Prior Release 18
TM Forum collaboration projects working to shape the vision for the industry and tackle the critical challenges of navigating transformation, creating business agility and managing digital ecosystems.
TM Forum’s collaborative projects have been focused on providing pragmatic solutions, tools, best practices and guides that focus on the “how” of digital transformation, business agility and managing digital ecosystems. The latest release of outputs from their work sees the first key guidance on the Open Digital Architecture (ODA), the release of the first Open API component suite, upgrades of many of the Open APIs to the Apache 2.0 licensing mode, and updates across many APIs to support polymorphic design pattern capabilities, published in the Design Guidelines 3.0 as well as significant advances in Network as a Service (NaaS) requirements and best practices.
Since February 2018, hundreds of individuals from a diverse range of member companies have worked together using TM Forum’s unique collaborative environment in 12 projects to deliver solutions to challenges facing businesses in the digital ecosystem. The results of their work can be seen in 79 documents now available to TM Forum’s global membership, enabling all members to benefit from the new additions and updates to the toolkits, best practices, maturity models, guides and technical reports within their businesses.
As a member, you can download and make use of all the important tools across a broad range of topics. We have outlined the highlights below so you can download and start using them today!
To access our full library of documents, visit the Resources Library section.
If you have any immediate questions, please email us at [email protected]
Release 18 Highlights
Reimagined OSS/BSS for zero-touch operations:
The Open Digital Architecture (ODA) offers an industry-agreed blueprint, language and set of key design principles to follow. It will provide pragmatic pathways for the journey from maintaining monolithic, legacy software solutions, towards managing flexible, cloud-based capabilities that can be orchestrated using AI. It is a reference architecture that maps TM Forum’s Open APIs and assets against technical and business platform functions.
The Open Digital Architecture whitepaper explains how we are uniting the world’s leading service providers and technology suppliers to deliver a new technology architecture and a set of best practices to achieve it. GB998 Open Digital Architecture (ODA) Concepts & Principles R18.0.0 outlines a limited set of architecture principles as general rules and guidelines. The aim is to provide a level of consensus across the industry and guide high-level architecture decisions and potentially influence the suppliers’ roadmap. This will ensure that the overall architecture is consistent and can be used in a pragmatic manner towards the target architecture.
4 new guides have been released which begin the work of creating best practices for achieving the architecture:
- IG1166 ODA Architecture Vision R18.0.0 defines why transformation is needed to the way OSS and BSS are imagined, key architecture groupings for business agility and zero touch automated operations and methods for agile model driven management for agile service lifecycle management.
- IG1167 ODA Functional Architecture R18.0.0 provides a set of structured, implementation-neutral and simplified views for the Information and Systems environment. It is intended to help enterprises looking to become digital to acquire and implement information and systems architectures that meet an industry agreed model.
- IG1171 ODA Component Definition R18.0.0 describes reasons for defining an ODA Component, which stems from the need for an agile approach that encompasses business needs, network structure, and operational challenges.
- TMF071 ODA Terminology R18.0.0 describes reasons for defining an ODA Component, which stems from the need for an agile approach that encompasses business needs, network structure, and operational challenges.
The suite of onboarding and procurement automation guides, known as IG1141, was created to provide pragmatic solutions to the challenges of onboarding automation. A new addition to this suite of documents capturing recommendations on the VF package metadata definitions is IG1141M Onboarding Automation: Metrics Support R18.0.0. This document shows how a common metrics template (supported by an information model such as the TM Forum SID) can help speed up the onboarding process and assist with other aspects of lifecycle management for software such as license management. This all leads to simpler and more uniform management support for software management.
This is complemented by IG1164 Requirements Analysis for the Ordering and Configuration of Services and Resources R18.0.0 which addresses the debate over when to use orders versus configuration requests. It offers some general requirements, provides a summary of existing TM Forum APIs in the area of ordering and configuration, and provides recommendations for better positioning ordering and configuration as complementary concepts.
Network as a Service (NaaS) as a concept has been growing in importance as service providers are coming under increased pressure to be more agile, both in the way that they change their product offers to the marketplace, and how they incorporate and evolve technologies. Service providers can have difficulty integrating vendor products based on standards from multiple technologies and standards organizations, the costs are exorbitant, and the solutions are brittle thus making future product changes difficult.
The NaaS approach is to define self-contained NaaS operational domains that expose Technology Domain Neutral management capabilities as services via Open APIs to general purpose customer-facing IT systems. IG1165 NaaS Network Model and Termination Point Composition Best Practice R18.0.0 explores the minimum design principles that are needed to allow component NaaS network connectivity services to be concatenated and composed into technology neutral end-to-end network connectivity services.
Several service providers have concluded that decoupling product specifications from the detailed network and other assets used to realize the products is an important step towards driving up business agility. The approach identified is to implement Network as a Service (NaaS) Management as a set of service abstractions exposed through open APIs that hide the detailed Network and other asset resources. IG1169 Network as a Service (Naas) Requirements R18.0.0 is a first version of the NaaS Requirements based on preliminary study and member inputs.
IG1170 Network as a Service (NaaS) Package R18.0.0 is the first draft of a package for specifying and realizing Network as a Service across multiple technology domains, many of which are defined by individual Service Providers.
TM Forum’s core frameworks continue to evolve, bringing in the latest work from its member-driven collaboration programs and integrating it with the established Business Process Framework (eTOM), Information Framework (SID), and Application Framework (TAM) models and best practices to ensure they continue to remain at the forefront of digital business transformation. This includes a refresh of the established training courses to ensure they remain fully up-to-date with the latest uses of Frameworx for transformation to propel agile digital businesses.
TM Forum Open APIs
TM Forum’s Open API collaborative team has worked on 4 key themes for this release:
1. New or updated APIs:
A new Resource Pool Management API was released as well as the Self Care Component Suite. This first in a series of component suites captures the specification definition of the minimum mandatory APIs required to deliver a Customer Self Care service. The specification also captures the resources and functions required by a Self Care application used by a Service Provider to allow its customers to manage the services it has subscribed to. The API component suite is intended to be normative and will provide compliance test kits for companies to demonstrate conformance to the suite. Also included in the Release is an enhanced model and new requirements for the Trouble Ticket API, updates to the Product Inventory and Payment Management APIs and Conformance profiles for the Party Interaction and Shipment Tracking APIs.
2. Quality and consistency:
Work was completed on improving the quality and consistency in versioning, basePath, response-codes and other aspects of the Swagger files across the whole set of APIs.
3. Many APIs have been updated based on API Design Guidelines v3.0 Polymorphic Pattern:
From R18.0 onwards, all APIs now implement the “polymorphic-pattern”, which is the ability for all relevant entities to reference an external schema (@schemaLocation) and to name the @type and @baseType of these entities, and for all relationships to name a @referredType. This allows almost all entities of the payload to be externalized and/or “subclassed”. This work is very important as part of the ongoing effort towards creating a flexible architecture, where the same API can be reused across the architecture and creating a further separation of concern between the API specification and the payload, a critical feature for flexibility in the architecture.
4. Migration of Swagger files to Apache2.0 licence-mode and GitHub repository:
All R18 swagger files are now openly accessible and placed with an Apache 2.0 license mode at https://github.com/tmforum-apis, however we continue to recommend they are accessed via the Open API Table in order to have access to the corresponding specifications and conformance profiles.
Digital Ecosystem Management and Internet of Everything (IoE)
The collaboration projects in TM Forum’s IoE Program are working on pragmatic solutions to the challenges relating to monetization, management and trust (MMT) in the context of creating and managing platforms and digital ecosystems for the Internet of Everything (IoE).
The challenges and opportunities of Monetization are the focus of two updated documents. Monetizing Internet of Everything (IoE) guide describes a standardized approach and a monetization template to help members when creating innovative products and defining new monetization models. It includes definitions of monetization models, how to build a monetization model using the template, an outline and examples of typical monetization patterns as well as the examination of key future trends in this area. Monetizing 5G aims to describe the main business verticals and use cases enabled by 5G technology. This second version documents various use cases where 5G will play a major role in speeding up the deployment of digital ecosystems and therefore play a major role in monetization. It also describes which new Customer Facing Services (CFS) can be offered as facilitated by a 5G network.
TM Forum continues to explore blockchain technology including member contributions of proposed use cases. The Technical Report, TR279 CSP Use Cases Utilizing Blockchain, describes the use cases developed to date, and incorporating the use cases demonstrated at the Digital Transformation World 2018 event by the Blockchain Unleashed Catalyst project.
Along with previous work on B2B2x (TR211) and other assets in the Ecosystem Partnering Toolkit, the 18.0 Digital Ecosystem Management and IoE program work is foundational to the development of an Ecosystem Business Architecture.
Customer Centricity & Analytics
As service providers research and prioritize their data analytics investments, the newly updated Analytics Big Data Repository (ABDR) is a CSP’s data repository, used mainly for analytical purposes, permitting efficient and straight forward re-use of data for multiple purposes. The ABDR has been developed and specified by the TM Forum in order to permit the creation of standardized implementations across operators, and straightforward re-usability of the data by ABDR compliant solutions.
The key to leveraging customer experience as a differentiator to maintain a strong customer base and sustain revenues is to deliver a consistent and personalized experience to customers across all channels. The updated omni channel guidebook introduces the key imperatives for omni channel implementation as well as a definition of the operational functions needed to successfully create an omni channel experience for customers. It includes a maturity model for companies to evaluate their omni channel capabilities. The guidebook has over 100 requirements to omni channelize operations. These are defined in order to create a way to evaluate priorities for omni channel projects.
If you have any immediate questions, please email us at [email protected]