In an immediate sense, the new Metaswitch Networks “Accession” application suite intends to support rich multimedia sessions that might roam across devices and networks, while the in-process sessions remain active.
The seamless hand-off is intended to add new value to applications that continue to work across networks and devices as users move from mobile to desktop and back again. The new product family, based on “immerse multimedia telephony,” builds on standards such as Rich Communications Services and IP Multimedia Subsystem.
What is distinctive is the capability of supporting sessions across networks and devices, while the sessions remain intact.
In one sense, Accession aims to allow service providers to better position carrier offerings against over the top messaging and communications apps. Better content sharing is one example.
Accession allows users to pull in relevant content, such as video or web content, while users are in session, for example, says Steve Gleave, Metaswitch Networks VP.
Accession also allows discrete devices to maintain separate profiles, matching any user’s roles at the office, at home, with family members or in any other situation where call rules and priorities are helpful. Accessiona also creates and supports a network address book, so all devices have access to all contacts.
“On-demand” and disposable phone numbers also can be created, which might be used when a user is selling something, and the item already has been sold, re-directly an inbound call to a message that the item already has been sold, instead of ringing a device live.
Accession offers both consumer and business versions, a managed version as well as software a service provider can run on off the shelf hardware.
In a larger sense, the Accession architecture is built for the 21st century, relying heavily on the ability to work at a higher level, across networks and devices, above the level of any single set of network assets. The “IMX” managed version of Accession provides a clear example.
But the entire Accession architecture relies, as standards-based architectures always do, on interworking across network boundaries.
In some ways, that also is somewhat the case for over the top apps as well. And that, one might say, is the point.