Operational support systems (OSS) are used by telcos and enterprises to monitor, control, analyse and provide technical support for interface functionality. Meanwhile, business support systems (BSS) help run a company’s business operations, ensuring customer satisfaction and revenue gain. Together, OSS and BSS communicate to support customer-facing activities and various end-to-end services. Both possess their own specific data and service responsibilities to ensure that companies meet network fulfilment requirements.
Of late, enterprises across sectors have been actively deploying OSS/BSS solutions in an effort to streamline operations and enhance service delivery, thereby increasing revenues. As such, the OSS/BSS market for enterprises is rapidly growing.
A look at the projected growth of the OSS/BSS market, deployment trends ac­ross enterprises and sectors, and the future outlook…

Market growth
According to a recent estimate by Markets and Markets, the cloud OSS/BSS market size is expected to grow from $11.67 billion in 2017 to $21.77 billion by 2022, re­cording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3 per cent during the forecast period. The report further noted that demand for cloud OSS/BSS is increasing due to rising usage of convergent billing systems, the shifting focus of telecom op­e­rators on enhancing customer experiences, lower operational expenses, and ad­op­tion of customised cloud OSS/BSS solutions and services.
According to a Global Market Insights report, on deployment model basis, the on-premises segment is expected to dominate the overall OSS/BSS market with a share of over 63 per cent in 2024. The growth of the market has been attributed to the robust fu­n­ctionality and superior data security provided by the deployment model. Since the software used is licensed, and the entire instance of the software remains within an organisation’s premises, there is more control in terms of security. The on-premises system also offers organisations more control over the implementation process. As a result, organisations can customise their systems as per their requirements.

Uptake across enterprises
Cloud OSS/BSS adoption is increasing in the market owing to the growing awareness among enterprises about their benefits, and lowering of the operational overheads. Re­cent market reports suggest that the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment in the OSS/BSS market will witness exponential growth in the next few years. The growth is attributed to the widespread adoption of OSS/BSS across SMEs to im­pro­ve operational productivity and increase the skills and knowledge of entrepreneurs. This is set to create numerous opportunities for SMEs to grow in the market.
The escalating deployment of OSS plat­forms in order to maintain higher st­an­dards of service delivery is certain to expedite the OSS/BSS market share. The­se pl­at­forms provide internal network re­quire­ments, including network planning, inventory maintaining and fault managing, in addition to supporting pro­cesses such as pay­ment systems, billing, and receiving orders. Currently, most or­ganisations are deploying OSS/BSS platforms on a large scale to support a wide range of user grou­ps. In accordance with, B2B communication sol­­ution providers are looking to de­velop next-generation platforms. The consequ­ent in­creasing availability of modernised OSS/ BSS platforms will turn out to be ra­ther useful in streamlining internal business op­erations and decreasing operational costs.
Sector-wise, the OSS/BSS market for the media and entertainment segment is estimated to attain a CAGR of 15 per cent through 2027 on account of the increasing demand for on-demand videos and video streaming services. As customers are be­co­ming more demanding, enterprises are required to deliver services rapidly and of higher quality; thus, companies are looking for new ways to improve their service delivery for customers.
The banking, financial services and in­surance (BFSI) sector has also emerged as one of the major end-users of OSS/BSS ser­vices. As per recent market reports, the OSS/BSS market for the BFSI sector is estimated to grow at the CAGR of over 11 per cent by 2024. As enterprises in the BFSI sector are moving towards digitalisation and automation, they are looking for more advanced solutions to analyse the information and massive amount of data generated across their platforms, in order to derive better customer insights and enhance their competitiveness. OSS/BSS solutions allows enterprises to analyse their data and financial situation. The system also enables financial institutions to streamline and scale up their operations, and develop more eff­ective marketing strategies, while keeping the cost of operations low.

Recent deployments
In July 2021, STL announced that it will provide cloud-native OSS/BSS solutions for telecom service providers, leveraging Mi­crosoft Azure. This solution will give telcos the agility they need for building fu­ture-ready applications through STL’s Digital BSS Platform. These future-ready applications will be highly scalable, agile and built on four kinds of technology confluences – convergence (of wired and wireless), combination (of connectivity, compute and storage), disaggregation (of standard hardware and open source software) and edge compute (bringing all capabilities to the network’s edge). Telcos are increasingly embracing cloud-native solutions. By partnering with Microsoft, STL expects to provide telcos access to a cloud-native and comprehensive app development ecosystem, fl­e­xible modular microservices, and a hy­brid cloud management system.
Soon after, in September 2021, STL an­nounced a partnership with Yemen-based telco Sabafon to enable the latter to transition from traditional billing systems to a fully cloud-native software-as-a-service-based billing support system and OSS solution. The five-year-long deal will involve STL, with its expertise in cloud-native, carrier-grade BSS solutions powered by Microsoft Azure, delivering and supporting a new-age, converged, ch­ar­ging, billing and customer relationship ma­nagement solution deployed in a public cloud infrastructure. Sabafon has been facing several business challenges, such as end-to-end revenue management of complete customer operations, due to the inherent limitations of the legacy charging process. Through this integrated solution, STL will also address provisioning and mediation issues, thereby mitigating operational challenges. The first phase of the solution has al­ready been made live-in-operation.
Other vendors, too, have been taking initiatives in the OSS/BSS space. Recently, NEC announced that it aims to offer a service that extends all the way from OSS to the network edge. The vendor will contribute its own 5G core, which is based on cloud-native and open specifications, as well as OSS/BSS products, and combine them with cloud and edge solutions from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The objective is to deploy 5G-based infrastructure and applications at the network edge. NEC and its Netcracker subsidiary have already deployed their 5G core and full-stack digital BSS/OSS on AWS cloud infrastructure to orchestrate and automate 5G digital services.
Further back, in June 2020, Whale Cloud partnered with Alibaba Cloud to launch its cloud-based OSS/BSS solution suite. This suite will help enterprises assess digital maturity and collaborate with ecosystem partners over unique platforms. This launch has helped the enterprises provide customised services to customers.

Going forward, OSS/BSS deployment by enterprises is only expected to grow multifold. As per recent industry reports, the latest BSS and OSS upgrades offer new ways of customer acquisition through omnichannel engagement and service enablement. Further, the latest BSS OSS solutions can now benefit from operational and market insights from Big Data to gain operational efficiency, improve customer experience and predict market trends. Delivery models now also take advantage of agile and DevOps processes.
With these kinds of enhancements, OSS/BSS can offer ample new revenue op­portunities to enterprises. OSS/BSS dep­loy­ment in the areas of industrial and smart home internet of things, video, cloud and automotive applications, in particular, will bring forth a host of opportunities.
However, this will require enhancements to existing OSS and BSS. Further, at pre­sent, enterprises face certain obstacles while adopting cloud OSS/BSS, such as security concerns and resistance to adopting cloud technologies. In order for OSS/ BSS to achieve the growth that various analysts have predicted, these concerns and limitations need to be addressed.