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TM Forum logoCity platforms get the data flowing

Carl Piva, VP of Strategic Programs for TM Forum

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Carl Piva, VP Strategic Programs, TM Forum
Carl Piva,
VP Strategic Programs, TM Forum

Carl Piva is VP, Strategic Programs, at TM Forum. Carl is passionate about market and technology disruptions, and about helping TM Forum's members to transform into successful digital service providers.

In a previous issue of InterComms, I discussed how cities hope to unleash local data economies to drive innovative citizen services, as well as the barriers they face. I commented that some approaches to date have parallels with the search for El Dorado, the legendary lost city of gold – many have wasted time and effort without success; others wonder if the idea is just a myth.

This time I want to focus on how you can get going with a data economy because I believe the opportunity is very real. You may not unearth a lost city of gold but there is much untapped value to be unleashed.

The truth is that the city is where ecosystems collide. Or, to borrow a phrase from MTV, the place where the magic happens. This makes cities a fertile ground for innovation within and between ecosystems of various types – regardless of whether they are related to transport, health, energy or assisted living.

If the ecosystem is the organism, data is its blood. How can we make the blood flow faster and more freely? Part of the answer lies in the platform business principles that work so well in the private sector.

It seemed like a good idea to adapt these to be fit for purpose within cities, and so we did. Over the last 10 months, at TM Forum we have identified the key platform business capabilities a city needs to put in place to successfully grow its local data economy. We have identified the corresponding technical capabilities the platform needs to support. And we have identified the Open APIs required to implement these technical capabilities.

The icing on the cake is that we have also mapped each business capability to a technical capability, and each technical capability to an Open API. Why is this important? It will allow business teams and technical teams to share a common foundation when trying to design city platform models. For instance, business analysts could model a payload service (perhaps assisted living or smart parking) and auto-generate the technical architecture and implementation-ready Open APIs. Talk about speeding up design time while benefiting from a global framework approach.

Alternatively, if you are a developer you could ask yourself which platform business capabilities you could potentially support by implementing a set of Open APIs.

Does it seem too theoretical? We thought so too. That’s why we imported the entire model into our ecosystem management tool, CurateFx. This tool allows multiple digital ecosystem stakeholders to work together to model contractual, financial, technical and other dependencies in a digital ecosystem. We have the first ever ecosystem management tool building on platform business model principles ready for you to try.

Are you ready to make your city’s data economy real?

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