We have just wrapped up the latest TM Forum Team Action Week in Lisbon. This semiannual event is unusual as conferences go – no exhibits, no keynote addresses, no marketing – just a couple of hundred people with a common interest in creating, improving and using standards and frameworks.
It’s something that everyone in the ICE (information, communications, and entertainment) sector should experience at least once. You can spend the whole week with a single framework or interface team, or sample the ongoing work of a variety of projects, including the key planning sessions for upcoming Catalyst projects that will be demonstrated at Management World a few months later. And it’s not for geeks only – there are as many debates about business requirements as there are about interface specifications.
Given the state of the world economy, it was reassuring to see the high overall turnout and the record number of first-time attendees. Even better, people were engaged and enthusiastic. Meetings of the teams driving TM Forum business transformation initiatives like Cable, Content Encounter, Customer Experience, Revenue Management, and Service Quality attracted respectable crowds and made visible progress towards their goals. I found similar energy when I participated in meetings of the Industry Group Advisory Council (IGAC) and the Defense Interest Group. The number of liaisons with other standards organizations under IGAC has increased steadily, and this week saw a full meeting table and more active projects than I can recall over the last eight years. The Defense Interest Group meeting was also packed, and the discussion for its catalyst project spilled over into the break periods.
I spent most of the week representing the Information Framework (SID) in cross-team meetings with the Architecture Harmonization, Application Framework (TAM), Process Framework (eTOM), Service Delivery Framework, and TM Forum Interface Program groups. The meetings were productive, and reflected the Forum’s emphasis on getting value from the synergy that exists between the Frameworks and across standards organizations. As one example among many, inspired by the recent groundbreaking work by the Process Framework team in partnership with itSMF to map the eTOM to ITIL processes, the Information Framework team has begun a study to harmonize the SID with ITIL’s Configuration Management Database (CMDB). We plan to release a draft technical report by Management World in May, and I’m optimistic that the mapping we develop will find its way into demonstrations as well.
And if you’ve never attended, think about catching the next Team Action Week this summer – it’s already scheduled and well worth the investment.
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