Ericsson solution framework based on TMF standards

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TM Forum Case Study Page 1 June 2010
Ericsson solution framework based on TMF standards

Name of company/ies submitting case study: Ericsson

Location: Germany
Revenue Size/Market Size:
Web links to company/ies submitting case studies: www.ericsson.com

Name of author(s): Basma Driss, Frank Hilbert, Keith Wallis

Authors’ email address(es):
basma.driss@ericsson.com
,
frank.hilbert@ericsson.com
,
keith.wallis@ericsson.com


Contact for further information (to be posted on TM Forum website): Basma Driss

Applicable TM Forum technical areas:
Applicable Industry Areas:
(Please select all categories that apply to your case study.
These categories will be used for placement on the TM Forum website and to make
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VIEWPOINT:
Business Areas Targeted
Service provider perspective X Business Process Management
Software vendor perspective Revenue Assurance
Hardware vendor perspective X Streamlining of OSS
X System integrator perspective Streamlining of BSS
Fraud Management
Service Lifecycle Management
SERVICES: X Fulfillment
Cloud X Fault Management
X Video X Performance Management
X Data Billing Transformation
X VoIP X Network Management
X IPTV Service Modeling
X Voice X Network Inventory Normalization
Other: Service Lifecycle Management
X Integration
X Other: Data migration,
Transformation, Business
Intelligence, New Service
introduction



TM Forum Case Study Page 2 June 2010

Title
Ericsson solution framework based on TMF standards
CASE STUDY SUMMARY:

Please provide a 200 to 250- word summary of your case study


For network operators the integration of the physical infrastructure into service and
business-oriented systems via standardized interfaces is essential in order to secure
revenue and ensure competitiveness.
As a response to these market requirements Ericsson has developed and
implemented an NGOSS-compliant solution framework following eTOM principles
and employing TMF standards for internal and external communication. The
package provides an integration toolset as well as readymade, configurable resource
management and service management modules. Via interface mapping between the
infrastructure and these modules the framework provides the necessary abstraction
to enhance operator workflow whilst simultaneously insulating business-level
systems from network specifics and changes.


FULL CASE STUDY: • Business Problem to be solved:

As a provider of complete network solutions Ericsson operates both as an equipment
vendor as well as a system integrator. The last decade or so has seen Ericsson’s
customers placed under increased commercial pressure due to deregulation, competition
and technical advancements with a consequent need for system integration in order to
streamline their operations. Ideally, network operators require a physical transmission
infrastructure which can be integrated easily into company workflow systems so that
services can be planned, configured, activated and billed with a minimum of human
intervention. Until recently though, there were several significant hurdles to attaining this
goal.
Some typical examples:

• For the management and integration of services which relied on network
resources there were implementation challenges due to the number of proprietary
systems which needed to be integrated into the enterprise workflow systems of
network operators. This could be due to multiple vendors for the same technology
– typically as a result of company purchasing policies – or due to multiple
technologies resulting from network evolution.
• In the security management domain network providers were faced with
administering users separately on different network management systems. Even if
these systems allowed integration into a central security management system the


TM Forum Case Study Page 3 June 2010
integration effort would have to be repeated for each (proprietary) technology. So
the operator had to accept either the penalties of multiple integration effort or user
administration overheads and possibly even reduced overall security.


Adding to the above difficulties was the fact that until comparatively recently, interface
standardization in this domain was limited and required specialist knowledge to apply.
However, the last few years has seen great progress in this area: Practical Web-services
have become a reality so that now interfacing between systems can take place at
application level using well-understood technologies like XML according to TMF
standards.
As a result of the above developments there has been an increased focus on system
integration in the network management space. Consequently, Ericsson required a
software framework which could simplify the overall integration of multi-vendor, multi-
technology subsystems by means of modeling and abstraction as well as providing the
standardized interfaces required by operators. This would reduce the integration effort by
allowing the integrator to focus only on the essential information required by the model
for each task. The new framework would also have to conform to the NGOSS Solution
frameworks (like e. g. eTOM or TAM) to fulfill the requirements of typical tenders.
Figure 1 illustrates how the integration framework uses abstraction to simplify the
interfacing task between the supplier or integrator (Ericsson in this case) and the network
operator.
Solution
Framework
Physical Network
Business World
Reduced No. of
standardized I/Fs
Multiple NEs, I/Fs,
technologies
Telco Domain
Ericsson Domain

Figure 1. Presented Solution Framework for modeling, abstraction and interfacing

• Working towards a solution:


TM Forum Case Study Page 4 June 2010
The “Operations” domain of eTOM Layer 2 provided a guide for the development of the
solution and the initial efforts focused on the areas of Service Configuration & Activation
and Resource Provisioning within the Fulfillment portion of this model. For example in
the area of service provisioning for broadband access networks the number of end users is
large due to the mass deployment of DSL-based services. Particularly for large, multi-
vendor networks the requirements for bulk configuration, activation and modification of
these services cannot be fulfilled effectively by manual processes or vendor-specific
applications. In such cases an integration of the physical network infrastructure into the
service management systems of the operator is imperative in order to achieve a high level
of automation. On the other hand it is not necessary to map all functions of the
infrastructure to the higher level systems – less-used features such as for software updates
can be handled separately.
Similar operator requirements in the eTOM domains of Operations & Readiness and
Assurance were also identified – for example a means of performance data collection
from the physical network to allow active monitoring of network and service quality.
What was needed was an integration framework which could model and abstract the data
which needed to be interchanged between enterprise systems and the physical resources.
Once modeled the enterprise systems would be insulated from changes at the physical
level so that, for example, the introduction of new technology in the network would have
little or no impact at the service level. For smaller operators the platform would serve as a
standalone manager with readymade applications and a GUI to support eTOM processes.
• Solution:
First Steps
The initial rollout of NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK concentrated on fulfilling the
need for broadband service activation for broadband access networks because this was
where the need was greatest. This was conceived as a relatively simple list-oriented
application for modeling service attributes: Subscriber ID, service profile, connectivity
etc. The platform to carry this application was already in existence from Ericsson and key
components of this were re-used. The platform was proven in service and already roughly
aligned to the principles of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) making it ideal for
further development.
eTOM Alignment

The initial version of the of the NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK for broadband
service activation was deployed with success at a large operator and later extended to use
TMF interfaces according to MTOSI in order to communicate both with external systems
as well as internally. Other eTOM-aligned applications for network inventory
management, service assurance and so on were integrated into the framework in a similar
manner. The platform security management is mapped to TMF615 for integration into
external security management systems – this was a topic for a separate case study [1].
The NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK

The resulting product is a flexible management framework which can be used as either
integration middleware or as a standalone resource and service management system using
the built-in applications and Java GUI. The NGOSS principle of loose coupling is used
extensively for the various modules to reduce interdependencies and allow independent
development and extension.


TM Forum Case Study Page 5 June 2010

Resource Abstraction Framework


TM Forum Case Study Page 6 June 2010
As indicated below, the Southbound Adapter SDK can be accompanied by other adapters
for integrating entire EMS/NMS systems into the same framework.
In addition, the Southbound Adapter SDK has been extended to support operator user
management using TMF615. This facilitates the implementation of single sign-on
solutions especially when integrating EMS/NMS or network elements with local identity
management (for example certain IMS nodes like HSS and Application Server) into the
NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK.

Figure 3. Architecture: NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK
• Results:
Compared to previous solutions the NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK demonstrates
considerable improvements for Ericsson as a system integrator and for operators using
the system. As a system integrator and vendor Ericsson had already collected
considerable experience of integrating resources into its own or 3
rd
party systems before
the Southbound Adapter was deployed. For multi-vendor environments the southbound
approach yielded a 50% saving of development/integration time compared to previous
methods. Also the Southbound Adapter SDK is more general purpose and can support
any communication interface on the network resource side including SNMP, CORBA,
Web services and TL1.
The loosely-coupled nature of the NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK is also of great
benefit for customer solutions because modules and adapters can be integrated and
updated independently without having to be compiled into a single, monolithic
architecture. This also translates in time-to-market improvements.
For operators employing the NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK the benefits increase
with the number of technologies and resource vendors which need to be integrated or
managed. This is due to the fact that technologies such as xDSL, ATM, GPON, Ethernet,
IP/MPLS are mapped to a single TMF-conformant interface for multiple vendors with
consequent integration savings. The resource abstraction offered by the Southbound
Adapter SDK and the integrated modules of this NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK
reduce design and implementation time. For example, in a recent case for a large provider
of DSL-based broadband services GPON-technology was introduced without changing


TM Forum Case Study Page 7 June 2010
the (MTOSI) northbound interface between the framework and the provider’s enterprise
systems.
Later this operator added resiliency to the Ethernet platform connecting millions of
subscribers by adding Pseudo-wire over IP/MPLS also retaining the same northbound
interfaces.
The use of TMF standards throughout the NGOSS SOLUTION FRAMEWORK also
brings additional benefits of improved sales due to the fact that these standards are being
demanded specifically in tenders for NGN technology.
Finally, Martin Meyners of Vodafone has stated [2]:”

The implementation of TMF615 in
cooperation with the Ericsson OSS Solution reduces the provisioning time by 79.2%.”

References:
[1] Case Study Ericsson Single Sign On
, Ericsson, June 2010
[2] Case Study OSS Identity Management
, Vodafone D2, Ericsson, IBM, March
2010

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