TM Forum Urges Industry Collaboration on Open Digital Architecture

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TM Forum, the industry association driving digital transformation through collaboration, is issuing a call for telecoms software suppliers, service providers and systems integrators to join the next critical phase of its Open Digital Architecture (ODA) initiative focused on delivering cloud native software component specifications to deliver plug-and-play IT and networks.

The call comes as the ODA initiative reaches an important milestone just eight months after the launch of the ODA Component Accelerator program. With the first ODA component specifications and prototype test kits for validating the interoperability of commercial software products now available, the next phase will scale-up to create the detailed specifications for 60+ ODA software components.

In combination with the widely adopted Open APIs, these provide an urgently-needed blueprint to replace traditional telecoms IT and network systems with industry-agreed cloud-native software components that will transform business agility, operating costs and customer experience, defending today’s business and unlocking growth through new services.

Companies who join the next phase will shape these critical industry standards, meaning that they will have an easier path to conformance with the new industry-agreed specifications in future. Throughout the process, participants will also gain expertise in the industry’s common approach to cloud-native transformation.

On the importance of being involved in the next phase of building the ODA standards, George Glass, CTO, TM Forum says, “As the industry looks to unlock the potential of cloud-native approaches to software and agile ways of working, the benefits of being part of Open Digital Architecture have never been more profound. If we move together as an industry, with a set of standards and processes that are universal, we will create the kind of business agility which unlocks new growth and increases value for the whole ecosystem”.

Glass continues: “On the other hand, if everyone goes it alone, we will end up with a mass of different technologies that cannot work together. This is why so many organisations from across the industry are already supporting Open Digital Architecture. Now is the perfect time to get involved.”

Glass adds: “There is an opportunity now for those in the industry to be part of this process before the standards are hardened. We want the whole ecosystem involved so that nobody is caught out, playing catch up in the future, having to rearchitect their solutions so that they are in line with the standards that are being developed today.”

Participating companies will collaborate with over 60 peers from across all sectors of the industry, including Accenture, BT, Oracle, Orange, Telenor, Telstra, Vodafone and others to develop the standards that connectivity and digital services architecture will run on for decades to come as it adapts and develops cloud native components.

Orange Group CIO, Koen Vermeulen said: “Replacing legacy via huge and massive transformation projects is too expensive, too long and too risky. ODA and its new component based architecture, pre-integrated on the ODA-CA platform, allows us to implement faster and more efficiently new systems and it is a key part of our global IT strategy: in Orange, there is a very large adoption of Open APIs in all our geographies, all projects, for internal consumption but also for the integration with our partners.”

Jason Rutherford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Communications Applications said: “As a contributor to the Open Digital Architecture, Oracle is providing operators with the ability to drive faster innovation at lower cost. By designing products in alignment with these open standards, Oracle realises efficiencies in software design and delivery that benefit its business, customers, and industry.”

“Accenture recognizes the importance of collaboration, interoperability, and standardization in the industry and how it will impact growth for communications players,” said Adriano Poloni, managing director, Communications and Media, Accenture. “Adopting an open architecture will allow for new operating models and partner ecosystems. These are essential in today’s world when companies are transforming to intelligent enterprises and shifting to technology-driven telcos with platform business models. To enable this change, Accenture is pleased to support the ODA initiative.”

Vodafone’s Dr. Lester Thomas, Head of IT Architecture & Innovation, said: “Vodafone UK has utilised ODA to speed up product launches and boost digital sales by more than 50%, increasing sales conversions by 30% with its customer experience platform becoming a model for Vodafone worldwide”

TM Forum Open APIs, which are critical elements of ODA components, have already reached maturity and widespread adoption. This year alone, over 8,000 developers from more than 800 companies have downloaded TM Forum’s Open APIs more than 64,000 times. To date, 22 software suppliers have certified their Open API implementations.

By signing the Open API and Open Digital Architecture Manifesto, companies will be joining 60+ of the world’s leading CSPs and technology ecosystem participants in building and developing the future of the telco industry. Recent signatories include AsiaInfo, Capgemini, CGI, Cloudera, EPAM Systems, IBM, Oracle, parcelLab and TELUS.