I MS is growing. Its reach and potential impact is being felt in virtually every segment of the communications industry from broadband to advanced wireless services. Vendors and service providers, in turn, are scrambling to keep pace with these rising expectations by stretching the technology’s envelope and rolling out a widening stream of new IMS-related products, services and applications.The pace of IMS evolution and its impact will only grow as familiarity with the technology increases and IMS services and applications gain traction. Growth is undoubtedly good, but the speed and extent of the IMS market’s expansion and evolution could at least temporarily undermine the impact of the technology. The market’s rapid growth, coupled with the rising number of related products, services and vendors, could underscore existing ambiguities over IMS standards, protocols, interfaces and interoperability in general. Questions may also rise over service quality and ultimately return on investment (ROI) in IMS technology.
These challenges are not unique to IMS. Almost every promising technology faces similar hurdles. What separates the truly transformational technologies from the all others is how quickly an industry addresses its challenges — if at all. The key to success is having vendors, service providers and network operators work together to address common issues.
IMS players, in effect, need to work collectively wherever possible to promote their technology, educate users and enhance interoperability. Everyone wins in this case because IMS will meet if not exceed the market’s expectations.
The IMS Forum (www.IMSForum.org) is constantly working to promote and educate the wider business community on IMS technology, while serving as a clearinghouse for IMS vendors and service providers to discuss
and address critical issues.
A prime example is the IMS Forum’s inaugural IMS Applications and Services Plugfest event planned for this January at the UNH Interoperability Lab. This milestone event is designed to bring vendors and service providers together to establish criteria and requirements for IMS Applications and Service Delivery compliance. The Plugfest, in effect, will establish an industry-recognized “stamp of approval” or certification for IMS applications and services.
The IMS Forum Plugfest, which will run from January 15th through the 21st, is just the first in a series of Plugfests that will provide open environments to address interoperability issues, establish best practices and ease rapid and effective IMS deployment.
For membership information, or to participate in IMS Forum working groups, plugfest and membership info please visit www.IMSForum.org or contact Michael Khalilian MKhalilian@IMSForum.org.