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Cloud Communication Services and The Power of Telecom APIs for CSPs
Written by Al Castle, vice president of product and engineering for Flowroute, a West Company 

Cloud computing continues to deliver significant benefits to enterprises across a variety of business processes and activities. In particular, cloud communication services have become an integral part of the digital evolution for enterprises because they offer improved methods and new channels to engage with customers. However, the growth of the cloud telecom market is just getting started.

Communication service providers (CSPs), for example, are integrating voice and messaging capabilities through telecom APIs (application programming interface) as a strategy to automate and improve their unified communications, communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) and contact center-as-a-service (CcaaS) offerings.

Telecom APIs facilitate automation of CSPs' existing processes and access to carrier-grade telephony resources. This includes the ability to tailor customer support, scale networks and manage call volumes. In partnership with software-centric carriers that are delivering these telecom API-based offerings, CSPs are now able to drive consumption of their core services, while also helping business customers differentiate offerings and increase customer growth.

Along those lines, CSPs such as Avaya, Five9, RingCentral and 8x8 are automating  their telecom offerings and provide business customers with the ability to better communicate with internal and external networks.

Consider UberConference, a meeting software service that utilizes a cloud-carrier to instantly purchase, provision and configure phone numbers, thus providing its customers with conference-enabled numbers on demand. Slack also facilitates agile and secure communications within organizations through its partnerships with MobileIron, VMware and AirWatch. Integration of carrier-grade calling and messaging capabilities within the existing applications, such as Slack and UberConference, delivers a seamless process for users, which thereby increases engagement and drives consumption of the core services.

Enterprise developers and IT departments can leverage telecom APIs to enable other improvements such as the ability to route calls, as well as automate and streamline E911 setup and caller ID name management. Telecom APIs also offers organizations with the following:

  • Ability to rapidly scale services. CSPs often have tens of thousands of port orders, requiring them to purchase phone numbers in bulk and then look up new rates for those phone numbers. This simply isn't scalable without automation through APIs. Through telecom APIs, CSPs no longer have to face this hurdle. They can instantly purchase, port, provision and configure voice and messaging services with direct access to -- and control over -- high-quality telephony resources. Further, applications and services that used to take weeks to be processed through a traditional telco carrier can now be completed instantly through APIs.
  •  Access to phone numbers to extend customer relationships. For CSPs, telecom APIs provide the opportunity to help their business customers differentiate their offerings while also nurturing their end-customer relationships. Through the automation of APIs, businesses can improve customer interactions by giving their end-users a choice in how they interact with the business. This includes options ranging from "traditional" voice calls, web forms, text messaging, automated phone menus and the like, all of which can be provisioned and managed by the CSP instead of complicating or delaying the process with an outside party.
  • Integration with existing platforms. CSPs can also add value by helping businesses to locate and deploy cloud-based communications solutions that integrate into existing applications and software, such as CRM platforms or appointment booking systems.

For CSPs, telecom APIs are the gateway to providing reliable, flexible and scalable voice and messaging solutions for business customers. Utilizing telecom APIs now will help to distinguish services from their competitors and provide end users with advanced capabilities that can be directly tied to improved customer satisfaction and revenue growth.

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About the Author

Al is the vice president of product and engineering at Flowroute, a West Company. He brings more than 15 years of operational experience in software engineering and B2B SaaS platform management. Prior to joining Flowroute, Castle was the director of engineering at Motorola Solutions, where he built and launched the organization's first SaaS platform and IOT enterprise software system in less than five months.

Published Wednesday, December 19, 2018 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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