TM Forum Gets New CEO

TM Forum is changing up its leadership again by appointing long-time board member Peter Sany as president and CEO starting March 1. Sany, the Forum's fourth CEO in three and a half years, plans to accelerate the industry organization's expansion beyond traditional telecommunications IT and operations into energy, healthcare, automotive and smart cities. In addition, he plans to expand the Forum's reach into the Middle East, Asia, India and Latin America.

Sany was most recently the chief information technology officer and member of the board at Swiss Life, a life, pensions and financial solutions provider in Europe. Over the last year he has been working closely with the Forum's board and senior management team on accelerating the Forum to address the challenges of the unfolding digital world, including virtualization of everything, Internet of Things, customer centricity, security and privacy, he said in an email interview with Light Reading. (See also TM Forum Continues Down Path of Change.)

"I want to ensure that the Forum acts as a pragmatic think tank for the service management challenges of digital business, bringing together the best ideas, concepts and implementations from around the world into practical solutions to common problems," he said.

While the Forum has been criticized for being hidebound to its own products and processes, namely Frameworx, Sany said, "Frameworx is simply the umbrella name for our suite of best practices and standards, and it incorporates many ideas and practices that start life outside the Forum." He continued:

    The digital market is moving too quickly for us to have any kind of "not invented here" mentality, so we will continue to endorse, adapt and borrow work from anywhere that is relevant that helps our members get the job done. Our core business process, information and application frameworks are extremely well established, and have become the standard language for the communications industry because they significantly reduce the cost and risk of major transformation projects.

He added that the Forum is not aware of anything as robust and mature in any other industry, which is why he sees Frameworx being used in many other industries such as financial services, healthcare and utilities to help in their transformation. Sany told us:

    In the digital world, a common language for processes, information and APIs becomes even more critical as you simply don't have the time or money to do everything from scratch. Frameworx also had to adapt to the needs of this market. That's a journey we're already on with the creation of Digital Frameworx -- an industry neutral version of the frameworks for digital business -- which simplifies Frameworx down to the raw building blocks needed for a growing range of digital service scenarios.

For more on OSS, BSS, policy control and test and measurement topics, visit Light Reading's Service Provider IT content channel.

The Forum, now 25 years old, has been reinventing itself over the last two years and Sany plans to continue on that reinvention path as president and CEO. "The digital revolution forces every organization to look at how they operate, where they focus, and how they serve their customers -- and the same is true for the Forum," he said. He continued:

    The Forum started on that journey in 2013, and since then we've dramatically changed how we operate, how we drive collaboration and the pace at which we're able to deliver real results through use of agile collaborative techniques. I plan to continue and accelerate that transformation, ensuring we act as an accelerator for R&D for our members, and demonstrate real business value to our members and digital business at large.

— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Editor, The New IP

kdilbeck570 1/27/2015 | 4:48:22 PM
Re: Wondering what changes might be in store Carol, I would like point out that TM Forum has been conducting a number of catalyst exploring different aspects of Orchestration and Policy. These were demostrated at both TM Forum Live! in June and in December at the Digital Disruption events. Details are on the website. Our concentration has been on producting actual proof of concepts and validations efforts to support the development of technical specifications.

One other observation, the team consciously decided to focus on Policy and Security as key building blocks that needed to be in place before Orchestration could be adequately addressed, in detail. You will see several catalyst exploring the relationship between Policy, Security and Orchestration at TM Forum Live! 2015.
mendyk 1/26/2015 | 6:27:56 PM
Re: Wondering what changes might be in store Geographic expansion in the context of telecom makes sense, although TMF has struggled with that. Moving into areas like energy makes less sense. Who in the energy business knows or cares about TMF?
TomNolle 1/26/2015 | 3:14:08 PM
Re: Wondering what changes might be in store I'm with you, Carol!  The Forum has made some significant contributions at some levels and then seemed totally unable to organize themselves to capitalize them on another.  They have been particularly at sea with respect to SDN and NFV, though some of the Fellows I've worked with have strong ideas.  We'll see how much a change at the top percolates down through the layers.  That always seems to be the problem with organizations, no-for-profit and otherwise.
cnwedit 1/26/2015 | 2:43:45 PM
Wondering what changes might be in store Given the segment of the network it occupies, I would expect to see TM Forum more involved in the orchestration debates around virtualization. Sany spells out why, now I want to see the how. 
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