The project goals are to assess and describe IBC applications and their associated communication functions. This work has contributed to the definition of IBC services and to the identification of entry strategies for IBC. The project reports make recommendations about the implications of applications analysis for service definition and for the creation of conditions under which IBC services can be widely used. The project is based on empirical data and on the collection and synthesis of expertise about user needs and market strategies.
Future integrated broadcast communications (IBC) applications and their associated communications functions have been assessed and described. The study was carried out in order to contribute to the definition of IBC services and to identify entry strategies to IBC. The research was based on empirical data and on the collection and synthesis of information on user needs and the market strategies of key industry players.
11 generic IBC services were identified, whose functionality was specified in detail and a formalized methodology was developed for the description of IBC market developments, combining desk research on the supply side with user based application analysis.
The project incorporated projects R1037 and R1050.
The project has collected data by:
. desk analysis of published material
. studies of communications applications
. and visits to and discussions with service developers.
Research findings were analysed at three levels: users, applications and services, using conventional techniques of data reduction and inspection and through the development of an expert system which integrates data and knowledge.
. Analysis of case histories, in which communications applications are analysed to define the scope for IBC services.
. An analysis of communication functions and their relationship to services, rather than on technology.
. An understanding of the factors affecting service take-up.
. The use of expert systems to codify the analysis of communication needs and as a basis for the development of a variety of consistent and inter- linked market and service scenarios.
. Completion of 126 case-studies of potential applications for IBC in 102 organisations.
. The use of a formal procedure in the applications studies to characterise potential IBC applications in terms of 31 variables. This information is input to cross-tabulations and to multi-variable statistical techniques, in order to map user needs on to potential service categories.
. The conduct and summary of interviews with experts on the applications of computing and telecommunications technology in more than 100 organisations and research centres, further desk research and the compilation of the resulting material into a report Service Review which provides a detailed assessment of the potential for IBC service development.
. The consideration of potential entry strategies for IBC service development and for further mapping of user needs to functional specifications.
. Development of a methodology for describing IBC market development, in a way which formalises the statement of data and judgements, and which adds desk research about supply issues to user-based application analysis.
. Design of a modelling process, using the Nexpert expert system, which allows iterative analysis and modification of judgements and rules.
The work has led to four published papers.
This project delivers substantive data, and recommendations for action by the CEC and others involved in the development of IBC services. It identifies eleven generic IBC services whose functionality is specified.