Research Report /

The current approach to networking and communications won’t work in the future of the IoT. Already in the consumer world, we have a number of parallel, incompatible ecosystems – such as Alibaba, Apple, Android, and Amazon – with WalMart about to enter the fray. Each is striving to maintain market advantage. Generally speaking, users accept the situation of entering a number of walled gardens for different purposes.

As the digital ecosystem evolves, this will not be workable. An obvious, immediate example is the connected home, which is in the novelty/early adopter phase. In the longer term, customers won’t be prepared to use a clutch of different apps to control different appliances, plus their heating, lighting and security systems. If the advantages– convenience and potential savings – are outweighed by the disadvantages caused by interoperability, this will slow adoption.

In this report, we:

  • explain why a new paradigm is needed to help all kinds of companies scale and partner quickly and effectively
  • look at how the digital ecosystem is shifting and the role of communications within it — the only way to enable this ecosystem is to develop a common approach to management that brings together the benefits of a common language, metrics, information, process models and application program interfaces (APIs).
  • look at the role virtualization plays
  • show how TM Forum’s collaborative approach is a perfect example of coopetition – competitors working together to address fundamental, common issues for joint advantage
  • explains the Forum’s layered approach to the digital ecosystem

TM Forum offers many examples of how its assets and Catalyst program are already being used to deliver large-scale benefits for commercial services. Although we are far from having all the answers and much work lies ahead, our established collaboration processes and practices could play an important role in advancing progress toward the digital ecosystem of the future.

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Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd
TM Forum

About The Author

Snr Director, Research & Media

Annie Turner has been researching and writing about the communications industry since the 1980s, editing magazines dedicated to the subject including titles published by Thomson International and The Economist Group. She has contributed articles to many publications, including national and international newspapers such as the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune, and a multitude of business-to-business titles. She joined the TM Forum in 2010 and is responsible for overseeing the content of the Research and Publications portfolio.

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