TM Forum Management World: Ash cloud, Apple do not dampen spirits

Cautious optimism prevailed, even in the face of an ash cloud, howling winds, Obama-generated gridlock, and Apple, as some of the world’s top telecom executives convened to discuss best practices at the TM Forum’s Management World conference in Dublin this week. It’s fair to say that those attending were uniformly realistic about threats from non-traditional competitors in the communications industry as they gathered to do their homework to try to meet industry challenges.


Cautious optimism prevailed, even in the face of an ash cloud, howling winds, Obama-generated gridlock, and Apple, as some of the world’s top telecom executives convened to discuss best practices at the TM Forum’s Management World conference in Dublin this week. It’s fair to say that those attending were uniformly realistic about threats from non-traditional competitors in the communications industry as they gathered to do their homework to try to meet industry challenges.

Attendance was up more than 10% over last year, to 3,500 attendees, with significantly increased participation from Asia and North America, and exhibitors included a large number of firms showing their wares for the first time, according to conference organizer TM Forum. For its part, the organizer unveiled its new Frameworx 11 standards with enhanced security and policy management, introduced new benchmarking software, and of course, named its 2011 Excellence Awards winners – Telstra (city/state), Nokia Siemens Networks (city/state), Chunghwa Telecom (city/state), and Huawei (city/state).

TM Forum CEO Martin Creaner notes that there was a growing fear among service providers that non-traditional competitors – Apple, Microsoft/Skype, Google – would not be constrained by standards. He also points out that adoption of Frameworx is a major organizational objective, and supports telco’s that will compete dynamically in this new environment.

New Frameworx features security provisions that allow for detection and analysis of network security events, as well as policy management that governs the exchange between network domains – supporting a distributed policy environment. Both are key, according to Creaner. “By and large, you [as a consumer] trust your telco. The launch of Frameworx 11 is the result of 10 years of development and input from more than 170 service providers,” he says.

The group’s new benchmarking software is also a part of the Frameworx 11 platform, providing industry-agreed metrics for business performance that should simplify management for service providers. The multi-phased pilot project has now successfully uploaded standardized data into TM Forum’s Benchmarking Database, and is planned to include controls and extensions to the API that will allow service providers to more easily integrate the program.

Telstra received the Operational Excellence Award for Frameworx adoption and management efficiency, Nokia Siemens Networks received the Solutions Excellence Award as the systems integrator to best utilize the program, Chunghwa won the Business Innovation Award as the service provider with the most innovative business model, and Huawei won the Industry Leadership Award as the member company most exemplary of TM Forum’s collaborative activities.