Let’s talk about Cloudification!You’ve probably read a million articles about it, but trust us, it’s still something worth talking about. Cloudification is basically using cloud computing to make things better, like getting more scalable, flexible, and saving money. Plus, it can improve users experience and create new revenue streams. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?According to a survey by TM Forum in 2021 about 30 % of telecom operators have already implemented cloud-native solutions, while another 30 % planned to adopt it within the following two years. The remaining 40 % of telcos are therefore probably still using monolithic architectures or have not yet adopted cloud-native architectures as of 2023. However, the cloudification journey doesn’t come without its own challenges. It can be a long and complex process where telcos will face a variety of technical, operational, cultural, and business challenges.So, first things first, set yourself for success. If you have decided to get on board of the cloudification train, we recommend following a good framework so you can enjoy the multiple business benefits that the cloud has to offer.
Possible scenarios to need a cloud-native OSS
There are several reasons why a company would consider migrating to the cloud. But let’s depict three common cases where a telco could definitely benefit from an upgraded cloud-native architecture:
- Introducing a new service:
Let’s say a company wants to introduce a new service such as video streaming or IoT connectivity. With a monolithic OSS, this could be a slow and cumbersome process, as the entire system needs to be modified. However, with a cloud-native OSS, this new service could be developed and deployed independently of the previous existing services, ensuring a faster time-to-market and minimizing disruption to existing services. In this specific example, the team could develop and deploy this streaming service as a separate microservice in the cloud-native architecture, without modifyingthe entire system.
- Supporting Multiple Networks:
Telcos often operate multiple networks such as 4G and 5G with its own characteristics and requirements. A monolithic OSS can struggle to support multiple networks, leading to inefficiencies and increased complexity. However, a cloud-native OSS can easily support multiple networks, enabling telcos to provide seamless experience to their customers. For example, a telco can develop and deploy a separate microservice for each network type, which can communicate with each other through APIs, making it easier to manage and scale the overall system.
- Enabling DevOps Practices:
DevOps practices, such as a continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), are becoming increasingly popular in the telecom industry. A cloud-native OSS, with its focus on microservices and containerization, is well-suited to enabling these practices, allowingtelcos to release new services and features more rapidly. For example, if a telco wants to deploy a new feature, they can develop and test it in a separate microservice, and then deploy it using automated CI/CD pipelines, without disrupting the rest of the system. This ensures faster time-to-market for new services and features, and therefore more agility in responding to changing customer needs.
Our recommendation: ODA
If you look for a set of tools that follow a structured an efficient framework, you’ve come to the right place. We believe the ODA-CA is the present and future of the physical and technical architecture of telcos, so that’s why we follow and contribute to this infrastructure.The ODA-CA (Open Digital Architecture Component Accelerator) from TM Forum can help telcos address these challenges and accelerate their cloudification journey. It comprises a set of best practices, standards and guidelines that telcos can use to develop and deploy cloud-native applications. It also enables companies to build scalable, resilient and fault-tolerant applications.Here are some ways in which ODA can help you overcome the previously mentioned challenges and benefit the cloudification journey of your company:
- Agility: It enables telcos to develop and deploy applications quicky and easily, reducing the time-to-market for new services. This agility allows telcos to respond to changing customer needs and market conditions rapidly.
- Scalability: It provides an infrastructure for building applications that can scale up or down quickly, depending on demand. This scalability allows telcos to handle traffic spikes and provides better user experience for their customers.
- Resilience: It provides guidelines for building applications that can tolerate failure and recovery quickly. It also ensures that companies can maintain their services even in the face of hardware or software failures.
- Cost savings: Companies can build and deploy applications on cloud infrastructure, which is typically more cost-effective than traditional on-premises infrastructure. This cost saving allows telcos to invest in new services and improve the user experience for their customers.
We think it is pretty clear that cloud-native architectures are worth the hassle, especially if you are looking to increase agility, reduce infrastructure costs, and improve customer satisfaction. This type of architecture has the potential to transform the telecom industry. However, adopting cloud technology can be a complex journey with various challenges that need to be overcome. To address these challenges, the ODA-CA infrastructure from TM Forum provides a great answer.The ODA framework enables telcos to build scalable, resilient, and fault-tolerant applications that can quickly respond to market changes, conditions and customer needs while also reducing costs in the long run. In more simple words, with the adoption of cloud-native architecture and frameworks, the telecom industry will be able to continue to evolve and meet the demands of the modern digital age.