Proof of concept

Action Week: A week of ‘exciting and important things’

When Rebecca Sendel, Vice President, Services & Catalysts, TM Forum, opened TM Forum Action Week here in Lisbon, Portugal, on Monday, she put up a slide with this definition for the word ‘action’ from the Cambridge Dictionary:

“Things that are happening, especially exciting or important things.” Add the word ‘enjoyable’ and it sums up the week.

Nearly 250 people attended Action Week, our semi-annual event where companies collaborate on solutions to some of ICT’s most pressing challenges. The event opened with keynotes from TM Forum Deputy CEO Nik Willetts, Telefónica’s José Manuel Gascón and Deutsche Telekom’s Klaus Martiny.

“The underlying message is that non-traditional approaches are much more efficient than traditional ones, and they are the only way to compete,” Willetts told attendees. He went on to explain what network operators have to do to become “2020 telcos” and how TM Forum can help. See this article to learn more about the great tools we offer.

Gascón, Telefónica’s Global IT Strategy & Governance Director, explained how his company is undergoing massive digital business transformation. “We need to be recognized for being digital at our core,” he said. “We need to change the way we interact with customers; we need to think about what a digital customer is.” You can learn lots more about Telefónica’s transformation on Inform and in our Case Study Handbook 2017.

For Deutsche Telekom, automating operations is the name of the game.We have been talking for a while about how to automate operations,” said Martiny, Senior Program Manager at the company. “We haven’t been very successful, but now it has to be done or we are going to lose business.”

Other keynotes throughout the week featured case studies from Ultrafast Fibre (UFF), presented by DGIT’s Greg Tilton, Vodafone by Chief Systems Architect Dr. Lester Thomas, and KPN by Joyce van de Garde. Globe Telecom’s Vincent Seet also offered a look at an award winning Catalyst the company sponsored at TM Forum Live! Asia 2016. (Globe Telecom and the other case studies mentioned here can all be found in the Case Study Handbook.

Catalysts pitch their projects

TM Forum’s Catalyst Program kicked off a brand new set of collaborative proof-of-concept projects at Action Week, which will be demonstrated at TM Forum Live! 2017. The Forum received 40 Catalyst proposals, 29 of which were formally pitched here this week. A total of 35 teams are expected to demonstrate their projects in Nice. Each of the projects focuses on challenges being addressed in the Forum’s three strategic programs – Agile Business & IT, Customer Centricity, and Open Digital & Internet of Everything (IoE) – or specific challenges related to security and privacy, smart cities or application program interfaces (APIs).

Recognizing hard work

We honored five individuals this week with the TM Forum Outstanding Contributor Award. Now in its 19th year, the award recognizes members who have contributed significantly to the Forum’s Collaborative R&D efforts to drive digital business excellence, best practices and standards. The latest recipients are:

Digital Maturity Model & Metrics

TM Forum hosted its fifth Digital Maturity Model & Metrics workshop on Wednesday, where participants continued to refine their ideas about what should be included in the model. It was sponsored by Huawei and facilitated by Deloitte.

The updated whitepaper is due to be published later this month. As TM Forum Chairman, David Pleasance, said as we embarked on this effort, “…we draw upon the perspectives and experiences of various members to bring together a common view of what the maturity model looks like. It’s not going to be one group sitting in a room developing the model, but rather it’s going to be an assembly of inputs from many members.”

Blockchain workshop

On each day this week, John Wilmes, Director of the Open Digital Ecosystem, TM Forum led a demonstration of distributed ledger technology (often referred to as blockchain, which was the original implementation of the technology that powered Bitcoin). He discussed its potential and shortcomings, especially in relation to telecoms. Look out for our updates on blockchain which will run on Inform and in Perspectives soon. In the meantime, here’s an easy guide to the basics.


At the last Action Week in Vancouver in July 2016, we explained our ongoing efforts to make Frameworx more easily accessible, consumable and applicable to the digital world. How? Well, in brief, by matching the stuff you need in our comprehensive suite of guides, templates, tools and best practices, Frameworx, (via the Digital Services Toolkit) to the business outcomes you want to achieve using what has evolved to become CurateFX.

CurateFX is a single, online, secure service designed to hide complexity. It offers a single service to many teams, providing actionable plans and a persistent, coherent storyline and decision paths behind them. It accelerates time-to-agreement and lowers risk, preserving consistency in decision making through cognitive guidance from the embedded knowledge of TM Forum’s Frameworx suite of standards and best practices. We’ll be writing more about CurateFX soon – stay tuned.

{Open}: Hack

A total of 45 people from 23 companies formed eight teams to compete in this week’s {Open}: Hack, which started at noon on Monday and concluded at 5pm on Tuesday. Their task was to leverage Huawei’s Business Enabling System (BES) platform, using open APIs, to create potential new products and services for Internet of Things and smart cities, 5G virtualized services and digital payments. The APIs were provided by TM Forum, FIWARE and Huawei, which was the event’s executive sponsor.

The City Planners team’s app, ShareParking, was the winner, with its Airbnb approach to parking. As one team member noted, “Parking is frustrating, time-wasting and creates pollution.”

The team used TM Forum’s Catalog Management API to enable the app to sit on top of a telco platform. It used the City of Lisbon’s data to highlight places of interest that visitors would likely want to visit and the nearby parking slots and Huawei’s open APIs to handle payments and the Forum’s Inventory API to automatically update the availability of parking. They also used the Forum’s Customer Management and Product Catalog APIs. Check out this article to learn more about all the great apps that were created.


    About The Author

    Managing Editor

    Dawn Bushaus began her career in technology journalism in 1989 at Telephony magazine, which means she’s been writing about networking for a quarter century. (She wishes she didn’t have to admit that because it probably gives you a good idea of how old she really is.) In 1996, Dawn joined a team of journalists to start a McGraw-Hill publication called, and in 2000, she helped a team at Ziff-Davis launch The Net Economy, where she held senior writing and editing positions. Prior to joining TM Forum, she worked as a freelance analyst for Heavy Reading.

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