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Communication Service Providers Turn to Mashups to Put New Intelligence Into the Hands of Users, Improve Customer Service


ARMONK, NY .- IBM (NYSE: IBM) is working with communication services providers Avaya and Kapsch CarrierCom AG to use new Web 2.0 technologies to help improve customer service, provide enhanced services and richer interaction with phones while applying more computing intelligence to help transform the telco industry.

The two companies are experimenting with mashups, or situational applications from IBM, to quickly develop software that uses a variety of enterprise and Web-based data to put better information into the hands of both customers and service personnel, enabling new real-time services to meet consumer demands.

This work by Avaya and Kapsch to tap into new sources of information and deliver new services underscores the findings of a report issued by IBM today, “The Changing Face of Communications,” available at The report indicates that dynamic shifts in communication patterns and trends will require bold, significant changes by communication providers if they wish to remain an integral part of the communication landscape. Providers that embrace new business models over the next five years including the expanded use of Web 2.0 technologies and social networking will be able to protect and enhance their role in the communications industry.

For Avaya, mashups can help take communications services closer to the daily activities of their customers. Embedding communications services into mashups will give businesses more flexibility in how they collaborate and enable users to incorporate these services in their own individualized mashups. As demonstrated by Avaya, a mashup prototype for field engineering managers enables them to check for new customer problems, assign field engineers, review status of ongoing problems, and, if necessary, contact the assigned engineer or customer using e-mail, short message service (SMS) or click-to-call, all from a single Web page. When contacting the customer by phone, the engineering manager can then click the “add” button to quickly bring other participants into a conference call.

In just 45 minutes, the field engineering mashup prototype created with IBM Mashup Center was transformed into a new communications-enabled situational application for account executives to use to help them ensure ongoing customer satisfaction by providing easy access to all of the information and communications options needed to carry out their roles. Traditional application development approaches would have required skilled IT staff to create two new applications for two different sets of users.

“Embedding Avaya real-time communications capabilities into IBM Mashup Center provides enterprises with the agility they need to meet new customer and user demands by communications-enabling their business applications,” said Lawrence Byrd, director, unified communications architecture, Avaya.

To help provide new revenue opportunities through network-based services, Kapsch CarrierCom of Austria, a provider of specialized voice and data communications solutions for fixed and mobile communication service providers, is helping their customers use IBM Mashup Center to create customer-focused mashups that can be used for enterprise business needs or for social networking. For example, Kapsch can help service providers create an “awareness enabled” mashup to allow a sales person to easily use their phone to access client contact information from social networking applications such as Facebook, or other communities, select the name of the individual they want to meet, and via their mobile device determine if the individual is available while mapping their presence. If the contact appears to be available and nearby, a text message confirms the meeting, all within the space of the phone’s browser.

“IBM’s mashup technology gives Kapsch the capability to create new services such as these and embed them in a way that is personally meaningful for our customers,” said Andreas Trescher, customer solution manager, Kapsch. “New mashups designed with IBM Mashup Center help access and use information from personal social networks and Web 2.0 communities, enabling customers to more easily reach out and get more value out of their interaction with their phone. This in turns helps telcos increase their average revenue per user.”

IBM’s Mashup Center helps transform enterprise, Web, personal and departmental information into consumable or “mashable” assets, including information feeds and widgets. These assets can then be dynamically assembled into new applications that address daily business challenges. It provides the ability to link the output of one widget to another, a catalog that facilitates the sharing of widgets and mashups, and a browser based tool that enables end users to assemble widgets into mashups, all with the security and management capabilities IT requires.

The newest version of IBM Mashup Center, which includes technology from Sonoa Systems, also includes new security enhancements to protect back-end enterprise resources from unauthorized clients and denial-of-service attacks. It provides advanced filtering and screening of sensitive information and restricted data alongside feed metering capabilities.

Avaya and Kapsch are examples of how IBM is working with communication service providers to help create smarter communications systems focused on moving beyond providing basic connectivity to allow individuals, organizations, communities and objects to interact and communicate in ways that were not possible before.


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