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How APIs Bridge the Gap for Communications Service Provider Interoperability

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Across the telecom industry, there’s increased interest in automation and standardization of intercarrier transactions — thanks in large part to the growing demand for SD-WAN and SASE, and the rising need for broadband. But when it comes to ordering off-net broadband or other services, it’s nearly impossible for a carrier to know their full range of options regarding service areas, price and features. In addition, orders can get lost or overlooked in endless email threads, and phone calls can often sit for days or weeks with no follow-up. The resulting delays impact the delivery of services for customers — and put valuable relationships at risk.

The development of new standards and application programming interfaces (APIs) to address these issues is helping carriers streamline the inter-provider process of buying and selling wholesale network services for a more efficient ecosystem.

APIs are vital for simplifying intercarrier communications

APIs are protocols and rules that drive innovation, promote interoperability and enable intercarrier collaboration, helping carriers facilitate the development of new services, enhance the customer experience, and provide opportunities for revenue generation and business growth.

APIs serve a variety of purposes, including:

  • Integration and interoperability: APIs enable seamless, automated communication and interoperability between systems, applications and devices — facilitating the smooth operation of services.
  • Service creation and innovation: Leveraging existing telecom capabilities, APIs empower carriers to build new, innovative and value-added services and bring them to market quickly.
  • Partner ecosystems: Using APIs, carriers can more easily collaborate with technology partners and other service providers, enabling them to extend their reach, tap into new markets and offer enhanced services through partnerships.
  • Developer experience and efficiency: Offering a standardized and efficient way to access telecom functionalities and resources, APIs streamline the integration process, saving time and effort.

Creating a more efficient retail wholesale ecosystem

To put APIs to work helping carriers deliver connectivity, an additional solution — such as TransUnion TruContact™ Universal Order Connect (UOC), Powered by Neustar® — is needed. This cloud-based platform automates and streamlines the inter-carrier process of buying and selling wholesale network services. One of UOC’s distinctive capabilities is connecting MEF LSO Sonata-enabled and non-MEF-enabled (for example ASOG or broadband) buyers and sellers.

This is important since most service providers have some type of digital transformation efforts underway, including those around buying and selling wholesale access. However, many face challenges with their initiatives to modernize this part of their BSS stacks.

These challenges can include a lack of funding, employee turnover, prioritization of other projects, and even scarcity of internal expertise. Given these obstacles, only some service providers will be able to implement the MEF standards in the near term, meaning there will need to be a migration path between MEF-enabled and non-MEF-enabled service providers.

Learn more about MEF LSO Sonata APIs in the “State of the Industry Report May 2023: Paradigm Shift — Automating Business Functions Between Service Providers.”

Automating the process

Using UOC, service providers can take action right away, doing business with each other in an automated format — no matter the type of API, standards implementation or ordering methodology. That’s because UOC uses a product catalog-based translation and order enrichment engine that enables consistent order delivery to the consuming service provider in the correct format and with the correct information. Because of UOC’s flexible architecture, the platform can process any wholesale order in any standard with any carrier anywhere — and with broadband.

Service providers can also transform their wholesale BSS stacks. Wholesale orders can be created and managed with ease, and API-based integration supported by a shared online portal keeps buyers and sellers on the same page with enhanced statusing, up-to-date circuit inventory for improved tracking and financial assurance, automation for reporting and managing trouble tickets, and analytics and reporting for supplier and service performance insights. 

In addition, with UOC, service providers don’t have to compete with other internal IT priorities or risk a disruption in business as they implement new APIs.

Learn more about UOC hereDownload the MEF 2023 State of the Industry Report here, or watch the on-demand webinar, The Power of Wholesale Order Automation: How New Advancements in Intercarrier Commerce Can Transform Your Business.

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