Many of the themes discussed were common to other shows -- e.g., IoT, 5G, SDN/NFV and the all-encompassing digital transformation. Omnichannel is also a popular term that found its way into many presentations. There were some cool omnichannel demos on display, but frankly, many operators today fail to deliver a satisfactory user experience in any single channel, never mind having the ability to start a purchase online, modify it by phone and complete it in-store.
The topics that interested us at the show, and which we discuss in our latest report, TM Forum Live! Highlights: Eight Key Takeaways, are:
- The transformation roadmap: NFV is just table stakes in the digital transformation process.
- DevOps: Resistance to change from the middle.
- Microservices: Just one of many factors in rearchitecting your OSS/BSS.
- Open APIs: Important, but there is still a need for common information models for them to be truly useful.
- Open source: Not free, but it has an important role to play in OSS/BSS.
- Automation and artificial intelligence: Allowing the network operations center to do more interesting work with the same headcount, and allowing customer care to do more with less.
- Service assurance: To move from open-loop management (reactive, manual) to closed-loop orchestration (automated provisioning, AI-driven self-healing), operators need to break down the silos between fulfillment and assurance and address their OSS holistically.
- Vendor selection: The action-oriented proof of concept (PoC) is replacing the wordy request for proposal (RFP). Operators are increasingly looking for a best-of-breed approach in OSS/BSS to avoid lengthy and expensive integration.
By no means were these the only themes of TM Forum Live!, but they were some of the more important ones, in our view. And if operators can get these eight things right, they will be well on the way to digital nirvana.
As the title suggests, this was my first time at TM Forum Live! I learned a lot and would like to thank the companies that took the time to meet with and educate me.
À la prochaine!
— James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst, OSS/BSS Transformation, Heavy Reading