Apple Push Application Service

Some time ago I started to develop a Genesys Queuing application for the iPhone. The basic idea was to enable Customers to establish the queue time (EWT) for a particular service and then be notified when the queue time was lower than a certain threshold using a “Call Us Now” notification sent via the Apple Push Notification Services (APNS).

Technically I developed a Queue Management service which provides a secure interface between a custom iPhone application and core Genesys components such as Stat Server and interaction server. The application manages the re-attachment of data when the Customer call is received such that the iPhone application is used as an on-device IVR application to collect information such as the service required and/or account number. On top of this I added some additional services such as automatically scheduling an advisor initiated call-back to the iPhone for important Customer such as those in the dunning cycle.

As reported by Tony Tillyer (@ttillyer) this approach has also been perused by other developers such as Wyn Owen (@wynowen) with Exodus Software’s HERA (http://insidecti.com/wordpress/development/hera-from-exodus-software-aims-to-bridge-mobile-apps-with-cti/).

However, the main problem with this approach is that in order to use Apple Push Notifications (APNS) the user must first find and install the custom iPhone application.

This barrier to deployment may soon be overcome if Apple decide to implement Temporary Location Applications as described in an Apple patent here: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2010/05/apple-reveals-a-powerful-location-based-service-for-the-iphone.html

The idea is simple. Deliver a location based service to information savvy iPhone users that wish to receive temporary retail and service-based applications – Apple Push Application Services (APAS) possibly.

In particular, what caught my eye was figure 5B which shows a “Wait Time” application:

Image

So how could I see this working – well in lots of ways!

If we ignore the obvious opportunities for integration to store queuing systems such as QMATIC (http://www.q-matic.com/), what if I was walking past my local Vodafone store and got pushed a local application which reminded me that I need to call Vodafone and change my tariff?

On a more local basis what if I was passing my local takeout restaurant and got pushed an application with the menu and some indication of the wait time? In this case, I wonder what could be used as the queue management solution? Maybe an opportunity for Genesys Customer Interaction Management (CIM) outside of the more traditional Contact Centre!

 

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