Transformational operations & IT management blueprint endorsed by Communication Service Providers, Large and Small Software Vendors, and Systems Integrators
Lisbon, 6 February 2018 – TM Forum, the industry association driving digital business transformation, today announced the launch of its Open Digital Architecture (ODA) program. The ODA is envisioned to replace traditional Operational and Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS) architectures, delivering an industry-agreed, bold architectural vision for the future of zero-touch, software-defined operations and de facto standard for open digital platforms. ODA will enable Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to radically simplify and automate their existing operations, and gain the agility needed to ensure their survival in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Through rapid growth, the telecoms industry has become a highly complex, constantly changing operational environment. With ODA, TM Forum members are designing a way to enable constant cycles of rapid creation and experimentation with new services and business models, including 5G, that support open digital ecosystems, while also transforming the efficiency and flexibility of the current core business to remain profitable.
To meet these demands, the world’s largest CSPs and their software, infrastructure and system integrator partners, have worked together with TM Forum to co-develop the ODA and create a common operations & IT management “blueprint”. ODA combines proven best practices from the world of cloud computing with TM Forum’s work on Zero-touch Orchestration Operations and Management; Digital Ecosystem Management, Data Analytics; AI and its suite of more than 50 Open APIs which are in use today by over 600 companies worldwide, creating a comprehensive architecture blueprint.
Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum, said “The telecoms industry is at a crossroads. There is a window of opportunity to move beyond connectivity and embrace new opportunities for growth. To succeed the industry must radically simplify and automate core business operations to deliver the agility and efficiency needed to compete in today’s market. The ODA is a starting pistol being fired by many hands joined together. It embraces a bold vision for completely zero-touch business operations – with no human intervention end-to-end – using the latest technologies including Artificial Intelligence. TM Forum and its members are doing what we do best: collaborating and executing; bringing the best minds in the industry together to set the vision, pace, and practical and affordable path to transformation.”
ODA Principles: the key principles of the Open Digital Architecture are outlined in a new whitepaper from TM Forum. These principles form the basis for the work program at TM Forum’s Action Week in Lisbon, Portugal this week, attended by experts from more than 70 companies. The ODA principles are being validated in more than 30 ‘Proof of Concept’ Catalyst Projects that will be showcased at TM Forum’s flagship Digital Transformation World conference, on 14-16th May, in Nice, France.
Open APIs: Core to the Architecture is TM Forum’s suite of more than 50 Open APIs. The Open APIs enable interoperability of internal and external IT resources in a common way which makes it easier for innovation to flourish both within an organization; externally with customers and partners; and to scale between Communication Service Providers. To date, 36 companies are already implementing the Forum Open APIs across their architecture in all relevant areas. The 8 companies who most recently signed the Open API Manifesto are CENX, Cerillion, My Republic, SigScale, Vlocity, TCS, Telstra and Wipro.
George Glass, Chief Systems Architect, BT said: “A consensus is emerging around the digital transformation required for CSPs to deliver the Open Digital Ecosystems of the next decade. TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture creates a pragmatic transformation roadmap which we are drawing on as we identify the architectural patterns that facilitate the unlocking of capabilities within of our existing infrastructure. It will also allow us to exploit the opportunities created via newer technologies that enable us to deliver efficient and reliable services into the new digital economy.”
David Green, Lead Telecoms Partner for Technology Strategy and Architecture, Deloitte said: “This is an important step for the evolving telecommunications sector. Having an industry standard for digital architecture will be crucial for organisations that are looking to modernise and simplify their systems and processes. The Open Digital Architecture could be the platform to help forward-looking Communication Service Providers grow and remain competitive.”
Vincent Seet, Head of Enterprise Architecture, Globe Telecom said: “CSPs all over the world are in the midst of their digital transformation journeys. In order to effectively transform our business and processes, we must ensure our OSS & BSS are fit for the new world. Collectively, our OSS & BSS form 80% of the capabilities required by CSPs to support their business offerings and day-to-day operations. Hence, we have to rethink the way we architect our OSS & BSS, so the birth of ODA is timely. Rather than having every company invent their own, proprietary and incompatible solutions, the TM Forum community has come together to jointly define and realize ODA which will fuel the success of transformed DSPs in this digital business era.”
William Xu, Chief Strategy Marketing Officer and Executive Director of the Board, Huawei said: “New digital economy and digital business systems rely heavily on multi-source ICT technology-enabled digital infrastructure. TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture represents a significant step forward in industry efforts to streamline ICT systems, boost business and operations efficiency and enable a fully connected 5G world. ODA’s principles are aligned with Huawei’s ROADS and Telco OS vision and our support in developing ODA demonstrates Huawei’s commitment to industry collaboration to accelerate customers success and digital transformation.”
Mounir Ladki, President and CTO, MYCOM OSI said: “The Open Digital Architecture is an important leap forward in enabling CSPs to digitally transform and capture the digital ecosystem opportunity. MYCOM OSI has played a significant role in ODA’s development and has already begun to implement some if its capabilities in our solutions such as real-time dynamic inventory, catalogue-driven modelling, componentization with microservices and containers, AI/ML-driven closed-loop assurance and Open APIs. We’ve already experienced some customer traction with these principles and look forward to continuing our role in developing ODA within TM Forum’s collaboration program.”
Catherine Michel, Chief Technology Officer, Sigma Systems said: “For too long CSPs have been handcuffed by inflexible black-box BSS & OSS architectures from vendors who care more about protecting domains than offering architectures that truly support the rapid creation and delivery of digital services. The TM Forum Open Digital Architecture is a framework that seeks to truly remove those restraints. It fosters componentization, modularity and interoperability in software architectures. I fundamentally believe that this is the only path to agile operations. CSPs need software solutions that are services-based and wholly model and data-driven, not ones that require coding every time you want to launch a new product or introduce a new capability. That’s why Sigma Systems is a proud founding member on the collaboration of the ODA and continues to be a leading innovator on several TM Forum Catalysts, proving out the feasibility of the ODA and the Open APIs. I know the value is self-evident – it is a key enabler as CSPs capitalize on the digital revolution and transform into digital service providers.”
Horacio Gabriel Goldenberg, Group Chief IT Architect, Telefonica said: “As a global CSP, we must evolve our complex legacy processes and supporting technologies so that our stakeholders enjoy a seamless service experience. Across the industry, change has been slow, but evolution is now essential in allowing us to play a leading role in a burgeoning, global digital ecosystem. The Open Digital Architecture encourages us to take a leap forward in redefining our operational and business support systems, leveraging technologies such as network virtualisation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud and microservices, along with TM Forum’s major contributions in Open APIs and Zero Touch Orchestration Operations and Management.”
Dr. Lester Thomas, Head of IT Architecture & Innovation, Vodafone Group said: “Concepts like Open-APIs, Artificial Intelligence, platform business models, cloud-native micro service architectures and digital ecosystems will help drive agility and innovation, but only if CSPs can successfully evolve away from legacy BSS/OSS architectures. The TM Forum Open Digital Architecture provides a pragmatic way to bring these concepts together and sets the blueprint for the digital transformation essential for CSPs to survive and thrive in a digital world.”
Guy Lupo, General Manager – Head of Orchestration & Data 2020, Telstra, said: “As part of Telstra’s investment in building networks for the future, we are seeking to achieve efficiencies in network operations by abstracting network services and exposing them to a framework of reusable service domains and standard APIs. We already saw benefits in using the TM Forum Open APIs in our award winning ‘Partnering platforms for MEF Services’ Catalyst and we look forward to participating further in the evolution of the Open Digital Architecture to help us achieve our ambitions.”
About TM Forum
TM Forum is an association of over 850 member companies that generate US$2 trillion in revenue and serve five billion customers across 180 countries. We drive collaboration and collective problem-solving to maximize the business success of communication and digital service providers and their ecosystem of suppliers around the world. Today, our focus is on supporting members as they navigate their unique digital transformation journeys, providing practical and proven assets and tools to accelerate execution and platforms to facilitate collaborative problem solving and innovation. Learn more at www.tmforum.org.