TMForum launches new business ecosystem utilizing IOTA and R3 Corda

TMForum launches new business ecosystem utilizing IOTA and R3 Corda

TMForum was founded in 1988 to provide a collaborative environment with practical tools and information to help its members execute digital transformation initiatives. The forum has over 850 members including 10 of the world’s largest service providers.

The organization says Mega Catalyst, its new industry 4.0 initiative, is built “on a vision of a completely trusted Business Ecosystem where Telcos, together with supply chain and channel partners, can interact together to deliver trusted industry 4.0 solutions.”

Industry 4.0 refers to the digital transformation of production processes and physical manufacturing. It involves modern control systems that have embedded software systems and use the internet to connect with other devices in their network via the Internet of Things (IOT). Industry 4.0 is designed to get production networked and enable physical hardware to ‘communicate’ automatically via the internet, enabling new ways of production, value creation, and real-time optimization.

In a recent blog post, TMForum suggests that existing industry 4.0 solutions have been expensive, brittle, and susceptible to cyber-crime. They state that business expectations today are to be able to buy, manage, and use “anything-as-a-service” via smartphones, safely and securely, therefore a highly automated and “respectable” service is required.

The new Mega catalyst will explore how three key Catalysts can partner “back to back” to deliver a repeatable approach for all of their partners in industry 4.0. TMForum defines catalysts as “rapid-fire proof-of-concept projects bringing together companies large and small to create innovative solutions to common challenges, leveraging key TM Forum best practices and standards to ensure scalability, reuse, and reduced costs and risk.”

The three layers or Catalysts used by Mega Catalyst will be;

* A federated Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) marketplace that leverages the IOTA (IOTA) tangle to provide an immutable trusted data record for the physical tracking of devices
* A Digital Business Marketplace (DBM) 3.0 managed by R3’s Corda. In this layer, R3 Corda manages the FIDO (Intel SDO) based x.509 ownership certificates to secure a DBM plug and play virtual supply chain, whilst business ecosystem orchestration is managed by Accenture, Salesforce, Digiglu, BearingPoint//Beyond’s Digital Business Platform, BT’s ZTO and Intel’s SDO
* An AI-driven business assurance for 5G. This layer provides ecosystem trust and transparency by assuring revenues and business goals. It also identifies new controls that assure the completeness, correctness, and trust of the marketplace. It uses a distributed ledger as a data trust mechanism for these controls.

To enable each of the layers to work together smoothly, the IOTA Tangle data and other relevant data from companies in the Mega catalyst supply chain are extracted by R3 Corda and then exposed to the AI-driven Business Assurance Catalyst for 5G.

IOTA was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs David Sønstebø and Dominik Schiener, and mathematicians Sergey Ivancheglo and Serguei Popov. Instead of a blockchain, IOTA uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), or Tangle, as part of its consensus mechanism. Each transaction acts independently and non-chronologically as a single block, which then connects to other blocks. Each transaction must confirm two previous transactions. Theoretically, more transactions will improve scalability with this model.

In early July IOTA launched Pollen, its first testnet for a fully decentralized network. The team behind IOTA has described it as a “momentous milestone” and the first big step to successfully committing Coordicide.

Coordicide refers to the removal of the Coordinator, a centralized element that manages the current IOTA network. Pollen is stated to be the first phase in IOTA’s three-part release strategy that will culminate in a coordinator-less, production-ready network referred to as IOTA 2.0.

R3 by Corda is similar to a traditional proof-of-work blockchain with one key difference – Corda does not periodically batch up transactions into a block so that multiple transactions can be confirmed in one go. Instead, Corda confirms each transaction in real-time. The New York-based company was founded by CEO David Rutter in 2014. R3’s goal is to build a network that uses its Corda payments solution to connect all participating banks and be interoperable between different institutions.

In late April of this year, Nasdaq announced that it had partnered with R3 to offer a platform for digital asset marketplaces on the Corda blockchain. Discussing the partnership Johan Toll, head of digital assets at Nasdaq said, “The relationship with R3 plays an important role in Nasdaq’s development of solutions that support the creation of dynamic and trusted digital asset marketplaces. R3’s Corda platform is designed specifically for highly-regulated environments, and their platform fits well into our technology ecosystem.”