This post is by Lars Lagerström from Nokia Siemens Networks.
“Where and how have you used Reference Architecture?” This is by far the most frequently asked question following our previous blog post on this topic. But let’s back up and answer why we need a Reference Architecture in the first place? Ultimately, the purpose is to create an agile and flexible entity/ecosystem that supports the operator’s strategy and ability to stay relevant. Making use of a Reference Architecture will help ensure that modifications to any one part of the system will ultimately fit and support the overall structure. Think of the game Jenga, with its tower of wooden blocks – you have to consider the effect on the entire structure before you make any change.
In the earlier blog post, we prompted a discussion on how to use Nokia Siemens Networks Reference Architecture to ensure that a new application, solution or system actually fits the specific operator’s environment. TM Forum Frameworx was our starting point and the four viewpoints introduced in the previous blog post are, indeed, those addressed by Frameworx. But in order to ensure an even stronger focus on the needs of our operator customers, and help them stay relevant in mobile broadband, we’ve emphasized the network and business architecture separately as illustrated below.
Network Architecture represents the foundation of our Reference Architecture. The key here is the close link between the network and the operations, enabling operators to maximize their investments. This brings us to the Business Architecture, which underscores our promise to help operators make money with mobile broadband. This promise is further supported by the architecture building blocks: process, application, information and technology. This way, old technologies can co-exist alongside new ones, such as LTE, small cells and Self Organizing Networks without having to change the reference architecture. We’ve chosen to use the term Technology Architecture rather than Integration Architecture to highlight the need for operators to consider many technological aspects in addition to pure integration.
Real cases speak louder than words
A recent example of Reference Architecture at work comes from the Middle East, where a leading operator asked us for recommendations on how to improve its customer experience management. Using our Reference Architecture as a starting point, we proposed a fully integrated network and service assurance solution that would fit the operator’s existing operational systems and procedures. In fact, the solution was awarded at the recent Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards in the wireless network infrastructure innovation category.
Let’s keep the discussion going: How would you structure and use reference architecture to support your strategic objectives?
Please refer to the brochure for more information on Nokia Siemens Networks Reference Architecture.