To date, 169 of the world’s leading communications service providers (CSPs) and technology ecosystem participants have signed the Open API & Open Digital Architecture Manifesto publicly demonstrating their endorsement of TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture (ODA).
The 32 CSP signatories have agreed to follow TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture as a preferred requirement in relevant RFPs. The group of 137 leading technology partners commit to build and market their products and capabilities in a manner consistent with the ODA component definitions and supporting the relevant Open APIs in relevant products.
Since its launch in 2016, the Open API Manifesto initiative has successfully paved the way for the industry to fundamentally rethink how to design, build and operate the systems required to deliver the operating agility, cost base and customer experience required to successfully monetize 5G and thrive in the 2020s. The majority of RFPs now require Open APIs. Technology partners are rapidly implementing the APIs and the support community of developers is growing rapidly.
As the next step in this journey, TM Forum members are committing to the design principles and essential standards required to enable a truly ‘plug and play’ set of technology capabilities. This requires commitment to the development and implementation of a set of standards, specifically:
- A set of Open Digital Architecture Golden Rules – design principles for the design of modular, reusable technology capabilities;
- A common taxonomy and definition of Open Digital Architecture Components – the boundaries, capabilities and ‘minimum viable’ functional and non-functional capabilities and APIs required;
- An open source integration canvas to simplify the execution of core business processes and providing a viable technical implementation based on stable software components and middleware;
- Open Digital Architecture component reference implementations and Conformance Test Kits to enable components from different parties to prove zero-touch interoperability, through Open APIs, for ‘minimum viable’ functionality.
Creating value and delivering growth in the digital economy demands radical business transformation, specifically:
- A new paradigm of business and operational agility is required to execute at the speed of the digital economy, and seize the opportunities of a hyper-connected world;
- The ability to rapidly partner and innovate, delivering deep business and technology integration between companies across extended value-chains
- A truly customer-centric approach: an outside-in understanding of customer needs which drives continuous product innovation, new revenues and delivers a digital-age experience;
- A radically different approach to operations and IT – embracing continuous development (DevOps), delivery and improvement through the ‘cloudification’ of all technology
TM Forum has been successful in designing, standardizing and promoting architectures and APIs for CSPs, providers and integrators. Given today’s convergence of telecommunication, cloud and general IT technologies, now is the time to extend the way TM Forum helps its members benefit from the latest evolutions being driven by the dynamic, software-based flow of new technologies, services and platforms. The Open Digital Architecture (GB1022 ODA Functional Architecture Guidebook), accommodates the challenges of a digital operator.
By signing this Manifesto, it is recognized that by designing, building and operating digital services using the Open Digital Architecture and a suite of common industry Open APIs, a range of growth and efficiency opportunities will be unlocked, including:
- Delivering agility across our businesses and our customers’ businesses by providing a flexible, modular architecture enabled by the Open Digital Architecture
- Significantly reducing time-to-market by following a set of consistent golden rules, data and model-driven architecture and a strict separation between commercial definitions and technical solutions
- Enabling digitalized customer interactions and a consistent cross channel user experience
- Enabling agile delivery models based on cloud-native, network-as-a-service, digital infrastructure and platform-as-a-service capabilities
- Using extensible Open APIs to expose a catalog of capabilities to partners and developers, potentially through marketplaces, to monetize existing capabilities, and drive innovative new products and services
- Enabling a global value fabric of capabilities to be used by developers and enterprise customers, delivering value at local and global scale, and enabling a global connectivity wholesale ecosystem to exist
- Dramatically reducing the costs, risks and time-to-market associated with traditional point integration and lowering implementation and operating costs
- Enabling highly automated (zero-touch) operations and end-to-end management of complex services across digital ecosystems and delivering higher quality services at lower cost.
The signees agree to:
- Publicly endorse and agree to follow the Open Digital Architecture and Open APIs as a foundational element of our software architecture and commitment to zero-touch interoperability and partnering.
- Contribute to the continuous evolution of the Open Digital Architecture, Open APIs and roadmap, including implementation feedback, case studies and coordinating relevant work from other organizations.
- Support development of an open source Open Digital Architecture integration canvas.
- As service providers, expect plug-and-play conformance to Open Digital Architecture component specifications and Open APIs to be supported by vendors, system integrators and our internal development teams. We will make this support a preferred requirement in all relevant RFPs in the future.
- As technology partners, build and market our products and capabilities in a manner consistent with the ODA Component definitions; and produce plug-and-play software that conforms to the relevant Open Digital Architecture Component Conformance Test Kits, including supporting the relevant Open APIs in relevant products.
- Routinely share our implementation progress by participating in anonymous TM Forum adoption assessment surveys.
- Use these Open APIs whenever appropriate in establishing new digital partnerships.