As I wait for transportation to the airport in the too-grand-for-the likes-of-me lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel, it’s given me a bit of time to reflect and put down some thoughts on the happenings at TM Forum Digital Transformation Asia just held in Kuala Lumpur.
Bigger and Better
The event itself is growing and it was clear that there’s a buzz of activity in the region, most probably driven by local service providers’ collective need to better manage and monetize a new wave of digital services. I was told by reliable sources that event attendance more than doubled over last year’s event held in Singapore. And I was witness to, and took part in, many vibrant conversations with service providers about substantive issues in the future architectures supporting their businesses.
Catalog-Driven More Than Ever
Here’s even more evidence that becoming catalog-driven is at the core of digital transformation. Sigma has argued this passionately for a number of years and now there’s more direct evidence from Telkomsel. Telkomsel CIO Monte Hong and Sigma CTO Catherine Michel spoke to a packed conference room on the critical role that Sigma Catalog is playing in Telkomsel’s effort to build an architecture to support a digital Indonesia. We’ll post more on the presentation shortly but look here for a brief clip of the presentation.
If there was a theme that struck a chord, I’d say it was around the concept of service discovery. Service providers realize that that new software-defined networks are not only going to provide sexy new services to monetize, they’re also aware that the relationship between business and network teams tasked with rolling products out the door will be changed – and all for the better. Continuing our long history of Catalyst support (more than 40 over the last 12 years), Sigma’s Drew Jordan spent the conference avoiding seafood (he’s allergic) that’s often part of wonderful Malaysian dishes and, more importantly, demonstrating the NaaS in Action catalyst. Here’s a short video of Drew describing NaaS in Action.
The type of service discovery that we’ve built into Sigma Catalog, which is the core of NaaS in Action, will have great impact on time to market because it takes away what’s often a bottleneck in product innovation, namely the business and network team’s shared understanding of what’s actually possible in terms of network resources. Active service discovery brings new resources into Sigma Catalog so new product and service offerings are created on what’s already available – there’s no question as to what resources are there, promoting a shared understanding between these teams as to what can be offered.
New Approach and New Products
Sigma is the most innovative provider of software to service providers and this year’s event provided us a great opportunity to talk about our latest innovation, Sigma Portfolio Inventory, the newest product in the Sigma Create-Sell-Deliver Portfolio. Sigma Portfolio Inventory is a new approach that centralizes the product-service-resource portfolio inventory data into a single master to make that data widely available for access by any external system. Besides the sheer interest in the new product, our conversations at the booth confirmed the prevalence of the portfolio inventory data disarray problem that many service providers now face and the applicability of the new approach offered by Sigma to address the problem. Check out this product explainer video to learn more about Sigma Portfolio Inventory.