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The increasing competition in offering telecom services has driven the multiplication of the number of network and service operators which have entered the market. It has also driven the technologies and services deployed in an effort to differentiate offers. The passage from voice-only offerings to data/multimedia has as a consequence also the multiplication of the "core skills" necessary to be competitive in these new areas. This also is a factor in segmenting the operators/service providers, leading to a further multiplication of the players involved. The operator/customer relationship, clearly the fundamental issue in such a competitive environment, has to be conjugated with the actual complexity of this world. All networks are globally interconnected. Each customer expects connectivity and services not just from its own operator of choice, but throughout and across all networks and services. Thus a large extent of the entities actually contributing to the services actually used by a given customer are not under the direct control and supervision by its operator of choice, as was an established fact in the "traditional" telecom world. Mobility and the extensive penetration achieved by cellular networks like GSM where subscriber roaming is a key factor complicates this picture of satisfying subscriber needs even more. The paper reviews and comments on the impact of this scenario of changing environment in the scope of network operation and maintenance, with comments on the shifts in relative importance of solutions to be implemented to cater to these new conditions.