Carrier Evolution

Metaswitch Networks thinks a key to providing more value for communications service providers is to enable sessions using multimedia to be maintained as users move between networks, devices and locations.

“Immersive multimedia telephony” (“Accession”) enables a user to move a conversation or session freely between preferred devices, and to take advantage of local network connectivity or handset capabilities, while instantly sharing content that is related to the users’ actions, surroundings or needs, Metaswitch says.

A new study by Google suggests people behave that way when consuming content or conducting search operations as well, so Accession might well be something important.

“The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior”study found that 90 percent of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smart phones, PCs, tablets or TV.

Of the 90 percent of media consumed on a screen of any type, browsing, shopping, trip planning and financial operations make sequential use of mutliple screens, much as Metaswitch enables a user to maintain a voice session initiated on a business phone, transitioned to mobile, and then finished on a home phone.

There are two primary ways people exhibit multi-screen behaviors, the study suggests. Sequential screening is when people move from one device to another to complete a single goal. Simultaneousscreening occurs when people use multiple devices at the same time.

The study found that nine out of ten people use multiple screens sequentially and that smart phones are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity.

So completing a task like booking a flight online or managing personal finances doesn’t just happen in one sitting on one device. In fact, 98 percent of sequential screeners move between devices in the same day to complete a task.

With simultaneous usage, the study found that 77 percent of viewers watching TV with another device in hand. In many cases people search on their devices, inspired by what they see on TV, the report suggests.

Sequential screeners will start interacting with an application on one device and then pick up where they left off on another, so making experiences seamless between devices is key, the study suggests.

Additionally, cross-media campaigns can help brands make the most of consumers’ simultaneous usage across screens. The study also found that when people use screens sequentially to complete an activity, they often use search to pick up where they left off.

So not only is it important for companies to allow customers to save their progress between devices, they should also use tactics like keyword parity to ensure that they can be found easily using search when that customer moves to the next device, the study suggests.

The study found that people often turn to nearby devices to complete spur-of-the-moment activity. In fact, 80 percent of the searches that happen on smart phones are spur-of-the-moment, and 44 percent of these spontaneous searches are goal-oriented, the study says.

Accession seems to mirror the growing trend of multiple devices being used to accomplish one goal, a trend the Google study also tends to confirm.