MEF and TM Forum Collaborate on Open APIs for Service Automation
MEF and TM Forum have completed initial efforts to ensure that both organizations are aligned to use open standard APIs to automate inter-provider services for digital transformation. This collaboration will help service providers accelerate their transition from operating within limited ecosystems/islands to being integral players in a worldwide federation of networks supporting on-demand digital services across multiple providers.
MEF’s inter-provider LSO Sonata APIs provide several key benefits:
- MEF LSO Sonata APIs automate business-to-business transactions between service providers for address validation, site queries, product offering qualification, product inventory, quoting, ordering, trouble ticketing, etc. LSO Sonata APIs now aligned with TM Forum APIs enable a broader range of providers to interconnect together in a federated model for on-demand ordering and rapid delivery of services.
- MEF LSO Sonata APIs today enable automation of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services, with additional work underway to automate connectivity services such as IP broadband, IP MPLS, Dedicated Internet Access, and 5G that underpin SD-WAN and SASE services at the network edge.
- LSO Sonata APIs also enable multinational and large enterprises to buy services in a standardized, automated way when dealing with multiple service providers globally.
- MEF has defined standardized product payload specifications for MEF 3.0 services that allow product catalogues from different providers to commercially inter-operate and dynamically change without the need to alter their base set of LSO Sonata APIs.
TM Forum and MEF have specifically aligned on the following:
- TM Forum is developing Domain Context Specialization Guidelines that enable MEF LSO Sonata APIs to conform to TM Forum Open API standards.
- TM Forum API tooling is now being used by MEF to build the set of LSO Sonata APIs.
- LSO Sonata API product payloads work in alignment with TM Forum API standards using a polymorphic approach.
- The organizations have established a framework for ongoing collaboration.
“API alignment between MEF and TM Forum paves the way for members of both standards bodies to federate with the confidence and will accelerate service delivery across multiple providers.” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “Automation of inter-provider services – with currently available and planned LSO APIs – ultimately opens up opportunities to offer enterprise customers on-demand/ dynamic connectivity with coveted global reach.”
“CSPs are clear that B2B services will be critical to the success of 5G. This requires CSPs to offer enterprises access to complex solutions to business challenges. CSPs cannot do this on their own, so building out ecosystems of partners to meet the myriad needs of enterprises is essential,” said George Glass, Chief Technology Officer, TM Forum. “Open APIs are an important part of integrating partner capabilities and enabling CSPs to establish, operate and monetize platform-based business models. Both MEF and TM Forum recognized that bringing our APIs into alignment was for the good of the industry.”
“The automation of inter-provider services is crucial to advancing digital transformation,” said Andrew Dugan, Chief Technology Officer at Lumen. “Now that MEF and TM Forum have aligned their APIs, the industry will progress more quickly towards true interoperability and the delivery of integrated, on-demand services across multiple providers.”
“As we lead digital transformation programs for CSPs around the world, we’re seeing firsthand how B2B service providers benefit from the adoption of MEF and TM Forum API standards,” said Dan Ford, SVP & GM of Communications and Media at Salesforce. “They’re launching products faster, reducing lead to order times for Ethernet service from days to minutes and are getting rave reviews from customers. We welcome the growing collaboration between the MEF and TM Forum on Open APIs as it benefits CSPs and technology vendors alike.”
“This new cross-industry alignment is a significant step forward for vendors who must fully conform to Open APIs,” says Ari Banerjee, Vice President of Strategy at Netcracker. “By ensuring compliance to both MEF and TM Forum API standards, CSPs will benefit from faster and simpler service interoperability between carriers.”
MEF LSO Sonata API Adoption
More than 50 service providers are at various stages of evaluation, demonstration, or implementation of MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs.. MEF announced in June 2020 that eight service providers and a multinational enterprise are production-ready.