Voxeo Labs Launches Ameche; Trademarks “Apps in your Calls”
In a shout out to the screen actor who played the title role in the 1939 biopic, “The Story of Alexander Graham Bell,” Voxeo Labs has introduced a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) offering called Ameche. The new platform includes APIs (application programming interfaces), development tools, a hosting environment and revenue models designed to foster a new generation of network-based communications applications.
Most importantly, Ameche is designed for implementation in the public networks operated by incumbent telecom carriers. According to this press release, 250,000 application developers have already engaged in building phone-based and multimodal apps that run in Voxeo’s cloud on behalf of enterprise clients. Ameche provides a mechanism for app developers to build, run, maintain and bill for applications and services that run in an incumbent telephone company’s cloud. Apps will be made available through direct carrier portals for consumers and businesses, carrier partners and direct sales, Facebook, SalesForce AppExchange, Android’s Play Store, and Apple’s App Store.
The inherent advantages for developers of working with carriers that support Ameche includes the ability to build telephony applications that key off of existing phone numbers. No more generating fictitious numbers in order to take advantage of enhanced features like single-number, follow-me services. New voice mash-ups can integrate a multiplicity of landline phones, smartphones, feature phones, tablets or all manner of PCs in their service delivery fabric.
For example, Ameche makes it possible for a call record to be posted to one’s Facebook “timeline” or, conversely for a carrier to post a reminder for an individual to call a best friend on his or her birthday. Another example is “presence aware” single number service, in which the network could detect which device (home phone, wireless, office, softphone) is most convenient for an individual to answer. In an office setting, Ameche will make it easier for salespeople to update records in a remote CRM automatically, and voice processing resources can be invoked in a call, which would enable a person to leave a voice memo which could be transcribed and uploaded to Evernote.
The advantages for incumbent carriers is obvious. Unlike over-the-top service clouds which relegate the carrier to “fat, dumb pipe” status, Ameche’s APIs are designed to extend IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) and legacy mobile network capabilities “safely.” That means application developers, system integrators and value added resellers will have controlled access to the guts of the public network. As Voxeo explains, “Ameche’s apps work on any connected device including Rich Communication Suite (RCS) or “Joyn” clients, HTML5 WebRTC clients, Voxeo Labs own Phono clients, smartphones, and even the most basic feature phones.”
For mobile subscribers and application developers, the differences will be subtle. In this age of the telco mash-up, we’re all getting used to interacting with friends, family and business associates in real-time, even if it’s playing Words With Friends. The radical difference that Ameche brings about is in the plumbing that makes such “rich” forms of communications possible. Rather than circumnavigating the telephone company’s core resources, Ameche will make it possible for developers and end-users alike to make better use of the public network in ways that carriers find safe and developers find rewarding.