Convergence of mobile technology
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Innovations in both hardware and software platform technologies have greatly expanded the use and application of wireless technology. High speed and multi-core mobile devices along with platform technologies such as Android have transformed the landscape of mobility for both retail and business consumers.
However, the current business model used by service providers (CSPs) revolves around selling connection time to customers, with minimal revenue generated through value added use of mobile applications and services. From a CSP perspective, the latter can greatly expand the scope of the wireless market space.
CSPs own extensive IT infrastructure, network technologies, can easily accumulate pertinent consumer data, such as real-time location, browsing and shopping habits, point of sale information, entertainment choices, and much more. Through integrating this information with mobile applications, CSPs can offer cutting edge services to their customers, and at the same time, exploit a new source of revenue besides the current subscription fee, as well as gain competitive edge and win more customers.
For example, a Rational CSP client in Philippines, Globe Telecom, has developed an incentive program for customers, which upon request can capture a retailer’s identity and provision multiple promotional service packages to the customer in real-time. The latter can apply the promotion instantaneously at the point of sale. This feature has increased sales at Globe by a staggering 600 percent. Similar deployments are underway at many CSPs across the world.
The advantage that many CSPs enjoy in the mobile industry is their ability to create libraries of reusable service assets in real-time, which can be assembled into composite services for their customers. For their Toolbox product, Globe’s developers used IBM Rational® Application Developer for WebSphere® and Rational Software Architect to visualize as models, and simplify the design, complete software development and deploy the new promotions and services in a short time. Since real-time performance is key to the overall effectiveness of the system, tools such as IBM Rational Performance Tester, Rational Functional Tester and Rational Service Tester for SOA Quality can identify key performance bottlenecks, as well as automate the multifaceted testing process required for deploying a successful mobile product.
About the Author
Irv Badr has nearly twenty years’ experience in developing software architecture and marketing complex systems; he works at IBM’s Chicago office, as a Go-To-Market Manager focusing on Energy, Utilities and Communication Service Providers in Rational Software division.