Collaborating with TM Forum: How, When, and Why

When a business has teams across different countries and time zones, collaboration becomes difficult. Now, what happens when you are not trying to bring collaboration between teams from your business, but from different organizations? Impossible, right? Wrong. TM Forum stepped up to the task and overcame the challenge and now brings businesses together so that they can work to create the best practices and standards. It provides a platform for thousands of organizations within a wide range of industries to come together, innovate, and provide pragmatic solutions that promote digital transformation.

They accomplish this through highly structured agile, collaborative techniques such as online collaborative working sessions, agile workshops, and a myriad of practical demonstrations in industry events.

When and Why You Should Collaborate

Collaborating with other industries and companies provides an excellent platform where you can share and learn ground-breaking innovations, market developments, and learn transformational changes. It makes sense when you and your competitors are sharing the same challenges while not differentiating your businesses.

Some of the three most common digital business challenges include:

  • Lack of digital infrastructure and enablement platforms.
  • Legal, privacy, security, and regulatory challenges.
  • Customer and data centricity

Why Should You Collaborate?

TM Forum has a structured approach that enables industries to collaborate and share pertinent challenges and search intently for the best solutions and practices available. Here are some of the reasons why you should collaborate:

Accelerate Your R&D and Reduce Costs

Research and development have proved time and again as the necessary first stage of any process that leads to technological innovation. The good thing with TM forum member companies is that they ensure that their internal R&D is aligned with their industry’s collaborative work for maximum benefit.

This crucial step assists member industries in gaining expertise and reducing the time and cost they spend on developmental cycles.

Build Your Network of Experts and Potential Partners

Even the largest and most complex teams can work together if the right platform is set. The collaborative working opportunities help members to build out their network of potential expertise and partnering opportunities.

Gain an In-depth Understanding of Future Technology and its Impacts

The opportunity to work collectively with experts from your industry allows you to gain significant insights into technology trends and understand its impacts. Exploring trends like the 5G and how it will impact your business will be a significant milestone in the dynamic technological world.

Build Industry Consensus on Common Problems

There are high chances that your business is experiencing the same challenges as other businesses, and this shared understanding can bring about significant changes. The clarity on the current and future challenges leverages the industry’s intelligence and expertise, which are crucial for businesses’ survival.

Reduce Technology Risks

By using a technological approach that has been agreed upon by many stakeholders in your specific industry, you minimize the risk of approach to the significant problems.

Future Proof Your Business

The forum’s best practices are built upon scalability and cushion your business against the rapidly changing environment, which assures you of future success.

How Collaboration Projects Work

Since the TM Forum is a non-profit organization, it has an organized mechanism that ensures that only the most essential industry-related issues are tackled. A set of rules known as the IPR policy guide the collaboration project.

Here is a typical flow of collaborative projects:

  • Idea generation- Ideas are tabled and go through the SAAS approval.
  • Charters creation- Here teams are formed, leaders appointed, and TM Forum leaders approved them.
  • Scooping and Resourcing- Here, the team is built up, validated, and approved. There is also the iterative delivery per workstream at this phase.
  • Prototype development– Here, the team’s resourcing needs are monitored and resolved accordingly.
  • Validation- There is a 14-day period of review by corporate and affiliate members per iteration.
  • End of project- Adoption of the project after the corporate approval. Promotional materials for publicity are supplied.

Each project must be made up of the following to be considered successful:

  • Sponsors
  • Mentors
  • Team leader
  • Workstream leader
  • Subject matter experts
  • Participants
  • Observers
  • Reviewers

For an active plan to operate under the TM forum IPR policy, it requires an approved charter.

TM Forum is an alliance of 850+ global companies, including 10 of the world’s top 10 communications service providers, where ideas transform to innovation, and innovation transforms into solid business practices.

TM Forum is focused on the end-to-end transformation of telco operations & IT to drive growth. Whether you are a communications service provider (CSP), a technology provider, systems integrator, smart city enabler, consulting organization or an academic institution operating in the digital ecosystem – TM Forum membership will help you. As a member, you can benefit from the collective experience and interests of our community.

Intraway has been an active member of TMForum since 2010 consecutively, for information about collaborating with the TM Forum, feel free to talk to us, and we will be more than willing to assist.

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