How many times have you had to call a customer service number, tap in your account info, only to be asked by the operator for that same data again? That doesn't need to happen. With the Open API Subscriber Context service, AT&T can allow subscribers to digitally share their data they wish to disclose with third parties, such as call centers, and improve the customer experience.
How did the Idea Hatch?
The idea was proposed by one of the AT&T Foundry's host sponsors: Alcatel-Lucent (ALU). The concept centered on combining APIs from AT&T and ALU to give developers access to select data from wireless subscribers, all with the subscribers' permission.
"Subscriber Context" APIs were designed to give developers easy access to select customer data that a customer wants to share. The AT&T Foundry partnered with AT&T Labs to develop a compelling use case to demonstrate the concept, settling on a call center application. AT&T Foundry developed an interface, came up with a visual design, and completed a demo.
About the Project
Imagine calling a call center and the call center system retrieving the user's information from the service provider's network and displaying it to a call center agent. When the call is made, an application in the call center agent's system makes a Subscriber Context API call to the service provider's network. The response to the API includes information like subscriber's name, information about the device from which the call is being made, and the caller's location. After receiving the response, the application displays this information on the agent's screen and then sends the call to the agent's phone. By the time the agent picks up the phone, the caller's information is already visible to the agent, and he can greet the caller by name.
Currently, the only caller information available is standard Caller ID. With the Subscriber Context API, subscribers could make any (or all) of their information available to third parties on a case by case basis. Imagine automatically sharing your address with a pizza delivery service, eliminating errors and speeding up delivery. Imagine calling into a call center and never having to select your language preference again, or ever reaching the wrong department. All of this is possible with Subscriber Context.
About the Researcher
Ravi Calyanakoti is an Innovation Coach working for Alcatel-Lucent in AT&T Foundry, Plano. He is a telecom professional with varied experience in architecture, design, development and integration of software and services. He has worked on multiple telecom products and seen through all life cycle stages from conception to deployment. His main expertise is in the areas of IMS, voice-over-IP and innovative applications. He did his BS in Computer Science from National Institute of Technology, India and MBA from University of Texas at Dallas.