Automation Service Orchestration

Incognito to Help Eliminate B/OSS Silos with TM Forum Catalyst Project

By Incognito on September, 16 2022

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Incognito is proud to continue our legacy of participation in TM Forum's highly respected Catalyst Program which, in recent years, has spurred a catalog of innovative projects. Many of these have been developed into commercial solutions.

This year, we're excited to contribute to TM Forum's Converged access for ODA (Open Digital Architecture) project, named "Best new Catalyst in show" at Digital Transformation World 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. This award-winning project aims to eliminate the silos present in traditional operational and business support system (OSS/BSS) architectures – enabling service providers and vendors to better monetize their investments and to improve business flexibility for customers.

What is a Catalyst?

Before we dive into the ODA project, let's talk briefly about what exactly a TM Forum Catalyst is.

If you're familiar with the phrase "a catalyst for change", you’ve already got the general idea. TM Forum Catalysts generate proof-of-concept ideas that innovate to solve common industry challenges, offering the following benefits:

  • Dramatically accelerated innovation, with an R&D cycle typically five times faster than in-house proof-of-concept projects.
  • Validation by communications service providers (CSP) and industry stakeholders.
  • Guaranteed scalability, reuse across multiple applications, and reduced costs and risk, by leveraging key TM Forum best practices and standards.

Catalyst participants – which is Incognito's role – develop solution design and deliver a proof-of-concept demonstration.

What is ODA and what does it offer?

Currently, multiple access technologies lead to many B/OSS stacks with disparate network protocols, fragmented standards, standalone product teams, and lots of duplication, with business impacts including:

  • Massive IT costs
  • Service level agreement (SLA) misses
  • Delayed launches of B2C, B2B, and enterprise products

From a customer standpoint, the underlying siloed structures and architecture of telco access technologies can require an understanding of multiple technology offers and deep technical terms just to manage their Internet services.

TM Forum ODA is a new approach to building software for the telecoms industry. Replacing traditional operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS), it transforms business agility, customer experience, and operational efficiency by creating simpler IT solutions that are easier and cheaper to deploy, integrate, and upgrade.

By hiding the complexity of the access network, overlaying value-added applications, and defining more customer-focused products, ODA allows CSP product managers to translate customer intent into the best technology available for their location, and meet their needs in a simple, straightforward way.

TM Forum's Converged access for ODA Catalyst

This catalyst aims to provide a model to simplify, converge and reduce the costs of managing access networks, by providing telcos with an open converged solution across multiple access domains – cable, FTTx, or wireless.

This project truly offers win-win benefits to both service providers and their customers.

The Scenario

Imagine a customer who is moving to a new home and wants to port their existing service to their new address. They don't care about the mode of delivery – whether it's over fiber, mobile, DSL, or Metro Ethernet – as long as they receive the same type and level of service they currently have.

To the customer this may seem like a simple request, however, for many service providers, it's anything but. Faced with internal silos caused by multiple access technologies, standards, and EMSs (element management systems), as well as vendor lock-ins, the CSR (customer service representative) may not know how to fulfill the customer request, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction, and opening the door for the customer to move to an alternative provider.

By using TM Forum Open APIs (application programming interface), Incognito and our partners in this Converged access for ODA Catalyst facilitate converged service fulfillment with an OSS solution to provision services on the network.

The customer gets the service they want – increasing the subscriber experience and retention rate – the CSR can quickly and easily help their customer, and behind the scenes, the CSP enjoys simplified integration, reduced ownership and operational management costs, and improved business agility and time to market.

Incognito's role

By leveraging the strength of our Converged OSS Service Fulfillment Portfolio, Incognito reduces the cost and time required to launch new products with:

  • Converged, closed-loop service provisioning for multi-domain, multi-vendor network environments.
  • Service pre-qualification checks.
  • Codeless and in-built business process modeling.

Good for business

By eliminating technology silos with access-agnostic-OSS and leveraging open APIs and standardized protocols north and southbound, Incognito's solution facilitates quick configuration of new products and/or services to automate any network with increased flexibility and efficiency.

Good for customers

At the same time, CSP customers can easily secure the service they want, without unnecessary complications or the need for in-depth access technology knowledge. This builds a satisfied, loyal customer base, reducing churn and providing the opportunity for future value-added sales.

By delivering true standards-based, access-agnostic, platform convergence, ODA is designed to enable service providers to simplify and automate existing operations, and Incognito is delivering the expertise to make this happen.

Continuing the journey: Converged Access with ODA – Phase II

Building on our award-winning efforts in 2022, Incognito is proud to introduce the next chapter: the Converged Access with ODA – Phase II catalyst. As the telecoms industry leaps forward with advancements in 5G, IoT (Internet of things), and NaaS (network-as-a-service), we recognize the growing demand for guaranteed service performance, especially from small and medium businesses (SMBs) seeking secure, reliable, and affordable services.

Phase II of our project delves deeper into the convergence of B/OSS systems, offering a centralized solution to efficiently manage diverse network technologies. This phase is about breaking down technology silos, streamlining processes, and prioritizing service quality. By integrating Incognito's suite of automated OSS solutions – MAP, BCC, DX, SAC – with industry standards and advanced protocols, we ensure seamless connectivity and service quality, automatically selecting the optimal network technology based on customer needs and SLA requirements.

What Phase II means for service providers

The SMB market is burgeoning, projected to reach a staggering US $800 billion by 2027. To tap into this lucrative market and drive revenue, service providers need solutions that guarantee service continuity across various accesses. Our Phase II catalyst showcases how to overcome challenges in network management, offering a way to reduce network access costs by 30 percent and achieve considerable energy savings through cloud-native solutions and on-demand services. The integration of multiple network technologies into a single B/OSS stack not only results in IT cost savings but also elevates the overall quality of experience, enabling service providers to efficiently cater to the SMB market with a solution that aligns with their financial and quality needs.

We are also thrilled to announce that Phase II has been named a finalist for three Catalyst team awards, a testament to our ongoing dedication to innovation and excellence in the telecom industry.

Award-winning project: A legacy of innovation

As we continue to forge new paths in the telecom sector, Incognito remains committed to delivering cutting-edge solutions that address the dynamic needs of service providers and their customers. Our journey with the TM Forum Catalyst project stands as a beacon of our innovation and impact, and we look forward to further advancements and successes in this ever-evolving landscape.

Contact us to find out how we can support you in improving business efficiency and customer satisfaction.

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