Real Time Communications Featured Article

APIs and Open Source are the New Direction for Communications

September 24, 2015

Telephone companies are notorious for taking their sweet time in introducing new products and features. And that’s not just because of their traditional strong embedded base and their hold on the local loop – well, at least not always. It’s also because they built networks based on complicated technologies and spent a lot of time and money ensuring their networks and services were super reliable before unleashing them on the marketplace. But communications is changing, and it’s changing rapidly

As Alan Quayle notes in a recent blog, companies such as Apidaze, Flowroute, Nexmo, Telestax, Tropo, and Twilio are among those leading the way toward innovation via the use of APIs, open source software, and WebRTC technologies. (As I recently reported, Gartner believes half of business-to-business collaboration will take place through web APIs by 2017, and that by 2018 three-fourths of Fortune 1000 firms will ofer public web APIs.)

Nexmo, for example, provides its customers with a single API to integrate with all chat apps. Nexmo believes that customer care is moving to chat, and so it wants to make it easy for its clients to enable that, Chris Moore, vice president of the company’s OTT hub business, told me in an interview earlier this year.

Image via Shutterstock

"Chat applications present a new opportunity for brands to instantly and genuinely engage with their customers via their preferred communications channel," said Moore at the time of the Nexmo Chat App API announcement in April. "We're coming to an age where companies are beginning to focus their brand less on individual apps and, instead, reach customers in chat applications. We will help those brands realize this future by helping them connect with customers however and wherever they are in the world."

The uptake by large enterprises of solutions such as those provided by the companies listed above has been phenomenal, Quayle says.

“Banks are using click to call and generating tens of thousands of calls per month, and expanding the scope of their projects,” Quayle blogs. “Some household brands have turned their back on traditional call center/IVR/PBX industry and taken the future into their own hands.” 

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