Operational Support System


An Operational Support System (OSS) is a software or a system that supports a telecommunications network’s back-end processes, including network inventory, service provisioning, network configuration and fault management. It is designed to monitor, analyze and manage the network system to ensure smooth and efficient operations. In essence, it’s a critical component ensuring high-quality service delivery and customer satisfaction in the telecommunications sector.


The phonetics of “Operational Support System” is:/Oh-peh-ray-shuh-nuhl suh-port siss-tuhm/

Key Takeaways

  1. Supports Network Operations: The main function of an Operational Support System (OSS) is to provide support for the day-to-day operations of a network system. This can include monitoring network performances, managing faults in the system, and ensuring optimal service delivery.
  2. Essential for Customer Service: OSS is a critical component in offering quality customer service. It enables quick response and effective problem-solving, and helps in managing the service lifecycle of a customer, from initiation to billing to service termination.
  3. Improves Efficiency: With an OSS, telecommunication network providers can automate many time-consuming processes, reducing the chances of errors, improving system uptime, and increasing productivity. This can lead to more revenue and less operational cost.


Operational Support Systems (OSS) are crucial to the technology world because they manage, control and oversee the daily network operations necessary for businesses to function smoothly and efficiently. They are responsible for maintaining network inventory, managing configurations and faults, ensuring network security, service performance, resolving customer complaints, and more. Having a well-integrated OSS can lead to improved productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction, as it allows better identification of network issues, streamlining of processes, and proactive detection and resolution of possible problems before they impact the user experience. Overall, OSS forms the backbone of the telecommunication and IT services infrastructure, supporting critical day-to-day business operations.


Operational Support Systems, commonly referred to as OSS, are crucial for the smooth running of any network-centric company. The main purpose of OSS is to provide a comprehensive operational view, helping to manage, control and optimize network operations, service handling and support functions. It enables the company to provide and maintain high quality services and safeguard customer satisfaction. OSS covers varied functionalities like network inventory, service provisioning, network configuration and fault management.Among the diverse purposes it serves, the most prominent one is ensuring seamless communication services. With the ability to oversee numerous network operations simultaneously, OSS assists telecom operators to monitor and control the network system efficiently. For instance, it aids in detecting faults and failures in the network system, hence supporting in swift troubleshooting. Also, it plays a vital role in organizing and managing resources, services and customer data, providing operators with a cohesive view of the network status. This helps in maintaining and improving service quality, and as a result, enriches the customer experience.


1. Network Management Systems: These systems manage various components of a network like routers, switches, etc. They monitor the performance, detect faults early, and manage network congestion, which helps in ensuring smooth operations. For instance, Cisco’s Prime Infrastructure is a network management tool that provides comprehensive lifecycle management of wired/wireless access, campus, and branch networks.2. Service Provisioning and Activation Software: It is a crucial component of an operational support systems framework. These tools handle customer orders and manage the process of provisioning ordered services. A company that uses service provisioning and activation software would be a telecom company like AT&T or Verizon. They use these systems for managing and activating the necessary services for their customers.3. Ticketing Systems: These are used by customer support teams to streamline all their customer support queries into one location. The ticketing software creates a unique ID for each customer request, making it easier to track the completion and status of each ticket. Zendesk is a popular choice for customer service teams, syncing all the different communication channels (email, phone, social media) into one interface. All of these are real-world examples of operational support systems as they assist in managing, coordinating, and controlling day-to-day operational activities in a business.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is an Operational Support System (OSS)?**A: An Operational Support System is a specialized software which helps a company control, monitor, and manage operations for a networked system. It includes functions such as network configuration, fault management, and service delivery.**Q2: Why is an OSS important?**A: An OSS is especially critical to telecommunication service providers as it delivers customer service and keeps the network running smoothly. Without a properly functioning OSS, there can be service disruptions or inefficiencies.**Q3: What are the main components of an OSS?**A: The primary components include service assurance, network management, service delivery and customer care.**Q4: How does an OSS differ from a Business Support System (BSS)?**A: While an OSS focuses on the operational aspects of a network, a BSS targets the business aspects, including customer relations, billing, order management, and revenue assurance.**Q5: What kind of companies use OSS?**A: Telecommunications service providers and Internet service providers (ISPs) are the primary users. However, any large company with an extensive network could utilize an OSS for efficient network management.**Q6: How can an OSS contribute to a company’s competitive advantage?**A: By ensuring optimal network performance and excellent service delivery, an OSS can enhance customer satisfaction, creating a competitive edge for the company in the increasingly service-oriented telecommunications market.**Q7: Can an OSS integrate with other systems?**A: Yes, most OSS solutions can interface with other systems, such as a BSS, for seamless cross-functional operations.**Q8: Can the OSS be customised based on individual business requirements?**A: Most OSS are designed with flexibility in mind and therefore can be customised to specific operational processes, procedures, and workflows of an organisation.**Q9: What is required to effectively implement an OSS?**A: Effective implementation of an OSS requires an understanding of the existing network infrastructure, careful planning, collaboration between departments, and constant testing and monitoring post-implementation. **Q10: How does an OSS handle network security?**A: OSS usually includes robust security features such as user authentication, access controls, and data encryption to help protect the network from security breaches.

Related Tech Terms

  • Business Support Systems (BSS)
  • Network Management System (NMS)
  • Service Fulfillment
  • Service Assurance
  • IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms