Digital Transformation & Maturity

Cooking up innovation with open source collaboration

In the same way that sharing recipes has gone on as long as cooking itself, so too has the sharing of code been amongst developers. The newly announced partnership between the Linux Foundation, a purveyor of open source since the turn of the millennium, and TM Forum will surely see companies, developers and innovators cook up some technological treats.

In past decades, manufacturers became possessive. They hid their wares; withholding source code and copyrighting their tech – everything was proprietary. But, in today’s quest for agility, it only makes sense that an environment that incites collaboration between different firms and the inventive minds within them, will be an environment that drives innovation, thus driving businesses, and the industry overall, forward.

The two organisations have already partnered together in a similar light. Alongside carrier ethernet consortium MEF, the Forum closely with the Linux Foundation’s Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) to extend the Forum’s Open APIs, which are service agnostic, industry agnostic and technology agnostic. They provide a core to build upon and can work for any service, demonstrated through Catalyst proof-of-concept projects in industrial manufacturing, health and many other industries.

The partnership sees TM Forum and The Linux Foundation working together to realize the commercial deployment of open source software within industry standard architectures. The partnership also means that TM Forum’s APIs will be shared across the entire Linux Foundation community, available to use in any of its open source projects.

Communications service providers increasingly want to use open source software to support their operations and need to integrate it into their existing IT environments. The collaboration will enable the implementation of open source projects in accordance with platform-agnostic industry standards, thereby accelerating time to market and reducing the need for expensive customization. This will be achieved through the adoption of TM Forum’s Open APIs within open source projects, providing standardized interworking with other systems. As part of TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture, these APIs will speed up the deployment of open source software both within CSPs and also across broader ecosystems, supporting greater agility for a CSP’s existing operations as well as enabling new business models with ecosystem partners.

“Open Source and open standards – including TM Forum’s Open APIs and Open Digital Architecture – have a pivotal role to play in transforming the agility of our industry, ensuring it is fit for the next decade,” said Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum.

Consistency in API design means standardizing the makeup of all APIs and the resources they provide, which is what TM Forum is enabling through our API work. A consistent voice, brand and experience makes it easier to adopt, maintain and consume them. Ease of use means a better experience for the developer, while time and money is saved and the time to market for new products is much faster. What’s more, any design differences between vendor and client can lead to confusion and overhead during development. Such inconsistencies persevere and multiply across the API life cycle.

“Together with TM Forum, we can shift the global industry one step closer to harmonization of open source and open standards,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager for Networking, The Linux Foundation. “Our joint efforts will help accelerate deployment and adoption for end users.”


    About The Author


    Arti has been writing and editing for seven years in the fields of technology, business and finance. She is particularly interested in how firms are innovating to bring us into the next digital age.

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