This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Cloud Computing Magazine.
With over half a million apps in the Apple (News - Alert) App Store alone one might arguethat developers have all the tools they have to develop compelling applications but what if there was a way to take traditional apps and integrate them more closely with carrier networks and big data analytics allowing them to be more powerful, spur increased consumer spending while greasing the wheels of mobile commerce and more?
Recently Jean Foster and Steve Edwards (News - Alert) at Neustar showed me their Intelligent Cloud service, which integrates rich, anonymized databases from TARGUSInfo with access to carrier network and other information to accelerate developer productivity and, frankly, to enable applications to become better drivers of value for consumers and revenue for advertisers and merchants.
One demo they showed me involved a gift card where a user scans the bar code associated with it. At this point a unique URL is passed to a browser and opened on the mobile device allowing a consumer to check balance information, make a payment and connect their cell phone to the card. Then a consumer can opt in for marketing information and can further text message to get a response with balance information on the card. Then they can scan a code on a product to have the amount debited from the card. In this manner the cell phone becomes the card meaning the card doesn’t need to be used again.
It is worth mentioning that Neustar handles the messaging and communications in the above demo.
The company has covered North America with carrier partnerships and recently Telus has signed up to the platform enabling developers to integrate the best of Neustar APIs with those from Telus allowing such things as mobile payments and messaging.
Neustar also provides communications for enterprises – for example their Mobile Enterprise Services solution allows an HR department to communicate rapidly with workers not only via SMS but also via email and desktop solutions. This solution is powered by the company’s Text Everywhere service.They also have a Geofence solution enabling marketing based upon location. Partner ZOS enables the company to provide its customers the ability to provide messages and offers when users are near specific locations.
Neustar has a storied history as a trusted third party providing SMS short codes, DNS look ups LNP information and more. They believe this position in the market allows them to be the optimal partner at a time when privacy and consent are becoming so important.
Last year the company purchased TARGUSInfo and is now able to correlate anonymized data from 200 independent databases allowing an app developer for example to see if a cell phone user is likely to be able to purchase a luxury car, etc.
Neustar is a fascinating organization as it has its hands in myriad areas of technology and communications – this move into big data, analytics and mobile enablement for developers seems like a smart diversification move as many of its legacy markets begin to slow.And certainly with all the recent security challenges facing mobile app developers, it is possible Neustar really is at the right place at the right time to ensure increased user, carrier and ecosystem trust.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi