By Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology Officer, MEF
In today’s always-on world, enterprise customers expect to provision, order, and turn up managed network connectivity, and compute, security, and storage services through a single interface quickly and easily. Increasingly complex, high-value digital services are needed to meet these expectations, and service providers often must rely on partners to fulfill the offering beyond their own footprint. Because interaction between partners to complete business functions (i.e., quoting, inventory, trouble ticketing) can require extensive, lengthy, and often error-prone manual intervention, telecom development budgets are increasingly weighted towards automation between service providers and with enterprise customers to deliver real-time managed services and applications. Automation through APIs simplifies interactions, improves customer experience and loyalty (e.g., simplicity of order, service delivery times), and leads to error reduction. What’s more, providers who can quickly support secure, always-on, low-latency and high-bandwidth requirements for digital transformation gain a competitive advantage in the markets they serve.
Cloud-to-cloud interconnection and better user experience
Another important driver of automation is the growing need for cloud-to-cloud interconnection of networks and services to deliver products and services with higher margin revenue. The number and range of elements required to deliver these high-value digital services are generally not available within the inventory of a single service provider due to cost, practicality, and footprint. Services like connectivity, cloud storage, and cybersecurity, for example, require more suppliers working together to source what’s not available within their own inventories resulting in a growing automated global supply chain and real-time interconnection of service provider clouds to supply chain partner clouds to seamlessly deliver services. Working similarly to any supply chain, a buyer (enterprise or service provider), for example, requests a service from a service provider who checks its own inventory for the service. For those not in its inventory the service provider can request, via business automation application programming interfaces (APIs), the needed services from an array of trusted suppliers, and so on.
Cloud-to-cloud interconnected global supply chains using automated APIs enable service providers to:
- Provide innovative solutions globally with an ecosystem of supply chain partners
- Create high-value products that can be delivered quickly, leading to new revenue streams
- Resell unused inventory in real-time
Simplifying the supply chain with open, standardized business automation APIs
Using standardized commercial automation APIs makes it easier and less costly for service providers to do business together. Service providers can invest once in the implementation of standardized APIs and reuse them for a large number of partners for current and future on-demand digital services. Likewise, wholesale partners can invest to once to implement a standardized set of APIs to appeal to a much larger set of potential retail service provider customers. When interactions like quoting, ordering, and inventory are simplified, services can be delivered across a global supply chain with cloud-like speed. The more available partners in the supply chain, the greater the ability to participate in an effective revenue-generating supply chain.
To achieve an effective revenue-generating supply chain widescale adoption of a set of business automation APIs by as many potential buyers and sellers as possible is required. MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) APIs define open, standardized business automation and product and service schemas designed to maximize supply chain interoperability and can be implemented and used by anyone. In addition, MEF offers tools, resources, and programs to support providers’ implementation journey.
Learn more about MEF LSO Sonata adoption and implementation resources.
Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology Officer, MEF
MEF CTO Pascal Menezes is a proven technology thought leader, sales evangelist, product manager and seasoned IP architect with decades of experience in internetworking, next-generation information systems, and communication architectures. At MEF Pascal is focused on SD-WAN, SASE, cloud scale architectures, real-time media networks, Software Defined Networks (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO). He is a former Principal from Microsoft Skype for Business Global Carrier Group where he spent close to 10 years working on many real-time media and network technologies. Pascal has worked on five startups with multiple successes, has received numerous industry global thought leadership awards, presented extensively in numerous events worldwide, and currently serves on the Capacity Media Editorial Board. Pascal holds 30+ patents and patents pending and has co-authored many standards in the IETF, MEF, and Broadband Forum (MPLS).