Real Time Communications Featured Article

A Whole New World: APIs Are Here to Stay

July 19, 2016

The world of APIs has opened up. Just about everything today can be tied to an IP address and work with digital communications to make life easier, better – and sometimes more fun.

APIs have become a key focus because they make it possible for anyone - from individual developers to the largest global companies in the world- to bring practical, real-world communications to market and add so many possibilities to our future as a whole.




Real Time Communications World recently caught up with Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President and Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy and Ecosystem for GENBAND/Kandy.io to hear more.

Our exchange follows.

What new business opportunities are being driven by the growth of the so-called API economy?
 The world of open APIs means that everything has an IP address, and now the challenge lies in creating stickiness and a superior experience.  And by leveraging communications platforms like Kandy.io, anyone from individual developers to the largest global companies in the world can bring thousands of practical, real-world communications use cases to the market for positive digital outcomes.

Is there a market for APIs you would consider the low-hanging fruit?  Which markets are the next to leverage APIs extensively?

There are several markets and verticals that can easily leverage APIs, including healthcare and finance. At Kandy we are seeing a great deal of

Natasha Tamaskar

traction from an API perspective in both of these markets. For example, in the healthcare industry TeleMedCo, a company founded by a team of emergency care physicians, general practitioners, healthcare and anti-aging leaders, is working with the medical and technology communities to build a system that supports more automated, intelligent and efficient paperless workflow, making life easier for patients, the care teams who treat them and the insurance companies who cover them, while over time providing data and information to research organizations working in the long term improvement of healthcare systems.

The TeleMedCo platform takes standard emergency room protocols and programs them into a system that incoming patients interact with, after answering a series of questions and providing their personal information, thus allowing the system to access and share the appropriate Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Further, the system is able to order vitals and labs, recording the data and making it easier to access by doctors, specialists and other medical staff.

With RTC cloud capabilities integrated into the solution, should a patient need to speak with his or her doctor, the doctor will automatically be alerted and can open a voice call or video consult within seconds using a smartphone or tablet. If the primary doctor or specialist is not available, the alert will automatically hunt for the next professional associated with that patient’s case.  The result is faster and allows more accurate admissions and more efficient operations of Emergency Rooms.

In Finance, by leveraging real time communications capabilities powered by Kandy, two-factor authentication enables customers to efficiently authenticate user identities for transactions across a broad range of categories including financial services, e-commerce, business applications, social media, lead generation, online classifieds or almost any cloud-based service. These two-factor authentication services can be deployed on any website or popular mobile platform.

What are the major challenges API developers face?

IoT applications pose a significant security challenge for developers. Not all sensor or IoT devices provide an environment for robust security like encryption, sometimes due to cost considerations or even available storage. In addition, there are so many IoT devices currently on the market, each using different transports and protocols to communicate, with no real standards to work with, making the development environment even more challenging. However, we believe that by investing in secure cloud-based solutions many of these security challenges can be addressed. The Kandy communications platform provides a clear line of demarcation between the IoT devices and the cloud, where the intelligence on the IoT data actually occurs. Kandy provides, clean, well-documented APIs that allow you to share only what you need to share, instead of providing access to all available data that can lead to security issues. Purpose-built API architecture lends itself to security. In addition, we have designed Kandy so that application data from one application is completely isolated and secure from other apps, offering multi-tenancy. 

Security is a multi-prong and multi-layer approach. In addition to communicating only relevant and necessary data via APIs, it is very important to provide end-to-end security between device and the cloud. Kandy provides advanced encryption technologies such as secure web sockets with TLS/ HTTPS and SRTP for data security that prevents “man-in-the-middle” attacks, providing an end-to-end secure channel between device and the cloud. We also provide “encryption at rest” for customer databases and rich messaging content.

One global healthcare technology solution provider is leveraging Kandy for remote patient diagnostics using screen sharing and video capture capabilities. In these instances, it is critical for the patient data to be encrypted. Only relevant information that pertains to the diagnosis is displayed on devices. Patient-related information such as name, age, social security number, etc. is protected and not displayed during the screen sharing session. For added security, screen sharing cannot begin until a secure two-factor authentication process is completed between end-parties.

Another healthcare technology provider is leveraging Kandy in wearables, whereby audio and video communications are triggered in response to an IoT event such as significantly increased heart rate in patients with cardiac diseases. All transmitted data is encrypted to protect the patient’s privacy.

In addition to Kandy’s robust security infrastructure, the platform’s cloud-based data is hosted and protected through secure physical facilities with around-the-clock monitoring and surveillance, multi-factor-authentication and redundancy zones.

Kandy also provides enhanced Denial of Service (DoS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection and white-listing of IP addresses to prevent IP address spoofing for apps, etc. Additionally, Kandy offers role-based authorization and access control, allowing only authorized access with specific pre-approved roles. This includes advanced password policies, expiration of access tokens and full access logs.   Kandy also supports multiple levels and advanced authentication mechanisms such as SMS & IVR-based two-factor authentication through simple and flexible APIs and SDKs.

With Kandy, we also continuously monitor app and subscriber behavior to take immediate action if any anomalies or suspicious activity is detected.

Who, within an organization, should businesses target when marketing their APIs (i.e., business leaders, C-Suite, developers)?

Increasingly we are speaking to business leaders and C-Suite executives who see real value in leveraging APIs and communications platforms.

How do you measure ROI of APIs?

One way to measure the ROI of APIs is whether or not the solutions that developers are bringing to market are solving real world problems.  The solutions that Kandy is powering from healthcare to finance to technology are solving real world problems and significantly enhancing and simplifying the communications experience.

How important is building an ecosystem around your API(s)?  Can your API(s) be successful without it?

At Kandy we feel the ecosystem approach is extremely important and can significantly enhance your go-to-market efforts. We are currently working with several ecosystem partners, including global brands such as IBM, Deloitte and SAP to bring thousands of innovative, practical real-world use cases to market.

What differentiates one ecosystem from another?

The caliber of partners that you are working with differentiates ecosystems. When you are working with the likes of IBM, Deloitte and SAP, it provides you with a distinct competitive advantage.

Why should attendees at All About the API make sure to attend your session/booth?

There is so much happening in technology and with APIs that I feel this is a great venue for attendees to come to learn what the opportunities and challenges are in this rapidly moving marketplace. I will be presenting “Enabling the API Economy” on Wednesday, July 20 at 9 a.m. so I hope those of you attending will come to see what I promise will be an informative session! 




Edited by Alicia Young

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