BSS-as-a-Service for Communications: Utilizing WSO2 Middleware


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  • <Story>Lumber? Check.</Story><Click/>
  • <Story>Tools? Check. If I need more tools I can just run down to the store and buy more. So there I was with tools around my waist, a pile of lumber, some concrete, and a lot of nails and bolts. I followed my sketch as closely as I could, placing nails where I felt they were needed. If I noticed a portion of the shed was a little structurally weak, I would add a few supports and extra nails. I found very quickly that building a shed was not as easy as I thought it would be. I was constantly adjusting, supporting, and reinforcing new vulnerabilities I discovered while I was building. Let’s just say that the final structure didn’t turn out exactly the way we had planned.</Story><Click/>
  • <Story>My shed didn’t come out quite this bad, but you get the idea. It definitely wasn’t the dream shed / green house my wife and I imagined. Even now we find new things to fix regularly. Had I paid for some solid plans, maybe hired an expert or at least brought in a friend who knew what he was doing, I could have had my dream shed, but alas.</Story><Click/>
  • <Narrative>What does this have to do with BSS-as-a-Service? Well, first let’s define what BSS is.</Narrative><Click/>
  • <Narrative>BSS stands for Business Support System. When we think of business support we think of the things that make a business operate; <Click/>product management, <Click/>customer management, <Click/>order management, <Click/>revenue management, and <Click/>other support functions such as Human Resources, Payroll, Internal Procurement, etc. This is a very high-level overview of the basic areas of a BSS. This is our “sketch” of the areas of management that make a business run. Just like when I built my shed, I made a rough sketch. As a business owner, I may feel that any or all of these areas require some kind of software application to make that area more efficient. I may not have the time to thoroughly research or plan out how to accomplish this. So I choose the most available offerings. If I have a decent budget,<Click/> I may give SAP or IBM a call to put together a custom system that covers almost all of these areas, but more likely and more efficiently I may choose smaller, more affordable software-as-a-service to accomplish this.</Narrative><Click/>
  • <Narrative>Keep in mind that each of these services are individually billed for. A small company could easily spend over $1,000 per month to use these tools. Paying so much, they better be able to work together right? So, we have our sketch, we have our materials and now it’s time to get our tools out. Say we choose to use some pre-integrated connectors provided by the various service providers. <Click/> These connectors are our rudimentary tools, but they bring their own problems. When a purchase is made on PayPal, does it truly maintain a single version of the truth as it synchs up with QuickBooks and Salesforce? Can I customize the connectors to do something that is unique to my business processes? A smart integrator would build some type of service mediator or service bus. <Click/> But again, more money, more problems, issues with synchronization, etc. A really smart integrator would use a pre-existing middleware platform <Click/> like WSO2. That’s why we are all here right? With a tool like WSO2 we are able to manage complex routings, implement specific business rules and processes, monitor activity, etc. WSO2 is a “best-of-breed” middleware platform for integrators to successfully integrate various applications. There are still problems though. As many of you may have experienced, and as easy as WSO2 has made the process for us, integration requires a lot of planning, and the more pieces we have, the more complex the integration becomes. It’s not so much the actual integration piece, it’s more a challenge to come up with a single version of the truth. For example, is a customer called a “customer”, a “client”, or an “account”? How many attributes does a customer have? How are objects supposed to communicate to each other? This becomes a very tedious task. We start drawing out what we need from a business perspective, because every business is at least a little unique right? Then we map our service provider’s APIs to our model. Then, when a need for a new data entity arises, we add the entity to our unified model and begin mapping that. Not too hard to understand the process, but it can become a very burdensome project, especially when a client is expecting results right away.So, how do we simplify this process? We all have developed our own patterns that can apply to 80% or more of our clients, but how complete and credible are our patterns? The Telecommunications industry has responded to that exact question with the organization of the TeleManagement Forum or TMF as I’ll refer to it from now on.</Narrative><Click/>
  • <Narrative><Quote source=“”>TM Forum enables simplicity in our complex industry. Being a service provider or a supplier isn’t easy. Market saturation and convergence are driving extreme competition, while customers constantly expect more for less. Delivering the right level of service, at the right price—and making a return for your shareholders—is a tall order. To succeed, your business must run with maximum agility, simplicity, and efficiency.To deliver growth, you need to automate your core business operations using commercial off-the-shelf systems, enabling you to focus on differentiation where it matters—on innovative services, partnerships, and business models.Already adopted by 90% of the world’s largest service providers, TM Forum’s Frameworx suite of standards provide the blueprint for effective business operations, enabling you to assess and improve performance by using a proven, service-oriented approach to operations and integration which allows you to focus on growing your business.</Quote><Click/>This diagram may look very familiar to many of the integration patterns you have seen before. TMF brings with it two major advantages: 1) It gives us as integrators and business consultants a strong starting point and 2) it gives us credibility as we conform to and benchmark against the frameworks. This is like the plans I should have bought for the shed I built. A sketch wasn’t enough. I needed detail plans with material recommendations and tool instructions. Let’s take a look at TM forum’s Frameworx.</Narrative><Click/>
  • <Narrative><Quote source=“”>The Business Process Framework groups processes as follows:Vertical groupings: Focus on end-to-end activities (e.g., Assurance). Each group links customer, supporting services, resources, and supplier/partners. These vertical groupings represent a ”lifecycle” view moving left to right across the Framework.Horizontal groupings: Focus on functionally related areas (e.g., Customer Relationship Management). These groupings represent a “layered” view of the enterprise’s processes, moving from top to bottom, with the customers and products supported by the underlying services, resources, and interaction with suppliers and partners.Where a vertical process grouping and a horizontal process grouping intersect across the map further process detail can be applied in either that horizontal or vertical context, according to the user’s needs.The Framework process structure uses hierarchical decomposition, so that enterprise business processes are successively decomposed in levels that expose increasing detail.The Business Process Framework defines the process structure, with descriptions, linkages between these processes, identification of potential interfaces, inputs and outputs, as well as other key elements.TM Forum together with the itSMF community have defined the integration of Business Process Framework and ITIL in a way that leverages the best of both. As a result, the Business Process Framework has embedded direct support for ITIL processes by integrating these as Best Practices processes within the Business Process Framework.</Quote></Narrative>
  • <Narrative><Quote source=“”>The Information Framework (SID) provides an information reference model and common vocabulary from a business perspective. The Information Framework covers all the information required to implement service provider Business Process Framework (eTOM) processes. The Information Framework focuses on “business entity” and associated attribute definitions. A business entity is a thing of interest to the business, such as customer, product, service, or network. Its attributes are facts that describe the entity. Together, the definitions provide a business-oriented perspective of the information and data needed to run your organization. In short, the Information Framework provides the model that represents business concepts and their characteristics and relationships, described in an implementation-independent manner.The framework is a layered model which partitions the shared information and data into eight domains. At the top layer (Level 1), each of the eight information domains is aligned with the Business Process Framework (eTOM). Within each domain there is a high degree of cohesion between the business entities; and between the domains, there is a loose coupling. This arrangement enables segmentation of the total business problem into manageable pieces and allows resources to be focused on a particular area of interest. In other words, for a particular business process that you are automating, you can identify the information within the Framework that is needed to support that process. Within each domain, business entities known as “Aggregate Business Entities” (ABEs) are defined. ABEs may contain smaller ABEs related to their respective areas. Each ABE contains finer-grained business entities and their associated attributes.</Quote></Narrative>
  • <Narrative><Quote source=“”>The Application Framework (TAM) provides a common language for communities who specify, procure, design, and sell operation and business support systems, so that they can understand each other's viewpoints.It is a practical, everyday working guide to position and navigate the complex management system landscape. It is not prescriptive or mandatory; however, it does provide a way to compare current implementations with an idealized approach.The Application Framework breaks out functional areas for Fulfillment, Assurance, and Billing, including:Customer Management Service Management Resource Management Supplier/Partner Management Enterprise Management The Application Framework uses common industry language and builds on TM Forum Frameworx, particularly the Business Process Framework (eTOM) and the Information Framework (SID). It also recognizes managed resources, including network-based resources, content servers, Intelligent Network platforms, and related network control technologies (such as element management systems), as well as the management applications infrastructure fabric (e.g., bus technology or business process management engines).The Application Framework provides a business requirements and solution design perspective for applications that are built or procured by the enterprise and allows a company to advance their insight into the design and implementation of management solutions.The Application Framework is divided into seven horizontal layers—consistent with the Information Framework (SID). It is also divided into four vertical columns—consistent with the Business Process Framework (eTOM). Each box on the map represents a level 1 application such as Customer Order Management or Bill Calculation. The Framework is further decomposed into lower levels of functionality.</Quote></Narrative>
  • BSS-as-a-Service for Communications: Utilizing WSO2 Middleware

    1. 1. BSS-as-a-Service forCommunications: UtilizingWSO2 MiddlewarebyKen AndersonCTODatatel Solutions
    2. 2. What does this have to do with BSS-as-a-Service?
    3. 3. Product Customer Order Revenue Support
    4. 4. Sudo-ServiceMediator
    5. 5. Enhanced Telecom Operations Map (eTOM)
    6. 6. Shared Information/Data Model (SID)
    7. 7. Telecom Application Map (TAM)
    8. 8. eTOM and TAMTenant 1 Browser Tenant 2 Browser Tenant 3 Browser WSO2 Support Customer SID Order Revenue MarketingManagement Relation Management Management Management ManagementTenant 1 Data Tenant 2 Data Tenant 3 Data
    9. 9. BSS-as-a-Service forCommunications: UtilizingWSO2 MiddlewarebyKen AndersonCTODatatel Solutions