Croatia’s Hrvatski Telecom, part of the Deutsche Telekom group, leveraged TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture, along with Business Process, Information and Application Frameworks as well as Open APIs to modernize its order management systems and processes to avoid vendor lock-in, shorten release cycles, and get products and services to market faster, in a more agile way.
Cloud native order management boosts speed, scale and operational efficiency
Who: Croatia’s Hrvatski Telecom, part of the Deutsche Telekom group, and Prodapt
What: An urgent need to modernize an inflexible, complex order management system that was inhibiting its ability to compete
How: A solution aligned with TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture and Open APIs to achieve desired business outcomes
Over time, Hrvatski Telecom’s (HT’s) legacy order management suite had become operationally complicated and inflexible, and expensive to run. The suite had dozens of sub-processes involving multiple systems, departments, and partner organizations. These difficulties were compounded by heavy customization and multiple features added over a 15-year period.
The system was difficult to scale and led to longer release cycles and multi-faceted dependencies with inadequate visibility of them. It stifled innovation internally and within ecosystems, slowing time to market and hampering business agility. High operating costs, due to licensing fees, and infrastructure and operations requirements affected HT’s competitiveness.
The communications service provider (CSP) wanted to modernize its order management systems and processes to avoid vendor lock-in, shorten release cycles, and get products and services to market faster, in a more agile way.
HT wanted to move its order management to being open source, cloud-native and microservices-based, so that it could be scaled easily. The entire open-source order management stack was written from scratch, including key applications like order capture, order execution, product catalog, asset management, user documentation, notifications and more. The stack had more than 120 integration points and included 60 loosely-coupled microservices, which expose business functions. With these requirements in mind, the CSP decided the new solution should align with TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture (ODA) and Open APIs, and comply with the European Interoperability Reference Architecture (EIRA). HT used the ODA’s Concepts and Principles (GB998) for the digital platforms and the services they expose. It provided a detailed blueprint for building a standardized, cloud-native software component. To complement the ODA, HT leveraged TM Forum’s Information Framework (also known as SID or GB922) data model, product catalog and interface specifications. Its Business Process Framework (also known as eTOM or GB921) was used to rationalize and align business processes, while the Application Framework (also known as TAM or GB929) was used to map applications. HT’s architecture adhered to the Forum’s guidelines on integration, data management, applications’ architecture, transition architecture and more, plus best practices for cloud-native IT development and deployment, and patterns for use. As part of the architecture, the network operator created a Harmonized API layer (HAL) to give the order management systems plug-and-play interoperability with external systems and partners. The operator referenced TM Forum’s Open APIs (GB992) to identify the Open APIs relevant to the digital platforms for the transformation program. The Open API-based approach exponentially reduces the cost of integration and time to market for new services, plus they can be reused across other DT subsidiaries in other countries. Open APIs also allow HT to expose network and IT capabilities to external ecosystem partners.
The diagram below shows the conceptual architecture of the digital platform-based order management stack built on TM Forum standards.
HT categorizes the APIs based on reusability across Deutsche Telekom’s operating companies in other countries. Category A can be reused as they are, Category B can be reused with some customization and Category C APIS are country specific and cannot be re-used.
Transforming the order management suite to run on a microservices-architecture that was built from scratch using cloud native IT, enabled HT to achieve the following outcomes:
"Croatia is a tourist-friendly country, we see a spike in tourists during summer which leads to more demand for connectivity services, hence the technology we use and the solutions we have must be scalable. The current architecture and systems that we have built will enable us to scale capacity with traffic, deliver new offers faster in a seamless and automated manner.” Frederic Nin, Director – IT and Digital, Hrvatski Telekom, a DT Group Company.