A new transformative initiative is being developed to standardize Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrating connectivity services across multiple global networks.

This initiative is being spearheaded by MEF and TM Forum, in conjunction with major service providers, including AT&T, Colt Technology Services, Level 3, Orange, Comcast, PCCW Global, Verizon, Sparkle, CableLabs and Kyrio, all of which have recently conducted work at MEF to develop a complete suite of inter-provider LSO APIs that use the MEF LSO Framework and the TM Forum Open API framework.

Standardized APIS are critical for enabling agile, assured and orchestrated Third Network Services over networks that are more automated, virtualized and interconnected.

The inter-provider LSO API standardization work will apply to orchestrating widely deployed MEF-defined Carrier Ethernet services in an international market that is estimated to be worth at least $50 billion. This LSO API standardization work can be utilized in the future for orchestrated optical and IP services defined by MEF, and to advance digital ecosystem orchestration and management work being led by TM Forum.

The API standardization effort is being conducted by MEF in partnership with TM Forum. It’s open to both MEF and TM Forum members. The project centers around the LSO Sonata reference point dealing with the operational management and business interactions between Ethernet service providers. The project will build upon and expand TM Forum’s Open API framework, which is led by nine of the world’s largest service providers, as well as initial API development contributions from Orange, AT&T, CableLabs, Colt and Kyrio.

MEF and TM Forum members are aiming to accelerate inter-provider LSO API standardization by implementing a development process that is more agile, and by leveraging many of TM Forum’s 31 Open API specifications. The members are also looking to underpin Information Framework and architecture, and collaborate beyond organizational boundaries for the wider benefit of the industry.

Project participants are now planning for a special software development sprint in late 2017, which will culminate with the first inter-carrier LSO APIs.

It’s expected that eight LSO Sonata API definitions will be standardized. The first three APIs are expected to be defined in the first round of the project, called “LSO Sonata Release 1,” by the end of this year. The definitions concern address validation, service availability, ordering, quoting, billing, assurance, testing, and change management.

Here is what the API standardization project’s leaders are saying about this critical initiative.

“MEF is delighted to host pioneering inter-provider LSO API standardization work that will help unleash the power of on-demand services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of connected networks. Our collaboration with TM Forum and major service providers is a key step toward automating the $50+ billion Carrier Ethernet services market with LSO and will be foundational for orchestrating IP and wavelength services across many provider networks as well.”

  • Nan Chen, President, MEF

“Transformation of the Carrier Ethernet market is an essential building block in delivering TM Forum’s mission to ensure service providers thrive in the digital market. By leveraging our established Open API framework, digital business architecture, industry standard Information Framework and tools for end-to-end service management and orchestration, we are delighted to partner with MEF and the service provider community to accelerate the pace of industry change.”

  • Nik Willetts, Deputy CEO, TM Forum

“Delivering dynamic on-demand services for our customers is a priority at AT&T. The work we’re doing with MEF, TM Forum, and their members on API standardization will be critical to expanding the value of connected software-defined networking on a global basis.”

  • Roman Pacewicz, Senior VP, Offer Management and Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions

“TM Forum and MEF members are leading the work on inter-provider open API standards. Businesses worldwide are looking for flexible, on-demand Network as a Service (NaaS) solutions that are more responsive to their needs. Orange is excited to collaborate with other industry leaders to create an ecosystem of operationally efficient connected networks that will accelerate our ability to provide these new, innovative digital services to more customers and more locations.”

  • Didier Duriez, Senior VP, Orange Global Solutions for Business, Orange Business Solutions

“Colt believes that working with a group of like-minded industry innovators will unlock the full potential of SDN- and NFV-enabled networks through the development of inter-provider LSO APIs. Our groundbreaking trial with AT&T proved that SDN architectures of different network operators can interoperate successfully using standard APIs. Now we want to build upon that experience in collaboration with MEF and TM Forum members in order to promote the benefits of SDN and NFV across a global fabric of connected provider networks.”

  • Rajiv Datta, Chief Technology Officer, Colt Technology Services

“Service interoperability and automation via standardized interfaces are important components in driving provider agility and a better end-to-end customer experience.  The elastic E-Access API will enable on demand service provisioning. Verizon continues to support MEF LSO development in collaboration with other pioneering innovators. Verizon’s leadership of the elastic E-Access API initiative is part of this commitment.”

  • Shawn Hakl, Vice President of Networking and Security Solutions, Verizon

“Global enterprises need network resources with flexibility, agility and control to create order from the disruptive process of digital transformation. Level 3’s vision is to empower customers to respond to today’s changing business needs by interacting with and creating their own telecom services on demand and in real time based on a holistic view of their network. Organizations like MEF are helping to make that vision a reality by pushing for standardized control interfaces to support seamless network functions, or true network interoperability.”

  • Travis Ewert, SVP of Global Network Software Development, Level 3

“The shift to a service lifecycle supported by standards-based real-time API-driven automation is tremendously compelling as it provides significant operational efficiencies, a greatly enhanced customer experience, and opportunities for more rapid revenue realization.”

  • Allan Langfield, Executive Director, Product Management, Comcast Business Services

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