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The LFN community is comprised of a diverse set of member organizations that work collaboratively across software and projects to provide platforms and building blocks for Network Infrastructure and Services across Service Providers, Cloud Providers, Enterprises, Vendors, and System Integrators that enable rapid interoperability, deployment, and adoption. This blog series highlights LFN members and the role they play in contributing to open source networking that will benefit the entire ecosystem.

Name: Nermin Mohamed
Position: VP, Head of Global Strategy & Marketing, Network Services
Company: Tech Mahindra

Please tell us a little about your organization?
Tech Mahindra represents the connected world, offering innovative and customer-centric information technology experiences, enabling Enterprises, Associates and Society to Rise™. We are a USD 5.2 billion company with 125+K professionals across 90 countries, helping 973 global customers including Fortune 500 companies.

Telecom Networks is Tech Mahindra’s forte. We have been transforming and modernizing networks for our customers for over 25 years, and are ready to reimagine, reinvent and reshape the future. 

At Tech Mahindra, we live the philosophy of connected world and connected experiences. Tech Mahindra Next (TechMNxt) is our answer to the future. It’s our strategic transformation approach powered by disruptive technologies to open new ways for improving people’s lives and empowering all to live happier, healthier, safer and wealthier. AI is our top tech bet and is core to our strategy at Tech Mahindra. For business and technology solutions, we are investing in the RADIQAL suite (extensible Reality, Automation & AI, Distributed Ledger, IoT, Quantum Computing, All powered by 5G and next-gen networks), as areas for the future.

Our service offerings are aligned to the changing world. Our portfolio of services ranges from designing strategy to delivering impact. This includes infrastructure and cloud services integrated engineering solutions, enterprise business solutions, data analytics, cyber security, business process, services testing, Telecom business and network consulting, customer experience and supply chain digitization.

Why is your organization adopting an open source approach?
Tech Mahindra has been committed to opensource for long time, but it has become even more involved in recent years as a result of 5G deployment that accelerates digital and intelligent transformation where networks shift away from legacy, monolithic, HW-based architectures to disaggregated, distributed, software-defined and cloud-native architecture.

The expanding and fast moving landscape, the broad base of stakeholders, the fast pace of technology innovations and diversified industry requirements call for global collaboration in order to provide the benefits of building new products and solutions, fostering innovation, reducing time to market, creating new opportunities for operators, and helping businesses achieve commercial 5G success.

Simply No one can do it alone. Global collaboration across vendors, operators and industries through open source can help accelerate the development of pre-integrated and deployment- ready solutions that meet the Network Of Future (NOF) needs. Open source provides the opportunity for everyone to propose new ideas, practices and solutions, use cases in order to drive a growing and prosperous application ecosystem while reducing development costs and time to-market.

With an increasing level of complexity, the SI efforts will grow multi-fold when building a distributed, flexible, and agile network. As a SI leader, open source adoption is our strategy to simplify open source-based products and solutions.

Why did you join LFN and what sort of impact do you think LFN has on the networking industry?
By joining LFN, we are showing our continued commitment to innovation. 

Tech Mahindra is a Platinum member of LFN,  having been involved in LFN projects since 2016. We are currently putting a huge focus on ONAP, as cloud automation and orchestration is our focus to help our customers migrate their software, applications and infrastructures to the cloud.

ONAP is becoming the de facto automation platform that delivers E2E automation that drives reduction in operational costs and improvements in business continuity, scalability and efficiency.

What do you see as the top benefits of being part of the LFN community?
LFN focuses on network transformation and the harmonization of major open source networking projects across the entire open networking stack from the data plane into the control plane, to orchestration, automation, end-to-end testing, and more. 

Top open source networking projects are hosted at The Linux Foundation including ONAP, OPNFV, ODL, SNAS, PNDA and others. It is an effective way for vendors, service providers, cloud providers, enterprises and system integrators to innovate and accelerate deployment and adoption. It also has the broadest community in the industry that provides much-needed diversifications and innovation.

LFN offers the opportunity to collaborate across projects and major industrial engagement which helps with innovation and also keep us informed on major industry trends and directions.

What contributions has your team made (or plans to make) to the community/ecosystem through LFN participation?
Tech Mahindra is a founding Platinum member of ONAP. Our commitment to ONAP is focused on enabling Telco operators to adopt ONAP and operationalize deployments in their production environment. At the same time contribute actively to ONAP Platform.

Our ONAP Platform contributions:

  • Standards based BSS integration specifically for 5G and slicing including E2E service order automation enhancements
  • Enable ONAP to support cloud native workloads, container orchestration
  • Create a model based configuration design
  • Enable centralized logging and monitoring
  • Validate distributed ONAP deployment across multiple locations – edge and central – for vRAN architecture

Our joint Telco operator initiatives include: 

  • BSS integration for 5G slice ordering scenarios
  • Orchestration, instantiation and configuration of 5G Core containerized workloads
  • Operations ready ONAP complemented by other open source / operator specific tools
  • Analysis and Design of ONAP deployments in a High Available and geo-redundant set-up
  • Customization of automated test framework for operator needs
  • Design and Analysis of ORAN integration with ONAP for operator specific deployment scenarios
  • Design, development and deployment of operator specific Service Assurance micro-services in ONAP along with the closed control loop operations

What do you think sets LFN apart from other industry alliances?
Great organization that focuses on regular and productive meetings and many events that enable collaboration and innovation:

  • Major focus on the whole network stack and the harmonization across multiple important networking projects
  • The broad and diversified community that foster innovations
  • Focus on solving real and complex operator problems.
  • Enable us to better understand our customer’s needs

How might LFN help your business?
Further focus on harmonization with industrial organizations and standards to reduce fragmentation. Focus on ensuring the success of deployment of the platform and solution to have proven commercially-deployed solutions.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining the LFN community?
Further focus on harmonization with industrial organizations and standards to reduce fragmentation. Focus on ensuring the success of deployment of the platform and solution to have a proven commercially deployed solutions.