The early vendor hype around IMS was always composed of fantasy and reality. However, no new business cases have emerged in the last five years since the IMS buzz began. So - where are you now, IMS?
What customers really want is simply to use the services they enjoy using any devices. There shouldn’t be any barriers between their services and devices. If they purchased to a piece of content, it should be made available to them on all their devices and if they start watching a movie at home, but don’t have the time to finish it, they can still bring up their mobile and continue where the movie is left off.
Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and the rest have created unified accounts for their various services which are accessible via multiple devices (PCs, tablets, smartphones, ect) and networks (3G or WiFi etc). Customers don’t care whether its called convergence or not, they simply see using the same service but accessed a different way.
Three factors need for IMS to thrive:
Foundation: operators need to set a clear strategies for transforming service delivery frameworks before IMS can be deployed. Will it be operational network efficiency, new revenue streams or customer loyalty (stickiness)?
Demand side: end users need to be educated on and understand the promise of true convergence and how it can transform services. New lifestyles and new ways of using applications must be demonstrated.
Supply side: a few large-scale deployments are needed to prove that IMS can work as promised and these deployments and success stories need to be publicized. Telcos and application developers need to be fully convince that IMS is worth the investment.