It’s happening! Two large organizations supporting service-provider technology efforts, the MEF and the TM Forum, have agreed to collaborate on programs to push new technology for orchestrating and coordinating dynamic services in networks.
This has been a broad topic of discussion in the service-provider industry, as large global operators struggle with the many new standards associated with Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), and Software Defined Networking (SDN) — and how they can fit together to deliver a more open, streamlined way of delivering services.
The MEF and TM Forum’s collaboration will include coordination on NFV, LSO, and NFV work streams; a proof of concept demonstration at the TM Live event in Nice, France, in June; and the MEF’s use of TM Forum’s Digital Services Toolkit. You can read more about it from the TM Forum, here.
The collaboration is important because service providers expend time and energy tracking the standards and intiatives by both the MEF and TM Forum, and some have remarked that it would be better if the two organizations worked together. Service provider executives have told The Rayno Report in recent interviews that they are increasingly bewildered by the number of standards organizations and the various ways they support next-generation technologies such as NFV and SDN.
This will have a big effect on the Operation Support Systems (OSS) market, where software is implemented to help service providers provision, track, fulfill, and bill for services. The OSS sector is largely made up of aging, proprietary software that needs to be upgraded. That was one of the conclusions of The Rayno Report’s research, in which we collaborated with the MEF on a groundbreaking survey, “Emerging Dynamic ‘Third Network’ Services & the Role of LSO.”
The research revealed that big changes were coming to the OSS market and that LSO would become a multibillion-dollar market as it takes hold as a new concept, employing network standards to deliver customer-provisioned, dynamic services, often using Web portals. There is strong demand from service providers to increase the agility and flexibility of dynamic enterprise data services. They see the deployment of next-generation LSO software — which handles integrated orchestration, fulfillment, control, performance, assurance, usage, analytics, security, and policy of enterprise networking services — as the way to do that.
I plan to speak to the TM Forum today or tomorrow, and I’ll update you on the news as it comes in.