TM Forum members accelerate progress

Watch the video to hear George Glass, Chief Technology Officer, TM Forum, discuss some of the advances that TM Forum collaboration team members made at TM Forum’s Accelerate 2023 event in Portugal.

Below are some of the highlights of the event, summarized by program:

Beyond Connectivity – generating new revenue

The Beyond Connectivity program held a 3-day development workshop to create a systematic, harmonized blueprint for new revenue generation. This covered the concept-to-design phase, aiming to accelerate and de-risk this stage of innovation and ensuring alignment between strategy and implementation, based on Open Digital Architecture (ODA) & Open APIs. There was strong support for the initiative, with participation from six CSPs, Vodafone, DT, TIM, NOS, STC, and AT&T as well as Detecon, KPMG, Huawei and CSG attending and leading parts of the sessions. The final framework will be published in the coming weeks.

Beyond Connectivity also held cross functional meetings, from which the notable outcomes were:

  • ODA and Open APIs: proposing 8 new or updated Components required to support B2B2X.
  • Detailed planning for the upcoming Open API spec jam in Asia was completed with the API team, focused on Zero touch partnering (ZTP) revenue sharing and blockchain settlement for roaming.
  • The Business Architecture team shared with the Human Factor team how capabilities and competencies are related in practical applications. Competencies were defined as an individual’s ability to achieve an organizational capability. They also shared roadmaps and plans for how organizations can manage skills across their business.

Business Assurance – aligning with ODA

The Business Assurance team started their journey to aligning with ODA with clear actions points put in place to achieve the objective of updating ODA to support real time payments. They also completed updates to the Business Process Framework (eTOM) and developed the first stage of their maturity model.

Human Factor - culture enabling transformation

The objective during Accelerate was to re-introduce members to the Human Factor program. Acknowledging the work done through the Digital Organization Transformation (DOT) and Diversity and Inclusion projects has led TM Forum members to focus on talent challenges.

By incorporating Human Factor into the Open Digital Framework (ODF), which includes the Open Digital Architecture (ODA), TM Forum is building a program that aligns with the challenges organizations face on the people side when working to become ODA compliant. This includes challenges such as developing people, skills, and culture. Members were also introduced to the Talent Consortia and the Inclusion and Diversity Score. Here is a summary of the outcomes achieved throughout the week:

  • The Tech Organizational Design (TOD) project was initiated. Work began to create a model for adding the 'People' sector in the ODA Business quadrant. Members identified three key areas as critical to understanding the needs organizations are struggling with as they go from telco to techco (S/C/O):
  • Skill & Competencies
  • Culture & Values
  • Organization (development plans)
  • Talent Consortia - the concept of Telecom Academy was introduced, with the objective of building a model to support collective foundation training for new and existing talent. A roadmap and plan for success was agreed.

Open APIs & data model accelerator

The API team ran workshops throughout the week to develop the architecture of Open APIs to support new developments and technologies in our industry. They also ran spec jam sessions so that all member project teams can learn how to develop Open APIs for their program while also getting hands-on practical experience. Over the course of the week, the objective was to accelerate Open API development, remove resource blockers and accelerate the various projects, including ZTP & CaaS. Other outcomes included:

  • Upgrading the Open APIs to version 5 is a key goal. The team formulated a plan of action and assigned tasks for the various steps involved, from planning the architecture to testing and deployment.
  • The team has developed the API Async design pattern, based on the 2022 Catalyst project Async Open APIs for event based architectures, to enable all APIs to be both REST-based and event-based.
  • Agreement was reached on how Open API information (swagger and data model) will be incorporated into the MODA tool (Master Open Digital Architecture).

Open Digital Architecture (ODA) – building the components and canvas

It was a busy week for the ODA team, with a Component and canvas accelerator running each day. These working sessions focused on component specifications, canvas specifications, component conformance, ODA security and privacy, as well as joint sessions with other teams. The key outcomes are summarized as follows:

  • Two new components specified - Lead and Opportunity Management (TMFC036), Service Performance management (TMFC037); 4 new components added to the inventory.
  • There was an eTOM/SID cross team session to identify relationships with components.
  • Agreed simplification of the implementation specification file.
  • Met with the Beyond Connectivity team - new components were proposed and some existing ones will be amended.
  • Component conformance detailed plan agreed for Phase 1 (Alpha) and high level planning completed for Phase 2 & 3; cross team meetings gained understanding on dependencies, and interlocks with canvas, components and API roadmaps.
  • Canvas specification – defined "what is a canvas"; drafted service and use case list and built out 15/20 use cases and 4 services.
  • The Security session focused on the authentication service and how the canvas will reduce the work required. Setting up security as a significant friction point, and what we can do for vendors to reduce friction.

Zero-Touch Operations - accelerating the transformation journey

Accelerate provided a valuable opportunity for the various workstreams of the Autonomous Operations program to share their work with one another and ensure alignment. Here is a summary of the outcomes of the individual workstream sessions across the week:

  • Agreement between Autonomous Networks and Closed Loop Automation teams to begin creation of a cross project Catalyst addressing Intent-based control loops.
  • Team review of IG1256 KEI Autonomous Network Effectiveness Indicators and updates agreed.
  • Agreed Autonomous Networks roadmap; work started to create use cases for connector models.
  • Autonomous Operations Maturity Model – dimensions and sub-dimensions discussed and agreed.
  • Deep dive on future development of the Measuring & Managing Autonomy (MAMA) value stream use cases (IG1291)
  • The AI Operations (AIOps) team reviewed the agreed updates for the IG1274 series and IG1190N AIOps performance Management to continue to enhance the practical guidelines to encourage, support and accelerate the transformation journey toward solid, effective, and reliable AI Operations (AIOps).
  • Digital Twin for Decision Intelligence (DT4DI) use cases shared and agreement on additional use cases for suppliers/partners; reviewed Ontology and agreed current iteration and plans for future development.
  • Closed Loop Automation – completed a review with Open API team for work on TMF753 Closed Loop Automation API Suite profile (12 Open APIs)
  • Six Catalyst projects are planned for DTW 2023 with 8 more at the ideation stage.

Congratulations are in order

Wednesday’s sessions concluded with an awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of individuals and companies who have contributed significantly to TM Forum Collaboration work and to driving the industry forward. Four individual members were awarded Outstanding Contributor awards:

  • Elisabeth Andersson, MATRIXX Software
  • Maria Bakalouli, Intracom Telecom
  • Sylvie Demarest, Orange
  • Koen Peeters, OryxGateway


And the company Outstanding Contributor award went to Huawei Technologies. You can see all the winners here.

The Catalyst team award for Outstanding Contribution to TM Forum Assets went to Intent-driven autonomous networks - Phase II.

Work will continue back on Zoom on all the member collaboration projects in the weeks and months ahead until we can meet again in person. To get involved and add your expertise, join the projects here.