Developing a Telecommunication Operation Support Systems (OSS): The Impact of a Change in Network Technology

Developing a Telecommunication Operation Support Systems (OSS): The Impact of a Change in Network Technology

S.C. Lenny Koh (University of Sheffield, UK) and Stuart Maguire (University of Sheffield, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-424-8.ch019
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Abstract

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened competition in the telecommunications market in the U.S. and forced the incumbent telecommunications companies to open both their physical and logical infrastructure for Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs). In this case study we focus on the problems that face a CLEC with regard to designing an information system and getting a back office system, called an Operations Support Systems (OSS), operational in a highly competitive, complex, fast-paced market in a compressed time frame when a change in a critical telecommunications network component, namely the central office switch, is made after 75% of the system implementation was completed. This case deals with the factors that led to this change in central office switches, its impact on the IT department, its impact on the company, and the alternatives considered by the IT department as possible solutions to the many problems created by this change.
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Organizational Background

Starting in the 1970s, there have been many deregulation efforts in many sectors of the U.S. economy as well as internationally. The basic objectives have been to increase competition, improve service, and lower prices (Perez, 1994).

In the telecommunications sector, an abundance of new firms have emerged since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, both to provide new services such as data networks and wireless, but also to compete with established wire line telephone services. While deregulation opened the telecommunications sector for competition in these areas, many of the new services were made possible by the advent of new technologies: wireless services, broadband on a twisted wire pair (DSL), optical fiber, digital switchboards, the Internet and the Web standards. In many cases, the new entrants (CLECS) were the first to apply these newer technologies.

In the telecommunications sector, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened up competition for local voice and data services. The incumbents in the U.S., the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC) called Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs), were forced to lease infrastructure to the new entrants, namely, Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs). Many CLECs managed to get their business and associated networks installed and running in a remarkably short period of time. However, as Martin F. McDermott discusses in his book CLEC (McDermott, 2002), problems occurred primarily in other areas. One area that caused major problems was operations support systems (OSS) and its associated provisioning and billing related functions.

Thus, by 1999, there were political rulings, court rulings, and FCC orders that laid a foundation for competition in the local exchange (CLEC) telecommunications sector in the U.S. This was a go-ahead signal for many new companies. By 2000, there were more than 700 CLECs. Some of these were sales only companies (Total Resale) and owned no infrastructure but used the ILEC infrastructure to sell telecommunications services using different market plans and lower prices since the ILECS had to sell services to the CLECS at a discounted (wholesale) price. Other CLECs were facility based and developed a network and switching infrastructure; in many cases using new types of equipment and technologies. For example, they used DSL (digital subscriber line) to provide both data and phone services on the standard local loop (2-wire pair).

Broadstreet Communications, Inc., an entrant into the facilities based CLEC arena in February, 2000, was formed by eight individuals who had experience working for ILECS, CLECS, cable companies, or teaching and consulting for the telecommunications industry. The founders determined that there was a reasonable market for combined voice and data services for small and medium sized businesses over broadband facilities using DSL technology and formulated a business plan based on this technology as a foundation for the company. Small and medium sized businesses were defined as having between 1 and 100 employees. Based on the business plan, the founders were able to acquire 62 million dollars in venture capital from 3 different venture capitalist companies. In addition, Lucent Technologies provided $120 million dollars in financing for a total of $182 million dollars of available capital. The company was headquartered in an industrial park about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and established its service area as the mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as Washington, DC.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Elias G. Carayannis
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The issues that are currently affecting all managers are similar to those facing managers of ICT. The following is a list, though not exhaustive, of... Sample PDF
Review of Current ICT Developments
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Chapter 2
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The ultimate reason why organizations develop information systems is so that their employees can make good decisions. If firms did not make... Sample PDF
Linking Information to Business Strategies and Decision-Making
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Chapter 3
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The introduction of new IS can often have a significant effect on the business practices within an organization. It is important that a lack of... Sample PDF
Developing and Implementing an ICT Strategy
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Chapter 4
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
It is important for today’s dynamic organizations to develop a strong and sustainable links with outside organizations and agencies. It may be... Sample PDF
Strategic Alliance Through the Use of ICT
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Chapter 5
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Information Systems (IS) has borrowed many techniques from other disciplines. However, many of these have been borrowed from areas where the outcome... Sample PDF
Planning and Managing ICT Change
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Chapter 6
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The reason for going ahead with a new information system (IS) development can come from many sources. A new business requirement may force an... Sample PDF
Identifying Opportunities for Using ICT
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Chapter 7
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The development of information systems (IS) has for many years been regarded as the domain of the technical expert. In what appears to be a growing... Sample PDF
Introduction to Current Techniques for Effective ICT Development
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Chapter 8
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Nearly all information systems developments follow a structured approach. This is true of all projects. This chapter takes a critical look at both... Sample PDF
System Development and Project Management
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Chapter 9
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
If organizations were good at ICT planning there would not be as many information systems failures. There is a definite need for improved... Sample PDF
Critical Success Factors for ICT Development
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Chapter 10
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
For many organizations, the implementation of a new information system (IS) may be the biggest capital expenditure they undertake. If substantial... Sample PDF
Impediments to the Successful Implementation of ICT
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Chapter 11
Learning From Failures  (pages 176-206)
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Strategic.failures can be defined as failures of achieving the expected benefits from the organizational, size and industrial sectors or countries’... Sample PDF
Learning From Failures
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Chapter 12
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The Internet Cultural Era (ICE) has driven many Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and Ghana to adopt ICT technology. This... Sample PDF
Drivers and Barriers for ICT Development
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Chapter 13
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Although Boeing and Rolls-Royce are operating in the same aerospace industry sector and use ERP, but the ways that they implemented their systems... Sample PDF
Current Developments and Diffusions in ICT: ERP, SCM, CRM
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Chapter 14
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Globalisation, modernisation and streamlining paradigms have driven many enterprises to use various e-Technologies in order to improve the... Sample PDF
E-Technology: E-Business, Intranet, Extranet, Internet
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Chapter 15
Knowledge Management  (pages 285-296)
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Knowledge.Management can be defined as the critical issues of organisational adaptation, survival and competence against discontinuous environmental... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management
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Chapter 16
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
In information terms, security can be defined as the processes of ensuring that private information remains private and uncompromised in an... Sample PDF
Security and Risk Management
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Chapter 17
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Commercial airlines face an extremely challenging operating and competitive environment. To remain in business they must comply with ever-changing... Sample PDF
Improving IT-Enabled Sense and Respond Capabilities: An Application of Business Activity Monitoring at Southern International Airlines
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Chapter 18
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
This case describes how banking in India has changed after developments in information technology in the last decade. The new private and foreign... Sample PDF
Competing in the Age of Information Technology in a Developing Economy: Experiences of an Indian Bank
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Chapter 19
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened competition in the telecommunications market in the U.S. and forced the incumbent telecommunications... Sample PDF
Developing a Telecommunication Operation Support Systems (OSS): The Impact of a Change in Network Technology
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Chapter 20
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Nazar Group of Companies has been a leading producer and distributor of cookies, crackers, cakes, chocolate, and other products in Turkey for more... Sample PDF
Nazar Foods Company: Business Process Redesign Under Supply Chain Management Context
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Chapter 21
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The TeleDoc project of Jivan Institute has combined mobile commerce and the ancient concepts of Ayurveda for treatment of rural residents of India... Sample PDF
The Expansion Plan of TeleDoc: What and How Much of the Technology Employed is to Change?
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Chapter 22
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
E-government is becoming a reality rather than a theoretical ambition; however, achieving the e-government anticipated benefits is still illusive... Sample PDF
Process-Aware E-Government Services Management: Reconciling Citizen Business, and Technology Dynamics
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