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TM Forum’s DTW Recap

September 23, 2022 - Tamara Blanche

An overview of the TM Forum's DTW 2022 in Copenhagen & the main takeaways from the event - including announcements, and the activities

The TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World 2022 event at the Bella Arena in Copenhagen has been dubbed a success by all in attendance. Participants came from every corner of the globe to partake in the event following the almost 3-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

With over 3100 attendees, of which 875 CSPs, and a handful of sponsors – including Amdocs as a Diamond Sponsor alongside AWS – the forum involved over 250 speakers in the versatile panel discussions. The most promising 20 startups in the space, as well as vendors showcasing their latest tech, and over 146 companies compromising the industry catalysts group. In typical TM Forum fashion, the underlying theme promoted collaborations, and partnerships across job titles, sectors, and industries toward a more unified, comprehensive, and cohesive approach to digital transformation. Further underscoring the critical role that members of the telco community play in ensuring the quality of services, and products, and further enabling innovation for businesses and enterprises.

The talks ranged in scale and topics spanning from the main stage panels to smaller campfire chats addressing the hottest topics in the industry from network capabilities to ESG, as well as headline-worthy announcements, and expert insights into market predictions for the near future. These talks were broken down into 3 highly focused summits: tech, growth, and the data and AI ops. Other activities included city tours organized by the TM Forum, networking opportunities for pass-holders, excellence awards to the most promising players within the space, as well as masterclasses, and innovation labs focused on the future promises within the space.

The 40 teams of over 600 individuals in the TM Forum Catalysts group were responsible for solving shared challenges with forward-thinking solutions. Namely around autonomous networks and zero-touch trusted AI, as well as further enabling 5G for driving real change in talent acquisition, digital marketplaces, and customer experiences. The Vendors, including Amdocs, were given the platform to exhibit their latest products driving 5G, AI, and various automated network functions even further. Exhibiting solutions pertaining to upgrading network features around the variety of cloud setups, 5G, 6G, and a spectrum of capabilities that can be integrated into existing systems for enterprises, service providers, and customer experiences. Amdocs showcased several 5G and AI-driven tech addressing real-world problems and customer experiences through premium services. These included how 5G can provide farmers with real-time insights into the health of their crops, exhibiting virtual capabilities such as a virtual tour of Dubai and Formula 1 experience, exemplifying the unique services that CSPs can offer customers through 5G and partner collaborations. 

 There were plenty of product launches from members of the TM Forum. Most notably, the announcement of the development and adoption of its Open Digital Architecture (ODA). Co-created by over 1700 professionals from over 350 TMF member companies, this defines an agreed set of reusable software building blocks capable of creating, managing, and safeguarding any digital service. The goal of this is to recalibrate the velocity of DevOps teams to enable them to navigate the journey to cloud-native software that can significantly improve time to market, enhance customer experiences and reduce costs to scale simultaneously. The pilot of the ODA Component Directory was showcased at the event to mark the commitment by over 40 market-leading software providers that have mapped their products accordingly. Offering more transparency on conformance to component specifications, particularly with the 67 Open APIs. Having already achieved industry-wide adoption with over 560,000 downloads globally, over 460 conformance-certified implementations by 50 leading CSPs. As it stands, there are 17 alpha versions of this already available.

The detailed overview of this new initiative is best encapsulated in a new white paper penned by the CSPs and vendors involved, titled Autonomous Networks: Empowering digital transformation – from strategy to implementation. This new, standardized approach for the operation of autonomous networks (AN) via ‘intent’ means that Open APIs enable AI to run the network without human intervention. The 3 main initiatives driving the next level of Open API standardization and conformance include:

  1. Real World Certifications: independently validating conformance of Open APIs for live implementations whilst enabling confidence and transparency among service providers & their partners – with Tecnotree & MTN being of the first to achieve this joint certification
  2. Domain Context Specialization (DCS): an approach aimed at standardizing the extensible design of Open APIs to allow for the same API applicability in a myriad of use cases and enables simplification of deployment in specific applications like 5G slicing & wholesale access. Standards Development Organizations will also be permitted to use this in developing application-specific payloads within this framework
  3. Asynchronous (Async) APIs & OAS 3.0 support: with the continuously evolving Open APIs for supporting the latest tech & architectural needs, new upgrades from Forum members within the Forum Labs enable both improved security and simplified structure for reusability.

In addition to ODA, the TM Forum has also launched the Inclusion and Diversity Score (IDS) – the world’s first comprehensive score aimed at improving company and industry-wide diversity and inclusion. Also co-created by TMF members, this facilitates digital service enterprises to “win the war on talent” by improving, maintaining, and nurturing talent and organizational culture. Aside from providing benchmark-ready scoring – a single metric measuring a company’s standing using machine learning (ML) – it also quantifies and self-reports an enterprise’s leadership compared with demographics including gender, ethnicity, racial diversity, as well as LGBTQ+. Developed and overseen by the TMF’s Diversity and Inclusion Council led by Colt Technology Service’s CEO, Keri Gilder, in a trial period over the last 8 months with 15 pilot companies, insights highlighted the impact of affinity groups’ sense of inclusion as playing a significant role in increased productivity and overriding the perceived problematic situations of language barriers among other challenges

Centered around developing products that put people first whether as customer experience or talent acquisition solutions, the TM Forum has made it clear: the new era of intelligent digital transformation is upon us and at its core is the individual user. As Samit Banerjee, Division President of Amdocs Cloud Operations Services, put it best when he echoed the overall sentiment inherent throughout the conference, “we don’t think of ourselves, we think of the customer”

 

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