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P1106
E-commerce Impacts on Service and Network Operations and Management
closed
For further information please contact:

Anastasius Gavras
Project Supervisor
EURESCOM
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about?

Background for the Project

Current practice for the automation of Telco Service and Network Management (S&NM) has focussed on the use of telecom and IT platform technologies. In the last year there has been a dramatic increase in interest in e-commerce and a rapid rise in the number of practical products from multiple vendors aimed at supply chain integration.

Several Telcos have experimented with web based front ends (B2C) to deliver services to their customers. However there is a realisation that the new Telco business models require more complex supply chains (B2B) and that the benefits of e-commerce cannot be realised without major changes to the technology operation of S&NM systems themselves. These changes are needed for organisational technology and business reasons - such as achieving required QoS of service provision. This probably needs the adoption and use of e-commerce for internal systems interfaces within a Telco, and amongst its businesses. In turn, this implies the need for intelligent automation and assistance.

What is needed is:

  1. A broad study of e-commerce and related techniques and technologies and identify the major high level executive issues that must be tackled (for example P908 tackled e-commerce gateway issues but not e-commerce hubs). This will be used to highlight the business and organisational impacts.
  2. Requirements and a definition of an Internet compliant framework that supports e-commerce based service delivery - e2-OSS. This will be based upon a survey and adaptation of suitable industry activities: such as the NGOSS work in the TMF. The framework will be defined to the extent necessary to support a procurement or development of the components.
  3. Practical evaluation of the framework by two case studies:. One Case study will be wire-line based e.g. xDSL Service Operations including Unbundled Local Loop; the second case study will be a mobile/fixed-mobile based demonstration. The demonstration will be aimed at an understanding the evolution of the Framework, supplier capabilities and the technology.

Why is the work being done by EURESCOM now?

Definitions of terms:

  • E-Business: Process Interactions between business systems belonging to different companies. It covers any kind of business and any kind of process such as information sharing, negotiating, publishing, ordering, tracking, etc.
  • E-Commerce B2B: Trading processes between business by selling and or buying physical and logical goods between both small and large businesses using both retail and wholesale relationships. This trading may include intermediaries such as agents, auctioneers, etc.

E-commerce for Telco operators is going to be a critical technology for service delivery (in particular for new telecommunication services). Its intrinsic requirements like security and reliability cannot be fully satisfied by the current state of the art for service and network management. This project will define and assess the best framework to allow Telco operators to be able to manage these new challenges in the e-business context, by capitalizing Operator's experiences in traditional network and service management.

Moreover European Operators will be able to find their own way to approach these challenges in the European context (e.g. trying to improve and revise TMF NGOSS that is mainly US oriented). This will be made effective by means of early releases of related deliverables during the project.

The potential benefits to Shareholders are:

  • A common reference framework of an e-Telco Network and Service Management issues to be used within the EURESCOM context to set up e-commerce B2B relations among Operators;
  • A common understanding of e-commerce SLA issues in B2B relations among operators;
  • ideas and guidelines regarding the evolution of the Telco Network and Service Management Operations and Processes;
  • understand the common support services needed to support the applications of e-commerce to Service and Network Management;
  • ideas and guidelines regarding the most promising internet software technologies/products and indications about the requirements of system integration of new technologies/products;
  • a better position towards the vendors in promoting network and service management standardized solutions, beneficial to all Shareholders;
  • A common understanding and position amongst the Shareholders which will give strength in the needed cooperation with other fora (e.g. TeleManagement Forum).

Focus of the work

The project focuses on the impacts of e-business on network and service management, individuating the big changes in B2B relations (interconnection/wholesale market), core processes, organizational issues and OSS architecture.

Modeling internet-based B2B solutions from the telco perspective should help to identify challenges and opportunities for Telcos, delivering the three main areas of business impact (supply-chain management, organizational efficiency, customer relationship management) and keeping up to date with trends in net markets.

The project will then cover the following different kinds of activities:

  • Definition and assessment of network and service management processes and architecture ("framework") of an e-Telco, covering also organizational and operational issues;
  • Validation of this new framework through the development and the assessment of some business case studies, concerning innovative services and e-commerce solutions in new wave networks, especially investigating the implications on provisioning process and SLA management activities;
  • Analysis and benchmarking of enabling internet software COTS products, with support and participation of leading vendors (Cisco, HP, Cambio Inc., Portal Software Inc., Active Software, ...);
  • Laboratory experiments and prototyping on the defined case studies, with active support and participation of selected vendors;
  • Program management for e-commerce related EURESCOM projects

What are the main objectives of this Project?

The main objectives of this proposal are to:

  • Assess the impact of e-commerce methods and technologies on Operations Support Systems by:
  • Studying the existing products and the available technologies through interaction with vendors.
  • Studying business and process models and relationships with the actors involved. Analysis of the relationship with the existing sale channels.
  • Studying what kind of wholesale products/services can be sold through e-commerce channel.
  • Studying possible reference scenarios: clearing house, hub, marketplace, ...
  • Develop a New e-commerce Framework for Service and Network Management OSS that:
  • provides a reference framework in terms of organizations and systems for building network and service management solutions, covering fulfillment (provisioning), assurance (management, operations) and billing processes in the new e-commerce environment; this framework should allow for projected future requirements and emerging technologies;
  • Supports performance aspects such as SLA and Jeopardy management.
  • Assesses current and foreseen enabling software products (e.g. plug & play software, ICT information bus, workflow management systems, agent software), following a "commercial off the shelf" (COTS) approach, and define integration methods to allow a graceful deployment of new network and service management systems, architecture and processes in an internet environment;
  • Allows integration with the legacy environment in place for wholesale services, from the systems and processes points of view.
  • Validate that framework by application to case studies that:
  • Allow EURESCOM Shareholders to collectively evaluate the suitability of commercial software products to support this internet-based network and service management framework, and identify requirements for future commercial products so as to stimulate and guide their development;
  • Allow Shareholders and Vendors together to realize a prototypal management framework, and to carry out laboratory based interoperability trials of products (case study field trials).

What are the key results of this Project?

    The key results of the project are:

  • a set of constraints for the evolution of the Network and Service Management, that can be derived from the massive usage done by the actors involved in the "telecommunication game" of Internet based technologies;
  • a set of guidelines for the evolution of the Network and Service Management in the e-business era, considering both the constraints defined and the necessity to reduce costs and increase efficiency;
  • a new reference framework (in terms of organizations, processes and systems) for building e-commerce compliant network and service management solutions, with guidelines for designing brand new solutions and integrating new components with legacy systems;
  • a selection (with benchmarking) of COTS products and suites that can be purchased on the market and efficiently integrated by Shareholders in their own innovative management and e-commerce implementations;
  • a common understanding with suppliers on requirements for future COTS products and suites;
  • a practical demonstration of products and technologies for the implementation of the framework and e-business trades;
  • the definition of common understanding and position amongst the Shareholders as a key contribute to other fora (e.g. TMF).

What relationship exists to other organisations or bodies?

The project is developing relationship with several other EURESCOM projects in the area of e-commerce, m-commerce and open service architectures. Furthermore it is developing a relationship to the Telemanagement Forum and several vendors.

Project Results
 
Deliverable Tiltle  No Planned issue date
Overview of e-commerce impacts on telecommunications management

D1(A)

published Dec 2001
Telecommunications B2B problem statement and requirements

D1(B)

published Dec 2001
State-of-the-art in e-commerce technology

D1(C)

published Dec 2001
Realising Next Generation e-Business Communication Service Supply Chains

D2

published
Framework (e2-OSS) for integrating e-commerce technology with Service and Network Management
Part 1: e2OSS Framework Overview and Report

Part 2: e2OSS Framework – Process and Systems Technology Guidelines
Part 3: e2OSS Framework - Security Guidelines

D3

published Jan 2003
Paper Case Study
Part 1: Overview & Summary of Results

Part 2: Detailed Case Study Descriptions

D4

published Jan 2003
Practical Case Study: Applying e2OSS Framework to Telco supply chain scenarios – B2B Trust Service Provider Demonstration

D5

published Jan 2003
Project achievements and results

D6

published Jun 2003
IP QoS Validation and testing (VV&T) Results

D7

published Jan 2003