This article was first published on TM Forum's website Ailis Claassen interviewed Qvantel's Chief Product Officer Mahender Nandikonda about the TM Forum Open API program.
Tell us about yourself and your job
I run the product management function at Qvantel. My team and I ensure that our product – Qvantel Flex BSS – provides the features and functions that our customers need so that they can succeed in very competitive markets. We also work with the CTO Office in Qvantel so that, as well as having a feature-rich BSS, we make use of the latest open technology. This enables us to provide a platform on which our customers can innovate and quickly try out new ideas.
Why do you believe in TM Forum’s Open API program?
The rate of change in telecoms is going to accelerate significantly in the next five years. The number of third parties that communications service providers (CSPs) work with will increase, as will the range of offers that customers (B2B and B2C) can purchase from CSPs. This all means that a wide range of systems will need to be integrated using a standards-based, repeatable approach. That results in cost-effective integration which allows CSPs to innovate without a heavy integration tax. This can only be good for the industry.
What TM Forum Open APIs are most valuable to your company?
TMF622 - Product Ordering Management
TMF629 - Customer Management
TMF632 - Party Management
TMF637 - Product Inventory Management
TMF663 - Shopping Cart Management
TMF676 - Payment Method Management
Why did you choose to highlight those APIs?
These APIs enable CSPs to open up new revenue streams beyond traditional connectivity. This will involve selling a lot more third-party services and giving customers a wide range of payment options. We need to be able to let our customers easily integrate with partners’ systems and move beyond their traditional business model of selling connectivity. That will only become more important as 5G SA (standalone) slicing gives CSPs a stronger role in the digital content value chain. This innovation acceleration in the B2B and B2B2X markets, means we want to ensure our BSS is open and ready to turn innovative ideas into revenues.
How do you use those APIs?
When we deliver Qvantel Flex BSS, we also deliver a range of out-of-the-box use cases. These cover all stages of the customer lifecycle. They include sales, onboarding, order, customer, subscription, digital lifestyle and case management, upgrade and add-ons, through to deactivation and account termination. Many of our use cases include Open APIs which we are now certifying. So far, we’ve achieved Gold level certification and the plan is to certify more and more.
How have you benefited from using those APIs?
APIs help us implement faster and more cost-effectively and are a fundamental part of Qvantel Flex BSS. They also allow our customers to take a best-of-breed approach for a range of systems and not be held to vendor lock-in. The faster we can implement and integrate into an open ecosystem, the faster our customers can innovate and experiment with new business models and processes, without huge integration costs hindering new business partnerships for CSPs.
Where do you use them?
We use APIs for all our customers in Europe, Latin America, APAC, and Africa.
Have you used them in conjunction with any other APIs?