"The Open APIs significantly facilitate interoperability for our clients, allowing them to adopt a true best-of-breed approach." - Dr Khaireel Mohamed, CTO, NTS Retail
My API Story: Enabling a seamless telecom retail experience
Tell us about yourself and your job
I lead the technology teams at NTS Retail, specializing in delivering state-of-the-art retail solutions for telcos. Our innovative platform helps telcos seamlessly manage transactions across all their channels with unified data. Our customers, primarily tier 1 operators with a significant retail presence, trust us to keep their retail operations up-to-speed with customer demands. We're deeply passionate about the telco industry and relish the unique challenges it presents to our teams.
Why do you believe in TM Forum’s Open API program?
Standardization and openness drive innovation and reduce implementation costs. Our customers recognize and appreciate these benefits. We advocate a simple, cost-effective approach for cross-channel integrations in our industry's ecosystems. By adhering to the principles laid out in the Open API and Open Digital Architecture (ODA) program, our objective is to transform the designated technological frameworks with enhanced stability, reliability, and performance on our platform.
What TM Forum Open APIs are most valuable to your company?
TMF663 Shopping Cart
TMF687 Stock Management
TMF620 Product Catalog
Why did you choose to highlight those APIs?
The shopping cart is the central entity for all commercial process flows executed through our stack. It aggregates the essential data required for eventual sales, including product details, customer information, pricing, stock levels, etc. It serves as the bridge that connects with other channels and diverse systems, like Order Management Systems (OMS) and Billing.
The transactions processed within our systems are closely tied to stock orders stored in our system. Thus, the stock management component synchronizes with the cart for tasks such as validations, order bookings, and stock movements.
Equally critical is the product catalog, which unifies the relevant data across channels, including offers, pricing, and the associated campaigns that seamlessly integrate into the NTS platform. Our product serves a niche area within our clients’ stack and, more often than not, it is a business-critical part. Having Open APIs available in these areas significantly facilitates interoperability for our clients, allowing them to adopt a true best-of-breed approach.
How do you use those APIs?
The shopping cart is at the core of our processes. Typically originating from the Order Management System (OMS), where orders are assembled and pricing is applied, the cart is sent to our platform for payment and post-payment processing. At the end, our integration with systems like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) populates the relevant information in their records.
Effectively, the cart serves as the trigger for all subsequent actions: the initial data is pulled from the various reference systems, and the APIs keep the references throughout the process and pull the exact data required at each step. The APIs also provide the structure to forward the required transaction-generated data to other systems of record. These API standards provide a highly functional common language that we can use to simplify complex system-spanning workflows.
How have you benefited from using those APIs?
Using these APIs makes it easier to connect our platform to the primary systems. We follow a plug-and-play concept, facilitated by system-level APIs. This reduces implementation time, saving costs for our customers. In our architectural framework, the shopping cart resides in the business layer, housing functions necessary for steering and orchestrating transactions across various retail channels. Beneath this layer, underlying APIs handle checks and validations on referenced data (e.g., verifying stock availability in specific store inventories). This segregation ensures these checks can be performed without compromising performance. As a result, clients can tailor their process flows to meet their unique business needs.
Where do you use them?
We are currently using the Open APIs with five of our international clients. We are also in talks to progressively extend their deployment to additional projects across the globe with new and existing customers.
Have you used them in conjunction with any other APIs?
We leverage TM Forum’s Open APIs in conjunction with our own proprietary APIs. In the context of stock management, for example, there are certain functionalities that we supplement using our proprietary APIs. These include aspects like stock movements and the handling of digital bills of delivery.