Dr. Lester Thomas, Global Head of Systems Architecture, Vodafone Group, explains the magic of being able to reuse the same APIs, sometimes more than 60 percent of the time, in its global transformation.
Lester championed the Forum’s Open APIs from the start. He explains why:
“We’ve adopted a platform as a model, across all our operating models in all our operating companies around the world, and in all our group functions. So, anything within the BSS or OSS scope we use this platform model where each one exposes TM Forum’s Open APIs.
We strongly believe there’s an ecosystem model we need to adopt. So, between the operating models, we need to have integration based on these open APIs and also we build them so we can expose these services, even to external partners. We have customers and other ecosystem partners who also integrate with Vodafone through the APIs.
The markets that have adopted this most strongly we’ve seen fantastic benefits: One of the metrics we use is demand-driven reuse. So when that market has a new demand, what proportion of the time can they meet that demand through existing APIs? For example, if a market is launching TV services for the first time, can I enable the service just through configuring the catalog, because the APIs are catalog-driven? Can I configure new TV services in the API catalog, then expose a product ordering API to all the channels for that market?
In the markets that have adopted this most strongly, we’re seeing more than 60 percent demand-driven use – so more than 60 percent of the time, that market can meet new demand using existing APIs. So that’s a huge agility [we’ve gained], a huge time saving and cost saving as well.”