TM Forum unleashes Open Digital Architecture for your future backend

TM Forum

The TM Forum has announced the launch of its Open Digital Architecture (ODA) program, which is intended to replace traditional OSS/BSS architectures with an architecture for zero-touch, software-defined operations and a de facto standard for open digital platforms.

The TM Forum says ODA will enable 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 ODA was co-developed byTM Forum, CSPs and their software, infrastructure and system integrator partners to 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.

“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,” said TM Forum CEO Nik Willetts.

Willetts said the ODA is “a starting pistol being fired by many hands joined together” to pursue the vision of completely zero-touch business operations – with no human intervention end-to-end – using the latest technologies including AI.

The key principles of the ODA 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. 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 in May.

To date, 36 companies are already implementing the TM Forum’s open APIs across their architecture in all relevant areas. The eight companies who most recently signed the Open API Manifesto are CENX, Cerillion, My Republic, SigScale, Vlocity, TCS, Telstra and Wipro.

Industry players including, BT, Globe Telecom, Huawei, Mycom OSI, Sigma Systems, Telefonica, Telstra and Vodafone Group expressed support for the ODA in the TM Forum’s announcement.

David Green, lead telecoms partner for technology strategy and architecture, Deloitte said the ODA is an important step for the evolving telecoms sector.

“Having an industry standard for digital architecture will be crucial for organizations that are looking to modernize and simplify their systems and processes,” Green said. “The Open Digital Architecture could be the platform to help forward-looking CSPs grow and remain competitive.”

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