New MEF Research Finds Plug-and-Play Business APIs Transforming Dynamic Services Landscape
Inaugural State of the Industry report examines drivers and business case propelling widespread global adoption of standardized APIs to automate business functions between service providers
LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2023 – MEF, a global industry association of network, cloud, and technology providers accelerating enterprise digital transformation, announced it has published “State of the Industry Report: Paradigm Shift – Automating Business Functions Between Service Providers,” one of the industry’s most comprehensive research efforts to date on service automation. The report provides invaluable insight on the industry’s transition towards a fully automated and dynamic service delivery system. This shift is driven by standardized business APIs with high fidelity (e.g., tightly defined context), interoperability, and extensibility that allow service providers to scale efficiently with many partners and services without the need for repeated investment.
“Increasingly next-generation services like Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions will be delivered across an ecosystem of many providers, from retail and wholesale service providers, to hyperscalers, to technology solution providers, and so on, and the networks supporting these services will be fully API-driven,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “For this to happen, standards-based automation is required throughout the entire supply chain where all parties adopt a common, standardized set of APIs at both the business process and operational levels.”
MEF’s inaugural State of the Industry report provides in-depth analysis of the current state of service delivery, and explores adoption trends, challenges, and integration with additional new technologies such as blockchain and intent-based networking. The report draws attention to the paradigm shift taking place in the communications industry as more companies embrace automation to streamline their business functions, improve operational efficiency, and accelerate time to revenue. Areas where automation can provide significant benefits are identified within the report, including customer service, billing and settlement, and supply chain management.
Key findings show that service providers implementing standardized business APIs can:
- realize an average 25% reduction in order cycle times,
- speed time to revenue for each MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) API-enabled order,
- boost revenue opportunities by becoming a preferred partner,
- implement multiple LSO APIs in as little as 3-5 months with the help of LSO solution providers.
“Enterprise requirements for cloud-like experiences are driving industry transformation to secure dynamic services across a global ecosystem of automated networks. Secure NaaS platforms, for example, are particularly reflective of this trend as they combine on-demand connectivity, application assurance, cybersecurity, and multi-cloud-based services,” said Stan Hubbard, Principal Analyst, MEF. “MEF research reveals that over 122 service providers worldwide are now in some stage of the LSO adoption lifecycle. With LSO Sonata APIs service providers can transition from manual processes and isolated islands of customized APIs to an open, interoperable standards model that enables plug-and-play reuse of APIs with any partner and service with minimal additional cost and effort.”
MEF’s “Paradigm Shift – Automating Business Functions Between Service Providers” report is a valuable resource for industry professionals seeking to stay up to date on the latest developments in automated network technologies and the role of standardized APIs. Download the report here. Find more information on LSO, including resources to support the LSO implementation lifecycle—from business case development to implementation support – here.
MEF is a global industry association of network, cloud, and technology providers working together to accelerate enterprise digital transformation through a better-together ecosystem. MEF delivers service standards, LSO frameworks and APIs, and training and certification programs for services, technologies, APIs, and professionals. The MEF 3.0 Framework enables automated delivery of standardized Carrier Ethernet, IP, Optical Transport, SD-WAN, SASE, and other services across multiple provider networks. For more information and to hear the latest Executives at the Edge podcast visit MEF.net and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Melissa Power, MEF
Here’s what MEF members have to say about MEF’s State of the Industry report:
“This report comes at a time when Enterprise networks are now wholly reliant on the services of many providers, where each provider hosts their respective services in their own network/infrastructure, and they interconnect with other providers in globally distributed colocation sites. The only way to manage such Enterprise networks is for all providers involved to adopt common standards for plug-and-play interoperability between their respective BSS/OSS systems. MEF LSO standard processes and APIs were specifically designed to address this need and are now a must-have for providers.” – Michael Kearns Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Amartus
“Blue Planet (a division of Ciena) is committed to MEF and the adoption of LSO Sonata APIs that drive Intercarrier use cases. We see Intercarrier adoption accelerating within the service provider community, driven by a variety of use cases spanning enterprise, service provider, hyperscaler and OTT provider. The evolution of mature standards is key to this ongoing adoption and standardization. The role that MEF plays in driving both standardization and adoption is key in enabling interoperability between various BSS & OSS systems.” – Kailem Anderson, Vice President, Portfolio and Engineering, Blue Planet, a division of Ciena
“The telecommunications industry is experiencing an exciting phase of growth, where operators and partners embrace automation and lean on APIs to create an open environment for collaborative innovation. Building standards on our collective expertise is key to enabling scalable consistency and seamless interoperability among ecosystem partners. CSG proudly contributes to the evolution of MEF’s LSO Sonata APIs as we simplify integration and empower new partnerships. This also paves the way for a plug-and-play partner system and unlocks dynamic growth opportunities from the start.” – Greg Tilton, Vice President, Catalogue, Quote & Order, CSG.
“At CloudSmartz, we bring unique value to the MEF LSO solution partner ecosystem by combining our experience in digital transformation, automation, and self-service marketplace transactions through Acumen360™ to accelerate the adoption of LSO APIs. Our focus on optimizing existing processes, stabilizing operational expenses, and enabling lean teams drives operational efficiencies and accelerates revenue growth. By synchronizing our efforts with service providers and LSO solution partners who share our mission of automation, we are driving the industry faster towards a more innovative, efficient, and profitable future.” – Matthew Ray, Chief Marketing Officer, CloudSmartz
“Companies that are shifting from manual processes and proprietary APIs often face several challenges when it comes to network automation and digital transformation. One of the key ways that Console Connect helps service providers automate their business functions is by providing a single platform that connects teams to a global collaborative ecosystem of network and cloud providers based on standardized MEF LSO APIs. With our partnership with MEF, Console Connect is contributing to the process of standardizing APIs that will help automate the business processes with multiple network providers.” – Frederick Chui, Chief Commercial Officer, PCCW Global/Console Connect
“Inter-carrier APIs are seen as a critical component for a wholesale business transformation because they are deemed to be a key enabler for wholesale carriers to build and operate services across multiple partner networks in real-time. The challenge so far in the telecoms industry is that it has always been the largest players that have been able to develop and implement network APIs. This has left many of the small but critical players locked out of the API ecosystem. We are glad to be using our experience and expertise to offer service providers of all sizes MEF LSO API technologies and deployments that accelerate implementation of LSO Sonata APIs. Through MEF’s solution provider program, we can work with service providers to free up internal resources, resulting in faster time to revenue for the entire telecoms ecosystem. With this in mind Enxoo is proud to sponsor the 2023 MEF Industry report.” – Maciej Simm, Head of Innovation Pillar, Enxoo
“Open APIs play an important role in achieving the industry’s service automation goals. Delivering dynamic services across a broad ecosystem of partners necessitates standard APIs to overcome the sheer complexity of interconnecting systems. As the leader in orchestration and automation solutions, we understand the importance of simplifying this integration to bring new levels of agility and innovation. MEF plays a very critical role in making this a reality, and Netcracker is happy to collaborate with its members to drive the industry forward.” – Ari Banerjee, Senior Vice President, Netcracker Technology
“Sage shares a strong commitment with MEF to see the telecommunications industry transition to automated, frictionless intercarrier operations. We are passionate about providing innovative solutions for our clients to accelerate digital transformation and streamline operations, allowing them to realize the efficiencies gained with blockchain in a secure environment. Collaborating with MEF has empowered us and our clients to move confidently towards an automated ecosystem with standards built upon the industry’s collective expertise.” – April Taylor, Senior Vice President of Blockchain, Sage Management
“Salesforce Customer 360 for Communications leverages MEF LSO solutions to help simplify transactions and facilitate the discovery, negotiation, ordering and management of services. At Salesforce, we are focused on helping every service provider become a customer company by empowering them with the best technology. The MEF LSO solutions facilitate automated interconnectivity across the ecosystem of providers which are required in today’s complex world. And as real-world applications of Generative AI are taking hold for our customers with Einstein GPT, we are excited to be working with MEF and its members to deliver enhanced automation solutions and help them drive success in a trusted ecosystem.” – David Fan, Vice President & General Manager, Communications Cloud, Salesforce
“It’s an exciting time in the telecom OSS space and Synchronoss is thrilled to partner with MEF in sponsoring this State of the Industry report. As an OSS service provider serving global carriers and enterprises, we needed a path to evolve from legacy ASOG and LSOG standards to newer industry supported APIs like LSO Sonata. This broadly accepted and flexible standard enables our ConnectNX order lifecycle management platform to support an array of services and markets, from a carrier-to-carrier perspective as well as an enterprise-to-carrier perspective, all leveraging a common set of LSO APIs. We look forward to MEF’s continued adoption and to helping to drive the evolution of network commerce across the industry.” – Christian Auzias De Turenne, Senior Director of Product, Synchronoss
“TransUnion is proud to contribute to the growth and adoption of MEF’s LSO Sonata APIs by implementing them into our TruContact Universal Order Connect solutions. Our solutions streamline and automate the buying and selling of intercarrier connectivity services in order to create a more automated, frictionless business environment between service providers.” – John Denemark, Senior Vice President, Carrier Provisioning, TransUnion