive to simplify OSS and BSS, CSPs and vendors are moving away from so-called ‘monolithic’ software systems toward new approaches. Here, we take a closer look at microservices and why they are critical to the future of the industry.

Moving from Transactional to Automated OSS/BSS:

Today, the business applications of most telecom companies are characterized by complex, rigid legacy systems that are well past their sell-by dates. Apart from entailing an onerously high total cost of ownership (TCO), these systems offer limited scalability and flexibility for the addition of new features, thus adversely affecting customer service. Any upgrades most often require compliance with elaborate procedures that directly impact business agility, and subsequently, customer satisfaction. This undermines any initiatives the CSPs may have rolled out to enhance customer experience, as the core functionalities largely remain unchanged.

Telecom operators, therefore, should initiate an overhaul of their IT architectures to make their operational support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) truly flexible, agile, and responsive to fast-changing customer requirements. Existing OSS and BSS, which are primarily transactional in nature, need to be made automated and event-driven. For instance, front-end and back-end workflows built around manual logging of customer service requests should be automated, enabling instant provisioning and self-service options. Such a transition, if successful, will make OSS and BSS capable of effectively self-managing the entire service lifecycle, thereby reducing both TCO and customer attrition

Microservices in Telecom

Microservices for Telco BSS/OSS are the next big thing as they allow separating any application or functioning into a bundle of independent functions running in separate docker containers. The key benefit of running various components of BSS in the telecom domain and networks as microservices is that it can be launched, stopped, or restarted independently, meaning managing updates and scaling them each in virtual network function seamlessly without stopping the entire system.

Monitoring of complex microservice systems is made with the help of message brokers, which will help track the performance of OSS and BSS Telco tools in real-time and ensure the transparency of logging.  Besides, as microservices run in separate containers, a security breach in one container will not affect the entire system, significantly reducing security risks.


  • Multiple vendors are already using microservices in developing IoT products, big data analytics, and machine learning solutions for AR/VR platforms. 
  • Using microservices for telecom back-office modernization will ensure interoperability and integrate new functions, significantly reducing expenses.
  • Microservices enables breaking down of big project into smaller modules
  • Faster deployment, ease of automation, and leverage cloud storage


  • The flip side is that there is a lack of relevant experience that can hinder OSS/BSS digitization
  • Migration related issues and cultural shift
  • Sometimes expensive and presents security issues
  • lack of relevant experience that can hinder OSS/BSS digitization
  • lack of relevant experience that can hinder OSS/BSS digitization

Keeping in view of the challenges, CSPs can look forward to Vendors such as STL who can help them and make CSPs adapt to such transformation.

End Note

When vendors talk about a platform being ‘modular,’ they often mean that the separate, configurable solutions (i.e., service assurance) are pre-integrated and fully interoperable with the other components of a larger OSS/BSS framework and that the components of that solution like performance monitoring within service assurance also behave in this way. In a genuinely modular architecture, the next level down from this is the microservices, which are smaller components that are interchangeable without the need for customization to make them operate in a larger group.

With both the IT industry and telecom providers facing a lack of relevant expertise, it is best to delegate such projects to reputable vendors such as STL with relevant expertise for cloud migration.

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Microservices transforming the coming-of-age OSS/BSS model

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