Driving Standards & Collaboration in Telco with Data & AI

I’m thrilled to report that Cloudera today announced its membership of the TM Forum, the leading industry standards and collaboration group for the telecommunications industry. This is an important step for our company and for our telecommunications and media customers and partners, adding significant momentum and acceleration to our development of solutions for the industry.

As telecommunications moves into its fifth generation of wireless communications, the world looks very different than it did when its first generation launched in the 1990s. Everything is a touch screen now, sensors are everywhere, and the world is more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. While billing used to be one of two critical things for any successful telco (the other being the network), today’s digital service providers prioritise channels, ecosystems, payments and cloud service architectures in enterprise architecture.

 Data has become the critical fuel that drives growth and automation, the twin guide points for an industry stretching for new revenue sources and cost reduction, all the while maintaining governance on precious customer data. Monetizing data though applications and ecosystems, optimizing customer lifetime value, and building innovative new services and offerings all contribute to the revenue / growth goal. AI and autonomous operations transform the cost base for the service provider, in core operations and service delivery alike.

 The TM Forum, through its Open Digital Architecture and AI & Data initiatives in particular, offer service providers the perfect environment to collaborate on best practices, drive interoperability, and share approaches to these opportunities. The catalyst program offers opportunities to collaborate with partners and service providers in new and evolving areas like 5G assurance, and virtualized network orchestration. Digital ecosystem design continues to evolve in different geographies and under alternate regulatory environments, but common challenges across service providers center on API structures and business models, where the Forum offers an opportunity to come together.

 When it comes to Data and AI, the industry is increasingly committed to a hybrid cloud approach. Considering the stack – as we say in Cloudera, from Edge to AI – there are certain elements particularly in ingestion, cleansing and data engineering, as well as in storage and warehousing, that lend themselves to on-premise deployments, either for networking, cost or regulatory reasons. Edge analytics by definition require in-network deployment. The challenge for the service provider is managing the data flow and data workloads from a governance and policy perspective across different infrastructure options. Cloudera is engaged and working with the TM Forum to help navigate these challenges!

 Speaking to Aaron Boasman-Patel, Vice President, AI & Customer Experience at the TM Forum, he says the industry is all-in on Big Data. ‘Big Data has long been a growth area in telecom,’ he told me. ‘We’ve seen it evolve over the last ten years or so from a kind of skunkworks project to a core element of the CSP Enterprise Architecture. Having Cloudera join the forum and begin to help drive collaboration and standards in the space will bring expertise and leadership in data architecture and data science at a crucial time, as our members consider their cloud architectures and generating a return from 5G.’

 So we’re delighted to be a part of the story. The industry almost universally endorsed open source on-prem computing and Cloudera as big data matured during the last decade, and as the industry migration to hybrid and cloud based architectures continues, we will help to define that path, in a compliant and effective way.   

Reach out to me personally to learn more or follow my viewpoint through blogs and other channels at cloudera.com/blogs. Learn more about the industry and network analytics, and customer experience, at the upcoming Cloudera event – register here.

Anthony Behan
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