Service providers need to partner quickly and effectively – here’s how

An increasingly critical issue for service providers is the ability to launch services extremely quickly. And the range and scope of these services is becoming larger by the day. From a host of Internet of Everything (IoE) services to home-based applications, service providers need flexibility and agility to differentiate themselves.

Being able to onboard partners and suppliers quickly is paramount. Partners could include other service providers, but whatever their nature, they need to interconnect in a standard way. The key is to use APIs for fast and easy integration with suppliers and third parties.

MEF is one of TM Forum’s partners, and has more than 210 members, 130 of which are service providers. MEF is investigating ways of achieving rapid, simple onboarding of partners, acting as a co-champion in one of the Forum’s proof-of-concept Catalyst projects called, The Partnering Platform for MEF Services.

The project will demonstrate how to integrate operationally with partners and suppliers to programmatically order, track and manage MEF 6.2 compliant services, using the Forum’s Open APIs. Services that comply with MEF 6.2 use the service attributes and parameters defined in MEF’s Ethernet Services Attributes Phase 2 and applies them to create different Ethernet services – point-to-point, multipoint-to-multipoint and rooted multipoint Ethernet services.

In this Catalyst scenario, a supplier of MEF 6.2-compliant services needs to capture orders, expose order management functions and expose inventory and catalogs and so uses APIs for order placement and management. This project will build on previous experience and success, demonstrating an API Simulator running entire, end-to-end processes to show how one common set of APIs can be used for a range of service types, integrations and scenarios.

Specifically, the Simulator will:

  • Be catalog-driven and able to simulate fulfilment by holding active inventory for many different types and versions of services.
  • Show that scenarios (workflows) can be abstracted from service definitions so that the same library of scenarios can be used for different types of services.
  • Be open for all other Catalyst projects to use and available to TM Forum members for a minimum of a year after the project is completed.
  • Make available NFV, cloud and traditional access services used in previous Catalysts, while modelling additional MEF services and requirements provided by other Catalyst projects or co-champions of this one – PCCW Global and Vodafone. DGIT and Inomial are participants in the project that will be demonstrated at TM Forum Live! in Nice in May.

For more information, watch this video with Daniel Bar-Lev, Director, Office of the CTO, MEF, and Greg Tilton, Chairman and CTO, DGIT.


    About The Author

    Catalyst Evangelist

    Tony Poulos is TM Fourm's Catalyst Evangelist. He freelances for several industry publications and is video anchor and a columnist for Telecom Asia. Tony is a regular speaker and moderator at conferences worldwide and has worked as a contributing analyst for IDC.

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