The eTOM (enhanced Telecom Operations Map), published by the TM Forum, is a guidebook that defines the most widely used and accepted standard for business processes in the telecommunications industry. The eTOM model describes the full scope of business processes required by a service provider and defines key elements and how they interact.
eTOM is a common companion of ITIL, an analogous standard or framework for best practices in information technology. Both of these frameworks are part of the larger context of Total Quality Management, in which many industries have, since 1950, increasingly formalized their business processes and metrics in search of higher quality, fewer defects, and greater efficiency. ISO 9000 is probably the best-known of these “process and results improvement” standards, but it is far more generic than either eTOM or ITIL.
eTOM has been adopted by ITU-T as a Recommendation and published in the M.3050.x series.
The eTOM model consists of Level-0, Level-1, Level-2 and Level-3 processes. These levels form a hierarchy, with each level encapsulating a group of processes at the next level of detail. The graphic representation of an eTOM model consists of rows and columns, the intersections of which denote specific business processes. The top row includes customer facing activities such as marketing, while the bottom row includes supplier facing and support activities. In this manner the eTOM map covers the whole value chain. The map also indicates the interaction between processes.
eTOM processes fall into three broad sections: Strategy, Infrastructure & Product, Operations, and Enterprise Management, as shown in the following diagram.