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Friday, September 16, 2005

Finding IMS information – an ‘insider’s’ experience

If you are new to IMS or simply want to find out more, you can of course search the web.

But, as Arthur C Clarke pointed out, searching the web, even with Google, is rather like a thirsty man holding out a cup under Niagara Falls. This is particularly the case for new topics like IMS.

The ‘IMS Insider’ team trawl the web to help build insight into IMS. We bring you the best digest every month, on the theme of ‘how to commercialise IMS’. We also offer an ‘Ask-an-Expert’ email service and an IMS Deployments Register for paying subscribers (see www.ims-insider.com . PS: if you’d like to subscribe – 50% off if you sign up in Sept!!).

However, for those new to IMS, there are 3 excellent “entry-level” sites:

1.) www.telephonyonline.com/ims (for general IMS news, business news, whitepapers etc.)
2.) www.sipcenter.com (more focus on the technical side, but in a easily understandable language)
3.) www.wirelessreview.com (focus on wireless, but with lot of buzz on IMS) .

A really good recent article, from Greg Papadapolous, CTO and Executive VP at Sun Microsystems is useful to get a vendor's perspective: http://www.sun.com/solutions/documents/articles/te_ims_qanda_gregp_aa.xml

Need to search deeper?

Pranay Kohli (pranay.kohli@stlpartners.com), who works in STL’s IMS Practice (www.stlpartners.com), and who is on the editorial team of IMS Insider, has given me the following advice for would-be IMS researchers. He says:

“Since IMS is an emerging area, not a lot of refined information is available readily on the internet. Moreover, since the subject is technical in nature, it is easy to miss highly relevant IMS information, just because the word IMS does not appear in it. For example, soft-switch is a crucial component in the IP world, but a discussion of soft-switch will generally not veer towards IMS.

So: to be able to gather good and relevant IMS info, one must be able to understand (1) IMS (2) SDP (Service Delivery Platform), and (3) Telecom Application Layer. For more targeted research, these sites are very good:

- www.sipcenter.com
- www.findarticles.com
www.heavyreading.com (its IMS report is a rage in the telecom world at the moment!)
- www.telephonyonline.com
- www.shorecliffcommunications.com
- www.ibctelecoms.com
- www.3g.co.uk

Googling re IMS
One can start on the internet by a google search with the following example key words: Since IMS (as IP Multimedia Subsystem) is a relatively new acronym, be aware that if you use only ‘IMS’ as a key word you will get lots of results on ‘International Medical System’ and similar. So do pair IMS with telco-related key words. See the following:

i. ims ericsson architecture
ii. ims sdp
iii. ims service layer
iv. ims sip
v. ims architecture 3gpp

Industry/Market News relating to IMS

On general IT and business sites, if there is search functionality and you’re looking for key strategy announcements (e.g partnerships), product launches, M&A news, press releases and gossip from reputable sites/weblogs, on/from key industry players (both suppliers and major customers), then you should use the following keywords in your search: IMS (obviously), IP Multimedia Subsystem, TISPAN, Next Generation Mobile Service Platform, Next Generations Networks Service Platform, IP infrastructure, IP core networks, Content delivery infrastructure, NGN.

Vendor Sites

In addition, all of telecom vendors (Nokia, Ericsson, Sun Microsystems, etc) have IMS sections on their websites, where there is very useful information.

However, it is important to be able to see through them – as you’d expect, they promote their view of the world, which needs decoding (a job that IMS Insider, especially our Email ‘Ask-An-Expert’ service does - www.ims-insider.com

From a technical perspective, one has to look into each vendor’s perspective on “its” interpretation and implementation of 3GPP guidelines. This is a major issue and a lot of operators are looking for guidance on this. For this, one needs to take a walk on the technical side into “developer community” section of most telecom vendor websites.

We particularly recommend the Cisco site (www.cisco.com), which gives a nice IT twist on IMS.

Industry Body sites

You can search for major announcements, publications/white papers, developments or up-coming events from relevant industry bodies. Many developments in this area are very detailed, working-level standards setting and far too granular for the generalist.

www.ietf.org, www.3gpp.org, www.etsi.org, www.fixedlinemms.org, www.openmobilealliance.org, www.cablelabs.com, www.itu.int
www.wimaxforum.org, www.atis.org, www.gsmworld.com, http://www.3gamericas.org

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