TM Forum launches Open Digital Architecture as blueprint for transformational ops & IT management
TM Forum, the industry association driving digital business transformation, 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 organisation; externally with customers and partners; and to scale between Communication Service Providers. Eight new companies have recently joined the 35 already implementing the Forum Open APIs across their architecture in all relevant areas. The eight new companies are CENX, Cerillion, My Republic, SigScale, Vlocity, TCS, Telstra and Wipro.
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 componentisation, 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 capitalise on the digital revolution and transform into digital service providers.”