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This book reflects the tremendous changes in the telecommunications industry in the course of the past few decades – shorter innovation cycles, stiffer competition and new communication products. It analyzes the transformation of processes, applications and network technologies that are now expected to take place under enormous time pressure.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the TM Forum have provided reference solutions that are broadly recognized and used throughout the value chain of the telecommunications industry, and which can be considered the de facto standard. The book describes how these reference solutions can be used in a practical context: it presents the latest insights into their development, highlights lessons learned from numerous international projects and combines them with well-founded research results in enterprise architecture management and reference modeling. The complete architectural transformation is explained, from the planning and set-up stage to the implementation. Featuring a wealth of examples and illustrations, the book offers a valuable resource for telecommunication professionals, enterprise architects and project managers alike.



Chapter 1. Addressing the Transformational Needs of Telecommunications Operators

The telecommunications industry has changed tremendously during the last decades. Challenges of today’s telecommunications operators are, for example, enhanced customer orientation and product innovation combined with cost savings as well as shorter lead times. In many cases, this leads to continuous improvement and restructuring initiatives. Process standardization, automation through new software systems, outsourcing of support activities, and roll-out of new network technologies are just some of the typical topics of these initiatives. In this context, an aligned transformation of organization, processes, applications, data, and network technologies is a key success factor. The overall structure of such transformations is supported by general enterprise architecture methods. From a topical perspective, industry-specific reference solutions are proposed by well-recognized industry organizations, such as the TM Forum. This book explains the whole architectural transformation customized to fit the specific challenges of telecommunications operators. All phases are described, from the planning and set-up to the implementation. While this chapter provides an introduction and summary, in subsequent chapters the following details are discussed: Specifics of the telecommunications industry are described in Chap. 2, methodical principals are explained in Chap. 3, a concrete recommendation for the architecture solution is proposed in Chap. 4, and the planning and implementation are discussed in Chap. 5. This book gives the latest insights into the standard development, shows lessons learned from numerous international projects, and presents well-founded research results. Telecommunication practitioners, enterprise architects, project managers, researchers, and students alike benefit from numerous examples and illustrations.

Christian Czarnecki, Christian Dietze

Chapter 2. Understanding Today’s Telecommunications Industry

Understanding today’s telecommunications industry is a prerequisite for a successful architectural transformation. The tremendous changes of the industry during the last decades have completely altered their rules and structures. In the past, traditional—mainly government-owned—telecommunications operators were responsible for the technical realization of fixed-line and mobile radio communications. Their business model was based on long-term infrastructure investments that were financed through usage-based connection fees. Today, competitors of traditional operators do not necessarily require their own network infrastructure—such as, for example, Over-The-Top (OTT) providers. Increasingly, the technical connection is becoming a commodity. Innovative applications, convergent services, and dedicated customer orientation are today’s success factors. However, increasing data volumes and mobile usage still requires ongoing modernization of network technologies. A major challenge for telecommunications operators is the combination of continuous innovation requirements with a stagnating market and changing value chains. Section 2.1 explains the market conditions and ecosystem with respect to price decrease and cost pressure, competition through Over-the-Top providers, new opportunities in vertical markets, and challenges for regulators. The interrelation between commercial and technical products as well as changed customer demands and usage behavior are discussed in Sect. 2.2. The value chain reacts to the changed market conditions through increased fragmentation of the value creation and new partnering, which are topics of Sect. 2.3.

Christian Czarnecki, Christian Dietze

Chapter 3. Understanding the Methodical Principles

Understanding the methodical principles is indispensable for the successful adaptation of organization, processes, data, and applications to the changed industry conditions. In most cases, those adjustments are related to the various different parts of a telecommunications operator. The planning, design, and realization of those changes are a complex endeavor which, in most situations, takes several years, involves huge project teams, and impacts major parts of the enterprise. Without clear structures and guidelines, the risk of inconsistent and singular solutions is high. The overriding challenge is to understand the interrelations between the different enterprise parts and take decisions that are beneficial from the overall enterprise perspective. The general methodical foundation of the solution design is related to information systems modeling. In this context, information systems are a complex construct comprised of employees, their organizational responsibilities, their activities that create the enterprise’s outcome, as well as applications that support and automate activities. Enterprise architectures provide a general structure to plan, design, and implement those complex solutions. Content-wise, reference models are used as recommendations. In the telecommunications industry, the TM Forum offers well-accepted reference models for processes, data, and applications. From the dynamic perspective, concepts of enterprise architecture management and enterprise transformation support the planning and implementation. In this chapter, a general introduction to information systems modeling (cf. Sect. 3.1), a description of enterprise architecture approaches (cf. Sect. 3.2), reference modeling (cf. Sect. 3.3), relevant reference models for the telecommunications industry (cf. Sect. 3.4), and enterprise transformation (cf. Sect. 3.5) are presented.

Christian Czarnecki, Christian Dietze

Chapter 4. Designing the Architecture Solution

Designing the architecture solution combines the methodical principles in an architectural construct that offers clear recommendations for the specific challenges facing today’s telecommunications operators. The result is a concrete reference solution that is presented in this chapter. First, the relevant elements are identified and arranged in an architecture structure for organization, processes, data, and applications. As an additional structural element, five industry-specific architecture domains are proposed. These architecture domains provide an overall structure of telecommunications operators. The customer-centric domain covers all architecture elements related to direct customer interactions. All technical specifics are encapsulated in the technology domain. The product domain includes the planning, development, and roll-out of new products. Both the product and the technology domain prepare the prerequisites to fulfill customer requests in the customer-centric domain. Further support activities are included in the customer domain and enterprise support domain. For each of these domains, concrete reference solutions for organization, processes, data, and applications are described and illustrated. These reference solutions combine the industry-specific TM Forum reference models and provide a detailed blueprint for the transformational needs of telecommunications operators. The reference architecture includes a hierarchical decomposition and interrelations between the different elements. Hence, this chapter presents a high-level summary of the reference architecture (cf. Sect. 4.1), an explanation of its structure (cf. Sect. 4.2), and detailed descriptions of the proposed solutions for each domain (cf. Sects. 4.3–4.6).

Christian Czarnecki, Christian Dietze

Chapter 5. Planning and Implementing the Architecture Solution

Planning and implementing the architecture solution is essential to benefit from the solution design. From a dynamic perspective the architectural implementation is a transformation from the current state of the enterprise to a targeted state that is defined by the solution design. In most cases, the entire design and implementation are conducted in a cross-functional project. With respect to the duration and persons involved, such a project can be seen as complex endeavor. Various interrelations between the architectural elements, conflicts of objective between different organizational entities, and changing external or internal factors require careful consideration. For planning the tasks from the set-up to design and implementation, an Architecture Solution Map is proposed (cf. Sect. 5.1). It consists of eight major tasks: architecture diagnostics, strategic alignment, architecture framework, architecture ownership, architecture design, training and awareness, change management, and architecture implementation. Detailed recommendations and guidelines based on numerous experiences with real-life transformation projects in the telecommunications industry are discussed. Furthermore, transformation types and organizational responsibilities (cf. Sect. 5.2), typical project examples (cf. Sect. 5.3), and detailed case studies (cf. Sect. 5.4) are provided.

Christian Czarnecki, Christian Dietze


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