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Specialist Task Force 543:
User centric approach in the digital ecosystem

Who we are:

STF Leader:

Jean-Yves Monfort, AFUTT,

STF Experts: Noemie Simoni, Telecom Paritech,
Tatiana Aubonnet, Telecom Paritech,
Bernard Dupré, AFUTT,
Alex Cadzow, Cadzow Communications Consulting,

Each company involved in the STF may provide punctually other experts, when needed.

What we do:

The work of this STF is to:    
   •    Design and perform a survey to identify the user maturity and the user expectations in the digital ecosystem:           
          -the current user knowledge of available services
          -the true current usages,
          -the lack in the current offerings and the users’ expectations,
          -the information on the associated functionalities.
   •    Identify the characteristics of the different user environments: public, private and professional environments (e.g. taking into account the IoT, smart cities, wearables, etc.)
   •    Identification of typical use cases (e.g. Interactions on: home automation appliance; service selections between private and professional life; continuity of preferred from home to vacation location…)
   •    To define a generic model
   •    Provide an ETSI Guide to the user to build his service composition with the appropriate quality of experience (QoE) and how to ensure his data privacy.
   •    Provide a Technical Report to the providers and standards makers to ensure that each service component is provided with the information needed by the user to make an informed choice.
   •    Provide a Technical Report for the qualification of the user interaction with the digital ecosystem (e.g. authentication, single sign on, composition, presentation, etc.)

For more details, see our Terms of Reference

Why we do it:

There is currently an urgent needs to take into account the impact of digital ecosystem evolutions on users.

Users are currently facing monolithic application-driven solutions that have to be used sequentially. The current evolution is expected to provide them with a huge panel of various multicomponent offerings that the user would like to compose by himself in order to obtain a fully customized single/global service. The user digital environment is changing and user preferences differ from one user to another. In such a complex environment it is necessary to provide the user with accurate information that is needed to make a pertinent choice. 

Beyond the information, the user is in an almost permanent interaction with the digital ecosystem. This is a new paradigm differing from the current Client/Server interaction and from the interactions between user and terminal interfaces. Thus, this proposed STF aims to handle the definitions and the specifications of these new « unified interfaces » that will reduce the complexity from the user point of view and will improve usability and will provide guidance to the user.

In this context it should also be taken into account that, due to the vast number of interfaces/services/terminals, the user may use several digital identities and it seems relevant to avoid similar information being requested from them each time they move from one channel to another. It is important that this user unified knowledge has a high level of security.

To summarize, digital system usability needs to better-fit user expectations and satisfy all the different user profiles and connected objects, everywhere and for every usage.

The concept of the full Project is to define 5-dimension model called “ACIFO” The 5-dimension model is based on 5 sub-models defined as:
   •      Architectural Model « Acifo » : defines the global structure, including semantics and is optimized for the stated objectives.
   •      Communication Model aCifo : defines the exchange protocols, including APIs and HMIs, over three planes :
          -Management (Monitoring)
   •      Information Model acIfo : defines the information of the whole ecosystem (equipment, network, applications, services, HMIs, User,…) from the offer to the availability of resources for Users, Providers and any other partners. It is a knowledge data base representing the whole ecosystem.
The four deliverables produced by STF 543 define the different dimensions

   •    TR 103 438  (D1) focuses on the Architecture and the Organization
            It includes the use cases and the results of the survey, and presents the global concept of the STF and the objective of the different deliverables produced by the STF experts.
   •    EG 203 602 (D2) focuses on the Information and the Functionalities
            It is dedicated to the user. It provides analysis and recommendations from the information and functionalities.

   •    TR 103 603 (D3) addresses all the dimensions to the supplier, in order to produce the APIs according to the user expectations and whatever the number and types of additional suppliers.
   •    TR 103 604 (D4) focuses on the Communication and in particular on the HMIs. 

For example, for Energy (production, distribution, consumption), the supplier will create an API for the user. The information will be exchanged between the supplier and the user but will not be used only by the supplier: the user will have access to all the information and will be able to use this information to optimize their energy consumption. This data base is a source to provide new services and new applications (for the user and for the supplier). One major challenge and constraint is to ensure that all the private data may be checked and monitored by the user (the contract needs to define clearly these points). The data are not used only by the supplier, the user should have access to the data and may refuse that the data be used or known   an interaction “cursor” between the user and the supplier defines the freedom (GDPR)

How we do it:

1.    For the Deliverable 1 (D1), the STF experts had three initials tasks to perform:
          -    To create and disseminate the survey. Before sending the survey directly or through partners web sites, the experts have consulted several consumers associations, regulators, other experts outside the STF.
The survey has for main objectives to collect data about User maturity and User expectations in ICT environments.
On User maturity the main results are
   •    The difficulties to set up the smartphone and the box
   •    The lack of knowledge about the differences between the successive generations of GSM technologies (and consequently of the respective capabilities)
   •    A very large majority of people who would like to be able to challenge much more the  provider and indicates that it is currently difficult to make the  own composition of services because of the low scalability of the offers

On user expectations, the results show that users would like :
          - to be informed when there is a risk to enter into an area with low or without coverage and may loose the continuity of service. Loosing the continuity of mobile service on move is a problem for 90% of people.
          - to more control on the battery life, on the location data of their devices
          - to find their professional configuration on different devices (for those who are in employment)
          - 44% of people would appreciate a service of bandwidth on demand fix line and 38% on mobile line. The percentage of people interested and not interested by this service are quite the same.
Of course, security and privacy issues are in the heart of the confidence for the future digital ecosystem.

To develop the approach we take into account:  IHM (User interface), QoE, Data & GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), User Settings, Billing, Management. More data available in

The part 2 of the Technical  Report contains a schematic representation of user interactions according to UML (Unified Modelling Language):

   •    Use Case Diagram that describes the functionality provided by a system in terms of actors, roles, and objectives.
   •    Activity diagram that describes the activities and step-by-step operations of component workflows in a system.
   •    A sequence diagram that shows, how actors communicate with each other according to a sequence of messages.
   •    A communication diagram that shows the interactions between the parties in terms of sequenced messages. They represent a combination of extracted class, sequence and case diagrams describing both the static structure and the dynamic behaviour of a system.
          -    To identify use cases, in private and professional situations. The retained use cases are the basis for the definition of the final model.
          -    The task consists in the identification of set of requirements through typical use cases of digital ecosystem, e.g.:

Several use cases have been identified ;
   •    Smart meters
   •    Home digital ecosystem
   •    Travel management
   •    Video on demand
   •    Surveillance of pets
   •    User interactions with IoT devices
   •    User interaction within the smart city
For all these use cases, the Technical Report identifies the services, the principal agents, the assets/resources and the interactions. Based on this analysis, the process and actors are described, and a generic model has been provided.
The deliverable D1also proposes a new vision of digital use cases for composition of personalized services. This new vision applies to two use cases (e-health independent living and User interaction with multi device environment).
For these use cases D1 describes scenarii, the needed resources and the sequence diagram for personalized service compositions.

2.    The Second deliverable (D2) is an ETSI Guide (User centric approach; Guidance for the user), identifying:
   •    All features that require interaction with users
   •    All indications on the service composition
   •    All information that allows users to choose and select services according to needs (including users with special needs)
   •    All information relating to security and privacy
   •    All billing information, etc.
This Guide is mainly dealing with Quality of Experience (QoE) and privacy, security, data protection, confidentiality.

3.    The third deliverable (D3) is an ETSI Technical Report (User centric approach; Guidance for providers and standards makers)
Each recommendation identified as important for the user will find its parallel on the side of the supplier offer.
For each needs and expectations, by user categories, the guide will recommend relevant service information and interactions. This is to facilitate, on the one hand, easy access for the user and on other hand, consistently create manageable services that are easily incorporated into a service definition that can support SLA

D3 will be produced with the same schedule than D2 as the two documents are complementary, D2 being dedicated to Users and D3 to providers.

4.    The fourth deliverable (D4) is an ETSI Technical Report which provides recommendations for the different interaction information (parameters, QoS, QoE) with the ecosystem (e.g. authentication, single sign on, composition, presentation, management, etc.).
The most critical need is that each Service Component exposes input and output information such that a user can understand the impact of each Component Service on its E2E composition.

Starting from the use case families selected, and the OCF recommendations, the output of this task will include mainly requirements and testing methods to empower to Customer-centric provider to propose their customers with the information, support and tools they need in order to achieve their goals. These include, for example, access to agents (live and virtual), internal information, external knowledge (such as social media) and automated tools.
The bottom line is that the customer needs to be able to resolve problems through their own channel of choice, whether it’s selecting and purchasing a new service, getting help or any other activities.


The STF 543 will provide the following deliverables

#        Work Item                        Title
D1     DTR/USER-0046               User centric approach in digital ecosystem
D2    DEG/USER-0047                User centric approach; Guidance for User;   Best practices to interact with digital ecosystem
D3    DTR/USER-0048                User centric approach; Recommendations for providers and standardization makers
D4    DTR/USER-0049                User centric approach – Qualification of the interaction with the digital ecosystem

Time plan:

DTR/USER-0046       Working title: User centric approach in Digital ecosystem
Start of work                18 December 2017
   •    ToC and scope     22 December 2017
   •    Early draft           22 May 2018
   •    Stable draft         01 September 2018
   •    Final draft           30 September 2018
   •    TB approval        07 November 2018
   •    Publication         15 December 2018

The survey is one of the pillars for the STF Work. The survey has been conducted from march to May 2018. The STF members are in contacts with consumer associations, regulators (which also send the survey to their members) and the survey is sent to all the ETSI Members.

DEG/USER-0047   User centric approach: Guidance for User;   Best practices to interact with digital ecosystem
Start of work             18 December 2017
ToC and scope           22 December 2017
   •    Early draft         22 May 2018
   •    Stable draft       15 November 2018
   •    Final draft         15 December 2018
   •    TB approval      15 January 2019
   •    Publication        15 April 2019

DTR/USER-0048 User centric approach Recommendations for providers and standardization makers
Start of work              18 December 2017
   •    ToC and scope   22 December 2017
   •    Early draft         02 September 2018
   •    Stable draft       15 November 2018
   •    Final draft         15 December 2018
   •    TB approval     15 January 2019
   •    Publication       15 February 2019

DTR/USER-0049 User centric approach – Qualification of the interaction with the digital ecosystem
Start of work             18 December 2017
   •    ToC and scope  22 December 2017
   •    Early draft        15 September 2018
   •    Stable draft      15 January 2019
   •    Final draft        28 February 2019
   •    TB approval     26 March  2019
   •    Publication       30 April 2019

How to contact us:

To contact us, please send an email to the STF leader:

To be informed:

STF 543 gave a presentation on Tuesday 23 October 2018 in ETSI, during the opening session of the IoT Week.

This information is based upon STF working assumptions.

The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of ETSI in this context.