If enterprise agility and innovation is the key to survival and success, then much of those outcomes will be driven by enterprise developers building solutions -- be they internally facing ones or eternal customer-facing ones. In the quest to enable developers to build more quickly and efficiently, we have seen a huge growth in modular developer tools that offload a specific functional area thus allowing developers to focus on what really counts -- coming up with creative solutions.
One functional area that has seen strong developer tool activity is the broader communications one. This is perhaps unsurprising since communications functionality -- be it voice, video, SMS or whatever -- is an integral tool on most applications. After all, Uber wouldn’t be Uber without the ability for riders to contact drivers.
The company that has perhaps shown the best example of enabling developers to integrate communications functionality into their apps is Twilio, a cloud communications company. A poster child for the rise of developers, Twilio IPO’d only a few months ago and continues to ramp up its innovations.
But they are not the only player in the space -- Nexmo is another communications API provider that was recently acquired by NYSE listed vendor Vonage. The thinking behind the deal was that Nexmo would allow Vonage to leverage another revenue stream and eke out some more from its existing communication assets.
Following on from the acquisition, Vonage is today launching its “next generation voice API” that is integrated into Vonage’s own network, a network which, it must be said, terminates some 15 billion minutes of global voice traffic annually. The new API allows developers to programmatically access the network.
“When Vonage purchased Nexmo only a few months ago, we knew we could pair Nexmo’s APIs with Vonage’s voice network to deliver a higher quality programmable voice experience to the market,” said Alan Masarek, Vonage CEO. “We are encouraged by the speed with which we were able to bring enhanced voice capabilities to the Nexmo platform to accelerate the launch of the new voice API.”
The new Nexmo Voice API allows developers to add capabilities like conferencing, call recording and call control to a company’s workflow, backed by the certainty of the Vonage network. The Vonage network already has the ability to provision local numbers to 85 countries, so this API gives developers broad coverage to leverage. The new API joins Nexmo’s global SMS API, chat app API and critical ID verification API.
“Building enterprise-grade voice applications used to be a complex and expensive task. But the new voice API will allow developers to effortlessly create modern voice capabilities with open, agile and globally scalable architectures, enabling customized communications solutions to enrich customer conversations and deepen customer relationships,” said Tony Jamous, president of the Nexmo API platform. “We are excited to have Vonage’s industrial-strength network and second-to-none voice capabilities behind the new API, and the speed with which Vonage was able to help accelerate this launch surpassed our expectations.”
All good stuff, and, essentially, table stakes for vendors of this type. Really it comes down to an assessment as to which vendor has the most traction, awareness and case studies for this new way of working. I’ve been watching Twilio since the very early days and it has done a good job of essentially owning the conversation around communications developer platform. Whether Vonage can steal some of that thunder remains to be seen.
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