How Vodafone gained from TM Forum Open APIs

A TM Forum case study revealed that Vodafone has achieved significant gains from the deployment of a single, autonomous cloud architecture and massive automation, leveraging its group-wide conformance to TM Forum Open APIs.
Vodafone Germany mobile networkVodafone saved tens of thousands on every API deployed in direct savings on integration, results leading to multiple million pounds savings.

This is based on API activity in 16 markets with 17 deployments in each per calendar year with a significant local market Capex saving. Improved quality slashes re-work and cost: Vodafone has reduced API deviations by 90 percent, whereas historically, deviant implementations caused immense re-work, particularly when deviant APIs were re-used.

Since automating API conformance, Vodafone has seen a 50 percent increase in the adoption of Open APIs across its markets. It is difficult to estimate the benefits, but significantly improved time to market, customer experience (through consistency across channels), and efficiency (through re-use).

With an average of five clients per open API, the re-use benefit alone equates to a 76 percent saving compared to point-to-point integration.

The main objective from the deployment of Open APIs across its markets was to ensure that 90 percent of customer interactions will be digital, with the necessary automation underpinned by a zero-cost integration target and plan.

Vodafone feels that leveraging industry-standard APIs and data modeling are fundamental to the success of Tech2025’s radical goals as it moves to adopt the platform business model – developing a connected ecosystem to deliver new products and services.

Vodafone’s aim is for every technical component – across all products, IT and Network – to be presented as simplified, Lego-like building blocks for internal and external consumption. Teams can assemble blocks as required to create capabilities with almost zero integration tax using standardized APIs.

“I see in the digital platform world, the APIs as bricks. I can put two or three bricks, one on top of the other, and this forms a building block, a new capability,” said Florin Tene, Enterprise Architect – Digital at Vodafone Group IT Strategy and Architecture.

Vodafone has adopted TM Forum’s Open APIs suite as the basis for all its APIs, maintaining conformance with Forum’s APIs as they evolve is essential too. Vodafone took a two-pronged approach to ensuring conformity, setting up an API Guild and developing an automated API-conformance engine that is constantly measured by various KPIs.

“By 2025, we want the same APIs all over the place; no more custom APIs. The key to do that is by leveraging the automation behind the scenes, allowing architects/developers/testers to quickly check that the work they are doing is still compliant with TM Forum’s APIs,” Florin Tene, Enterprise Architect – Digital at Vodafone Group IT Strategy and Architecture, said.

The API conformance dashboards enable Vodafone to monitor each API’s adoption rate, usage, and conformance per initiative, business unit, project, local operations, or globally.

“Automating the API compliance leverages us, as an operating company, to deliver standardized, easy to integrate, and re-usable components in a much shorter go-to-market time,” Alexander Chmielewski, ART System Architect at Vodafone Germany, said.