The industry needs a common understanding

Communications service providers (CSPs) are facing a dilemma. While their revenue and growth continue to stagnate, they are under tremendous pressure to simultaneously cut costs, deploy 5G, create differentiated customer experiences and overhaul the way they develop and deliver new services. From the defining their business needs, through designing information systems and implementing Open APIs and data models, to managing the actual deployment with their software technology partners, Telcos who want to move from the bottom left quadrant in the diagram below to TechCos in the top right need an industry-wide common understanding such as the Open Digital Architecture (ODA).

ODA provides the building blocks for growth and efficiency

ODA replaces traditional operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS) for CSPs with a new approach to building software for zero-touch interoperability and creating a dynamic plug and play environment through its components and canvas concepts. These concepts provide the building blocks for CSPs to evolve towards a TechCos company through:

ODA for efficiency : ODA supports CSPs to automate their operations so they can focus on improving customer experience while still improving productivity. Using AI and Open APIs to enable automated closed-loop intent-based automation, CSPs can focus on providing real-time zero-touch operations to drive towards digital efficiency.

ODA for growth : ODA enables CSPs to become digital enablers, working with ecosystem partners to create zero-touch partnering solutions for vertical markets (smart factories, autonomous vehicles, digital healthcare…) based on 5G, network slicing, edge computing, AI and other advanced technologies.


Early adopters gain a significant advantage

ODA transforms business agility, customer experience and operational efficiency by creating simpler IT solutions that are easier and cheaper to deploy, integrate & upgrade.

By removing the massive technical debt of legacy architecture and the costly integration/upgrade processes, CSPs can focus on growth.  Taking a customer centric approach CSPs can quickly take ideas from concept to cash.

"Lack of agility in IT and network systems and processes has been a longstanding impediment to telco growth" says Andy Tiller, TM Forum's EVP of Member Products and Services.  "By using ODA, CSPs can create innovative solutions with new technologies such as network slicing, edge computing, digital twins, metaverse and more".

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ODA makes the leap from concept to credibility

To recognize CSPs that are successfully using ODA in real-world environments to drive efficiency and growth, TM Forum’s Running on ODA award is presented to those CSPs that have passed a joint (TMF and CSP) ODA evaluation of their organization:
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How does my company get a coveted Running on ODA award?

Those members that have not only supported ODA by signing the manifesto and worked on creating and consuming its content but have also evolved their organizations to implement ODA are able to apply for a Running on ODA assessment. Through a comprehensive, outside-in assessment using the ODA Success Framework , these leading service providers have demonstrated their expertise and ongoing commitment to the development, use and conformance to ODA, to achieve this new mark.


To be considered for a Running on ODA assessment a member must meet the following criteria:

  • Sign the ODA Manifesto
  • Meet a membership-tier-dependent threshold of ODA Producer Points* .
  • Meet a membership-tier-dependent threshold of ODA Consumer Points .

*The ODA producer points are given in recognition of a member organization's commitment to leading and contribution to creating ODA content within collaboration projects, Catalyst projects or the production of Open APIs.


The criteria for Running on ODA are assessed jointly by the CSP and TM Forum’s CTO office using the ODA Success Framework – a light but rigorous evaluation based on 6 key dimensions necessary for delivering successful business outcomes using ODA. The 6 assessment dimensions are:

  1. Principles and rules
  2. Skills
  3. Open APIs
  4. Components
  5. Agile governance
  6. Process models

Discover why Running on ODA is so important to our members

Don't just take our word for the benefits of ODA. Discover how our members describe some of their real-world use cases, or learn more by reading our blogs and Inform articles .


TM Forum members explain support for ODA

TM Forum members explain support for ODA

TM Forum’s CTO introduction to ODA

George Glass TM Forum’s CTO introduces ODA and the reasons why it is critical for the industry going forwards

Whalecloud & Umobile on adopting ODA

Neil Tomkinson, CIO at U Mobile discusses adopting the ODA framework and Open APIs to hit the ground running and deliver value faster. And Sophie Chen, Head of Global Solution and Product at Whale Cloud discusses how operators can leverage capabilities to make innovation with agility and shorten time to market.

Vodafone ODA case study linked their DTS

Lester Thomas, Head of New Technologies and Innovation, explains Vodafone’s role as a founder of TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture (ODA).

Ericsson discusses ODA

Gordon Rawling, VP Marketing at Ericsson discusses how ODA provides a common language that supports collaboration and helps deliver better experiences to the customer.

Telefonica on ODA and the importance of collaboration

Telefonica explains why they support ODA, and the importance of collaboration in building momentum and delighting customers. “Open APIs are a key aspect of our strategy.” Patricia Ventura, Head of Customer Engagement Architecture, Telefonica