Value of Engineering Towards ‘Interoperability’

For a telco organisation, adapting to dynamic and agile business requirements is of high strategic importance especially when considering any type of telco software architecture design for solution delivery. In the current competitive environment, CSPs are faced with endless challenges when launching services. For example, shorter window times are now norm when launching new services based on market demand. Fast evolutions in technology and using non-Open standard software in such instances, in turn increases the risk of non-interoperability between systems.

This means that software engineers and developers need to to ensure software architectures are flexible enough and standardised to adapt and react fast when implementing new business solutions or technical requirements. The main aim of standardisation is to enable interoperability in a multi-vendor, multi-network, multi-service environment.

The presence of interoperability then will become a reason for realising solutions quickly in to market and also a reason to ensure organisations are developing solutions that are actually in demand in the market. Flexible software architectures that are build with higher interoperability will therefore will speed up time-to-market and reduce the need for increased development cost for a business.

Let us also look at how software architectures have evolved over the years below to understand the shift in architectures types that has evolved from the more rigid and monolithic types to micro services-based architectures.

Monolithic Architecture

This is a single indivisible unit that provides the enterprise, the scope of software features. This pattern become a legacy architecture, as it is more rigidand costly when considering adaptability the agility of software design.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

A service-oriented architecture (SOA) is another software architecture style that refers to an application composed of discrete and loosely coupled software agents that performs the required function.

Micro Services Architecture

Micro Service are a type of service-oriented software architecture that focuses on building a series of autonomous independent components that communicates using APIs.

Serverless Architecture

These are micro services which are further broken down in to “functions” as a service for developers to publish as APIs, and without having to worrying about the server infrastructures, in order to run the code for service execution.

The Demand for Interoperability

Telco operators are on a journey towards rapid digital transformation that involves reducing cost for enabling greater innovation. Open APIs help achieve digital architectures that can work across any sector or . However potential barriers to achieving interoperability are many due to unpredictable, sometimes fragmented, market development (e.g. open network versus walled garden approach, intelligent networks versus dumb networks)

The is however an exponential increase in the use of APIs used to counter these challenges in interoperability between systems, all theway across monolithic software architecture models to micro services.

For a Software vendors the API based architecture model provides a collaborative application development environment where any component can be integrated with any other third-party vendor components using APIs

 

On the other hand, this collaborative development environment also leads to an increase in demand for improving integration of systems for higher interoperability between multiple vendor components and APIs.

Plug and Play Software

The TM Forum has introduced the ODA Architecture model that provides a modular, digital software architecture blueprint for CSPs to build their OSS/BSS stack in more standardsed and Cloud-native

method. TM Form’s Open APIs provides an environment for Plug and Play with the ability for a software component in ODA Architecture to be discovered and communicated with other components using standardized Open APIs Wavenet provided the innovation of automated discoverability of Open APIs in this instance.

 

The ODA brings about the opportunity for wavenet and alike software vendors to build plug and play software components which can be then deployed with other third-party software vendor software components to provide full end-to-end use cases with minimal integration effort and cost. Also, for CSPs, this means quick time-to-market of their new services offerings and more agile ways of meeting business requirements.

Wavenet’s Innovation Effort as a Catalyst

Global Wavenet recent innovation effort in building interoperability software is showcase in 2019 TM Forum’s Catalyst program – The BOS Catalyst; a proud vendor collaborating with leading telco CSP organisations dedicated to building markets for plug and play software. TM Forum defines The ODA Canvas as a software-defined blueprint for a Cloud-native operating environment, including release automation of configurations of components. The operating environment will support end-to-end testing and conformance of all components and/or component sets against approved standards

 

Varatharaja Kajamugan
Vice President of Engineering at Wavenet

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