Service Arena / Product Automation (SA/PA)

For some time now I’ve been talking to people in the Enterprise ICT world about the benefits of Business/Operations Support Systems (B/OSS).

Very often B/OSS is a new term, and so I find myself explaining the history and advantages it can bring.

Conversation can then branch off into subjects including Service Orchestration, Public/Private/Hybrid Cloud, SDN, NFV, Security, DevOps, Hyperscale, ITIL, Big Data etc – the list goes on.

I’ve felt at times that I was struggling to maintain people’s interest re B/OSS, and so I’ve wondered how I could move more directly into discussion around areas of new opportunity that lie within that domain.

This might be a work in progress but I’ve come up with the term: “Service Arena / Product Automation” (SA/PA).

Hopefully the words “Service Arena / Product Automation” better reflect the broad business and operational territory associated with the commercial provision of service products.

SA/PA identifies service product delivery as occurring across a diverse ‘Arena’ (i.e. playing field) of interlinked producers and consumers of different service types. This is an expression of the fantastic Value Fabric concept as supported by the TMForum.

SA/PA inherently implies that Access Security capabilities are a first order priority. (Not an easy problem to solve, as an ‘Arena’ in this sense is really a business network fabric of interlinked organisational Directory implementations).

Additionally, SA/PA identifies the notion that services must be transformed into fully fledged product implementations if they are to be supportable and to enable cost recovery against them.

Finally, SA/PA identifies that automation is a key determinant that binds all associated concepts together. SA/PA automation implies management of relevant processes including those that must occur manually across teams described in the context of the ‘Arena’.

A SA/PA oriented B/OSS provides a common context in which service products (including infrastructure services) are defined and published from product catalogs owned by multiple customers into a diverse service oriented marketplace. I’m certainly not trying to supersede the concept or value of B/OSS!

Below all this, it’s probably obvious that a combination of complex infrastructure solution planning/life cycle management, ITIL management, Public/Private/Hybrid Cloud, Service Orchestration, Customer Care & Billing capabilities is expected – nothing has changed here.

There is more to be said about SA/PA but that’s probably enough for one post.

Hopefully I’ve got a way now of starting conversations in a way that will twig people’s ears more readily!


With each of these posts I like to make mention of something totally unrelated to what I’m doing.

This time I’d like to reference the Bluebird restoration project:

I think I found this one around six years ago.

It takes some reading to appreciate the scale of what they’re doing, but there are many hidden gems.

Apparently Donald Campbell didn’t want the boat raised in the event of an accident, but yet the commitment this group has made with their lives over many years in his memory has been remarkable. It’s a tough one!