Virtually every mobile operator worth its spectrum has made it super-easy to buy applications for your mobile phone these days: Point > Click > Provide payment method > Done. Now, however, a new generation of indie providers, and in some cases the giants who provide the mobile handsets and operating systems, are making it a lot easier to create mobile apps, too.
While some of the largest players such as IBM and Accenture have provided a service delivery platform or two (IBM for Sprint and India’s Bharti Airtel, Accenture for Turkcell), a strike force of small independent software vendors (ISVs) has been crafting and deploying SDPs for broadband operators. And some of IBM and Accenture’s fellow heavyweights not only have taken notice but have taken out their checkbooks to bring some of that upstart-developed goodness home for the holidays.
As most of you have heard by now, the TeleManagement Forum has acquired the IPsphere Forum (IPSF). The TM Forum said it will integrate the IPsphere Framework into its Service Delivery Framework program, creating a pre-commercial test bed for pilot programs and multivendor interoperability. The TM Forum’s Service Delivery Framework focuses on enabling control of service lifecycle management across all execution environments, allowing flexibility in binding services with product catalogs.
That’s quite a mouthful. Whether the market swallows what the IPSF (and now TMF) is proposing will depend on fidelity to the core aims of the IPSF and delivering something as market-worthy as what is on the drawing board.