Zero-touch digital services marketplace – Phase V aims to create a one-stop-shop where 5G customers can have their needs automatically assessed, then provided with an end-to-end product bundle, without the need for lengthy and complex configuration
Automated end-to-end IoT solutions market removes complexity for business customers
Of all the initiatives the telco sector is working on, few can be as important as establishment of the zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) marketplace. ZTP enables automatic setup and configuration of devices and services for the full diversity of 5G customers and their needs – a ZTP marketplace takes automation one step further by creating a platform for customers to select bespoke multi-party product bundles which can then be easily monitored and managed. The end goal is a one-stop-shop where 5G customers can have their needs automatically assessed, then provided with an end-to-end product bundle, without the need for lengthy and complex configuration.
The realization of this marketplace became closer last year with the successful completion of the Zero-touch digital marketplace - Phase III. The project achieved its objective of creating a working example of how a medical institution could easily purchase a bundle containing a variety of goods from different suppliers to form an overall solution. The simplified product bundle included connectivity, devices, a dashboard and an operational set-up that was automatically designed according to exact requirements. Phase IV of the project took this a step further by combining autonomous network operations with digital twin technology, intent-based frameworks, and AR/VR capabilities. The objective here was to produce a single metaverse interface to help CSPs enable seamless, high-quality connected experiences in the industrial, emergency service, and energy sectors.
The challenge Zero-touch digital services marketplace – Phase V faces is how make the marketplace even easier to access, use and deploy across an even greater number of sectors and applications. In this phase of the Catalyst, the project team sought to include more application scenarios, such as those in hotels, hospitals, recreational spaces and office environments. The aim was to provide these enterprises with connected products designed to for better facility management, and entertainment capabilities.
Achieving this meant introducing two new dimensions to the project. The first is providing AI, closed-loop operations for Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) using data and intent-based operations to heal, scale or even replace a connectivity service, when certain triggers are detected. To do this, the Catalyst made use of TM Forum’s Intent Management API (921) in conjunction with AIgen algorithms and product service resource models and SLA parameters. Remediating anomalies is then conducted according to Hansen Orchestrated Order Management and Colt’s on-demand SDN API.
The second challenge was one of scale - how is the marketplace and its operations able to work in a Type II manner in conjunction with CSP and hyperscaler marketplaces? To this end, the Catalyst is making use of various collaborative assets such as TM Forum’s ODA and Open APIs to enable Type II marketplace operations.
Application and wide value
So far, the Catalyst has had success in improving the software marketplace and autonomous operations that derive from it. The ZTP marketplace has made it far easier for customers to complete a purchase of an end-to-end solution comprising of products from a variety of vendors, hyperscalers and third parties. In various deployment scenarios, there have also been measurable benefits to consumers – with many reporting increased levels of customer satisfaction – particularly those with entertainment subscriptions capable of supporting high-data applications that are higher quality and more reliable. The marketplace has also shown itself to provide meaningful reductions in energy consumption. For example, it has enabled simplified monitoring of consumption per device, room and floor, helping to create a highly efficient smart space solution in an apartment complex, which has already saved $400k in energy costs.
Summarizing the impact of the Catalyst, Anand Raval, Chief Architect, Verizon explains that "customers are demanding new digital models when interacting with service providers. There is a need to transition to a cloud-like experience, where services can be ordered, provisioned and managed in real time through digital interfaces like web portals and APIs. This Catalyst continues the joint effort of the previous phases by enhancing the concept of a digital service marketplace focused on delivering this new digital customer experience, as well as building on intent-based networking and autonomous operation, a fundamental component of the target digital service provider architecture."