MEF in partnership with Sage Management, Inc., the telecom and blockchain division of SIB, is piloting a revolutionary blockchain-based subscription service for automating the SLA reporting process. This pilot is derived from the MEF Wolf Town Accelerator in which MEF members Orchest and Sparkle are using a member-defined open pre-standard smart contract in the roles of buyer and seller, respectively. Based on the results of the pilot, this service is expected to be available to any service provider that is party to an SLA as either buyer or seller.
The Sage team will be on hand at the Global NaaS Event (GNE) hosted by MEF running Oct. 2-4 in Dallas. Mark your calendar for dynamic conference sessions focused on accelerating the evolution of secure Network-as-a-Service offerings, platforms, and ecosystems. Please let us know if you would like to schedule a time to meet. Visit sagemi.com for more information.
SLA Automation Project Delivers Big Wins for Buyers and Sellers
It’s no secret that service outages, and the service level agreement (SLA) disputes they trigger, are frequent sources of headaches for carriers of all types and sizes. As the industry’s most renowned standards development organization, MEF and its member companies have led the way in addressing the issues and have already solved for standard data for the APIs used in SLA credit requests and reporting.
Now, MEF is well down the path to the next step: automated SLA credit calculations and mutual endorsement within a secure, public telecom blockchain environment. Buyers and sellers agree—there is extreme value to be had for both sides through timely SLA enforcement, namely in the form of productivity gains and improved user experience.
Project Wolf Town Is Proving the Benefits of Automated SLA Credit Calculation
Built as an MEF Accelerator program in partnership with Orchest Technologies, Sparkle, and Sage Management, Project Wolf Town tests the value of trouble ticket APIs and automated business processes that rely on those APIs. But the real secret in the sauce is the open-source smart contracts that leverage the MEF LSO APIs to automate identification of SLA infractions and the calculation of credits due. It’s this capability that facilitates mutual endorsement and processing of allowed credits via a telecom blockchain, eliminating the manual and tedious SLA credit validation processes for both buyers and sellers.
As MEF VP of Strategic Programs Daniel Bar Lev explains, “The smart contracts and mutual endorsements are part of the foundational fabric of the fully digital telecom ecosystem, an ecosystem concept we call Network as a Service or NaaS. This allows carriers to subscribe an automated and essentially real-time SLA reporting and enforcement service delivered via blockchain. The outcome is the right credits, delivered at the right time, in a secure and mutually trusted environment.”
What Are Buyers and Sellers Saying about Wolf Town?
The first two project participants in the Wolf Town use case—Orchest and Sparkle—are equally optimistic about the project’s initial success and long-term potential. And the interest is mounting among other carriers, including the multinational telecommunications company Colt Technology Services Group, the latest newcomer to the project.
With the debut of Wolf Town planned at the Global NaaS Event next month, all MEF members will get a chance to see the technology firsthand and, very soon, join the project themselves. In the meantime, we asked Orchest and Sparkle to share the highlights of their experience so far to help set the stage for what you can expect to see at GNS.
For Buyers, Automated SLA Credits Pave the Way to Better End-User Service
“Latin America and many regions around the world need true SLA accountability,” Villalobos says. “In the past, the manual and resource-intensive process of identifying, calculating, and filing 100% of the SLA disputes to address extremely frequent outages in our region simply hasn’t been feasible for any company.”
When credits aren’t requested, providers have no real reason to address the root causes of the problem. And the network never improves. Through Project Wolf Town and the automated and accurate generation of SLA credit reports, that’s changing. As sellers receive and ultimately pay out more and more legitimate credits, the natural response will be greater accountability to SLAs and the reliability of the network. Sellers will be incentivized to build in the network redundancies and protections that will reduce or eliminate outages in the first place.
Villalobos says that for network capacity buyers like Orchest, the end goal has never been to earn more SLA credits; rather it’s about motivating much-needed network improvements, particularly in historically underserved areas, so carriers can consistently fulfill promises to the customers they serve.
For Sellers, Avoiding Disputes and Over-crediting Makes Mutual Endorsement a Win-Win
For sellers, too, the credit issuance process historically has been complex, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. Beyond the effort involved in calculating outage times and determining outage sources for legitimate SLA credits, sellers often expend valuable resources disputing credits that are exempt due to planned outages for maintenance, force majeure events, or other reasons. Project Wolf Town solves this, too, by accounting for these factors in the smart contract logic that automates the calculation of credits, thus preventing invalid claims.
Leading global service provider Sparkle, the first network capacity seller to join Project Wolf Town, is highly motivated by the mutual consent aspect of the solution. “We are committed to honoring our service promises to our wholesale customers while simultaneously driving efficiencies within our own organization,” says Antonella Sanguineti, head of secure cloud and network solutions for Sparkle. “The smart contracts and APIs underlying the blockchain solution drive greater confidence in the SLA process while freeing our team from handling burdensome and often invalid disputes.”
A Future with No SLA Disputes Is on the Horizon
Ultimately, buyers and sellers of telecom network capacity want the same thing: Reliable networks without outages and disputes. Mirko Voltolini, Vice President of Innovation for Colt Technologies, summarizes his company’s reason for joining Wolf Town this way, “At Colt, we are on a journey to digitally transform our services, and the adoption of blockchain technology has the ability to automate the operational procedures that are in place between service providers. In the wholesale world, the high volume of commercial transactions makes manual handling very slow and inefficient. Our long-term vision is for blockchain to act as a universal layer of transparency and trust between all the stakeholders, using smart contracts to bring speed and automation through their ability to self-execute commercial terms.”
Wolf Town and the use of smart contracts and telecom blockchain technology are moving the industry closer to such a utopia by tackling SLA inefficiencies that have plagued the industry for too long. As SLA reporting and credit issuance become more accurate and streamlined, carriers will have more resources available to improve networks globally and ensure better telecommunications services for every customer everywhere.
Orchest, and Sparkle, and Colt Endorse the Value of Project Wolf Town for Buyers and Sellers
MEF.net Edge VIEW Blog Post: https://www.mef.net/blog/
Copyright © MEF Forum 2009 – 2023. All Rights Reserved
Authored by April Taylor, SVP Blockchain Sage Management, a division of SIB.
MEF and Sage Management are excited to demo the Project Wolf Town SLA report automation solution for all GNE attendees during the MEF Accelerator Live portion of the GNE conference, with identical presentations available Tuesday, October 3, or Wednesday, October 4, each at 4:00 pm. The presentations will give a closer look at this first-of-its-kind live use case and the Sage Management smart contracts and MEF LSO APIs behind it.
Join us at GNE to learn how SLA enforcement automation could be a reality for your organization in the very near future.