For the International Workshop on the Implementation of a Device Description Repository
Drutt offers end-to-end multi-channel solutions for establishing a profitable mobile service delivery business helping operators mobilize any content to any kind of mobile device, over any mobile network. Drutt solutions are since many years managing millions of transactions and is available to hundreds of millions end users every day.
An awarding User Experience is a key factor behind any successful mobile service delivery business no matter if the purpose of the service is building a strong consumer brand, generating direct revenue or both. It is also a vital part of gaining general acceptance of the mobile device as a natural choice for accessing web content. What is considered an awarding User Experience is individual by nature and can as seen daily in the entertainment business, be very difficult to foresee. The only thing we know for sure is that there is little or no tolerance with services that behaves in an incorrect or faulty way. That is, we must be able ensure that the service that is delivered is aligned with factors such as stated personal preferences of the end-user/subscriber, capacity of the network over which it is delivered and the capabilities of the device used to interact with the requested services. In technical terms we must know and be able to adapt to the delivery context.
If we focus on the device related part of the delivery context, our experience tells us that depending on the complexity of the service we need to have information related to some 5-15 device properties to deliver an acceptable non faulty User Experience on most devices. Acceptable because as in many other cases the “last mile” tend to be the most complex and costly (it has turned out that one success factor is to know when to stop and that pixel perfect in reality seldom is needed). With so few pieces of information needed Drutt as many others initially set hope to existing standards. This to our great dismay turned out to be a failing strategy due to incorrect and incomplete data.
Therefore Drutt as many others are forced into a lot of device testing, which is not our core business. This is a waste of resources world wide.
Correct data in form of UAProf for all devices would solve the issue more or less entirely. However it seems that for the device manufacturers there is less focus on the browser channel. It is currently more important to increase the number of mega pixels in the built in camera or the ability to play downloaded music. Also there is little bit of a blame game between the device manufacturers and the browser developers as many of the properties needed are affected by both, for instance the available screen size which is restricted by both the physical screen size of the device and any toolbars etc added by the browser.
Therefore there seems to be room for a common place in which device descriptions can be made published and accessible.
As mentioned 5-15 properties are most of the time enough. However there is always the case that some application needs information on some odd capability or measure. Therefore it is a must that the repository is possible to extend.
Also there is the case that information is provided by several sources. In the best of worlds device vendors would provide a first basic set of information, the browser designer would complement this as would the operator that adds proprietary configurations to the device type.
As soon as you start to charge for content end-users tend to be less willing to accept faults. Let’s give an example:
Lina gets a brand new 3G device in birthday present from her parents. She immediately enters into the music store to buy the latest Madonna video at the price of $1. The music store looks up the capabilities of the device and delivers the video and charge for it. However it turns out that the delivered video does not play as the device description was faulty. As Lina pays for content herself she calls Customer Care that refunds her purchase and then spends time on investigating and correcting the faulty information.
Instead of a $1 income the interaction with the end-user has lead to a cost of $500 for the music store. An even worse scenario is that the music store risk loosing a customer if the situation repeats itself.
While a best effort quality approach (this device is built on the same platform as this other device from the same manufacturer and thus ought to have the same properties) might be fully acceptable for some free services a much higher quality level is needed for commercial services.
The least needed is a quality stamp on the information telling how trustworthy it is.
Device information can be divided into static and dynamic properties. Screen size is a static property of a device (even if some of us might be tempted to try to increase the screen size in terms of pixels possible to display replacing SW or HW components device). A dynamic property could be the capability to display a specific content format depending on whether a specific piece of software has been installed or not.
A device description repository ought only to include the static information per device type. Even if it is technically possible to keep track of the dynamic properties of every single device it can be debated from both an end-user integrity and cost benefit perspective. Also there ought to be better ways to handle the dynamic properties than a repository.
No matter which device description management handling solution is implemented it must be population with data otherwise it is worthless and a waste of time and money.
Therefore the solution from day one must include enough data to gain acceptance and thereby momentum in usage and additional data being entered.
This is not to be underestimated and must get high priority in a second charter of the DDWG.
Drutt Corporation is the world leading provider of Mobile Service Delivery Platform (MSDP)solutions to mobile network operators. Drutt MSDP offers an end-to-end multi-channel solution for establishing a profitable mobile service delivery business helping operators mobilize any content to any kind of mobile device, over any mobile network and delivery channel.
The Drutt MSDP supports mobile operators to integrate and charge thousands of content partners, merchandise and monetize premium services. In parallel, it optimizes end user experience by adapting content according to customer segmentation patterns and individual profiles.
The Drutt MSDP is commercially deployed in more than 60 opcos in 35 countries, managing millions of transactions and available to hundreds of millions end users every day.
Drutt is a strong believer in standards and take active part in the W3C MWI activities. We also ensure our product follows relevant standards as soon as possible, for instance already today our Drutt Rendering product supports the W3C DISelect draft for commercial use.
Director Product Management