Ever wondered why OSS vendors, equipment manufacturers and telecom providers haven't been able to get their act together and create some sort of standardized approach for how devices are modeled in an OSS system? It seems like it’s time for this industry to make it a reality.
I've worked at a number of different telecom providers across the world in the OSS space and one common thing I see is the large amount of OPEX and CAPEX they spend on deploying new devices and technologies to the OSS. It's often an involved and lengthy process for a telecom provider to model devices across the OSS. often they need to spend time designing multiple models for the same device type in order to account for nuances in the way varying OSS platforms natively model a particular device. For example, the internal representation and metadata required by their activation system is often not the same as the inventory system. It would be great to have a standardized approach to this. Think of the cost savings that would be achieved. Introducing new devices and technologies to the Telco’s networks and OSS would be simpler, quicker and cheaper. Telecommunications providers should demand it from their equipment and OSS vendors. It would seem to me that this could be a reality if the equipment and OSS vendors had the impetus to make it happen.
We already have all of the building blocks in place in the form of TMF and other telecom industry standards to make this possible. These standards could be extended and combined with open technologies like XML to create a standard OSS device models. Why can’t Cisco create a library of all of their equipment as xml model? If there was a suitable standard to align to, it would be technically quite easy to do this. Equipment vendors could make an xml representation of their devices freely available as they do other assets and intellectual property. I can go to the Cisco website and download a pdf that explains the detailed device specs for virtually every major piece of equipment they manufacture, yet I can’t download some sort of standard xml template that represents how that devices should be modeled in an OSS?
If we had a standardized approach to this and buy-in from equipment vendors, it would be pretty easy for OSS vendors to build productized "load adapters" to translate equipment xml templates to native OSS models. Heck, it could even be a source of additional licensing revenue for the OSS and equipment vendors!
I know there would be large providers queuing up for this functionality.