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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Top IMS Services - IMS World Forum Survey

The biggest question in IMS is "What are the most profitable Services that IMS can enable or enhance?" or, in other words, why are we spending all this time and money on this architecture?

So, we thought we'd run a survey at the IMS World Forum last week.

My colleagues who run the IMS Practice at our parent consultancy, STL (www.stlpartners.com), created a short-list of 22 services that could be significantly enabled or enhanced by IMS (listed below). These guys know their stuff - they include an ex-CEO of a major European Mobile Operator, an ex-Marketing Director of another European Mobile Operator, an ex-Business Transformation Director of a US Fixedline player, an ex-Strategy Director of a European FMC company, and a consultant who previously set up a Mobility Centre of Excellence for one of the Big 5 Consultancies and also worked in Product Strategy for a leading NEP.

We distributed the list at the IMS World Forum last week (see below with a short description of each). This created quite a buzz. Delegates were asked to choose their Top 5 from the short-list. Over 60 people responded. The results are in my next posting on this blog.

This is, of course, not scientific, or rigourous, but the results may be interesting to readers of this blog.

For a much more detailed and in-depth analysis of the most profitable IMS services, do subscribe to 'IMS Insider' (www.ims-insider.com) where in October's edition of our monthly report we unveil a new methodology for categorising and prioritising IMS services, an 'Adoption Scorecard', a Deployment Framework....and case studies of what we think will be the most profitable Top IMS-enabled/enhanced services for operators. It goes without saying that our Top Services are based around Presence, LBS and VoiP and, for the consumer market, Multi-Player Gaming. We go into a lot more detail than I've seen anywhere else at present on how these services can be commercial successes for operators.

(Remember our October promotion - 25% discount on the annual subscription to IMS Insider, which means you get 12 focused monthly reports, monthly access to an 'Ask-An-expert' email service, and a quarterly deployment register - cost: £746 per person per annum! www.ims-insider.com)

Short-list of most profitable IMS-Enabled/Enhanced Services:

(NB: 8 of the short-listed services are primarily for business customers, 5 primarily for consumers and 9 could be for both business and consumers.)

Net Meeting
On-demand conference call combining voice call with text messaging, application sharing, show-me-now photo and whiteboarding. Ability to add-in new attendees, hand-over control and save amended files/whiteboard.

Inbound call screening
Captures standard caller information (either from CLI/ID or if not available, through automated caller interaction) and presents this to called party for action

Single Virtual Directory
Directory of contacts (personal and/or business) accessed from any device. With optional gateways to public directories.

Unified Communications
Multiple numbers (fixed, mobile, Instant Messenger ID, VOIPid) combined to behave a single logical number for all real-time communication services.

Unified Messaging
Single mail box for email, voicemail and other asynchronous messaging, which can be accessed through any device

Allow calls to be routed to a specified sequence of devices in turn.

Group Hunt
Routes calls through a predefined sequence of contacts (e.g. Try to reach X first, then try Y then try Z)

Friends & Family Tracking
Allow predefined contacts or buddy-lists to see: That you are at Home, Work other 'base location'.

Single Number/Dual Ringing
Enable multiple devices to be called simultaneously. User can chose to use any device to respond (or reject call).

One-Device, Two-Number
Two numbers to manage different groups of contacts (e.g. Personal vs. Business Contacts). Multi-profiling through multiple devices/networks.

Click to Conference
Instant conference with a predefined attendee list. Attendees are connected from any network/device.

Multiplayer Gaming
Real-time gaming between 2 or more players, potentially through different devices/over different networks.

Personal Assistant
Presence management and messaging through configurable rules linked to diary (e.g. During a meeting, I am "busy" for anyone other than my boss).

Call completion
If a caller is unable to reach a party, caller initiates service that will detect when the called party is available, then contact the caller, who in responding, re-initiates and completes the original call (e.g. BT "press 5" service)

Multi-Channel Tele Voting
Interactive entertainment services that allow real-time feedback through any device

Location-based profile match
Subscribers enter profiles / interests and those they are seeking. Matches are made based on profiles and proximity. Subscribers can then make contact using service (through pseudonym). Includes business applications such as trade fairs / conferences.

Logistics/Fleet Tracking/Mgt
Detailed location information presented against assets/individuals

Field Force Efficiency
Real-time location information integrated to field force (sales, service) management to minimise travel distance and transit times

Virtual PBX
Provides PBX functionality across and between multiple devices and networks

Intelligent Call Centre Routing
Provides complex rules-based routing of inbound calls to mulitple terminations (time of day, follow-the-sun, load balancing, originating caller routing, IVR-based call routing, group hunting, disaster recovery (pre)-configurations)

Video Sharing
Integration of video clips into a voice call, where both parties can view and discuss the video

Security Monitoring
Access to web-cam (video and controls) from any device with appropriate screen.

Questions/comments: email me at

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