Friday, 8 May 2009

OMTP Proposes Visual Voice Mail Standards - and re-invent email?!

The OMTP recently issued a recommendation document which defines an open and standardised interface between Visual Voice Mail (VVM) clients and voice mail servers. Those who have reported it suggest that a key recommendation within the document is for the industry to implement a VVM protocol based on IMAP4.

So the OMTP is proposing that a visual voicemail client shoud be a souped up email client that connects to the voicemail server using IMAP4, making the voicemail server essentially an email server.

Its good to finish the week knowing all our hard work to date fits this proposed open standard - HulloMail is an email based solution. However the recommendation by the OMTP is a customisation of IMAP4 and by virtue suggest a parallel universe to the already prevelant spec used by email clients and servers.

I suggest the key recommendation is their proposed standard for the definition of message types such as voicemail (voice-email) or videomail (video-email). In my ideal world we would have one client that would optimise the inteface/experience according to the message type rather than have multiple clients for different message types. Just with this approach existing email clients could be extended to produce the desired effect.

What puzzles me is why the OMTP would suggest customising IMAP4 instead of say a simpler XML based protocol via a middle layer which in turn connects to the voicemail server via standard IMAP4? The OMTP approach does not help operators that may desire to have network based business logic associated to their VVM solution, e.g. to implement charging mechanisms. Going direct to the message store can also squew the performance on the voicemail servers that are already under heavy call completion loads.

Could it be advisors to the OMTP have already developed these VVM clients and are trying to sell this approach to the operators and handset manufacturers by claiming they are the first to follow the new proposed open spec?

if you want to read more:

1 comment:

Colin D said...

IMAP is old and busted. There are better protocols out there, including SMAP, which combines the best features of IMAP, POP, and SMTP into a single protocol. XML would work fairly nicely for this, too, and it would be easier to implement for every possible language.