In a move that could have wide-spread implications on the quality of telecommunications services offered in local and international markets, South African telecommunications company Multimatics has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent application relates to software developed by the company. The software is able to automatically determine the nature of the type of connection between any two devices.
Multimatics originally developed a simple version of the software to detect whether or not a telephone call made by an extension was more likely to be a business or personal call.
The software has now been completely rewritten and improved and is able to detect whether or not the following types of communications connections are being used for business or personal use: telephone numbers; Web site addresses; e-ail addresses; or SMSs and MMSs.
Decision-makers face a constant challenge in keeping pace with the rapid evolution of communications technologies. From ensuring a reasonable number and duration of personal calls through to guaranteeing call costs are as low as possible – through strategic use of least cost routing (LCR) or VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) – managing telecommunications costs is an ongoing point of focus.
Which means, in turn, that telecommunications management service providers face their own challenges in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to technologies used and services offered to clients.
Multimatics director John Bannister comments: "The tracking of the categories mentioned above are just simple examples of what the software can do.
"Really, it can be applied to any connection between two devices such as telephone lines, extension handsets, computers and mobile telephones. The system is generally used with the context of an organisation, and it learns the connection patterns within an organisation or organisational unit. The software remembers these and updates the patterns as they change over time."
Multimatics will also file a patent cooperation treaty (PCT) which will simplify the patent application of the same invention in the treaty's member countries, effectively giving the company more time to file in additional countries.
Securing the patent would afford Multimatics the opportunity to reach into global markets by allowing businesses to re-calibrate the way they deal with internal communications, from Internet to e-mail and emerging communications tools and applications, especially highly popular social networking portals.
"The software is designed for telecommunications service providers around the world," says Bannister. "It will definitely cut costs and drive more innovative ways of managing communications effectively within the office environment.
"Our initial focus is telecommunications service providers around the world, ranging from the companies that produce stand-alone telephone management systems (also often called call accounting systems) right up to the telecommunications carriers, their dealers and agents. Given this relevance we're hoping our US patent application will be successful – it could have a big impact on our company and the local telecommunications sector in general."