Totogi wields AI as BSS game-changer

  • Totogi launched a platform that uses a conversational AI interface to simplify the BSS construction process 

  • CEO Danielle Royston said GenAI is challenging traditional BSS models, bringing costs down and giving customers the customization they want quicker

  • The "twist" is that customers own the code generated by the new Totogi tool 

Totogi says it is reinventing the business support system (BSS), a type of software toolkit telecom companies use to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. And, of course, it's using artificial intelligence (AI) to do it.

The company just launched its BSS Magic, a platform which uses a conversational AI interface to simplify the BSS construction process by leveraging five types of generative AI (GenAI) technologies.

BSS platforms can be used by telcos for everything from managing customer relationships, to handling orders, billing/invoicing and reporting and analytics, among other things.

Totogi CEO Danielle Royston told Fierce Telecom that most modern BSS platforms are highly customized, making them expensive with long timelines to implement or change. But communications service providers (CSPs) need customized systems quicker and at lower cost.

Until now, they’ve never been able to get all three in one product, Royston claimed. According to her, the total cost of a typical BSS platform can be made up of “95% consulting dollars, and takes years to implement.” GenAI is challenging that business model, she said, bringing costs down and giving customers the customization they want at speed, without the need for any technical expertise.

So, how exactly does it work?

"It's an avatar on top of a chatbot that also is a code generator that is knowledgeable about BSS customer journeys," Royston explained.

Wait, what? "You tell her 'hey, I want to build a BSS for an MVNO,' you go through a little interview – how many subs, what country, postpaid/prepaid/pay-as-you-go...and she translates your business needs into BSS needs and generates the code and generates the screens. You can change the colors. You can change the branding. You can change the workflow and it's 100% customized generated code for you," she continued.

Royston added the "twist" is that customers own the code generated by the tool and customers only pay for what BSS features they need. Totogi will make its money by charging a usage fee for the app development. 

"You don’t need a technologist to use it," she said.

Analysys Mason forecasted CSP spending on SaaS solutions and related services increase at a compound annual growth rate of 18.4% between 2023 and 2028. That spending is expected to account for 20% of CSPs’ overall spending on operation support systems (OSS) and BSS by 2028, totaling $15.8 billion.

As for Totogi? “We think there’s room for us in this market,” Royston told Fierce Telecom.

GenAI layering

Totogi's Magic BSS foundation is built on large language models (LLMs) provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), specifically trained with telecom-related data. The platform is designed to continually learn and adapt, as an ever-growing tool. As customers use it more and more, it learns about their business and specific needs.

Totogi layered several GenAI technologies into BSS Magic to "supercharge" the platform:

  • The aforementioned code generation tool, a feature that automates the creation of software code to cut down development time.
  • A Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) model that draws on telecom data to understand and generate BSS components through voice commands. 
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG), which allow the BSS system to understand and produce human-like text that's informed by telecom industry knowledge.
  • Advanced avatar rendering, which provides an interactive way for users to engage with the platform.

It doesn’t have examples of Magic BSS being used in the market yet, but the company estimates it could reduce costs when compared to other customized BSS solutions by 90%, and reduce the time it takes to generate a fully customized BSS also by 90%. 

AI skepticism

Analysts have warned that vendors need to be careful to ensure AI solutions live up to the hype, or else they risk sparking a cooling effect on AI investments.

Royston is well aware that telcos may be a bit skeptical of AI solutions given how many have flooded the market. Totogi is showcasing Magic BSS at MWC24 this week - where Royston recently told our sister site Silverlinings she expects to see plenty of so-called AI washing. 

She offered a few tips on how to differentiate the real from the...not so real AI. You can check those out here.

Executive Editor Diana Goovaerts contributed to this story.