Report on 
Masayoshi Ejiri, Jong-Tae Park, Hiroyuki Okazaki and James Won-Ki Hong

APNOMS'98, 1998 Asia-Pacific Network Operations and Management Symposium, was held on September 16-18, 1998 in Sendai, Japan.  This symposium, which follows the very first and successful APNOMS'97  [1] held in Seoul Korea in October 1997, was attended by more than 260 researchers, developers, providers and vendors from 10 countries around the world.

The theme of this three-day symposium was "Managing the New Telecommunications Paradigms". Today, rapid progress of technologies and sophisticated customer requirements are driving telecommunication world into new paradigms, where computer and telecommunication technologies are merged, and new competitive services are furnished through multiple service providers, vendors and heterogeneous network environments. In today's globally competitive market, telecommunication industries are facing the challenge to realize end-to-end services which are faster, cheaper and more reliable. Network operations and management is essential to achieve end-to-end flow-through services and has become key enabler for business success as well as customer satisfaction.

On the first day of the symposium, the APNOMS'98 participants enjoyed six tutorials on the hottest topics in the area of network operations and management. Jock Embry (Opening Technologies, USA) gave a tutorial on "Designing Managed Objects with GDMO". Kazunori Ishikawa (NTT, Japan) gave a tutorial on "Operation Technologies of Next-Generation Communication Switching Systems". James Won-Ki Hong (POSTECH, Korea) gave a tutorial on "Web-based Network and Systems Management". Salah Aidarous (NEC America, USA) gave a tutorial on "Integrated Network Management: the Reality and Expectations". Mehmet Toy (Fujitsu Network Communications, USA) gave a tutorial on "ATM Network Management via Open Interfaces". Finally, Takeshi Hattori (Sophia University, Japan) gave a tutorial on "Mobile Communications and Management". All tutorials were well attended and there were a lot of interesting discussions between the audience and speakers.

The second day started with a welcoming message from the general chair, Masayoshi Ejiri (Fujitsu, Japan), and was followed by four keynote speeches by the distinguished invited speakers.  Shri K. Goyal (GTE, USA) delivered a visionary speech on "Network and Service Management - the Next Generation", emphasizing transparently connected accessible management based on independently managed component systems for new generation.  Keith Willetts (NMF) emphasized the need for changes in the telecommunications industry and the NMF's role in realizing TMN. Mario Campolargo (EC DGXIII, EU) introduced European ACTS (Advanced Communications Technologies and Services) Program where pursuing TMN standardization and emphasized the openness of ACTS activities and co-operation with other concerned bodies. Finally, Nobuo Fujii (NTT, Japan) talked on "Multimedia Business and Service Operations" and NTT's experience in introducing these services. His experience on video conferencing services showed that customers were always price driven with little concerns on technologies used. The third day started with two keynote speeches. Shoichi Noguchi (University of Aizu, Japan) delivered a speech on "New Network Technology and Its Impact on Future Society" and hoped that the good aspects of Eastern and Western cultures can influence the technology and business in the future.  Hyun-Woo Kim (Korea Telecom, Korea) gave a speech on "Toward Interoperable Telecommunications Network Management" and proposed a multi-national test-bed for integrated network operations and management in the Asia-Pacific region.  This proposal was well received by the audience and Korea Telecom and NTT have agreed to pursue on setting up the test-bed.

Following the keynote speeches on the second and third day of the symposium were the technical presentations.  For APNOMS'98, 78 high-quality technical papers on the latest results of research and development were submitted. Out of these 80 papers, 40 were accepted for technical presentations and 12 were accepted for poster presentations. Technical presentations covered topics on SDH and access network management, CORBA-based and distributed management, mobile management, security management, NMS implementation technologies, service management, ATM network management, and Web-based and Internet management.

The APNOMS'98 participants were also treated with two days of demo exhibitions on the latest tools and systems on network operations and management.  There were 16 exhibitions by CiTR, DSET, Fujitsu, HP Japan, NEC, Nichimen Data Systems, Sumitomo Net Solution Corporation, NK-EXA, NTT-AT, OGIS-RI, ONE, OSI Plus, PLATINUM Technology, TCSI, UH Communications, and Vertel.

APNOMS'98 ended the three-day event with a very interesting and highly-debated panel session on the topic of  "How to Manage in the New Telecommunications Paradigms?". The panel was chaired by Jong-Tae Park (KNU, Korea) and the panelists were Veli Sahin (Samsung Telecommunications, USA), Masayoshi Ejiri (Fujitsu, Japan), Young-Hyun Cho (Korea Telecom, Korea), Mario Campolargo (EC DGXIII, EU), and Al Vincent (NMF).  Veli started by emphasizing the social and political aspects taking the QoS of the Internet and public networks as a reference.  Masayoshi emphasized the importance of the customer as the driver for process change.  Young-Hyun demonstrated the need for restructuring to achieve integration and end-to-end customer care and one-stop management.  Mario summarized the European experience in dealing with competitive measures through a common regulatory framework, and how research was directed to serve this objective. Al presented the NMF activity in neutral information modeling.

Overall, APNOMS'98 was a very successful symposium in terms of the number of participants, the quality of technical and poster presentations, the number and quality of exhibitions, the electrifying keynote speeches, and finally the lively interaction between the attendees and speakers.

APNOMS'99  is planned to be held in the fall of 1999 in Korea.

[1] James W. Hong, "Toward Global Network Management",  Journal of Network and Systems Management, Plenum Press, Vol. 6, No. 1, March 1998, pp. 91-93.