Delivering Programmable Immersive CX

By: Al Balasco

Beyond the day-to-day impact COVID-19 has had on our lives, it has fundamentally begun to change how we interact, study and work. While businesses have adapted to the initial challenges, the pandemic has galvanized a huge shift in the way businesses are thinking about how work will be done moving forward.

As teams have settled into regular online meetings, businesses are now able to look beyond the short-term need for remote work solutions and consider ways in which new technologies can help them plan, remain efficient, and ultimately thrive in the emerging new normal. ABI Research recently noted that “the pandemic has highlighted the value of a strong telepresence and remote support system.” Although current network infrastructure has been able to grow to accommodate increased workload demands from video conferencing, there remains an opportunity for further expansion in the realm of services that provide more complete and advanced immersive media solutions such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), 360-degree video and wearables for the Internet of Things (IoT) to become more commonplace.

Businesses, educational institutions, and even local governments are continuing to evaluate their growing need for these telepresence solutions. Communication service providers (CSPs), managed service providers (MSPs) and application service providers (ASPs) are uniquely positioned to collaborate to deliver a new set of immersive communication services that meet a wide range of enterprise and educational use cases. To meet these opportunities, however, operators and vendors need platforms that allow them to rapidly create and deploy immersive communication and collaboration technology solutions that address these use cases and, more importantly, create new revenue streams.

The importance of programmable microservices

Given the market acceleration toward greater adoption of immersive media to enable remote and digital everything, CSPs, MSPs and ASPs need to leverage current media resource function (MRF), telephony application servers (TAS) and webRTC solutions to boost the video-enablement of their current applications. One simple way operators can quickly capture the explosive growth in video conferencing services is by extending voice and video functionality to existing text-based chatbot solutions.

Once operators have begun to update their current services with basic immersive media solutions, they will need to look for platforms that enable the rollout of more robust solutions. If they are going to capitalize on the growing demand for immersive media, operators need a way to easily create and quickly deploy solutions for the marketplace and monetize these commoditized services.

The answer for delivering immersive communication solutions in a communications platform as a service (CPaaS)-style offering lies in adopting a programmable microservices approach to developing and deploying the next generation of customer experience applications. Operators need prepackaged modules with visual design tools, APIs, and SDKs to enable application vendors to develop new communication and collaboration use cases and improve current user experiences that are not being served today. This microservices approach must meet several characteristics to be effective:

  • Easy for operators to utilize in low- to no-code modules with reusable features
  • Easy to maintain
  • Able to be delivered from private or public clouds
  • Comply with industry standards and privacy regulations

Additionally, for operators to offer these services to their customers, there needs to be a rich ecosystem of immersive media application developers with whom they can collaborate. This ecosystem serves as the building blocks to grow their user base virally. Collaboration with ASPs who have extensive backgrounds in developing microservice applications for open-source platforms will allow operators to select best-in-class applications that meet and enhance their current service offerings. 

The case for immersive media  

There are several emerging use cases where CSPs can begin to deliver services that meet the rapidly evolving market shifts. By leveraging platforms with strong underlying MRF design, operators can deliver many solutions that integrate a variety of immersive media features for both business and educational-institution customers.


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