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Everything You Need to Know About Modern-Day BSS

Business Support Systems (BSS) have been around for decades, supporting and streamlining CSPs’ day-to-day operations. However, with continued delayering, the transition from Communications Service Provider to Digital Service Provider, and the continued evolution of next-generation connectivity, the role of BSS has become even more important than ever before.

And yet, many CSPs are still using some form of legacy BSS architecture that no longer fulfils their needs. A 2023 TM Forum survey found that 45% of CSPs would like to completely transform their BSS solutions into something better. To understand what benefits CSPs can gain from updating their BSS, let’s explore what BSS is and how it has changed over the years.

2023 TM Forum survey

What are Business Support Systems?

Simply put, Business Support Systems are applications that facilitate the customer-facing operations of CSPs. This can mean everything from provisioning services, creating and sending invoices, taking customer orders, and routing international calls.

As such, BSS is crucial to the smooth functioning of a telecommunications business. Without BSS, it would be impossible for CSPs to monetize services, keep track of orders, maintain customer relationships, and grow their business in any meaningful sense.

Traditionally, BSS platforms were built by CSPs themselves to fulfil their immediate needs for service provision. However, as the industry transformed into the complex ecosystem of partners that it is now, constantly grappling with new technologies since the advent of 5G, these home-grown, inflexible systems became unfit for purpose. CSPs now require automated, modular software that can integrate with existing systems while also driving digital transformation and growing existing and new customer and partner relationships.

Components and functions of modern BSS solutions

BSS is the interface for CSPs to interact with customers and partners. To that end, we consider modern BSS to fall into five product categories:

Product management

Provides an easy-to-understand view of available products and services for partners and customers and allows CSPs to configure and launch new products. With the help of modern BSS, complex products can be launched easily while maintaining standardization.

Customer and partner management

Acts as a two-way channel of communication between partners or customers and the CSP, giving partners and customers the ability to raise issues and for CSPs to resolve them quicker. With BSS, CSPs can simplify complex hierarchies and provide positive customer experiences.

Order management

Optimizes partner and customer order management and service order management, making fulfilment quicker and easier while eliminating order-related errors. It makes it possible for customers to order from different channels but get the same experience throughout.

Trading and routing management

Supports CSPs’ interconnect business by automating the input and processing of supplier rate sheet data and helping operators find the most optimal route for international voice traffic.

Revenue Management

Keeps track of the entire revenue flow and simplifies billing, invoicing, settlement, and financial management processes across the communications ecosystem. It allows CSPs to send personalized invoices and offer custom discounts to partners for transparency and increased customer satisfaction.

Importantly, in a modern BSS system, these functions are not siloed and independent from each other; they interact with one another for maximum clarity and ease for both the customer and the CSP.

Discover ZIRA’s All-in-One BSS solutions now

Key features of modern BSS solutions

Unlike their early, custom-built counterparts, modern BSS solutions are created with CSPs’ evolving needs and the complexity of the communications ecosystem in mind. They are armed with valuable features, including:

  • Modularity: A modular approach makes it possible for CSPs to build a solution that addresses all their issues and feels bespoke but is easily configured and quick to launch. It also supports a phased approach to digital transformation, rather than a rip-and-replace solution which can be disruptive to CSPs and customers alike.
  • Advanced analytics and reporting functionalities: Modern BSS collects and analyzes data from different sides of the business, allowing CSPs to make better-informed decisions.
  • Automation of processes: With modern BSS, automation takes care of the heavy lifting in processes like data entry, and fewer manual workarounds are needed to maintain operational efficiency.
  • Integration capabilities with other systems: Agile BSS solutions can integrate with, for example, existing CRM or ERP systems, maximizing transparency across different systems and ensuring smooth operations.

Benefits of implementing modern BSS solutions

As BSS is integral to the day-to-day functioning of a CSP, it follows that improving it would greatly increase the efficiency and profitability of the organization. With an array of useful BSS features at hand, CSPs can reap significant benefits:

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: With BSS, orders are fulfilled faster, issues are resolved more quickly, and customers and partners are offered custom discounts, leading to lower levels of customer churn.
  • Improved operational efficiency and reduced costs: Manual interventions take time and cost CSPs money. With BSS’ automated functions, they can be reduced or even eliminated from everyday processes.
  • Profitable partnerships: With a flexible and adaptable infrastructure, CSPs can unlock new B2B2X partnership opportunities with other players in the ecosystem, establishing a Digital Marketplace model and increasing their revenues and market share.
  • Accelerated time-to-market for new services: With enhanced product configuration and management features, CSPs can launch new services more quickly, allowing them to unlock first-mover advantage and trump the industry’s fierce competition.
  • New revenue streams: BSS’ ability to support complex ownership structures and seamlessly integrate with existing applications makes it possible for CSPs to more easily launch innovative services like wholesale fiber at lower TCO (total cost of ownership).




The importance of reliable and modular BSS solutions cannot be overstated. With an agile platform, like ZIRA’s, CSPs can introduce new efficiencies without breaking with their existing infrastructure completely. This way, they can enjoy the benefits of modern BSS while continuing their digital transformation journey in a far less disruptive way.

Curious to learn more about what ZIRA’s All-in-One BSS can offer? Get in touch now.

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