Automation is a Must Have for Service Providers

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF

Bio: MEF CTO Pascal Menezes is a proven technology thought leader with decades of experience in internetworking, next-generation information systems, and communication architectures. At MEF Pascal is focused on SD-WAN, SASE, cloud scale architectures, real-time media networks, Software Defined Networks (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO). He is a former Principal from Microsoft Skype for Business Global Carrier Group (Teams) where he spent close to 10 years working on many real-time media and network technologies. Pascal has worked on five startups with multiple successes, has received numerous industry global thought leadership awards, presented extensively in numerous events worldwide, and has served on many technology advisory boards. Pascal holds 30+ patents and patents pending and has co-authored many standards in the IETF, MEF, and Broadband Forum (MPLS).

As digital transformation accelerates, automated networks are more important than ever. Enterprise customers expect to order and turn up managed network connectivity, compute, security, and storage services through a single interface quickly and easily. To meet these expectations, service providers offer increasingly complex, high-value digital services often delivered through a similarly complex ecosystem of partners.  It’s no surprise then that automated interactions between partners to complete business functions like quoting, ordering, inventory, and trouble ticketing continue to be a critical area of importance for service providers.

Automation through APIs simplifies interactions, improves customer experience and loyalty, and leads to outage reduction by eliminating human error misconfigurations. Services like connectivity, cloud storage, and cybersecurity, for example, require suppliers to work together to source what’s not available within their inventories in order to provide a complete solution to the subscriber. The result is a growing automated global supply chain of real-time interconnections between partner networks to seamlessly deliver all kinds of services. What’s more, automation can be applied to many functions, including traditional retail-to-wholesale global access connectivity, accessing partner cybersecurity functions, and security operations center for security responses to potential breaches.  

Open, standardized commercial automation APIs provide a common structure for digital communication, making it easier and less costly for service providers to do business together. Automating business and operational functions via APIs helps eliminate manual processes, reduce errors, and speed service delivery. In addition, standardized APIs like those offered by MEF allows service providers to invest once in their implementation and reuse them with a large number of partners for current and future on-demand digital services. Likewise, wholesale partners can invest once to implement and connect to many partners using a standardized set of APIs that appeals to a much larger set of potential retail service provider customers. When business interactions are simplified, services can be delivered across a global supply chain with cloud-like speed.

MEFs Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Sonata APIs define open, standardized business automation between service providers and wholesale partners to accelerate the delivery of services and increase supply chain interoperability. MEF also offers tools, resources, and programs to support a provider’s implementation journey. For wholesale buyers and sellers seeking to transition from costly and time-consuming manual processes and proprietary APIs, LSO Sonata APIs provide benefits such as accelerated service delivery, faster time to revenue and improved customer experience. As a result, MEF LSO Sonata business automation APIs are emerging as the preferred way to do business.  In fact, MEF market research indicates more than 100 service providers are in some stage of the LSO Sonata adoption lifecycle, with 65 to 72 companies forecasted to be in production with these APIs by the end of 2024. 

MEF is also accelerating the development of operational APIs for service operations, administration, and management to complement the business automation APIs and help drive buyers and sellers in a global supply chain ecosystem of automated services. Operational APIs will provide more comprehensive commercial and operational lifecycle management with broad product and service support.

The role of standardized API-based automation that simplifies interactions and improves customer experience and loyalty within today’s telecoms market cannot be overlooked. As an independent global industry association of network, cloud and technology providers, with a rich, proven portfolio of leading network service standards and business and operational automation APIs, MEF is well-positioned as a strategic tool to be leveraged by operators globally to enable network and digital transformation objectives.