Open-source toolkit aimed at telcos

CIMI tool helps telcos develop applications.

Although the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) has become the default architecture for telcos to deliver services such as SMS, voicemail and VoIP, CIMI Corporation president Tom Nolle thinks it's too slow to keep up with market trends.

Essentially, says Nolle, telecom providers feel as though they're being left behind in delivering services to their users by Internet companies such as Google and Skype, which he says are quicker to innovate and adapt to consumer demands. This is particularly problematic because if telecom companies are relegated solely to Web access providers, they will have significantly lower profits and will thus have less capital to invest in upgrading their networks.

However, Nolle thinks there's a simple solution for telcos who want to speed up their service innovation: go open source.

"The bit-pushing business is vanishing and it's in our interest to help the telcos become more profitable," says Nolle, whose company specializes in telecommunications consulting. "Right now it can be frustrating developing services as a telecom when the process takes years and meanwhile the whole lifespan of a Web idea is around six months."

To this end, CIMI Corporation has unveiled its ExperiaSphere open-source toolkit that Nolle says is capable of building any IMS application. Because it's based on Java 2 Standard Edition, Nolle says that programmers will be able to create services that better fit into the realm of Web-based services than traditional services offered over IMS.

CIMI's first prototype service for ExperiaSphere is a video deliver services that sends video streams onto either personal computers or smartphones. What makes this a step up from services offered over standard IMS architecture, CIMI says, is that it is done through a simple HTML exchange "that could be added to any website." Thus, the services are more easily accessible and don't require the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).

What's more, Nolle says that the current edition of ExperiaSphere is only the beginning. In the toolkit's next phase, CIMI will incorporate a more "socially aware" framework that will blend social networking, calling, collaboration and unified communications. And eventually, Nolle says that CIMI will release the toolkit's source code to allow for open-source development.

"We launched ExperiaSphere to prove that it was possible to create robust service architectures for web-oriented tools," says Nolle. "We wanted to build what the Web community would have created if it had been tasked with creating IMS."

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