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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Greg O'Connor, Wesley Coelho, Elizabeth White, Adine Deford, the Editor

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TM Forum Releases New Guides and API for Enterprise-Grade Digital Service Management in Multi-Cloud Environments

The next wave of the digital revolution is transforming the enterprise, enabling sophisticated digital services such as eHealth and Smart City, and significantly changing the IT landscape. However, delivering these services at the enterprise-grade level is a serious challenge for providers due to the lack of end-to-end visibility and accountability in multi-cloud, multi-partner environments. To help providers meet these challenges, today TM Forum unveiled the first two in a series of Multi-Cloud Service Management Packs that focus on the key challenge of managing multi-cloud services by providing blueprints and step-by-step guides based on TM Forum’s best practices and standards.

TM Forum’s new Multi-Cloud Service Management Packs address business and software development challenges. They tackle the comprehensive creation, implementation and monetization of service level agreements (SLAs), as well as provide a guide to managing partnerships through the lifecycle. They also solve a number of challenges for providers, including: how to select, structure and measure effective partnerships for digital services; how to design and structure effective SLAs for cloud-based, enterprise-grade, complex digital services; and how to gain clear visibility of management information in a multi-cloud environment to ensure SLA monitoring and adherence in a variety of contexts.

“Multi-cloud service management is a key challenge for any provider seeking to deliver enterprise-grade digital services,” said Pascal Viginier, Group Chief Information Officer, France Telecom-Orange which contributed to the development of the packs. “These packs build on TM Forum’s proven expertise in this area, providing a solid foundation for best practices in both the business and technical aspects of this challenge.”

In addition, the Multi-Cloud Service Management Packs focus on how digital service providers and enterprise customers can both gain visibility into and automatically manage SLA adherence when the service is delivered by a number of software as a service (SaaS) products, cloud platforms and/or machine-to-machine (M2M) services.

“Delivering great enterprise-class digital user experiences given multiple services, clouds, networks and devices is a real challenge,” said Eric Troup, World Wide Communications and Media Industries Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft. “With the release of these Multi-Cloud Service Management Packs the TM Forum begins to address some of these challenges, including how to achieve great operations experiences, as well as associated guidance and best practices for service developers.”

“Today’s digital services providers must truly understand and address the concerns of their enterprise customers in order to capture market share. To do so, they require partners to deliver enterprise-grade services and effectively manage those services end-to-end across a multi-cloud environment,” said Nik Willetts, Chief Strategy Officer, TM Forum. “Our Multi-Cloud Service Management Packs are the direct result of extensive member collaboration, and an essential step forward for TM Forum’s mission to enable an open, vibrant digital economy.”

The contents of the Multi-Cloud Service Management Packs are based on collaborative work by TM Forum members, including: Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, CA Technologies, France Telecom-Orange, Huawei, Microsoft Corp., NetCracker Technology, Oracle, Progress, PT SAPO, Syntologica and Tech Mahindra. In addition, AT&T, BaseN, Ericsson, IBM, Microsoft and PT SAPO developed some of the packs’ components as part of TM Forum’s Catalyst program.

The new packs feature a set of overview documents plus a business pack and developer pack. The contents can be used standalone or in combination with each other. In addition, the developer pack includes a groundbreaking Simple Management API which introduces a common set of interface patterns for exchanging management information across multiple partners as well as providing a developer environment that can be used to add the Simple Management API to any service. Specifically, the packs include:

Multi-Cloud Service Management Pack Overview Documents

  • Introduction – an overview of the challenges of managing services in a multi-cloud environment and TM Forum’s approach to meet these challenges
  • Business Guide – a business-oriented guide to the end-to-end management of multi-cloud and M2M environments
  • Technical Guide – an introductory guide to TM Forum’s Simple Management API and how it can be used to create end-to-end management visibility in a multi-cloud environment

Business Pack

  • SLA Business Blueprint – a step-by-step guide to creating effective, measurable, end-to-end SLAs for enterprise-grade digital services
  • Partnership Management Guide – a practical guide to developing and sustaining successful managed service partnerships in the digital economy

Developer Pack

  • Simple Management API Developer Primer – a developer-focused guide for easy, fast implementation of the Simple Management API with any service
  • Simple Management API Developer Ecosystem – a developer ecosystem including a sandbox environment for implementing the Simple Management API

Part of TM Forum’s new Digital Services Initiative which focuses on overcoming the challenges of managing complex digital services, these packs will be fully available to all TM Forum members as part of Frameworx 12.5 on Dec. 4 at Management World Americas, held Dec. 3-6, 2012, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla. As part of Management World Americas, TM Forum is featuring the following three demonstrations on its Multi-Cloud Management Program in the Forumville area of the expo:

  • Microsoft, in partnership with Deltatre and iLink Systems, is demonstrating how the Simple Management API can be used to manage a complex, multi-partner content delivery environment.
  • PT SAPO is showcasing how the Simple Management API can enable monitoring and reporting for Portugal Telecom’s MEO IPTV services.
  • Syntologica and Concordus are demonstrating a commercially available implementation of the Simple Management API used by agent Datatel to manage business services when aggregating communications and cloud services from multiple partners.

Register now for Management World Americas to receive maximum savings.

About TM Forum:

TM Forum is a global, non-profit industry association focused on enabling service provider agility and innovation. As an established thought-leader in service creation, management and delivery, the Forum serves as a unifying force across industries, enabling more than 900 member companies to solve critical business issues through access to a wealth of knowledge, intellectual capital and standards.

The Forum provides a unique, fair and safe environment for the entire value-chain to collaborate and overcome the barriers to a vibrant, open digital economy, helping member companies of all sizes gain a competitive edge by enabling efficiency and agility in their IT and operations. For more information about TM Forum, visit www.tmforum.org.

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