It seems certain the future of today’s service provider will be in new applications we may not be able to envision today. In fact part of the lure of IMS or IP multimedia subsystem solutions is to allow these providers to roll new applications out quickly across wireless and wireline networks.
With increasing voice competition and falling prices due to technologies such as VoIP, service providers must look elsewhere such as gaming and entertainment to make up for lost revenue. Yes, new services will be the future of successful communications service providers.
At the recent ITEXPO/IMS EXPO last month in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Keith Chappell, Vice President at Alcatel-Lucent mentioned in his opening keynote address that service provider applications will be rolled out and some will be successful and some will not. He likened application roll-outs to TV shows that go off the air. Some will be blockbusters and some just won’t.
So if IMS-based solutions are going to be similar to television network programming, we need to make it as easy as possible for these applications to be developed and delivered. For this reason Nortel has recently announced they are adding partners BEA Systems, IP Unity Glenayre and Vantrix to their IMS development program.
If you remember back to the days of the PC and the operating system wars, you recall that the size of the developer network determined the success of the underlying platform. In other words as PCs became commoditized it was the developer network that enabled your platform to be successful. Applications are what drove computer and operating system sales.
Similarly, the service providers who do best will be the ones with the best development tools.
IMS platforms will have to ensure service providers are able to roll our applications and fine tune them like lightning.
One would further surmise prebundled software packages will be offered to providers allowing them to get started quickly on an e-voting application for example. In all, the world of applications is an exciting place to be for service providers.
But these companies are generally slow to move and are used to development cycles taking years not weeks. They will have to adapt.
Thankfully IMS allows service providers to let developers outside of their companies develop applications as well.
An example of a simple service I wrote about recently is Vonage’s Valentine service that sends a poem to a recipient on February 14th.
If applications are the future of service providers they will certainly have to get started quickly to learn how to research, write and tweak these applications quickly in order to respond to the ever-changing needs of their increasingly tech-savvy audience.
The timing of this news is perfect as TMC is putting the final touches on our program at the upcoming Communications Developer conference this May 2007 in Santa Clara, CA. As the IMS development market has heated up these past years, expect a good deal of informative content on how you can develop revenue-producing applications in the IP multimedia subsystem world.