ZTP Catalyst at TMForum Digital Transformation Asia’19

We’ve been back from Kuala Lumpur for a few weeks now and while we didn’t win an award for our Catalyst project (think of catalysts as Proof of concepts with participants from a variety of vendors and supported by multiple telcos), we did get a log of interest in it.

The Zero Touch Partnering catalyst for Kuala Lumpur was the third stage of the project where we extended the system to an IOT model introducing a new vendor (Unico) to the project with their eSIM entitlement server.

The basic premise for the catalyst is to enable telcos to deliver products and capabilities that are actually provided by a third party WITHOUT the need to integrate systems, build integrations or develop code – in fact without IT involvement at all. The way we can do that is to use the TMForum OpenAPIs to:

  1. Determine what products a 3rd party is prepared to sell to me (using the Product Qualification TMF679 OpenAPI)
  2. Fetch the product specifications that I need to successfully order that 3rd party product (using the Product Catalog TMF620 OpenAPI), then
  3. Order the 3rd party product from the 3rd party (using the Product Order TMF622 OpenAPI)

All without IT getting involved…

I recorded a short video presentation about the catalyst

Overview video presentation of the ZTP Phase 3 catalyst project

If you want to see a demonstration of the catalyst in action – onboarding 3rd party products live, then adding them to a product offering and then buying the new product offering including onboarding of a water level sensor via a QR code to activate the eSIM for the device, then check the video below:

Demo of the ZTP Phase 3 Catalyst

I think the ZTP catalyst is a great demonstration of why standards matter – when a telco says to me “What’s in it for me?”, these are the sorts of examples I like to show – that demonstrate standards in action and make it easy and fast to integrate different vendors without the need for lots of IT involvement.

Progress on the miss-match between the TMF SID and TMF API Data model

Originally posted on 4Sep17 to IBM Developerworks (10,430 Views)

I wouldn’t normally just post a link to someone else’s work here, but in this case Frank Wong – a colleague of mine at my new company (DGIT Systems) has done some terrific work in helping to eliminate the miss-match between the data model used by the TMF’s REST based APIs and the TMF’s Information Model (SID). I know this was an issue that IBM were also looking to resolve.  In the effort to encourage the use of a simple REST interface, the data model used in the TMF’s APIs has been greatly simplified from the comprehensive (some might say complex) data model that is the TMF’s Information Model (SID). This meant that a CSP who is using the SID internally to connect internal systems needed to map to the simplified API data model to expose those APIs externally – there was no easy one-to-one mapping for that mapping which meant that the one could not simply create a API for an existing business service (eTOM or otherwise) – a lot more custom data modelling work would be required.

This interview with Frank by the TMF illustrates some of the latest work to resolve that miss-match – read it at https://inform.tmforum.org/open-apis/2017/08/apis-need-good-parents-catalog-success/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTm1aa1pUVXhOR001TkRFMSIsInQiOiJXbEpaajNHRmR1Rm9meTZzQlMzMnJRODJDNlllUjdsdFk2RUxNMDVRS25HMEdlOTZzK3NDNkx5YkZXSjlyQW42eDkrQW5lT0pkRVFpdm5lNXJIdW9STGpaYWV5aHZiald0b1JBenhlSTFRV2FUMVhFNXBLUlRkZ05MV2ZZK1JSViJ9

IBM at Telemanagement World 2010

Originally posted on 19May10 to IBM Developerworks (9,827 Views)

While IBM missed out on winning the TeleManagement Excellence awards this year (congratulations to those four competition winners (see the winners on the TMF web site) we do have a great stand with multiple demos (I haven’t counted, but I think there are six demos) and a small meeting area.  Check out the photos below:

Who moved our cheese? China Mobile’s all IP network

Originally posted on 19May10 to IBM Developerworks (9,582 Views)

TeleManagement World conference, 2010.  Nice France.

Keynote Speaker

Lui Aili, Board Director for China Mobile

Lui Aili, Board Director for China Mobile presented this morning at the TeleManagement World conference in Nice, France.  Mr Lui spoke of China mobile’s challenges. For them, Internet based competitors posed a real threat, despite the size of China Mobile (more than 528 million subscribers) they see companies like Google (with GTalk) and Skype, but also device manufacturers such as Apple and Nokia as providing on device applications and value added services on their own devices which reduces China Mobiles function down to a bit carrier. As Mr Lui put it, these companies “moved our cheese” 😉

For China Mobile, to compete with these Internet based companies, they needed to radically reduce their costs – to do this, they started a project about six years ago to move to an all IP network from their existing legacy network.  This architectural move reduced their Capex by a massive 68%.  The reduction was through reduced administration and management costs (by re-organising their operational management system and spreading it across all of their IP networks)

Strategy for IP transformation

China Mobile’s network services are predominantly occupied by low value services – straight 2G services.  They undertook a detailed analysis  to look at network utilisation and management tools to better manage their network and control the customer experience.  For them, ALL IP is not the same as All-in-one IP.  they are separating their IP customers into high and low value services with security barriers in place – they have a separate virtual network for high value services and for low value standard services.  He did not state it directly, but I took it to mean that they have different Service Level Agreements (SLAs) associated with the high and low value services.

From a network administration perspective, they have implemented network management agents at as many points as possible – including every router to enable efficient and rapid fault discovery and correction.

For China Mobile, IP skill levels among their staff was a key success factor – Mr Lui spoke of it multiple times, including implementing comprehensive training schemes for their staff. 

“IP Transformation has been a huge task… the job is fare from finished” Mr Lui said.  Despite this, he also said that right now, almost all of their voice traffic is already carried over their IP infrastructure 
In summary, Mr Lui made the following points:

  • IP transformation simplifies the network, but males O&M more complex.  . 
  • Operators must invest in OSS systems to make IP networks and transformation more efficient.