eTOM to CROSS integration? Aligning CROSS with TM Forum standards

28 April 2021

eTOM to CROSS integration? Aligning CROSS with TM Forum standards

eTOM has been around a while, but interoperability has never been more important to support new network and operational automation, and agile service delivery.

eTOM – promoting interoperability for OSS and BSS processes

The Business Process Framework (eTOM) is the result of many years of standardization activity led by the TM Forum. It builds on previous generations of the “Telecom Operations Map” and seeks to provide a common definition of key processes employed by telecoms operators, and how they should interact with each other.

Designed to enhance efficiency, foster interoperability and to help telcos diversify their supply chains, eTOM is now widely adopted and implemented. It has become a default choice for telcos when selecting new solutions to extend or update their OSS / BSS systems.

Enabling best-in-class vendor selection for transformation

As a specialist vendor, CROSS doesn’t supply all of the elements of the OSS and BSS. Instead, we provide best-in-class solutions for specific functions that are covered by the eTOM model. Our inventory management solutions are fundamental to the execution of key eTOM processes and are essential foundational platforms for any NGN OSS / BSS. As a result, we provide TMF compliance through our adherence to the functional and process model defined by eTOM.

The latest version of eTOM has become the de facto starting point for operational transformation. The modularity it enables allows telcos to replace or migrate different processes in the framework at different times, enabling smooth evolution of their OSS and BSS, as well as more comprehensive transformation programs.

Compliant and the foundation of automated service delivery

CROSS aligns to a number of eTOM functional areas. These include:

  • Service and resource inventory
  • Network creation
  • Service provisioning
  • Service assurance
  • Revenue assurance

In turn, these map on to other, related processes, such as “service capability delivery” and “service configuration and activation”. CROSS provides the capabilities required to support these processes, ensuring compliance with eTOM when deployed alongside other solutions that fulfil different processes within the overall framework.

Agile integration for dynamic services

The key to aligning a specific process with any other is integration. In a truly multi-vendor OSS platform, it is essential to ensure that data can be shared efficiently. Like other open platforms, CROSS achieves this via Open APIs that enable data transfer, by both subscription and request. Thus, any one process can obtain the information it requires by requesting it, in real-time from any other.

In turn, this logic is also used by CROSS to ensure that it remains updated, so while other processes can collect information they need from CROSS, CROSS actively synchronizes with other elements to ensure that the data held is consistent and constantly updated.

Transformation depends on interoperability

This matters because, as we mentioned, one of the key principles of eTOM is to promote and support interoperability. There are two reasons why this has become an urgent issue. First, attention has turned to supply chain diversification and the need to adopt a broader set of solutions, from a wider set of vendors. This cannot be achieved without effective interoperability between all such components.

Second, operators are generally moving towards a new cloud-based core, in order to support agile and dynamic service delivery, backed by digital-first delivery models and automation. This is entirely dependent on ensuring that every process is optimized for this environment.

In this context, CROSS provides the data source that enables agile, automated service delivery and management, which can be accessed by any other eTOM process. It offers the consistent, single source of truth on which OSS and BSS processes depend for service activation, fulfilment, delivery and assurance.