Voxeo’s Tropo API Now Firmly Planted in Deutsche Telekom’s Developer Garden
Voxeo Labs has announced a formal partnership with Deutsche Telekom (DT) to incorporate the Tropo API into DT’s Developer Garden. As a result, telecomm application developers and content providers will find a marketplace for the components (SDKs, APIs, sample code, tutorials) that make telco “mashups” and hacks possible. The Tropo API figures prominently in DT’s mix, providing recipe elements for creating new applications that combine speech processing, advanced call processing (E.g. conference calling), SMS-based texting, voice-to-text transcription, and combinations of all of these features.
In this, the second decade of the 21st century, the major challenge public network operators (aka carriers) is to stay relevant by attracting application developers and content providers and cultivating their efforts to build new businesses that leverage (rather than by-pass) existing assets. The Developer Garden, as a concept, is a powerful platform for promoting innovation and DT seems committed to keeping the content and resources fresh. Voxeo Labs plans to play a major role in that effort. As its CTO Jose de Castro explains in a press release, “This is just the beginning…. In the coming months, developers will have access to a new breed of carrier network capabilities, complete with rich media and deep device integration.”
DT is by no means alone in this effort. In the U.S., AT&T operates a Foundry which runs events and contests (with $10,000 in prize money) to harness creativity of developer/entrepreneurs. France Telecom’s Orange, Spain’s Telefonica, Singapore’s SingTel, and a number of others are vying to build critical mass among the developer community. When vying for developer attention, they are in competition (and should be in collaboration with) the likes of GitHub, ProgrammableWeb, Mashery, or mobile specialists like Appcelerator. Each of these API and programming component aggregators enter the market from different angles, but they provide evidence that developers are driving demand for better tools, resources and “components” for useful, and eventually lucrative apps.
Network operators have a major role to play – now and in the future, but they are in a battle to stay relevant. The addition of the Tropo API to DT’s Developers’ Garden is an example of the sort of steps that must be taken to attract the attention of the swarm of developers, who are notoriously long on opportunism and short on attention span.