Speedy partner onboarding is critical to realizing the value of MEF LSO Inter-provider APIs

Blog, Inter-provider, MEF


by Michael Kearns, Chief Strategy Officer at Amartus. The post was first published on MEF’s EdgeView Blog

With a growing number of providers adopting MEF LSO Inter-provider APIs and the associated processes to negotiate products and services, the next big question is how to exploit those APIs to quickly build an automated ecosystem of customers and suppliers.

Whether you are a buyer, seller, or both when it comes to automating your ecosystem you need to be able to onboard, test, and maintain interoperability with multiple partners on an ongoing basis. Your partners too will want to know that you are ready to onboard.

As such, your partner onboarding and interop testing strategy must be well thought out and executed. Here are some key considerations:

The first relates to how you implement the MEF LSO APIs and processes. The primary goals for your implementation are to:

  1. Achieve a high level of compliance with the standard
  2. Easily support different partner configurations
  3. Easily manage, track, and troubleshoot LSO API transactions from multiple partners

To achieve a high level of compliance you need to interpret the standard correctly and verify its implementation.

To support multiple partners your implementation needs to be flexible to support pairwise partner configurations, where partners can be on different LSO API releases, support all or a subset of the APIs, have different modes of operation (e.g., sync / async responses), have different product offerings, locations served and pricing.

To be able to manage, track, and troubleshoot LSO API transactions you need a clear delineation between your implementation of the LSO APIs and processes and your back-office BSS systems / APIs and an easy way to integrate and evolve both while keeping them in sync.

Additionally, your implementation should support extensive validation of partner requests and responses, as provided for in the standard but also per the unique pairwise arrangement you have with individual partners.

The second consideration relates to how you approach onboarding and interop testing with partners. The primary goals are to:

  1. Minimize the time and effort needed to onboard and test interop with a partner
  2. Scale the number of partners you can test with in parallel

To minimize the time and effort needed to onboard and perform interop testing with a partner, both parties need a way to independently test against an agreed pairwise configuration before engaging in a final short interop exercise with real implementations.

To scale the number of partners you can test with in parallel, you need an efficient and cost-effective way to share and host pairwise partner specific configurations for each partner—one that doesn’t require you to replicate your BSS.

These two considerations go hand in hand. If your implementation and test environments are aligned, and are highly compliant with the standard and can be configured to support pairwise partner testing, then onboarding and interop testing should be quick, smooth, and scalable.

Amartus offers solutions for implementation and testing of MEF LSO APIs and processes based on its core nBrace™ Inter-provider Automation software and is supporting leading Tier 1 – 3 service providers and vendors from across the globe to fast-track their path to production. The solutions include:

  • nBrace™ Inter-Provider Automation, a ready-to-deploy MEF LSO Sonata compliant implementation for buying, selling, and end-to-end negotiation of products and services that’s designed to extend providers’ BSSs
  • MEF LSO API Onboarding & Interop Testing (OIT) Service – Amartus is a MEF-Authorized Test and Certification Partner for this solution which offers LSO-complaint buyer and seller software emulators built on nBrace™. The solution is offered as a cloud-hosted service for providers and vendors to use to test compliance of their implementation and perform pairwise testing with partners at scale.

Amartus is a sponsor of the upcoming MEF LSO Partners Conference on 4  May in Paris and will be exhibiting at International Telecoms Week 9-12 May in Washington D.C. We look forward to finally being able to meet in-person with our industry colleagues, partners, and customers.