Directory Services: A revolution is required – URGENTLY!
In today’s technological age the world has access to better communications technology than ever before. Across the globe there is increasing access to a broadening array of services that now includes surface mail, telex, telegram, eMail, landline telephone, mobile telephone, and facsimile machines from an increasing array of service providers and resellers. So, if I want to I can talk to someone who’s on the top of Everest whilst I’m lying on the beach I can do so - easily. It’s impressive!
But, is it easy to carry out people search or to find out someone’s mobile number or eMail address and get in contact with them? No!
In the rush to deliver all these technologies the humble directory service seems to have been forgotten. Enquirers are confronted with an increasing array of directories which all appear to list the subscribers of only one particular service provider. And some service providers don’t even bother to provide a directory at all! Notwithstanding the success in selling us all this new technology it seems that no-one has thought about tackling one of the most basic issues inhibiting its effective use.
A revolution is required. We need a directory oriented to serving consumers!
Any objective examination of directory services and their role in today’s world must clearly show that the traditional directory model is no longer applicable. Consumers now have a one-to-many relationship with communications service providers and it is not possible for anyone other than the consumer to have the complete and current picture of their communications subscriptions. Put simply, today’s directories are dinosaurs. They must be replaced by something which gives every consumer the capability to publish their own directory information.
So, if such a consumer-driven directory facility were to be created, what characteristics would it have? Ít took only a few seconds to come up with the following mouth-watering wish list:
- A single directory with global coverage so I know where to look.
- Secure, real-time update from anywhere so my information is always up to date.
- Complete independence from all service providers so my interests are not secondary to someone’s profits.
- Optional inclusion of all desired forms of contact so I choose what is revealed.
- Alphabetic, free-form and phonetic search so there is real search assistance.
- Support for stipulation of my contact preferences – preferably with enforced adherence like that with Do Not Call registers.
- Mechanisms to protect my privacy but still enable legitimate contact.
- Automatic synchronisation with lists on my mobile devices so everything stays in step.
As a communications consumer it doesn’t take too much thought to come up with the definition of a directory service that would look and serve in very ways from those available to day. And imagine the transformation that would follow – with everyone finally able to take full advantage of all those communication technologies that we’re paying good money to play with.
With all today’s technological capability it shouldn’t be too hard to do – should it? Technology should make people search a cinch - shouldn't it?
Bring on the revolution!!