The Value of TL 9000 In The Wireless, VoIP and Cable Communication Segments

This past week, I was preparing for a QuEST Forum Executive Board Presentation on TL 9000.  It became clear to me while preparing this presentation that a current review of TL 9000 and its benefits in other communication segments would be an excellent topic to begin our blog/support desk for 2011.  Even though I have published two articles on this topic in the past, there have been substantial gains made with TL 9000 in recent years.

Most of my familiarity with TL 9000 adoption has been in the traditional Local Exchange Carrier segment of the industry.  I started thinking–what TL benefits would be applicable or unique to the wireless, VoIP and cable segments of the communications industry? What is QuEST Forum doing to promote penetration of TL 9000 in these segments?  What is the chance that TL 9000 will gain adoption among all segments of communications? The next few paragraphs will hopefully wet your appetite by presenting some general facts about TL 9000 and the very real possibility of this adoption trend.

QuEST Forum published some performance data results that are important to highlight.  At the end of 2010, QuEST Forum recorded approximately 1900 TL 9000 certifications, with the majority of them in Asia Pacifica and North America. The standard, in two Handbooks covering requirements and measurements has been updated through release 5.0 of requirements and 4.5 of measurements.  It has matured significantly, as volunteer representatives of major service providers, OEM suppliers and service companies improved the standard through lessons learned and by bringing in best practices from other frameworks such as the Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) and the automotive standard, TS16949.

Initially, the benefits of TL 9000 that we hoped to see were the development and use of a common quality language throughout the telecommunications supply chain, greater network reliability, a higher rate of on time delivery and a reduction of customer problem reports.  Since the inception of QuEST Forum in 1998, many of these benefits have been realized.

As I mentioned before, QuEST Forum released results of a compilation of industry data based on the standardized reporting of certified companies.  Data for 8 of about 32 different product categories was studied for the period 2007-2008.   The data revealed among other things that for on time delivery, the linear average of the averages of the 8 product categories had risen from 75% to 81%, while certain product categories had improved as much 130%. This is important, since many of the product categories studied deliver critical network services every day for users of the public network.  These improvements were realized by simply applying the time-honored principle of measuring what you want to manage.

In addition to the benefits outlined previously, I believe that there are at least three more that have recently been introduced into the TL 9000 standard, risk management, sustainability and additional emphasis on testing.  That’s a big scope of impact.  In the next 4 installments of this series, I will highlight how these areas of impact are just as critical to the delivery of service in wireless, VoIP and cable market segments.  TL 9000 is proving its worth as a “communications” industry standard and its migration—may be an inevitability.  Stay tuned for this series, as it may get you to think about your product or service in a more strategic way!  For more information contact