WSO2Con 2011 : BSS-as-a-Service for Communications: Utilizing WSO2 Middleware - Ken Anderson
By WSO2Con 2011
- 14 Nov, 2011
Objective: Level the Telecom Playing Field
Having worked with SMEs in the telecommunications sector for years, Datatel has a deep understanding of the challenges these companies face in trying to compete with the major players. One such hurdle has been implementing a business support system, which is critical to running a telecom business, Mr. Anderson said.
Large telecom companies can go to vendors like SAP and IBM to put together a complete BSS package. However, Mr. Anderson explained that this was only an option “if you have a few million dollars lying around, but we’re looking at small to medium businesses, which can’t afford those solutions.”
Instead, many SMEs use software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to support their business operations, for example Salesforce.com for customer relationship management, QuickBooks for billing and accounting, ADP for human resources, and PayPal for billing and product/order management. However, that brings a new challenge, Mr. Anderson noted, “You have to integrate all this stuff.”
The answer became clear, Mr. Anderson recalled. SMEs needed a BSS platform-as-a-service that could integrate the various operations being handled by different SaaS solutions. He also envisioned how WSO2 open source middleware could provide the backbone for this PaaS.
A Telecom Operations Framework
Before jumping into the development of its BSS PaaS, Datatel first had to create a blueprint, Mr. Anderson said. The reference for that blueprint would be the TM Forum Frameworx suite of standards based on global telecom operational best practices.
Two of the primary resources were TM Forum’ s Telecom Operations Map (eTOM) and Shared Information Data (SID) model. The eTOM provides a unified process model, Mr. Anderson noted. Meanwhile, SID offers a reference model and common vocabulary that covers the information required to implement eTOM processes.
“Everything that comes into WSO2 gets mapped to SID. Everything that goes out is mapped from SID,” Mr. Anderson explained. “You have that unified model to build from, so it gives us a certain level of confidence for our integration efforts.”
A third resource was the TM Forum Application Framework (TAM). “It gets very granular,” Mr. Anderson said of the TAM, taking into consideration the integration framework and infrastructure. He noted that WSO2 addressed all the application layers, and being able to map WSO2’s middleware platform to the TAM gave Datatel the confidence to move forward with it as the backbone of the BSS PaaS.
Telecom BSS PaaS Based on WSO2
In developing the BSS PaaS, Datatel first set up arrangements and contracts with several BSS component providers, Mr. Anderson recalled. Then once the contracts were in place, Datatel built connectors, so that the BSS components could be plugged into a service bus based on the WSO2 Carbon platform. The company also has built a presentation layer with a portal that allows agents to come in and access various components as they create contracts with them. Tenant data on the BSS PasS is segregated as data sets.
Mr. Anderson noted, “Overall, WSO2 is the backbone and mediator—making sure everything is working and processing together.”
To learn more about Datatel’s use of WSO2 middleware for its BSS-as-a-Service, view Mr. Anderson’s full presentation here.