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Telecom Software Solutions – How to choose wisely

24 Sep 2020 | Blog Business Process Automation

The telecommunication industry covers a wide range of data transmission: telephones, radio and television broadcasting, satellites and the internet. Globally speaking, it has shortened time and distances, easy connecting different geographical locations in a fast and efficient way.

Telecommunication software is an essential tool for nowadays digital communications, covering the transmission and reception of audio/video consequently. As technology is developing very fast and poses many challenges, more modern tools and application programs are needed to keep up with the trend and optimize services. These tasks may be effectively addressed with the support of the right software solutions.

There is a huge variety of software solutions dedicated for managing and optimizing telecommunication networks; ranging from simple software that is installed and utilized by an end user, to the software that is necessary to manage complex heterogenous networks. Depending on the target of the software solution, it may be used to control wireless devices as well as those used to drive fiber optic and copper wire networks .

Some of the most basic of all types of telecommunications software are the packages designed to allow the local telephone switch to receive and send signals. The software programs help to control the orderly processing of these signals each time a telephone connection is established with any end user in the subscription area. Software not only helps to establish the connection, but also monitor the strength of the connection and trigger functions to compensate for noise on the line and thus decrease the chances of disconnection within the transmission. This type of software has evolved increasingly, as technology has been switched from analog to digital transmissions .

Software for wireless telecommunications is another commonly used product. Like the software found at local telephone switches, various types of wireless communication software help equipment to receive and send signals which are strong and secure. Software helps to compensate for differences in frequency and modulation, which can be extremely important when establishing and maintaining a connection over long distances.

As technology is advancing at a very fast pace, new types of telecommunication software have been developed making it possible to enjoy forms of audio-visual communication, which seemed out of reach just some decades ago. This software oversees driving online applications such as web conferencing, allowing both voice and video to be transmitted, being interactive with several people from different geographic locations around the world, at the same time. The end result is that today’s software greatly reduces the travel and logistic costs, making it available and cost-effective for a wider target of clients.

Some forms of telecommunications software are proprietary in nature, meaning they are developed by specific companies for use in their own networks. Other software options are manufactured for use by several different telecommunication carriers and networks and may even be customized for specific uses. Moreover, the software is created and adapted to fulfill the telecom company’s specific needs.

This type of software dedicated to telecom operators is also referred as Operational Support Systems (OSS), which includes many applications that these service providers need in order to perform ‘back-office’ activities. A stated in the 2019 Guide to Modern OSS, “the service provider’s ‘OSS environment’ will include many (from tens to hundreds) of separate OSS applications, each responsible for their own part of the businesses’ operation. Usually OSS applications are function-specific, owning part of the entire operations process such as monitoring for faults, fulfilling service requests, and so on. Being focused on the network and services, OSS is used by network planners, service designers, service operations, network operations and network engineering teams”.

Categories of OSS Applications

We will review the major categories of OSS applications, from network-facing to customer-facing. For each, the main points will be introduced which approximate to the individual software modules that can be bought or built. The 2019 Guide to Modern OSS mentions the following functions:

Network Engineering

Consists on the configuration of network devices that enable the network to carry traffic and services efficiently. The main challenge and role of Network Engineering applications is to enable connections to devices to facilitate the tasks of monitoring and configuration – while, as much as possible – simplifying these highly technical tasks.

Network Engineering

Data & Analytics

Gathering, storing and making available data about the network, service and customers is essential infrastructure at the heart of many OSS processes. This data is stored in a specially designed database known as an inventory. So, data or ‘network models’ are pulled in to dedicated OSS Inventory applications to make Planning, Service Fulfilment, Fault Management and Analytics simpler and faster.

Planning

This, more than any other of the operational tasks, considers not just the network capacity and capabilities, but also the cost, revenue potential, and reliability of the network. Planning is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all other operational tasks are following rules and policies that ensure the Communication Service Provider (CSP) is building and running an efficient, profitable network that meets the business’ strategic objectives.

Service Fulfillment

Service Fulfilment is therefore perhaps the most fundamental of all operational processes, taking orders from the Business Support Systems (BSS) layer and ultimately ensuring they are successfully deployed and activated in the network. The quality of services provided by the (CSP), is essential for the client acceptance and market growth.

Customer Experience

Performing a right OSS/BSS is essential in order to avoid negative customer experience. Customer Experience Management focuses effort and budget on network planning and engineering tasks that have the greatest benefit to customers. Having the right customer feedback provides the right satisfaction and motivation for business growth.

How does a trustable Telecom Software Development Process should look like

Telecom Software Development

A trustable Telecom Software Development Process should provide the client with the best turnaround time and quality for all the requirements needed by providing a systematic approach. Some of the key points involved in the process are:

Obtaining the End-user’s feedback

Gather all the necessary feedback about the client’s requirements and needs. Its worth as well, to get to know and understand the different components of the network’s architecture, and thereby forward it to the telecom software development team.

Prototype & Software Design

Development of the software’s prototype and design according to the parameters and requirements previously established.

Application Development

This is the stage where the actual telecom industry software development begins.

Software Testing

Once, the software/application is hosted and ready, the testing team will do a thorough evaluation of the codes and will fix any bugs if found.

Deployment

After the software is passed by the QA team, the application will be deployed to the live environment.

Support & Maintenance

Once the app/software is ready and running, the support and maintenance process is essential in order to provide the client with assistance and satisfaction.

Telcom Software Characteristics

How to know which type of software is the optimal? What is the best option for You? What is the best option for Your company? There is a vast sector of software companies dedicated to the development, implementation and maintenance of software for the telecom sector. Let’s take a look at the different characteristics of these types of software.

Flexibility and Cost-effectiveness

One of the most important characteristics is the flexibility and adaptability of the solution, offering a custom solution for each kind of the client. If your company has a tight budget for investment, or do not possess enough manpower to develop on software solution needed, then, outsource telecom software development services to us. We will quote custom price according to your needs that will allow you to install a robust solution at a cost-effective rate.

Data Security

Data Security and protection is one of the essential factors to take into consideration. Solutions with a reliable firewall management system, network security features on each system, anti-malware systems, and many other security features are characteristics which are needed to take into consideration when choosing software.

Control Quality Standards

Cooperating with a quality control certified, provides more reliability to the client. For example, an ISMS or ISO certified provider of telecom software solutions company, provided this and more. Having a robust set of information management security framework, a multi-level quality control process, allows to efficiently manage and address any impending security threats.

Multiple Support Centers

It is important to receive the necessary support when needed. If it is decided to cooperate with a software development company, choose one where you can obtain 24/7/365 days of customer support. Being feasible to obtain the support for all kind of issues, anytime from anywhere. Additionally, one other factor to take into consideration, is to be in close contact with the team of developers, coders and consultants, which will keep you updated with the latest features, plugins and other routine upgrades.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, in order to choose a software that will suite your company, it is essential that you know your network very well. Having already identified the difficulties, challenges and areas where a supportive tool is needed, this in order to keep the network flowing strong and constant. The wide variety of solutions offered by software developers, depend from the different needs of the Telcom Operator, which is translated into the different services offered and provided to its clients.

Selecting a software supplier is not always straight forward. As Telecom Operators evolve daily in the era of digitalization, choosing the optimal solution from a large variety of existing solutions is not always simple. Many software programs exist to streamline processes and increase productivity towards operational efficiency. The rise of new technologies creates confusion on how to achieve the promise of increased performance and achievement with tools adapted to one’s context and personnel. 

Choosing and implementing the right solution is only a part of the process. Often, the assurance of successful implementation in a human context is being overlooked when selecting a future partner or solution supplier. However, if the implementation of the new software isn’t planned well or accepted by the own staff, then dedicated time and budget invested in a solution will be lost. This turns the implementation process in a critical aspect of selecting a trustable partner. Factors such as, trainings, service location, implementation evaluation and support provided after the implementation are crucial. Customer success is a job on its own for it entails varied aspects ranging from change management to technical expertise, but definitely has its big part of success in the right software chosen.