OMA shifts focus to marketing

Alan Quayle/Alan Quayle WebLog
18 Jul 2012

At first blush it would appear Rich Communications Suite (RCS) has adopted

Open Mobile Alliance (OMA's) Converged IP Messaging (CIM) spec so work is complete. But that means CIM is wholly dependent on RCS, which has the dumb dependency of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which is expensive and time consuming to implement.

Granted fat application server solutions have appeared that reduce the implementation cost by essentially offering the User Network Interface (UNI), API and Network Network Interface (NNI) and all the internal interfaces disappear into a black box. So a discussion point for the conference was what should OMA do to ensure broader adoption of CIM?

At the OMA messaging workshop last week, I saw several fallacies presented as core operator differentiation:

  • "Operators have quality of service in their favor": my AT&T service worked intermittently throughout the conference as did the AT&T service of many other conference attendees, while Skype through the OMA provided WiFi remained solid.
  • "Operators have great customer service": operators' customer service sucks, see the JD Power survey, at least Vodafone admitted they needed to improve customer service.
  • "Relevance of operators’ APIs and their developer communities": long tail developers do not care about most operator APIs, it isn't cool to be a telco developer.
  • "Operators protect people's privacy": remember Swisscom and the aggregate location data controversy, the BT Phorm debacle, and the ongoing discussions on monetizing customer data does not inspire customer confidence.
  • "There must be one solution (ours)": let customers use whatever they want, just make sure you're the service customers pay for by working across most people in a nation with a great experience.
  • And finally many slides were measuring the wrong thing, just comparing "user" numbers is pointless. Firstly, the user numbers are false, see this BBC report on the likely 90 million fake Facebook profiles. Why do advertisers see better results in more traditional advertising like TV? Because the customer numbers are real as they have to pay for TV. The elephant in the room in the "economy of free" is there is likely 100 million plus "digital rent a crowd" of fake online accounts that can be used for a price. That's why so many times a perceived popular app looks like a ghost town once when you go inside.

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