MEF and ATIS have teamed up to jointly develop specifications that essentially create a global ordering platform for Carrier Ethernet services. This new platform brings the same kind of standards approach to global ordering of Carrier Ethernet services between network operators that ATIS standards have brought to the US network for years now.
The spec, with the snappy name Ethernet Ordering Technical Specification: Business Requirements and Use Cases, is based on requirements from MEF 's Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) Reference Architecture and Framework, also known as MEF 55. It builds on what Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) developed for its US inter-carrier ordering standards, but without the idiosyncrasies of the market here.
"ATIS has been a huge support in providing some ground rules but we have also incorporated the needs of our international partners to make sure this works globally," says Letty Walker, senior lead analyst, OSS & Technical Support, for CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and co-leader of the Joint ATIS-MEF effort. "To come up with a global network, we had to come up with a global ordering platform."
Prior to this, ordering of backhaul or access circuits from other operators outside the US has been done on a cumbersome one-off way, using emails, spreadsheets and other manual tools. A global ordering platform will make it possible for Carrier Ethernet circuits to be ordered more quickly using a standard process.
The new specification doesn't detail out an individual operator's OSS address ordering. Dawn Kaplan, solutions architect, CoE OSS for Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and MEF operations area co-director, calls it "in front of the curtain" versus the behind-the-scenes work of the carrier OSS. The specifications use LSO's Sonata interface to define the east-west communications between network operators, but don't spell out how carriers internally process those incoming orders.
The ATIS-MEF joint team will publish additional specifications that will provide "implementable APIs that align with this specification," according to the jointly issued news release.
According to CenturyLink's Walker, this spec won't require huge changes on the part of network operators, just basically the introduction of an API that enables the global ordering process. That will make doing business globally a much easier process for everyone, she says.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading