Communication Service Providers (CSP) have struggled with swivel chair operations for decades. Removing or reducing swivel chair, as a paper-based activity, is simple. Select which system(s) that add the most value or have a reasonable total cost of ownership (TCO) and consolidate the other systems into those.
Swivel chair presents a major roadblock to fast and accurate service delivery and service assurance. Both of course are critical to the ultimate success of each CSP so why does every CSP still struggle with redundant systems and swivel chair operations?
Two non-technical reasons jump to mind. 1) Historically CSP’s have faced limited competition making it less of a business driver 2) and CSP’s continue to make good profits each and every year, which also lowers the priority to take on change and risk.
Another reason is basic corporate politics. People do not like to share control of systems or more importantly lose control of systems, especially, if they deem them to be strategic.
With all this being true, it is still mind boggling that throughout the world swivel chair still plagues CSP’s every day and I don't know any CSP that has not tried over the years to reduce their systems with limited or no success.
If you focus on the technical aspect of the problem - why system consolidation can be so difficult is because business users are in these systems constantly and these OSS systems are critical to driving new revenue and assuring existing customer service; any disruption can negatively impact revenue and customer experience.
OSS systems are living breathing things; they are in constant use.
This is where a little discussed value proposition of OSS Federation or OSS virtualization comes into play. Virtualization decouples the business users from the underlying systems. The business users no longer know or really care what happens to those underlying systems because their job function is not impacted in a noticeable way.
This is extremely important because now IT can finally formulate a strategy based on IT and corporate objectives such as lowering TCO without having to plan with the business or even involve the business community. It also removes all political battles, as the data remains mastered in existing systems.
When OSS is virtualized …
-business users do not know or care if major system change took place
-they do not have to go to training
-or endure another learning curve
-a massive reduction in technology risk
-quickly lower the OSS total cost of ownership
-and restores vendor negotiation power