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Oct/Nov 2008 | Volume 3/Number 5
Editor's Note

Getting the Word Out

By Richard "Zippy"
Marketing something successfully can often be more an art than a science. Take IMS, for example. Publicity for something like IMS is difficult, since the “customer” is a network operator, carrier, service provider, etc. The average person isn’t going to be impressed with a new communications infrastructure, just the exciting, inexpensive services that result. Service providers’ ears should perk up when you tell them that IMS will provide a way to create an open, standards-based network architecture that delivers new integrated multimedia services to increase revenue, while also reducing network CapEx and OpEx. But that’s not always the case, particularly in an era of economic turmoil.

One way to boost the reputation of something is to associate it or piggyback its name onto something prestigious. For example, one of the world’s most prestigious events is the Olympics, and Ericsson got some mileage for both itself and IMS by providing an IMS platform for the 2008 Olympics in conjunction with Beijing Netcom, a branch of China Netcom.

Another way is to show everyone how a currently hot and sexy (not to mention revenue-generating) application can be delivered via an IMS service architecture-related product, and to produce a satisfied customer. Video in all its forms continues its rapid rise in popularity, and Radvision recently announced that its IMS Video Share Application — which is used to seamlessly integrate IMS video sharing services for Windows Mobile and other operating systems — is now being adopted by Quanta Computer, which will be deploying it as the first IMS service to run on Quanta’s Windows Mobile 6 smartphones.

In other cases, however, a large, formal, across-the-board effort works best.

NEC Corporation of America (www.nec.com), the huge technology provider of network, IT and identity management solutions, has organized a major promotional effort, hatching global NGN/ IMS initiatives and forging close collaborative relationships with major companies to demonstrate proof of interoperability of its NGN and IMS-based solutions, in particular NEC (News - Alert) ’s portfolio of NGN and IMS-based IPTV related software, including the NC5000 Series, NC7000 Series (including a Video-On-Demand server), and NC9000 Series.

Recently NEC announced the appointment of Dr. Veli Sahin, Senior Director, Business Development, NEC Corporation of America, Carrier Solutions to the Board of Directors of the MultiService Forum (MSF), the international organization that works on advancing NGN standards, open architecture and multiservice switching systems. Sahin will help develop implementation agreements, promote the worldwide interoperability of NGN network elements, and encourage input to appropriate national and international standards bodies.

Earlier in 2008, NEC launched its Service Convergence Integrated Platform (SCI-P), also amusingly known as “Light IMS,” a converged multimedia and Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) (SIP)-based solution that enables a fast, simple software-based migration path to a full IMS-based NGN. As is the case with anything IMS-related, NEC’s SCI-P brings an open standardized approach to service creation, thus allowing service vendors and operators to implement and deploy new services in shorter cycles and with less investment.

NEC is also in the process of setting up a global interoperability lab in the U.S., where they’ll trial IMS and IPTV (News - Alert) -centered multimedia services and devices that, thanks to IMS, will work in both fixed-line and mobile communications environments.

Presumably, everyone by now should have heard that the IMS architecture, originally designed for third-generation mobile phones, can project applications over everything from WiFi (News - Alert) to cellular to fixed line communications. No one really argues that it’s a bad idea to build an access-independent platform for service delivery, it’s just a matter of getting the operators to commit and move forward (or perhaps move forward faster).

NEC’s efforts should help catalyze and accelerate the ongoing IMS adoption process.

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC (News - Alert) ’s IP Communications Group.

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