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    Control the UI or die

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    Messaging specialist Comverse’s chief marketing officer Benny Einhorn has warned that operators must change the brand image of the phones on their network in order to survive.

    Outlining the benefits to operators of Comverse’s InSight next generation messaging platform, Einhorn said the key benefit is that creating applications within an IP based modular architecture means operators will be able to design user interfaces to suit their own, and their customers’ needs, rather than be reliant on what comes out of the box from a phone manufacturer.
    A good example of this, Einhorn said, was Vodafone Live!, which has operated with a relatively limited number of handset vendors, because the concept is still new to the market.
    “InSight is practically identical but is more advanced, because Vodafone Live is browser-based versus a handset client model. But no doubt Vodafone will move to a client-based model with network support, which is the same as Insight.
    “The likes of Nokia object and their concept is that it should be all on the handset, and the network is a dumb pipe. Operators must fight it because it means they are only left to compete  on price. Nokia does not want operators to brand their handsets but operators must change their phones’ brand image to survive.”
    Eindhorn said Comverse was well placed for this new way of giving users access to applications.
    “Up until now different applications have required different clients, MMS, SMS, voicemail, WAP etc have all had different user interfaces and logic of operation.
    “We have tried to build one platform across handsets and network servers, allowing a simplified user interface. So it becomes very easy to operate new applications because there are rules and capabilities which contribute to the applications.”
    Recognising that new business models mean a change of methodology for messaging engine vendors as well as handset vendors, InSight features open application interfaces so an operator can attach applications from other vendors.
    “Operators are buying the concept and competitors are presenting similar concepts,” Einhorn said
    “I believe we have a better chance to win,” he continued. “The reason is we had the lion’s share of the voicemail market, but voicemail notification is carried out by an SMS engine, so people don’t see that but we have delivered an SMS engine to every voicemail we have sold.”

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