Embracing Choice and Expanding Market Reach: The Power of API alignment for Wholesale Carriers 

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The wholesale telecoms sector is undergoing a transformative shift towards the provision of dynamic services. The seamless integration of systems and processes across multiple communication service providers (CSPs), and the adoption of standardized APIs are crucial for success. MEF and TM Forum APIs, with their advanced features and broad adoption, play a pivotal role in driving this transformation and enabling dynamic wholesale ecosystems and Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions on a global scale. 

Wholesale carriers, technology vendors and industry organizations are collaborating to build and support a standards-based ecosystem that will accelerate service delivery across multiple providers, speed time to revenue, elevate customer experience and power new innovations like NaaS. To keep pace and ensure a seat at the table, wholesale carriers need to automate wherever possible to boost productivity, compete more effectively and increase business agility. 

Traditionally, wholesale carriers have been held back by the complexity and inefficiency of their configure, price, quote (CPQ) and order management processes. The evolution of any ecosystem is hampered by the existence of a multitude of legacy systems, each potentially with its own proprietary APIs. This lack of standardization leads to interoperability challenges, making it difficult for ecosystem participants to buy and sell from each other.  

With a vast range of services, pricing structures and service-level agreements (SLAs) offered by wholesale carriers, maintaining accurate product catalogs is difficult. Wholesale deals involve complex service configurations and pricing models. Manually generating quotes, validating service availability and verifying SLA compliance can take days or even weeks, leading to delayed service delivery and missed revenue opportunities. 

In addition, the absence of automation hampers the order fulfillment process with order handoffs often requiring error-prone manual interventions with the increased risk of order-fallouts and service activation delays. 

By implementing a CPQ and order management solution that aligns with MEF and TM Forum APIs, wholesale carriers can revolutionize their operations. Providers can natively communicate with both the MEF and TM Forum APIs simultaneously by building on a TM Forum Shared Information Data (SID) model and at the same time leverage MEF APIs. This approach allows CSPs to have multiple integration options with faster quote generation and improved decision-making. 

The primary advantage of adopting both frameworks is the level of optionality it provides to wholesale carriers. This optionality allows them to choose the integration method that best suits their requirements. Wholesale carriers gain the ability to quickly connect with a broader range of customers, ultimately expanding their market reach. 

The automation capabilities enabled by the aligned APIs streamline the entire order management process. Real-time data exchange ensures that service availability and SLA compliance are validated automatically, reducing the time required for order processing. This leads to quicker service activation, improved customer satisfaction, and faster time to market and revenue. 

The combination of TMF and MEF APIs, along with a catalog-driven approach, empowers wholesale carriers to be more flexible, efficient, and adaptable in a dynamic market. The alignment of MEF and TM Forum APIs through the CSG Quote and Order solution offers wholesale carriers the opportunity to overcome their biggest business problem: the complexity and inefficiency of their processes.  

By leveraging the synergy between these two industry-leading frameworks, CSG enables a more innovative, customer-centric and competitive telecommunications landscape.

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Greg Tilton

VP, Catalog, Quote and Order | CSG

Greg Tilton is Vice President, Catalog, Quote & Order at CSG, responsible for product line delivery, support and scalability under the CSG Encompass brand. 

Greg was the founder and CEO of DGIT Systems, a company that provided IT solutions to fixed and mobile carriers worldwide. Under his leadership, DGIT became a prominent player in the telecommunications industry, won multiple awards and contributed to global industry associations such as TM Forum, MEF Forum & FTTH Council. CSG acquired DGIT in 2021.   

Throughout his 20+ years in the telecommunications industry, Greg has been a regular speaker at global events and won numerous awards, including a TM Forum contributor of the year award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and manufacturing systems from RMIT University.