Patent number 8631108 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Network service providers are called upon to support a large variety of networked devices, including devices coupled to home networks (e.g., residential gateways, set-top boxes and voice-over-IP, or VoIP, adapters) and cellular networks (e.g. smart phones and pocket computers). Given the proliferation of such devices and the distributed nature of the networks involved, remote management of such devices is highly desirable.
"For example, demand for smart phones and other advanced handsets is growing faster than anticipated as users look for new ways to increase their personal and professional productivity. In 2005, year-over-year growth in the smart phone market exceeded 70%, and the industry experts expect that trend to continue for the next several years. In fact by 2009, it is estimated that smart phones will represent almost 30% of all new handsets sold--up from less than three percent in 2004.
"As smart phones and services for smart phones boom, so do the challenges. Today, the complexity often associated with smart phones is driving customer service costs up and serves as a potential inhibitor as mobile network operators strive to achieve mass-market adoption with these sophisticated devices. In fact, consumers are finding mobile services increasingly confusing and issues around ease-of-use are holding them back from buying and using third generation (3G) handsets and services.
"Wireless service providers who sell and support smart phones and their associated data services face the prospect of rising customer support costs due to the complexity associated with these devices and services. In 2007, the support costs for smart phones will surpass that of feature phones. The following are few of the top reasons for this support cost. Multiple contacts are made to a helpdesk to solve a single problem. 34% of users have never solved a problem with a single contact to the helpdesk. Calls last two to three times longer than calls from users of feature phones. It is common practice to escalate care from a helpdesk (Tier 1) to expensive technicians (Tier 2 and Tier 3). FMC (Fixed-Mobile Convergence) will add to the support burden. 89% of early adopters are more likely to go to CE vendors for support. Mainstream consumers are three times more likely to look to their service provider for support.
"Similarly, network providers that are coupled to home networks (e.g., Digital Subscriber Link, or DSL, and cable) find those networks coupled to a variety of customer premises equipment (CPE) within the homes that are gradually becoming more and more sophisticated. Customer issues with such devices are no less taxing upon support staff and support infrastructure.
"It is therefore desirable to provide a support solution that allows centralized management and control of remotely networked devices such as smart phones and CPE using protocols established for device management, updates, data synchronization and the like."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Various embodiments of a method and system for providing customer support with centralized management and control of mobile phones and customer premises equipment in order to aid users of such equipment with problems related to that equipment. In one embodiment, a user interface driven mechanism is provided to allow customer support representatives to manipulate remote devices in, for example, the following manners: access information about the remote devices and the users thereof, including history of issues with a particular device, device provisioning, access to diagnostics of a device, ability to upgrade firmware/software of a device, synchronization of data, enablement of security features, remote control of devices, service and application provisioning, defining and following policies related to service management for a variety of devices and resetting devices. Such functionality can be provided, for example, through the use of a device management server that uses a variety of appropriate protocols to communicate with the remote devices.
"Another aspect provides a service management system. In one embodiment, the service management system includes: (1) a service description repository configured to contain service descriptions that define services in terms of a set of end points that assume roles based on at least one of capabilities and attributes thereof, the end points being selected from the group consisting of devices and systems and (2) an application associable with the service description repository and configured to compare capabilities of at least one of the end points with required capabilities expressed in at least one role of at least one of the service descriptions and present a service offering to a subscriber based thereon.
"Yet another aspect provides a service management method. In one embodiment, the method includes: (1) comparing a capability of an end point associated with a subscriber with at least one required capability associated with at least one role expressed in a service description and (2) presenting a service offering associated with the service description to the subscriber based thereon."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Pelley, Edward S.; Palkot, Thomas A.. Application and Method for Generating Automated Offers of Service and Service Management System Incorporating the Same. U.S. Patent Number 8631108, filed
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