With mobile applications moving toward a US$ 50 billion industry, by 2014, Oracle has launched its Connected Digital Lifestyle solution that enables communications service providers to create online content stores to boost conversion rates (and revenue) with an end-to-end retailing platform solution.

Oracle calls this a unified platform for service exposure, content management and delivery, and advertising to enable new revenue streams and increase customer loyalty. The group also includes an upgrade to Gatekeeper (5.0) in the suite, which helps leverage existing network assets like billing, messaging and location to support the development effort.

Key Components in One Solution

Oracle is offering three major components in this suite of applications that include Oracle Communications Digital Store, Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper and Oracle Communications Marketing and Advertising. Each add a significant component to help build the ultimate app store that leverages existing key customer intelligence,  according to Liam Maxwell, Oracle's product VP.  "Communications service providers are in a unique position to generate significant revenue from the burgeoning mobile application market by utilizing their key customer intelligence and network assets," he said.  

Examples include location-based services, billing and messaging, which can be used to support unique app store leveraging, according to the group. Analyst Peter Mottishaw, of Analysys Mason said these are "...differentiated and personalized services, operators can offer to their subscribers," that no one else can. 

Full-Blown Retail Platform

Oracle is offering operators an end-to-end digital content retailing platform that boosts revenue and customer loyalty by deploying compelling, cross-platform mobile device and web storefronts based on the unique customer data already within the enterprise. Here's how they get there:

  • Content lifecycle management system allowing CSPs to streamline content publishing processes and enable content providers to submit and track their content
  • In-application billing to simplify the purchasing experience and increase revenue through significantly higher conversion rates
  • Service exposure and policy enforcement platform allowing CSPs to monetize unique network assets -- such as location data, subscriber profiles, Quality of Service and messaging -- by exposing these assets as Web 2.0 application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable the creation of innovative applications and services
  • Multi-channel advertising capabilities -- including short message service (SMS), multimedia message service (MMS), mobile web, in-application and video -- to stimulate content consumption
  • Location and subscriber profile targeting to increase advertising effectiveness and drive new revenue-generating opportunities, such as retailer geofencing

The Oracle Gatekeeper 5.0 is an open, standards-based "...service exposure and policy enforcement solution." It enhances a CSP's service delivery platform to facilitate access to value-added network capabilities with a secure (automated)  approach. This was originally the BEA WebLogic Network Gatekeeper, that was upgraded back in July 2008 and renamed Communication Services Gatekeeper.   

The company said its Gatekeeper 5.0 update offers "enhancements" including:
  •  Support for OneAPI -- a common and Web-friendly set of APIs -- to provide application developers with standards-based access to mobile operator network capabilities making it easier and more attractive to create innovative applications and services
  • OAuth 2.0 -- provides multi-channel authorization of subscriber-owned resources by mobile or web applications; service providers can leverage this feature to support authentication for any telecommunications or third-party service -- such as charging and location -- as well as provide identity management as a service, enabling users to log into third-party applications using their subscriber ID
  • Integration with the Wholesale Application Community (WAC), a consortium of global mobile phone network operators and manufacturers committed to assisting developers in easily delivering compelling digital content
  • Rapid exposure and monetization of new telecommunications or third-party RESTful-based services, leveraging the platform's security, policy control and partner management capabilities
  • Intuitive network API tools to enable the creation and management of partner service level agreements and network services deployment