Mobile web 20: Re-engineering the digital ecosystem with converged digital processes in a Post IMS/Quad play world

Synopsis

In this article, I discuss the impact of changing digital ecosystems and the need to re-think processes from the ground up – especially in the context Quad play convergence post IMS deployments.

Introduction

In the next few weeks, I have two major talks coming up – both in the United States.

One is O Reilly web20expo in San Francisco and the other is my talk at MIT Sloan in Boston .

I always refine my thoughts through discussions either on this blog, or on forumoxford or with the number of people I actually meet as a part of my speaking globally. Hence, I seek your feedback to these ideas. They also give a flavour of my talks at Web 2.0 expo and MIT. Note that, although this article refers to meetings and discussions I have had with a number of companies, the analysis is mine and I have also used insights from other sources and previous blogs.

The central theme of this blog (and also my two talks in the US) pertains to the ‘shifting of digital tectonic plates‘.

Processes change when you are working in a converged world. More importantly, your leverages of power change and consequently the ways you can leverage your assets in a converged digital world also change.

What that means is: We will have to re-engineer/re think our processes to win in this world.

In this article, I focus on Mobile Web 2.0 and the Web, but I will extend this to Quad play in general in future .

It is a recurring theme I encountered last week in three separate meetings – SK Telecom, Infosys and Swisscom.

I spent last Friday as an invitee of Swisscom innovation in Berne (many thanks to Julie Stewart and Dubravka Widmer of Swisscom innovation for hosting me for the day). In an effort to get feedback on my thoughts at Web2expo and MIT, I introduced some of these concepts in my talk at Swisscom on Friday.

If you don’t know already, in general, Swisscom is perceived to be an innovator in the Operator community – in the sense of introducing new concepts to the market. (But NOT according to Mr Schmidt at the reception desk of my hotel in Zurich. When I told him that Swisscom is perceived to be an innovative operator – he went: ‘Innovatif! Swisskom? – nein, nein – ze charge too much .. Wayyy too much’ …)!!

However, leaving aside the objections of Herr Schmidt in Zurich :) .. this was indeed a fascinating day for me. Our meeting room had a wonderful view of the Alps. In typical Swiss fashion, five minutes before the starting time, there was no one in the room and at the exact starting time, the room was full!

Converged Digital processes and a shifting of power structures

It is not every day that you get to interact with most of the major departments of a major European mobile Operator(and uniquely with Swisscom, there is a component of fixed line business as well through Bluewin who were also present).

The talk was broadly about Mobile Web 2.0 but also extending more to ideas of Convergence (a theme more related to my talk at MIT/Sloan). Specifically I was working with ideas which typically span the Web and the Mobile Web domains and the consequent shift in dynamics between the players in such a scenario (we did not have enough time to cover Convergence in it’s fullest sense i.e. Quad play – so this discussion was only about Web and the Mobile Web – but the same principles can be extrapolated to Quad play)

What do I mean by converged business processes and a shifting of power structure?

In a nutshell:

Currently, an Operator’s core asset is voice. I believe that VOIP and other technologies will cannibalise the Voice revenue. This is already happening. Hence, the core assets of a Telco will shift from Voice(current) to others like Identity, Location(which will power location based advertising), customer history(datamining complex customer segmentation) , billing etc. All of these new assets will be ‘sold’ to third parties i.e. independent applications developers through APIs(Application programming Interfaces). Services themselves will be ‘Plug and Play’ and the Operator will be the orchestrator of services(and not a pipe).

Motivations

Of course, this vision is not new. I have spoken about this before such as the Long tail and Mobile Web 2.0 applications, as have others.

When you introduce ideas like VOIP cannibalising Voice revenue in an Operator setting, the audience smiles cynically at you. Of course, they have heard it all before and there are valid counter arguments to say that it not happening in a hurry. Take Fixed VOIP vs. Fixed line revenue. If Chickens little were to be believed, we would ALL be using VOIP ONLY by now. True Skype has had a phenomenal uptake – but the fixed line business has not capitulated as some would have us believe.

So, Operators may not face a near death experience as Kodak faced when the world switched to Digital vision but Kodak continued to see the world with analogue eyes.

Hence, the cynicism to VOIP cannibalisation.

However, the next concept I speak of is definitely a concern in boardrooms across Operators in the West. The slide I use is as below.

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The left hand side shows stock prices of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. The right hand side shows a ‘City type’ guy with a bowler hat who represents the investment community. The point is: the Web guys have high market valuations because they can demonstrate growth. Yes, Telecoms is a mature business with assured revenues through Voice – but the City/investment community does not see growth – hence poorly performing stock prices and this leads to an investment community sceptical about the potential of the Telecoms industry as it is today.

This is a much more difficult argument to refute. If you still doubt this, think about the acquisition mindsets of Operators from countries with saturated markets who are buying into Operators in less saturated, high growth economies.

That’s buying future growth.

The same logic underpins the interest in FMC(Fixed to Mobile Convergence) in more mature markets – because Mobile Operators hope to get customers from fixed line networks through FMC (and Vice versa). Again a quest for that elusive growth. See my blog about a gedankenexperiment when a fixed to mobile salesman would come calling at your door - (Interesting to talk of Gedankenexperiments in Berne – a town associated with Einstein )

A new ecosystem and a process led approach

Everyone agrees that the current ecosystem is changing. In general, everyone loves ecosystems because they conjure up images of lush green trees. A more worrying image is that of whales and planktons i.e. where in the ecosystem/food chain do you fit(Plankton being the lowest in the food chain)

In previous blogs like the Long tail and Mobile Web 2.0 applications, which I have spoken before and also this one, I outlined a vision of a API(service layer based) ecosystem where the Operator will be the orchestrator of services(and not a pipe).

However, before we get to that, we need to rethink processes. The Web (specifically Web 2.0) has taken the first step in the form of Mashups . The equivalent of Mashups for Operators(both fixed and mobile) implies creating and exposing a service layer with the possibility of creating a digital ecosystem around those APIs.

This is a two step process :

a) First there is the step of dis-aggregation (call it mashups/APIs/service layer etc)

b) Then there is the step of orchestrazition (i.e. creating a new, service led organization from the granular services)

This requires different mindsets and skillsets – for instance domain expertise spanning current silos.

The first steps in this transformation is the deployment of IMS(IP Multimedia Systems) . For most organizations, IMS is about OPEX reduction. Hence, just because you are undertaking an IMS implementation, does not mean that you can win in a fixed to mobile strategy – let alone master Quad play).

The real fun starts AFTER the IMS installation.

For instance, most organizations when asked, ‘What IMS services are they exploring?’ – will mention ‘Video calling’ or ‘Push to talk’. While there is nothing wrong about such applications, they lean towards Henry Ford’s famous horseless carriage analogy i.e. If you think of a new concept in terms of the existing knowledge base, you come up with the ‘faster horse’ instead of the automobile.

In contrast, I think a process driven approach is necessary where processes span the Web and the Mobile Web. For instance, my course at Oxford University on Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS , takes a process driven approach.

The steps involved in this approach are:

a) Understand Business / consumer process i.e. what people or businesses are trying to do

b) Identify the components inovolved

c) Identify the organizations affected

d) Then drill down to the network layer – which may be IMS or other equivalent networking technologies.

e) In it’s widest incarnation, processes are Quad Play, cover both consumer and entreprise and span geographies.

There could be other terminology for the same ideas. For instance, the discussions with SK Telecom about Digital Home, Infosys about ‘making convergece less abstract’ and with Swisscom about Digital ecosystems – all lead to the same process driven priciples spanning existing silos.

The ideas of process re-engineering are also not new. What is new here is – their application to a converged scenario – components of which span companies, technologies and even countries through a service oriented architecture.

In fact, in my previous life prior to 1999, I worked with the professional services division of PeopleSoft(now Oracle). Rethinking your existing processes during an ERP implementation is the norm rather than the exception. For instance, you don’t think of ‘Procurement’ or ‘Payment’ – but rather you think of the whole process from requisition, purchasing, receiving goods and then paying (called Procure to Pay) for example this link on procure to pay (pdf)

I am simply applying the same logic to a Digitally converged ecosystem but across network types and organizations.

Why the ecosystem approach cannot be ignored

This vision is ‘access mechanism agnostic’( i.e. does not matter what network you use – Cellular, Fixed, Wifi or even IPTV, DMB/DVB-H etc).

This is not a comforting thought for organizations whose core asset is their network itself.

For instance, I am not optimistic about Mobile devices in themselves, transforming the world because I believe that convergence will be driven by the Web and not the Mobile Web. Yes, there are billions of devices globally – but the only two things they have in common are Voice and SMS. For most part, neither of these are programmable and that’s the real problem.. The third (in addition to voice and SMS) component that could span mobile devices is the Web. Globally, the Web unites us all and an extension of the Web to the Mobile Web seems logical, inclusive, global and holistic. That’s why I speak so much about Open standards, Web standards etc. I believe that convergence is not an option – it is already happening all around us.

The risk lies in becoming ‘Kodak’ – being caught in rapid digitization driven by players not currently in the value chain

Further, we are not likely to see an emergence of a single entity – like Microsoft – in this new world. So, by definition, this will be working with a complex ecosystem with many players sometimes co-operating, sometimes competing in a global setting.

Conclusions

This is an ongoing discussion and I will continue blogging about it based on feedback. There are no ‘conclusions’ as such and I will evolve these ideas as we go along.

A more pertinent question is: how can an organization win in this ecosystem?

I believe that the answer lies not in a killer application but in a ‘killer ecosystem’ – if that phrase can be used. If we take this line of thinking to it’s logical conclusion, we are talking of a global, flat, process driven organization(or a federation of collaborating organizations) – interlinked at the service layer.

Please contact me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com with feedback/questions and / or if you are attending web20 expo

See my book at Mobile Web 2.0

Mobile web 2.0: Web 2.0 and its impact on the mobility and digital convergence (Part one of three)

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Mobile web 2.0: Web 2.0 and its impact on the mobility and digital convergence (Part one of three)

By Ajit Jaokar (Ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com)

Introduction and Objectives

This is a series of three articles – the first(this one) outlining the significance of web 2.0 technologies , the second article discussing the impact of web 2.0 technologies on mobility and the final article on the impact of web 2.0 technologies on digital convergence.

If you are already familiar with web 2.0, my goal, in a nutshell (no pun intended!) is to extend Tim O Reilly’s seven principles

to mobility and digital convergence.

Thus, I will not attempt to add to the body of knowledge in terms of basic web 2.0 concepts themselves. I would rather prefer to build on some of the excellent work done on the subject from folk such as Tim O Reilly , Richard Mc Manus and others. I will use their work as a background and extrapolate the basic web 2.0 principles to mobility and digital convergence (areas which I am more familiar with).

My approach will be to ask a series of questions based on my understanding of web 2.0 and mobility. I also welcome your questions. In the two following parts of this paper, I will seek to answer them. Also, if you are a company doing some interesting work in this space, please email me on the address above.

A bit about me

I live in London (England) and am the CEO of a publishing company futuretext.

I wrote a book called OpenGardens advocating openness in the mobile data industry. I also chair Oxford university’s next generation mobile applications panel. In 2006, I am commencing a PhD on IMS (IP Multimedia Systems). If you have an interest in IMS, please contact me to keep in touch. My blog is at OpenGardensBlog

Some definitions

A few quick definitions before we start – just to be sure we have the same frame of reference.

Mobile vs. wireless: In Europe, the commonly used phrase for Telecoms data applications is ‘Mobile’. In USA, it is ‘wireless’ or ‘cellular’. In this article, ‘Wireless’ simply implies connection without wires. Mobility or ‘Mobile’ on the other hand describes a whole new class of applications which permit us to interact and transact seamlessly when the user is on the move ‘anywhere, anytime’. Hence, I use the term ‘Mobile’ independent of access technology i.e. 3G, wireless LANs, wimax, wibro, Bluetooth etc.

Mobile Internet: ‘Mobile IP data service’. It is not ‘Internet on the Mobile device’ since mobility also includes other elements such as ‘messaging’ i.e. non-browsing modes of access.

The mobile data industry: The ‘data’ i.e. non-voice side of telecoms. The telecoms operators are an important part of the mobile data industry.

Web 2.0

Within the mobile data industry, ‘openness’ is still an alien concept. I wrote a book called OpenGardens alongwith Tony Fish which advocated openness in the mobile data industry (OpenGardens is the philosophical opposite of ‘walled gardens’).

When I talk to senior telecoms people about ‘OpenGardens’ – they are still hung about ‘on portal’ or ‘off portal’. Further, most cannot see beyond the traditional ‘song and dance’ applications (ringtones/wall papers etc).

In contrast, I find web 2.0 concepts refreshingly intuitive and they formalise many things which we know and use. For example – in OpenGardens, we talked about an application called ‘Splash messaging’ also called air graffiti or spatial messaging.

Contrast this with a very different type of application called ‘splash messaging/air graffiti/spatial messaging’. In its simplest case, it’s the ability to ‘pin’ digital ‘post it notes’ at any physical point. Suppose you were at a holiday destination and you took a picture or a video of that location. You then ‘posted’ that note digitally with your comments and made it accessible to your ‘friends’. Many years later, one of your friends happened to come to that same place and as she walked to the venue, a message would pop up on her device with your notes, picture and comments.

The Splash messaging application is a ‘mashup’ of many different feeds (for example a location feed and a mapping feed) and it has other features like user created content. Its characteristics are very similar to a web 2.0 service.

So, coming back to my question, what’s web 2.0 and how does it apply to the mobile data industry?

Background

There appear to be two early origin points for web 2.0

Firstly, a business week article:

It’s A Whole New Web And this time around it will be built by you

and secondly .. a conference ( web 2.0 conference created by a discussion between O’Reilly publications and MediaLive International (a technology conference company – if you want to put a label around it)

Currently, there is a lot of hype around web 2.0. But also a lot of cynicism. Predictably, the VCs are excited

Like the web 1.0 – It even has a ‘bible book’ as we had the cluetrain manifesto for web 1.0

For web 2.0 it is Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series) (Hardcover)

And finally .. it has an odd ‘new agey’ feeling to it .. with words like ‘collective intelligence’, feng shui and morality being bandied about in the context of web 2.0 -

Starting with Nicholas Carr’s The amorality of web 2.0

And Kevin Kelly’s we are the web

and finally .. Tim o Reilly’s response to Nicholas Carr’s article at

Some questions to think about

The mobile device has the potential to act as a significant reporter of data rather than a mere consumer of data. The Web 2.0 / mobility interplay needs more thought. Consider principle two from the list of seven principles (harnessing collective intelligence).

Functionally, we must be able to –

a) collect intelligence unique to being ‘mobile’

b) share that knowledge

c) enable others to comment on that knowledge

d) Ensure that the enhanced body of knowledge so created can be shared with the community.

This leads to more questions – What type of information can we collect when we are mobile(location, pictures(MMS)), How can it be shared?, How can it be enhanced?

Some initial questions which come to my mind:

1) If a web 2.0 service is treated as an amalgamation of data and enabling software, which data elements are unique to mobility (for example location feeds)?

2) How are these data elements captured?

3) What are the pitfalls associated with accessing(sharing) these data sources

4) Will the mobile web 2.0 be seamless as we all hope? If not, what are the options and choke points in extending web 2.0 ‘anywhere anytime’?

5) The impact of IMS. As per wikipedia

The aim of IMS is not only to provide new services but all the services, current and future, that the Internet provides. In addition, users have to be able to execute all their services when roaming as well as from their home networks. To achieve these goals, IMS uses open standard IP protocols, defined by the IETF. So, a multimedia session between 2 IMS users, between an IMS user and a user on the Internet, and between 2 users on the Internet is established using exactly the same protocol. Moreover, the interfaces for service developers are also based on IP protocols. This is why IMS truly merges the Internet with the cellular world; it uses cellular technologies to provide ubiquitous access and Internet technologies to provide appealing services.(By the way, IMS is the topic I am looking to commence my PhD in this year.)

6) How does the network effect work within the mobile data industry ?

7) How does network effect work in terms of user contributions(i.e. can small contributions created by users be shared easily across to the larger body of users) ?

8) What are the examples of harnessing collective intelligence / peer production on the mobile data industry ?

9) Contrasting the iPod/itunes models with other models of sharing data in the mobile data industry

10) Which companies are leading the way in this space ?

11) How will search be affected by ‘anywhere/anytime’ ?

12) Airwaves are not free i.e. there is a cost of transmission over the air through a telecoms network. Will that impact the wider deployment of web 2.0?

13) Impact of dual mode phones(WiFi and 3G phones)

14) IP /IMS does not mean ‘open’. Does openness matter ? If information can be accessed via a browser(and initiatives like the t-mobile web-n-walk initiative are already under way http://digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp?section=cm&id=2658 ) – what’s the impact of the ‘walled gardens’ ?

15) What type of data can be captured on a mobile device(music, video, images) and how can it be enhanced(tagged, shared etc) ?

16) What services can be mixed and what new services can be created ? Any examples of these?(citizen’s reporting, real time traffic monitoring are obvious examples)

and so on …

To understand web 2.0, I am going to mainly use Tim O Reilly’s original article alongwith other references from the web as linked.

The seven core principles of web 2.0 revised

As I understand them, according to the article, a web 2.0 service should have as many of the following seven core characteristics as possible. I have outlined these principles partly as a foundation for subsequent discussions but also for my own clarification. Please refer the original link as above for more details.

1. The Web As Platform

Software as a service is data plus software:

A web 2.0 service is a combination of software and data. The term ‘web as a platform’ is not new. Netscape used this term first but the Netscape application (i.e. browser) was created in context of the existing ecosystem (‘WebTop’ instead of ‘desktop’ mirroring the famous ‘horseless carriage’ analogy). While Netscape was still ‘software’ – in contrast, Google is software plus a database. Individually, the software and the database are of limited value – but together they create a new type of service. In this context, the value of the software lies in being able to manage the (vast amounts of) data. The better it can do it, the more valuable the software becomes.

Harnessing the ‘long tail’: The term ‘long tail’ refers to the vast number of small sites that make up the web as opposed to the few ‘important’ sites. This is illustrated by the ‘double-click vs. adsense/overture’ example. The DoubleClick business model was not based on harnessing the vast number of small sites. In contrast, it relied on serving the needs of a few large sites (generally dictated by the media/advertising industry). In fact, their business model actively discouraged small sites(through mechanisms like formal sales contracts). In contrast, anyone can set up an adsense/overture account easily. This makes it easier for the vast number of sites(long tail) to use the service(ad sense/overture).

In general, Web 2.0 systems are geared to harness the power of a large number of casual users who often contribute data implicitly as opposed to a small number of users who contribute explicitly. Tags are an example of implicit contribution. Thus, the web 2.0 service must be geared to capturing ‘many implicit/metadata contributions from a large number of users’ and not a small number of contributions from a few ‘expert’ users.

2. Harnessing Collective Intelligence

In this context, collective intelligence can mean many things

- Yahoo as an aggregation of links

- Google page mark

- Blogging

- Tagging and collective categorisation for example flickr and del.icio.us

- Ebay buyers and sellers

- Amazon reviews

- Wikipedia

And so on ..

All of the above are metadata/content created by users that collectively adds value to the service(which as we have seen before is a combination of the software and the data).

Harnessing the collective intelligence involves understanding some other aspects like peer production, the wisdom of crowds and the network effect.

Peer production as defined by the professor Yochai Benkler’s seminal paper peer production . A concise definition from wikipedia is a new model of economic production, different from both markets and firms, in which the creative energy of large numbers of people is coordinated (usually with the aid of the internet) into large, meaningful projects, largely without traditional hierarchical organization or financial compensation.

The wisdom of crowds – as discussed in the book wisdom of crowds by James Surowiecki whose central idea is that large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

And finally, network effects from user contributions. In other words, the ability for users to add value (knowledge) easily and then the ability for their contributions to flow seamlessly across the whole community – thereby enriching the whole body of knowledge. A collective brain/intelligence of the blogosphehe if you will – made possible by RSS. A living, dynamic entity not controlled by a single entity.

3. Data is the Next Intel Inside

We have seen previously that a web 2.0 service combines function(software) and data(which is managed by the software). Web 2.0 services inevitably have a body of data (Amazon reviews, eBay products and sellers, Google links) Thus, it’s very different to a word processor for example – where we are selling only software (and no data).

Data is the key differentiator. In most cases, the company serving the data (for example Google) also ‘owns’ the data (for example information about links). However, that may not always be the case. In case of Google maps , Google does not own the data. Mapping data is often owned by companies such as NavTech and satellite imagery data is owned by companies like Digital Globe. Google maps combine data from these two sources(at least).

Taking the ‘chain of data’ further, sites like housing maps are a mashup between Google maps and craigslist. The more difficult it is to create the data, the more valuable it is(for example satellite images are valuable). In cases where data which is relatively easy to create, the company providing the most useful service and hitting critical mass will be valuable.

4. End of the Software Release Cycle

Web 2.0 services do not have a software release cycle. While Google reindexes its link indices every day, Microsoft releases a major software release every few years. That’s because there is no ‘data’ in windows 95, windows XP etc. It’s pure software. Not so with Google. Google is data plus software. It has to reindex its ‘data’ every day else it loses its value. Thus, operations are critical to a web 2.0 company. There is no ‘release’ as such. The flip side of this coin is – there are widespread beta releases and users are treated as co-developers.

5. Lightweight Programming Models

Distributed applications have always been complex to design. However, distributed applications are central to the web. Web services were deemed to be the mechanism to create distributed applications easily. But web services, in their full incarnation using the SOAP stack, are relatively complex. RSS is a simpler(and quicker) way to achieve much of the functionality of web services.

Simpler technologies like RSS and AJAX are the driving force behind web 2.0 services as opposed to the full fledged webservices stack using mechanisms like SOAP. These technologies are designed to syndicate rather than orchestrate(one of the goals of web services). They are thus opposite to the traditional corporate mindset of controlling access to data. They are also designed for reuse. Reuse in the sense of reusing the service and not the data(i.e. they make it easier to remix the service).

Finally, innovation becomes a case of mixing (cobbling together) services existing services – something which we talked about in OpenGardens in the mobile context.

6. Software Above the Level of a Single Device

The sixth principle i.e. ‘Software above the level of a single device’ – is an obvious staring point when we think of the impact of web 2.0 on mobility and telecoms. At one level, the whole of the ‘new’ web should be transparent and accessible across any device. Indeed a browser is the least common denominator in all mobile data devices – and that’s a sobering thought. But there is more to the sixth principle than merely access via the browser.

iTunes leverages data(music) through the service and provides some data management/metadata functions. The mobile device has the potential to act as a significant reporter of data rather than a mere consumer of data. This data, like all web 2.0 services, may be implicit or explicit. This point will be a significant area for discussion in the next two articles.

7. Rich User Experiences

While mechanisms like RSS are being used to syndicate the content of web sites out to a much wider audience, the user experience at the client itself is undergoing a dramatic improvement. The collection of technologies driving this enhanced user experience is Ajax popularised by Jesse James Garrett in the AJAX essay

AJAX is being used in services like gmail, Google maps and Flickr and it already provides the technology to create a seamless user experience combing many discrete services. The impact of RSS and AJAX is to create a service spanning content from many sites. To the user, this is a single, transparent experience. Effectively, content is being freed from its original container. Instead of the user going to the content(as in a user navigating to a web site), the content is going to the user(through RSS). Technologies like AJAX are making it easier for users to create the glue which binds the various content sources(RSS) together.

Conclusion to part One

This article laid the groundwork for the next two articles. It was an introduction to web 2.0 and a series of initial questions which came to my mind when discussing the interplay between web 2.0 and mobility. My objectives, as I have stated, are to extend Tim’s seven principles to mobility and digital convergence. I welcome your comments and questions and I shall answer them in the next two sections of this article.

Many thanks.

Ajit Jaokar

www.opengardensblog.futuretext.com

Ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

References

http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2005/10/the_amorality_o.php

http://webservices.sys-con.com/read/161874_p.htm

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,69114,00.html

http://web2.wsj2.com/web2ishere.htm

http://web2.wsj2.com/the_best_web_20_software_of_2005.htm

http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2005/10/the_amorality_of_web_20.html

http://digital-web.com/articles/web_2_for_designers/

http://www.adambosworth.net/archives/000031.html

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Web20_en.png

Permanent link: http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/archives/2005/12/mobile_web_20_w.html

I am speaking at imobicon in seoul(south korea)

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Hello all

I am speaking at imobicon in Seoul(South Korea). Speaking on the first day on mobile communities. This is a fascinating conference and many things to learn(not just mobility but the full digital convergence spectrum)

If you are there, please email me and lets get in touch

ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Mobile Industry Trends & Future Outlook – The Operator’s Forum

Evaluating the global trends for 3G deployment and adoption

What do operators need to do to ensure future success?

Ensuring future services and benefits reach the consumer: the top priority

A vision for the future mobile industry and services: what will be the challenges and successes?

Assumptions of early 3G users Launch target dilemma: business, youth, early adopter

Prototypical young 3G user: Generation-C

Communities as a category of Customer

Road to reachability: deeper customer involvement with 3G

OMA in the Asia-Pacific Region

OMA Evolution Through Innovation

OMA and Global Standards Collaboration

Highlights of OMA’s Recent Enabler Developments and Releases

OMA Value to Membership

Creating successful service development through global partnerships

Why is Korea so important for the Western mobile market?

What can different regional markets learn from each other if anything?

How will convergence affect the future mobile industry?

Mobile Content: Strategies for Increasing ARPU

Delivering Multimedia Services: 3G vs WiBro (& WiMax)

Does the operator need to keep control of branding?

What are the pre-requisites for mobile content and applications to be commercially viable?

Which new trends look set to influence offerings globally?

How much progress has there been in generating content designed specially for mobile?

Value Added Services; content is king

From broadband to ubiquity

WiBro and Mobile WiMAX

WiBro towards 4G services

What Services Do Consumers Use On High-Speed Networks In South Korea?

Which content has seen successful adoption in South Korea?

What is the market telling us regarding which services are really making money?

What is the business case for evolving 3G and do consumers need it?

How will HSDPA or WiBro/WiMax change data services and service quality?

Examining the developments of CDMA 2000-1X-EV-DO

HSDPA & WiBro/WiMax: complementary solutions or competitive? Single or dual delployment strategies?

Mobile Music

What is the best strategy for partnerships between record companies and operators?

Is mobile the right channel to generate new revenues for music companies?

What are the challenges for reconciling rights and royalties for record companies and artists?

Which particular territories are attracting the attention of the major record companies?

Developing Mobile Games The Future of 3G: Evolving Mobile Technology

Mobile Communities

Creating mobile communities with multi-player games

Messenger & community service in mobile, SMS & MMS

Overcoming the challenges of multiplayer community via mobile

Speaker: Ajit Joakar, CEO, FutureText

What is the Future for 3G?

The transformation of 3G networks to super fast broadband

HSUPA, OFDM, Mimo

Converged Buisness Model in Mobile Games

PSP and the other emerging wireless game platforms

Who is the last winner among PSP, Mobile 3D Game Phone and other platforms?

How well are 3D games performing?

Has there been market demand for 3D handsets?

Mobile 3D Gaming Service strategy

What is the Future for Fixed-Mobile Convergence?

Evaluating the business case and implications for the future communications industry

Can IP & Wireless Technology Converge to Deliver Advanced Multimedia Services? Can a seamless experience be created for the end user between voice, data and multimedia?

Enhancing the Multimedia Experience

Mobile Network Security

European Mobile Content and Games

European mobile content market development

Operator strategies for addressing the European games market

Opportunities for Korean mobile content/ game companies to establish a presence in Europe

Mobile Industry Trends & Future Outlook – The Mobile Content Provider’s Forum

Enabling Rich Mobile Content to Increase Revenue

What’s the next-generation killer application in mobile world?

What are the latest services in development?

Wired and wireless inter-working gaming

Adult mobile content & Mobile music

Mobile TV: Strategies & Outlook Mobile Middleware Solution

Enabling Mobile TV Services with Satellite DMB

Will DMB be the killer application?

What is the business model for DMB?

IMS vs DMB

DRM: Does it kill Content Generation?

The appropriate level of DRM: Protecting revenues while ensuring ease of use

How real is the perceived threat to creativity posed by DRM?

Does adding DRM to content really impact on handset design & architecture?

Will a single DRM standard across mobiles, PCs, and other devices drive up costs & stifle innovation?

Mobile TV Seen Through Recent DMB Standardization Activities Basic A/V DMB

DMB CAS

BIFS/TPEG

The future of the mobile platforms in Korea

The world leading standardisation platform will be WIPI?

Usability extension of WIPI: Is it applicable to other convergence devices?

Mobile Broadcast Services: Pros and Cons based on South Korean Case

What is good about broadcast services on mobile phone?

What is the downside of it? Especially, technical and economical burdens

What is the status in South Korea?

Contents service in the circumstance of convergence through middleware platform

How to execute contents without conversion on any platform by middleware solution

Mobile video on demand and broadcasting services

The mobile video business model

Controlling the end user experience

Where is the revenue in mobile video?

Developing innovative video content – how can the industry best work together?

Enabling Mobile TV The Evolution of the Mobile Handset

Is Mobile Triple Play – Voice, Broadcast TV/video and Data – The Killer Combination? - Choosing the right technology and business model for on-demand video and broadcast TV for mobile Triple Play

How the convergence of mobile and broadband services and multi-channel delivery will change the broadcasting market? Analysing the evolution from broadcast TV to network PVR and Video-on-Demand services and its impact for mobile content business

What is the revenue potential and sharing model in mobile broadcasting and how to bundle the services? Results from the Finnish mobile TV pilot in Helsinki over DVB-H

The mobile handset value chain

Handset evolution : changing the consumer behaviour to multimedia services

3G multimedia handset : new design challenges on the way to rich content The challenges of merging telecommunications and broadcasting for the mobile handset; key drivers for handset innovation

What about low cost handsets

Storage, flash cards, connectivity, secure applications

Mobile TV: Global Update And Outlook For ChinaGlobal overview of developments in mobile & handset television

Handset-based vs. other terminal

3G vs. non mobile network-centric

the relaunch of OpenWaspa ..

After a false start last year, this week we are relaunching OpenWaspa

Hello all,

I seek your thoughts on this concept.

We tried to lauch it last year and had to stop due to some technical issues.

I am about to do so again this week

OpenWaspa was first outlined by Ajit Jaokar and Tony Fish in their book OpenGardens which pertains to emerging mobile/wireless applications and the mobile data industry.

This site is about A showcase for innovative applications in mobility and Digital convergence. (still work in progress)

We are addressing four problems

a) Lack of channels to market

b) Exposure to the ‘powers that be’ – mainly mobile operators

c) The ‘broken value chain’ and

d) Interconnectedness – cross industry exposure

Lack of channels to market and Exposure to the ‘powers that be’ – mainly mobile operators

From the problems listed above, (a) and (b) are related in the sense that the operator is the best channel to market but also the most difficult to approach for the small developers. In OpenGardens – there is a whole section on ‘Inside the mind of the operator’ i.e. how to position your service to the operator in the best possible way but that still leaves you with the problem of getting access to the operator in the first place. The events address this problem

Similarly, (c) and (d) are related.

The broken value chain

The mobile data value chain is broken because of the ‘whales and plankton’ concept. In a nutshell – get rid of the middlemen! The industry depends on ‘intermediaries in the value chain getting a % of the revenue’/ For example – in mobile games, we have the mobile aggregators, wireless service providers and so on. This model is fine in already established value chains but is no good when you have an emerging industry.

There is hardly any money for the innovator i.e. creator of the new service in a new service. What little revenue the new application gets – is promptly gobbled by the middlemen. Thus, taking a marine biology example – if the plankton die (the garage developers) – the whales die as well (i.e. the whole industry suffers). There is a related problem looking at it from the mobile operator. They simply have too many people knocking at their doors. While it seems that no one is interested in new/innovative applications – our research shows that’s not the case.

This is where the OpenWaspa (Open Wireless service provider association) program comes in. The idea is very simple – provide a ‘showcase’ for new applications. Don’t bother about trying to ‘restrict’ the access to the final developer. Anyone can look at the application and then contact the developer direct and do a direct deal. Thus, there is no incremental revenue share.

The operators like it since it provides a structured way to access new innovation. We will also ‘evangelise’ the application where we can.

Interconnectedness

Finally, there is the issue of interconnectedness. As mobility advances, there is the question of a lack of a ‘one stop shop’/ People developing video applications, TV applications, games etc need access to cross industry contacts and knowledge. we intend to provide that. We see this site as ‘work in progress’/ In it’s ultimate vision, we may evolve to a web services interface/common contracts for mulltiple channels to market and so on. But for now, its a ‘showcase for innovative applications’

I seek your thoughts on how we could improve the prototype

The mobile internet: focal point for digital convergence ..

Digital convergence is a much-maligned concept – but it’s an idea whose dawn is near. First proposed by Nicholas Negroponte in his 1995 book ‘Being Digital’.

Negroponte’s definition of Digital convergence is “Bits co-mingle effortlessly. They start to get mixed up and can be used and re-used separately or together. The mixing of audio, video, and data is called multimedia. It sounds complicated, but it’s nothing more than co-mingled bits.”

The factors driving digital convergence include the rapid digitisation of content, greater bandwidth, increased processing power and the Internet. Digital convergence brings four (previously) distinct industry sectors in collaboration/competition with each other. Thus, we have Media/Entertainment, PC/Computing, consumer electronics and telecommunications industries all interacting closely with each other than before.

On first impressions, ‘Mobile’ appears to be only a small part of the entire digital convergence domain. When we wrote OpenGardens, we approached the topic of ‘Openness’ from the perspective of the Mobile Internet and the Mobile Network Operator. By it’s very nature, ‘openness in mobility’ is a subset of the wider digital convergence across all sectors of technology and business. Thus, it seems restrictive to confine ourselves to ‘Openness on the Mobile Internet ’ and the Mobile Network Operators. Yet, we believe that the Mobile Internet is pivotal to the success of digital convergence.

We believe that – the more open the mobile device, the more it will be a focal point to digital convergence

Why do we say this?

The answer lies with the customers. Customers do not understand ‘Digital convergence’. They are more interested in what they can do (or cannot do!). From a customer perspective, they see a ‘Bi centric’ convergence – i.e. convergence around the ‘Person’ and convergence around the ‘home’. This can be illustrated as below.

bicentric.bmp

source: Ahonen and Moore – communities dominate brands

The impact of Bi-Centric convergence means suddenly, the customer is exposed to a range of devices and technologies all around them. These devices have considerable overlapping functionality. The customer’s choice is between a ‘specialised’ device or a ‘generic device(i.e. a digital ‘Swiss army knife’) device .

While specialised devices may provide the ‘best’ solution for a specific requirement(such as taking a picture), the mobile device often provides a ‘good enough’ solution. Also, the mobile device gets better each year(for example – the Samsung D500 has a 1.3 megapixel camera and is marketed as a mass-market phone). And finally, the mobile device is ‘handy’ i.e. it provides an instant solution (‘capturing the moment’) which is good enough for most requirements.

With the Mobile device becoming the digital ‘Swiss army knife’ the basic functionality of a phone(voice calls) has been supplemented by functionality of a mp3 player, digital camera, radio, games player and even television. While the mobile device will not cannibalise the specialised device, it will be the device ‘most often used’ by consumers to access digital content(even when there are other devices that can provide a technically superior solution to a particular problem).

Thus, we believe that, starting with 3G (the first true IP solution) – the mobile device will be the focal point of Digital convergence purely because customers will use it most often to access digital content!! . It is this observation that makes the Mobile Internet the focal point of the wider digital convergence.