Service Delivery Platforms vs Service Delivery Frameworks

What is a Service Delivery Platform (SDP)? 

What is a Service Delivery Framework (SDF)? 

The question came up again at the TM Forum’s Team Action Week held in Baltimore, MD this past week during a joint session with several representatives from ATIS.

An SDP is a system that manages service delivery across a specific domain.  Typically that domain is entirely within one service provider’s environment and is controlled by rules established by that service provider.  A service provider could have several SDPs at the same time each one controlling specific groups of services.  Typically, the SDP makes direct use of very telecom specific standards and best practices.

An SDF on the other hand can be thought of as a service delivery mechanism that transcends multiple SDPs and/or service provider domains.  An SDF is not supposed to be telecom specific.  By its very nature, an SDF is supposed to abstract services in ways that hide telecom specific terminology and language.  It should be equally useful to a retail outfit, a content service provider, or a non-telecom hosted service provider.

Because the services acted on by an SDF may not be under the administrative control of one service provider, an SDF places increased emphasis on service manageability.  Whereas an SDP typically operates in an environment under the control of a specific service provider’s OSS, an SDF manages interactions between services hosted in different domains managed under different rules.  An SDF seeks to leverage the common ground that could exist between entirely different services deployed by entirely different organizations with entirely different rules.

This is the focus of the service definition template part of the SDF specification.  It provides for a Functional Interface (FI) and Service Management Interface (SMI) that are equally useful and readily understandable by telecom / network service providers and non-telecom service providers alike.