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IMS Featured Article


August 13, 2007

Delivering Personalized, Next-Generation Services with IMS Technology

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor

Twenty-first century service providers are doing business in both uncertain and exciting times. In order to stay competitive, they must deliver personalized, content-rich services. These types of services are possible using next-generation architectures, but deploying and managing such systems can be both costly and potentially confusing.
The key to success in a dynamic market is achieving three business-driven objectives.
1. Offer services that let subscribers access communications and services anytime, from any place, using any device.
2. Offer services that are personalized, context-aware and content-rich.
3. Offer customers the added value of being adaptive, cost-efficient and able to anticipate future needs.
To turn these objectives into reality requires a resilient, flexible approach to deploying and maintaining communications architecture. IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) technology is ideal for this type of approach.
IMS is an open standards-based, real-time, service oriented architecture that lets service providers create systems from standard, IT building blocks. Although IMS was originally created to enable mobile Internet applications, today it has been adopted by the broader communications industry to deliver the following types of services:
  • Subscriber-centric, access-agnostic services
  • Enhanced interpersonal communication experiences
  • Significant cost efficiencies
  • Broad and deep set of innovative money-making services
  • Improved business agility
In order to obtain these and other value-added services, providers and their customers need to choose technology that lets them transition smoothly from legacy infrastructure that’s inflexible and siloed to next-gen infrastructure capable of performing in a cost-efficient, flexible and innovative manner.
There are three key pressure points in the evolution to next-gen networks.
1. Consolidation – required to reduce CAPEX and OPEX (News - Alert); without consolidation, operational challenges now will only get worse.
2. Convergence (News - Alert) – necessary to enhance value-added services while maintaining control over business functions.
3. Innovation – lets providers differentiate offerings by creating revenue-generating multimedia services.
One company that offers the very type of technology discussed here is HP. HP’s Service Delivery Platform (SDP) provides a blueprint for developing, provisioning and deploying new services while migrating from legacy to next-gen infrastructure.
The software that powers SDP, HP OpenCall, makes it possible to deploy the open, standards-based platforms and enablers listed below.
  • Home location register
  • Home subscriber server
  • XML document management server
  • Media platform/media resource function
  • Service access control
  • Signaling (SS7, Sigtran, SIP, Diameter)
SDP coupled with OpenCall means that service providers can start taking advantage of the benefits of IMS now. IMS is growing in popularity as a way to roll out new services capable of generating greater revenues.
By investing in IMS now, and starting the transition to next-gen networks, service providers utilizing HP’s technology get a number of key benefits. They can start rolling out new, revenue-generating services now, while protecting their existing investments. The technology ensures an excellent return on investment, and a path to future innovation.
Perhaps most importantly for staying competitive, IMS technology helps service providers enhance the user experience. Result? Sticky services, loyal customers and reduced churn.
To learn more about the IMS technology used in HP’s SDP and OpenCall solutions, please visit the company’s channel, IMS.
Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.

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