TM Forum gets a bunch of operators to sign up to its Open Digital Architecture

BT, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, and Telenor are among 11 new signatories to a scheme designed to cloudify BSS and OSS and provide standardized, open software components.

Vendors joining the signing fun today include Nokia, Amdocs, Oracle and Netcracker, so this looks like a fairly broad initiative. TM Forum is all about BSS/OSS, digital transformation and open APIs, so this looks like a fairly core project for the organization. It is consistent with the broader trend of cloudifying the component parts of telecoms networks in order to introduce greater efficiency and flexibility.

“With the new major service providers and suppliers signing the manifesto for change announced today, TM Forum members are transforming IT and operations to be fit for the 2020s,” said Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum. “The momentum building to collaboratively deliver the Open Digital Architecture is the software market foundation our industry deserves, instead of sinking resources into maintenance and integration of customized legacy solutions that are blocking agility and innovation.”

“As we shift to the infrastructure-agnostic cloud native IT architecture needed to underpin a multi-service operator like Orange, it’s imperative that we are able to invest in the things which make a difference rather than spending millions of euros in integrating again and again legacy solutions and customization,” said Thierry Souche, Group Chief Information Officer at Orange Lab Services, who doesn’t seem to be one of the newbies.

“The Open Digital Architecture offers a modern approach and the standards required for the industry to thrive, avoiding rigid, complex customized solutions. This is not about commoditization of IT software. It’s about freeing us to focus on delivering new and differentiated services.”

“Telco operators are evolving from a traditional mindset to truly embrace modern ways of working,” said Enrique Blanco, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Telefónica Group. “The Open Digital Architecture is a true enabler to accelerate this digital transformation, allowing limitless scaling and multi-tenancy while remaining agnostic to the choice of underlying compute platform. This architecture paves the way to leverage cost-effectiveness, flexibility and scalability avoiding infrastructure lock-in while embracing true continuous integration and continuous deployment cycles.”

“Telecom networks and the supporting business, operations and experience systems are rapidly changing to one that is software-based, automated, intelligent, and customer- and experience-centric,” said Bhaskar Gorti, President of Nokia Software and Nokia Chief Digital Officer. “In short, a network architecture that gives CSPs many new opportunities and use cases, like network slicing, that allow them to better serve their customers. And those endpoints are what we are driving towards with the announcement today.”

“TM Forum represents a strong voice for the industry, defining standards that drive both agility and openness – two essential characteristics required for great customer experience and strong industry economics,” said Gary Miles, Chief Marketing Officer at Amdocs. “In an era of continuous development and integration, having open APIs and IT interoperability is critical to a dynamic and vibrant IT landscape – bringing service providers speed and optionality.”

TM Forum likes to stress the collaborative nature of its initiatives by getting people to sign a manifesto, which gives things a jarringly political character, but each to their own. If you would like to man the barricades during the BSS/OSS revolution then you can sign up to the manifesto here. Power to the people!

  • Digital Transformation Asia


  1. Avatar Andy Tiller 18/06/2020 @ 3:03 pm

    Thanks, Comrade Bicheno. I think the large vendor signatories are probably the bigger story – ODA has always had strong support from major communications service providers and smaller suppliers, but Amdocs, Netcracker, Nokia and Oracle coming on board makes it an industry-wide initiative. If ODA helps service providers invest in innovation (with their vendor partners) rather than wasting $billions maintaining legacy software, then it will benefit the whole ecosystem. In fact, that’s exactly what the service providers themselves are saying – see here:

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 18/06/2020 @ 3:21 pm

      The thanks are all mine, comrade Tiller. Viva la revolución!

    • Avatar Andy Tiller 18/06/2020 @ 3:27 pm

      PS full disclosure – I work for TM Forum

  2. Avatar Gary setiadi 19/06/2020 @ 6:55 am

    What happened to Ericsson and Huawei? They used to have a big presence in BSS/OSS and the TM Forum.

  3. Avatar Jim Strunk 19/06/2020 @ 2:49 pm

    Hmm, not sure why Ernesto Lynch’s image is used for this article. Perhaps Chairman Mao or Pol Pot could be used as well.

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 19/06/2020 @ 2:52 pm

      Maybe next time.

  4. Avatar Marcos Cosmar 03/07/2020 @ 11:28 am

    What a terrible thing to use this image to talk about revolution in technology. Extreme populist clicbite type. If there is an editorial on this, think twice. instead of attracting people, you only got rejection.

    Get a little book of history.

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