Deploying New Services

I received this article recently from Lucent. It is an article about Lucent services but it nevertheless is worthy of reading as it details some next generation services we will be seeing service providers deploy in the future. For example I like the idea of video greetings that can be sent via “virtual characters.”

I also like the idea of celebrity greetings and certainly these are being rolled out slowly but surely. I think many people would love a Donald Trump greeting that says “Thanks for calling… To avoid getting fired leave a detailed message after the tone.”

There is more to the article but if you are intrigued so far, give it a read and feel free to leave your comments at the bottom.


The Secret to Success in the Vast Applications Market

Lucent Hosted Services: A New Business Model for Success

Keith Chappell, Managing Vice President and Global Practice Leader
Lucent Worldwide Services, Communications Applications

There are three prongs for success in the applications market: Increase revenue, lower costs and improve time to market for new and innovative end-user applications.

Service providers, virtual network operators and ISPs can answer these challenges by adopting a hosted applications strategy. Vendors such as Lucent are starting to change the game by tailoring applications around their customers’ needs. With new hosted VoIP, security, email and a wide array of other multimedia communications, customers can add hosted offerings to their services mix, helping them give their enterprise and business customers the flexibility, control and increased revenue they want without the risk and costs they don‘t.

For example, Lucent has built the Hosted Custom Applications Center, which works with customers to create and customize applications that will differentiate them from their competitors. Lucent can integrate the application into the customer‘s network infrastructure or host the application through Lucent’s Global Network Operations Centers (GNOCs), ensuring reliability and security.

Through Hosted Applications, things like facilities operation, applications performance management and capacity planning can be rolled into the ‘pay-as-you-grow’ pricing to further reduce service provider risk and time to market. In addition, customers can rest easy, knowing Lucent’s trained professionals are managing their applications through our world-class GNOCs.

LWS‘ Hosted Applications offerings include:

Video Greetings – Creative and entertaining video messages that can be sent via Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), Short Message Service (SMS), Web or email. This application features Pulse‘s Veepers™, which enables the creation and deployment of virtual characters.

Celebrity Greetings – Unique and personalized audio greeting cards as incoming or outgoing messages on your voice mail systems;

Location Based Services (iLocator Services) – applications, including “friend finder” and driving directions, that capitalizes on user presence, location and availability;

MiRing Back – Downloadable ringback tones; and

AnyPath Messaging Solution – a seamless communications experience for the end user with access through any device for audio and video message storage and retrieval.

As end-users continue to demand the most innovative and new applications, it becomes more and more clear that applications are revolutionizing the industry. Lucent is also continuing to evolve its applications so service providers can satisfy their customers with the most cutting-edge, revenue-driving applications available.

At any given time, service providers are being bombarded with hundreds of application opportunities, and most simply do not have the operational or financial capacity to evaluate, finance, and deploy even a small fraction of these. The decisions these operators have to make become even more confusing when considering the tremendous uncertainty regarding which applications users will adopt, how much they would be willing to pay for them and how long they will potentially hold their interest.

Even for those few service providers that have the capacity to simultaneously roll-out every application that comes their way using their existing deployment approaches, likelihood is that they would lose money as the return generated by the handful of successful applications would far from offset the sizable upfront investment in the remainder.

The answer to this dilemma lies in a three-pronged approach to applications deployment.

First Prong: Service Delivery Platform Approach

Service providers should be moving away from the current model of fully integrated applications deployments towards a more economically attractive paradigm: an environment in which new applications can be plugged and unplugged more quickly and affordably. This is frequently referred to as a Service Delivery Platform approach.

This increasingly popular approach allows common support elements and functional modules – such as subscriber databases, provisioning interfaces and billing interfaces – to be easily accessed via Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs), and negates the need to replicate each of these modules every time a provider wishes to deploy a new application. In effect, service providers gain the ability to bring new applications to market much more rapidly and cost-effectively than they do today. Not only that, but they can also be disconnected with more ease. The IMS infrastructure, which many service provider are currently exploring, is complementary toward these goals, providing API’s to common application data and allowing a seamless applications experience across many different access domains and devices.

Second Prong: The “Pay As You Grow” Model

Subsequently, service providers should choose to leverage new business and supplier pricing models that transfer some of the market and technology risks to the supplier community and across the industry at large. New pricing models might include transaction and subscription-based pricing coupled with r
evenue sharing. These are effectively “pay-as-you-grow” pricing agreements that ensure service providers maintain a positive cash flow with both successful and unsuccessful applications. By adding a Hosted Applications business proposition and delivery model to the equation, service providers are also able to bring new applications to market much greater speed. With the advent of Hosted Applications, facilities operation, applications performance management and capacity planning can be rolled into the “pay-as-you-grow” pricing to further reduce service provider risk and time to market.

Third Prong: Monitoring Your Network

The third prong of a successful market launch approach should be to implement a rigorous and disciplined monitoring process so that the service provider can quickly understand which applications are going to be successful and what is driving that success. This monitoring process should also ascertain trends in the demographic characteristics of the end user base, cross correlations with other applications usage, price elasticities, and other adoption parameters. This added information will enable considerably more effective service marketing and will allow providers to quickly adjust service definition and packaging to optimize utility for end users and maximize their profitability.

End Result

By adopting these approaches, service providers will be poised to reap winning applications, while also quickly replacing less successful applications with more useful ones. The new deployment environment will be both highly effective and will also offer a rapid learning capability that over time will increase success rates as providers gain a better understanding of the drivers of applications market success – and only bring to market those applications that fit this pattern. The financial returns should be enormous.

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