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Friday, September 23, 2005

What New Services will IMS best enable?

With so many people subscribing to the IMS Insider service (www.ims-insider.com) since the launch last week, we've been furiously planning the next edition of the e-newsletter (available on 15th October to subscribers). (Some people are already taking up the 'Ask-an-Expert' email Q&A service, which is also keeping us busy!).

Next month in the newsletter we'll look in detail at what new services will IMS best enable. You'll need to subscribe to the newsletter at www.ims-insider.com, if you'd like this insight. However, here's a teaser:

IMS technology is clearly developing fast. However, it's unclear which new services will be the winners in an IMS-enabled world. So, what criteria should telco marketers and product developers use to prioritise their services?

Chris Barraclough, who used to develop propositions for European mobile operator, Orange, and who's now a consultant at our sister company STL (www.stlpartners.com), describes the issue as follows:

"We all know that the voice market is in decline. Operators we speak to are desperately seeking new services that can leverage IMS. They got lucky with SMS. Since then they are trying to work out the next 'big product'. The problem is there isn't a single one.

Operators recognise they need a portfolio of services, and they're getting there...but very slowly. And it's even more difficult to define a portfolio for IMS-enabled services that don't yet exist - it feels too hard, too esoteric.

As a result, we see very unscientific approaches to making investment decisions today, and they are not factoring in IMS enough/at all. (See the discussion in this month's 'Crow's Nest' in the IMS-Insider e-newsletter).

So, as part of our 'IMS Navigator' service (which I'm delighted is REALLY taking off with operators at the moment), we've created a simple framework that helps prioritise IMS service development. It's only as good as the analysis used to populate it, but if the analysis is creative, rigorous, thorough, we're finding it's a great help.

We've applied lessons from the pharmaceutical and oil industries in developing this framework. We think this 'unknown'/R&D oriented approach to product development is well suited to thinking through investment decisions around IMS-enabled services."

For details of Chris's framework, do subscribe to the October edition of IMS Insider (www.ims-insider.com). Chris's contact details: mailto:Chris.barraclough@stlpartners.com

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