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What is ETOM?

By David White
Updated May 16, 2024
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Every business has standards and best practices, even the sprawling, rapidly changing telecom industry. The most widely used and accepted set of standards for this sector of the world communications market is ETOM, which stands for Enhanced Telecom Operations Map. The enhanced part of the title illustrates the focus on cutting-edge telecom technologies, such as DSL, broadband, and Internet-related telephony. As with other sets of business standards, ETOM is regularly updated. The current version is Version 4.5.

At its most basic, ETOM is a blueprint for telecom companies to implement enterprise practices. Topics are generally broken down into three groups:

  • Strategy, Infrastructure, and Product: including marketing and offer management, service development and management, resource development and management, and supply chain development and management
  • Operations: including customer relationship management, service management and operations, resource management and operations, and supplier/partner relationships management
  • Enterprise Management: including strategic and enterprise planning, enterprise risk management, enterprise effectiveness management, knowledge and research management, and financial and asset management.

ETOM can also describe a framework for developing business practices that follow a customer-focused pattern, such as marketing, initial sale, customer support, billing, after-service support, follow-up customer support, and so on. Strategies within ETOM suggest the most effective methods for achieving success in all of these areas. Such areas as marketing and billing are not usually associated with the same level of importance as the more technical aspects of customer support, but ETOM treats all aspects of the process equally, encouraging telecom businesses to do the same, and it's not just the business-to-customer relationship that is addressed here. ETOM also includes strategies for generating, maintaining, and improving business-to-business relationships.

ETOM is the product of the TeleManagement Forum, a nonprofit organization that is, in turn, part of the International Telecommunications Union. ETOM was developed in 1995 through contributions of more than 35 TMF member companies and was formally approved by the ITU in 2004. ETOM is also a guiding light in the development and use of technologies in NGOSS (New Generation Operations Systems and Software) and a worthy companion to ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

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Discussion Comments
By anon40643 — On Aug 10, 2009

A Service Provider Cannot get eTOM certified. :)

An individual can get a Knowledge certification in eTOM and SID though. -- Thanks! Ashish.

By anon32711 — On May 26, 2009

eTOM is not a standard!!

it is just a framework for a Telecommunications Service Provider to identify key business processes!

Yes eTOM has different levels(Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3) under which every BP is again subdivided into subprocesses.

No one can get a certification in eTOM..It is not a technology of any kind.. it is not for an individual, it is for a business!!

As far as TL 9000 is concerned..Quest Forum developed the TL 9000 Quality Management System to meet the supply chain quality requirements of the worldwide telecommunications industry.. These are different from eTOM in the sense that one is a business process framework but the other is a Quality related guideline for the same industry i.e telecommunications (includes metrics and stuff)...

Thanks! -Ashish

By anon22327 — On Dec 01, 2008

What is difference in eTOM and TL 9000?

By anon18382 — On Sep 22, 2008

Excellent!!!!! Very crisp introduction to eTOM.

By anon18253 — On Sep 18, 2008

This is fantastic introduction about eTOM. I would like to get the certification on this. Can you guide me on how i have to apply .

By anon7235 — On Jan 22, 2008

This article provides a basic overview of what ETOM is. It is a good starting point. Where or how can the ETOM ver 4.5 be obtained?

By anon809 — On May 05, 2007

Are there any levels of eTOM model (just like CMM)??

Is there any other model that is being used in the Telecom industry??

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