The Multimedia Services Affiliate Forum (MSAF) was created in 1995 to promote global interconnectivity and interoperability between service providers of the next generation of network enabled, application based services, thereby accelerating the development of this market while at the same time enabling MSAF members to better meet the demands of their global business customers for these seamless services.
Since 1995, profound changes in our industry have led to uncertainty on the part of some MSAF members as to the value of the organization as it is currently chartered. Both the rise of the Internet and the movement away from proprietary systems bring into question the value of interconnected network-based services. Further, MSAF’s focus on the interconnection of value added networks of competing carriers seems inconsistent with a market that is increasingly dominated by fiercely competitive alliances of the world’s leading service providers. Finally, even absent these global alliances, lack of significant interconnection between MSAF service provider member networks to date seems to suggest that many MSAF members have not fully accepted network interconnection as a compelling business model for meeting the increasing needs of global business customers.
This paper has been created by MSAF’s Marketing and Services Working Group, in concert with the MSAF Board of Directors, as a tool for MSAF members to use to describe the value of MSAF to the senior management of their individual companies. This paper will attempt to provide the facts and logic needed to make a compelling case that:
- The MSAF mission and its focus on interconnection and interoperability remain as important today as it was when the forum was created in 1995.
- The rise of global service provider alliances does not diminish in any way the benefits associated with interconnection of value added service networks between and among competing service providers and/or alliances.
- Interconnection remains an effective alternative MSAF service providers should consider when attempting to meet the requirements of global customers for seamless, value added services.
The goal of this paper is to ensure that, at a minimum, all MSAF service provider participants recognize the value of MSAF to their company and the industry generally. Each individual MSAF service provider member is responsible for determining how, and in what form, to use this document within their own companies.