Metaswitch to Enable Multi-Persona Mobility

Like T-Mobile before it, with its Digits program, cloud-native communications software provider Metaswitch has figured out a way to allow multiple numbers to share a single mobile device. As a point of distinction, the Metaswitch implementation not only allows for multi-persona calling through the native dialer, but also supports group communications and collaboration.

It's all about tapping the intelligence of the underlying network, Shubh Agarwal, SVP of strategic marketing, told me in a briefing ahead of last week's announcement.

MaX Android UI

With the new product family, called MaX by Metaswitch, the network automatically maps the persona -- business or personal, say -- to the native dialer. Learning from call behavior, MaX presents the appropriate ID to both parties, Agarwal said.

Metaswitch sees three classes of mobile-native users as primary potential beneficiaries of MaX capabilities, and has created a version of the product to support each one -- families, prosumers, and micro and small businesses. MaX Business, for the latter category, is intended to allow employees use of a common business number on their individual mobile devices to speak or text with customers, as well as to collaborate internally.

With advanced user control and business policies for routing, MaX Business will let business owners share customer numbers with employees. This means if the boss isn't available, another employee will be able to jump on a customer inquiry immediately, Agarwal noted. And because MaX Business supports group collaboration, the business owner can keep track of those conversations to ensure customer satisfaction.

Besides improving customer engagement, MaX Business should help streamline internal processes, too. Onboarding a new employee, for example, is as easy as sending an invite and validating the request via SMS.

As mobile operators look for ways to get more value from their IMS and voice-over-LTE implementations, as well as to fend off growing competition outside the sector, they're looking for service innovations such as Metaswitch is delivering with MaX, said Bill Haskins, a UC analyst with Wainhouse Research, in a prepared statement.

"MaX by Metaswitch has our inner nerds overly excited -- what's not to like about virtualizing personas on the native dialer with AI-enabled management across personal and business identities?" Haskins said. "Combine these with group communications and collaboration, and you not only have a next-gen consumer and business experience, but more importantly, you also have a carrier service positioned for toe-to-toe competition against the growing raft of over-the-top services knocking at every user's front door."

MaX, which Metaswitch will be showing at Enterprise Connect 2018 (booth #936), is in trials with a handful of mobile network operators.

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