Pieter Pabst, CTO Network Software, STL talks about the APIs sitting at the heart of STL’s BSS stack and how they have added significant value both internally and externally.
My API Story: Taking integration to the next level
Tell us about yourself and your job
Within STL, I’m responsible for our telecommunications software products portfolio as the Network Software CTO. I come with 17 years of experience in telco products and have been involved in communications service provider (CSP) projects all over the world. In the context of TM Forum, I have participated in TM Forum Catalysts and the Open Digital Architecture components program.
Why do you believe in TM Forum’s Open API program?
CSPs traditionally tend to be organizations with complex product models and processes, especially the large Tier 1’s with a decent amount of history.
TM Forum has helped standardize this landscape in multiple ways and I see TM Forum’s Open API program as a logical evolution from the business process framework (eTOM), to applications framework (TAM), to an information framework (SID), leading to a ubiquitous language that allows implementation of tangible models implemented as contractors.
What TM Forum Open APIs are most valuable to your company?
First, the entities that sit at the heart of telco sales and support processes: product (TMF620), order (TMF622), inventory (TMF637) and customer (TMF629). These entities have some level of presence in most applications that together form a BSS stack. Hence the integration synergy is maximized there.
Beyond these core APIs, specific application APIs are offered as stand-alone in best-of-breed play, like TMF654 for our OCS/CHF, TMF676 for our billing, etc. These allow our partners and integrators to easily adopt our applications in a CSPs landscape.
Why did you choose to highlight those APIs?
These APIs sit at the heart of our BSS stack and have added significant value both internally and externally in a full stack best-of-breed offering to our partners.
How do you use those APIs?
The API TMF620 is used to centralize catalog data, TMF622 to order, and TMF629 for customer, so that other applications in the stack can consume that data to present, order, charge, bill. Secondly, these APIs are utilized to expose a standard set of functionalities around offer presentation and selection to digital front ends – apps and self-care portals – thereby increasing the interoperability of our BSS solution with a wide selection of Open API-compliant 3rd party solutions that our customers can choose from.
How have you benefited from using these APIs?
Since we offer a full stack BSS, we need a single place to define products for digital channels and assisted channels (omni-channel), charging and others. By having a single catalog for all systems in supporting processes underpinning learn, buy, get, use, pay and services, helps reduce time to market. Standardizing the API models in contracts allows us to do that both in our internal stack as well as externally with customers and partners. It also allowed for better internal alignment between teams which reduced development cost.
Where do you use them?
We have many BSS deployments of our 7.x version which is TM Forum Open API conformance certified live in MEA, EU and APAC.