August 31, 2009
When it comes to delivering services to subscribers, providers obviously must have an infrastructure in place to be able to physically bring their offerings to their customers - or partnerships that will enable that delivery. But, they must also have an understanding of what services their subscribers are interested in and, importantly, what they are willing to pay for.
The new communications market is no longer going to be defined by its networks; rather, successful providers will be able to quickly and efficiently bring new and innovative services and applications to market. Alcatel-Lucent founded the ng Connect program precisely with that objective: to drive innovation through collaboration between a wide range of vendors - vendors that have a vested interest in each others' activities, but that previously have not have a community through which to actively engage one another, including application developers, hardware vendors, service providers, and others.
The simple fact is that no single company has the resources or the knowledge to effectively understand which on which services they should focus their efforts for maximum uptake and exposure, let alone develop them for the widest possible audience.
First and foremost, the ng Connect program helps facilitate the research required to determine user demand for certain services, including how much they are willing to pay, the potential market adoption, and the impact of network evolution, such as the migration to 4G wireless networks. Without this knowledge, developers are largely heading into projects blindly, without fully understand what they need to develop and for whom, making their projects something of a hit or miss proposition.
Once projects have been identified, ng Connect members have access to streamlined proof of concept development capabilities through shared resources within the community, shortening development time and simplifying interoperability work, including access to end-to-end service provider networks for testing, assessment, and validation with access protocols, devices, billing systems, and other critical service delivery elements. The community also provides an avenue for targeted testing among customers, media, and other groups.
"The ng Connect system helps us to get in touch with major players in the business, like handset manufacturers and mobile network operators, as well as those who build the actual operating systems," says Michael Schade, CEO, FISH. "That gives us early access so we can design our software to work effectively at an early stage."
Of course, no service can be successful without effective marketing, which is provided through the nature of the community itself. A singular, wide-reaching collective voice of the ng Connect community helps drive services to market, quickly increasing exposure to a large target customer base.
Any company that plans on being competitive in the next generation market should consider membership in ng Connect, effectively the link between innovation and delivery to market of profitable consumer and business services.
"It's about truly transformational and innovative companies that are willing to collaborate and understand how they are going to use broadband technologies in a way that betters the user experience," said Derek Kuhn, Vice President of Emerging Technology and Media at Alcatel-Lucent.
For more on how ng Connect can help you identify the services your customers are looking for, and quickly develop them and bring them to market, read this article from the Next Generation Communications community.
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