Archive for the ‘API’ Category

Telecom 2.0 - Where We’re Headed

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Last Wednesday at PTC ‘09 in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii, our CEO and President, Pete Pattullo, participated in a Telecom 2.0 panel moderated by Gary Kim of IP Business magazine. Joining Pete on the panel were IntelePeer CEO Frank Fawzi and Jeff Lattomus, Area VP of MetaSwitch.

Pete shared with Gary and the audience that NetworkIP formed in 1997 as a Telecom 2.0 company; we built our platform from a “clean sheet of paper” and pioneered a revolutionary business model (at the time) of providing hosted voice applications for customers. Back then, the Telecom 2.0 label didn’t exist, and analysts often categorized us as a CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier).

Now, 10 years later, our core voice and transaction services platform is highly evolved. Our patented software has matured through 8 iterations. Our hosted services model makes it easy for customers to run and manage all varieties and complexities of business applications. And while we process over 25 million API transactions a month, we realize that those APIs are only the table stakes of Telecom 2.0.

For we are all about enabling frictionless transactions and solutions for the enterprise that enable customers to easily and cost-effectively solve complex business problems and drive efficiency, especially in this challenging economic climate.

Pete further elaborated that In 2009, our subsidiary, Jaduka, will be working closely with partners like IBM and initiating new relationships to meet the growing demands of Fortune 2000 companies. We’ll also integrate our real-time transaction processing engine, our billing solution, and provisioning capabilities in ways that save our customers money and enhance their business processes.

Telecom 2.0: that’s where we’re headed.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

New Year, New Business Processes

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

I just received a recorded message from the local Toyota dealership in Austin. The message indicated that my vehicle is due for service and then provided me with the dealership phone number so I could call and schedule an appointment.

The approach Toyota is taking in proactively reaching out to their customer is good, but it’s not good enough and, in this instance, it wasn’t frictionless enough to get me to stop what I was doing and make a service appointment.

What might Toyota have done better?

1. Indicate which car required service. I own two Toyota vehicles so how about listing the year, make, and model of the vehicle that requires service.
2. Provide more specific information. Indicate type of service that is due and the cost.
3. Provide a more convenient call to action. Give me the option to connect to a customer service person by pressing a button, or to schedule the appointment via an IVR while I am still on the line.

Telling me which car required service and giving me the specific service information is good. Better is connecting me directly to a customer service agent (press 1 to connect schedule an appointment now) or allowing me to schedule an appointment via an IVR; either of those two options would have likely sealed the deal.

A call to action needs to be seamlessly integrated with convenience and one-click actions to enable the feeling of convenience. In lieu of that, if a customer doesn’t capture the number that is quickly rattled off, it’s less likely the customer will call the dealer. In my case I won’t make the call to the dealer until I have a problem with one of my cars or I remember that it’s time to change the oil.

In 2009 you will see more companies – from major enterprises to suppliers and distributors to brick and mortar establishments – deploying communications enabled business processes (CEBP) in ways that improve customer experience and drive sales. The NetworkIP Jaduka Intelligent Platform and our APIs enable businesses to deploy low-cost, efficient CEBP solutions and accrue benefits from day one. With CEBP, every sale has a far greater chance of being completed, and the customer experience will be both richer and frictionless.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

SaaS & Mobile Productivity: Bright Spots for 2009

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

While most companies are reporting lower than expected earnings in 2008, there are some bright spots. NetworkIP has had our best year ever, reflecting a growing adoption of the NetworkIP Jaduka “Intelligent” Platform for telephony, voice/data applications, and feature development.

The Wall Street Journal reports that while software purchases are expected to decline, three pockets of technology will grow: Software as a Service (SaaS), Mobile Productivity Applications, and Security solutions.

We agree. We’re seeing a large increase in the numbers and types of telephony and commerce applications running on the NetworkIP Jaduka “Intelligent” Platform.  Adoption of our SaaS solutions and voice API is growing by about a million API calls a month. Our voice API opens call control and transaction processing to businesses, enabling them to more efficiently manage products and accounts in the cloud.  In 2009 we expect to see substantial gains as our platform is adopted by thousands of businesses developing applications on popular SaaS ecosystems like Serena.

In 2009 we will be releasing the first of several Mobile Productivity applications, including an iPhone Conferencing application based on Jaduka’s Conferencing API.  Just like our Web-based Conferencing solution, the new iPhone Conferencing application will allow users to start and manage conference calls from the palm of your hand.  Whether you need to connect to 3 people or 50 people at once, this application will make it easy.

It’s frictionless solutions like those offered by NetworkIP and Jaduka that are connecting people, improving business, increasing efficiency, and delivering significant value and costs savings to businesses. We look forward to 2009 with enthusiasm and vigor.
 
Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

Accelerating Business Value with SaaS

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Today & tomorrow Pat Murphy, VP of Business Development at Jaduka, & I will attend IBM’s Accelerating Business Value Conference in Palisades, New York. The focus of this conference is to bring together business executives, subject matter experts, & Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in an effort to collaborate on making alternative delivery models available for software solutions through IBM’s Blue Business Platform (BPP).

As reported by IBM, the tides of innovation are driving radical changes in the software market. Alternative delivery models are opening up choices for line of business executives & providing new market opportunity for software vendors. Analyst predictions include:

- By 2012, 70% or more of businesses with greater than 100 employees will have deployed at least one Software as a Service (SaaS) application. - Saugatuck Technology, May 2008
- The Cloud opportunity is potentially $95 billion, or roughly 12%, of the total worldwide software market, within five years - Merrill Lynch, May 2008

Just as Pat discussed in a recent blog post, NetworkIP & Jaduka have been doing Software as a Service (SaaS) for many years. In fact, we are doing SasS 20 million times a month & that number continues to increase. Enterprises are quickly realizing the many pros of SaaS which include: affordability, immediate ROI, subscription pricing, quick deployment times, & the elimination of hardware &/or IT maintenance costs.

Going forward we plan to work more closely with ecosystems such as IBM’s Blue Business Platform in an effort to enable more companies to easily leverage the power & cost-savings that Jaduka & NetworkIP’s voice & transaction services software offer.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

Telephony Platforms & Swimming

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Developing a telecommunications platform that is reliable under load & that is easily scalable is not something you can learn by simply reading a book, a manual, or by sitting in a class room. It is certainly not as easy as many VoIP switch manufacturers would like you to believe either.

Developing a truly remarkable telephony platform is an art form, much like swimming. No matter how strong you are, if you are unwilling to invest the time & energy to practice your breathing, you body position in the water, your arm stroke, your kick - the basic mechanics of swimming, you will never be able to move fast & efficiently through the water. To swim quickly & efficiently, you must take the time to break down your stroke to the individual components & perfect each component independent of the rest & meticulously build your stroke back up, forming an efficient machine that moves quickly through the water. It takes time, patience, & skill. 

The same is true for developing a truly remarkable telecommunications platform. You need the right mix of hardware (servers, switches, power, etc.), quality data networks, quality telephony carriers, monitoring tools, software that scales & that is easily extendable, & a talented team of individuals that understand the various intricacies of managing such a complex solution. At NetworkIP we’ve created this remarkable telephony platform & through simple APIs offered through Jaduka we’ve made this platform available to your business.

Let us handle the platform so that you can focus on what you do best - develop your product & provide quality services to your customers.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

NetworkIP & Jaduka Attending Mobilize 2008

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Early this morning Trevor Baca, VP of Software Engineering, Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Systems Engineering, & I jumped on planes headed for San Francisco to attend tomorrow’s Mobilize conference. This is the inaugural year for the Mobilize conference & with GigaOM behind this one it is sure to be a success & last for many years to come. This is an exciting time to be in the mobile space & we expect tomorrow’s conference will be just as stimulating & productive as it promotes to be.

The conference has pulled together thought leaders from Google, Nortel, Cisco, Motorolla, Sprint & many others involved in the mobile industry to cover topics that we’ve all been asking & that will enable us all to make informed decisions in this new market. The Mobilize conference also includes a launch pad session so companies like Cumulux, Fonemesh, Fonolo, Fusion Garage, Heysan, LuckyCal, MotionDSP, Pinch Media, placethings, Skyfire Labs, TuneWiki & Zecter can present their new mobile products.

Over the past few months we’ve been talking about how faster mobile data speeds (3G, 4G, & LTE) & open mobile operating systems (Apple, Symbian, & Google’s Android) are making this an exciting & opportunistic market for businesses & application engineers to develop new & innovative applications for the mobile space. As more companies & application engineers enter this space & find themselves supporting mobile consumers & mobile products they are realizing the need for faster, more robust, & more reliable transaction processing services. These companies & application engineers obviously understand the value of transaction processing services; however, they haven’t the time, the money, or the resources to develop them on their own. Their focus is where it should be; on their mobile products & services. So they rely on us & our proven experience in the transaction processing space to ensure their accounts & products are properly managed.

Our transaction processing services allow companies to manage all of their mobile consumer accounts & mobile products via simple API interfaces without having to invest any costs or resources to build a network, deploy hardware, ensure security standards, & manage complex databases. We do the heavy lifting so these companies & application engineers can focus on their existing mobile products, new mobile products, & most importantly their customers.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

Why Google Chrome?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Since Google released its new web browser, Chrome, last week there has been so much chatter on the web about its features, how it stacks up to Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, & Safari, & maybe the most important question on everyone’s mind is why has Google developed its own web browser.

I immediately downloaded Chrome when I read about its release. I’m not an application download junkie; however, for a long time now I have been looking to replace Internet Explorer (IE) because too often I have a single browser tab that crashes & then I loose the five to ten active browser tabs I had open. Chrome promises to fix this problem by treating each browser tab as a separate application. When one browser tab crashes, the rest of your tabs should not be affected. After a few days of using Chrome, I was able to test this “functionality” for myself & it worked like a charm. I am forever a non-subscriber to IE & now a happy Chrome user. I’m also a big fan of Chrome’s one stop shop (a single text box) to type in known URLs & do my web searching. The auto completion feature when typing URLs & doing Internet searches is also a great bonus to me.

The BIG question though isn’t what feature do you like or don’t like; rather, why did Google release its own browser? My opinion points towards the mobile market space for web browsing. According to research conducted by Nielsen Mobile, in 2007 mobile Internet use generated over $5 billion in revenue for companies & in the first quarter of 2008 mobile Internet use accounted for a total of $1.7 billion in revenue. Nielsen’s research strongly suggests that we will see a rapid growth in consumer adoption & mobile marketing in the years ahead.

Chrome fits this mobile Internet niche well. Chrome is a very light weight application. The total size of the browser is just 7-megabytes, making it a good fit for the relatively small hard drives that exist in today’s mobile devices. Chrome’s small size makes it a quick & easy application to download to most mobile devices. Chrome also has a minimalist user interface & it nicely accommodates the display size of mobile devices with Internet access. Lastly, when Chrome is running it uses very little memory, making Chrome an ideal application for mobile devices that have limited memory size.

The market research firm ABI Research sees the mobile web browser segment of this market accounting for the vast majority of growth over the next five years. They predict that the number of highly functional mobile browsers shipping per year will grow from 76 million in 2007 to nearly 700 million in 2013. From where I sit Google is quickly putting all the pieces together to dominate this mobile market space. They have already released a number of API’s that will further enable the development of mobile applications & mobile mashups, they have now released the mobile browser (Chrome), & soon they will release the mobile operating system called Android.

The way I see it, Chrome was just one of the few remaining pieces that Google needed to position themselves as a leader in this new mobile market.

Positive ROI with Voice APIs

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Jaduka’s APIs enable much more than slick innovative voice-enabled web applications. When aligned with a company’s business objectives, voice-enabled solutions can result in significant savings. I applaud Datran Media for their ability to identify a business need where adding voice can enhance their services all while saving their company money.

According to Jason Oates, Vice President of Media Services at Datran Media, it was an easy decision to choose Jaduka. Jason adds, “Jaduka’s solution provides a positive ROI by helping Datran Media improve campaign success & drive greater revenue for our advertisers & publishers.”

These new voice-enabled solutions are not only beneficial for businesses; they are also useful tools & provide consumers with convenient & efficient ways of communicating. As more companies realize the value in adding voice to existing applications, business processes, & CRM services we are going to see an explosion of new voice-enabled solutions deployed.

Proven Database Solutions Are Not So Common

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I was traveling this past week (on vacation actually) & while waiting in the Dallas/Fort-Worth airport to catch a connecting flight I overheard a pretty sad telephone conversation between two engineers that really made me appreciate what our teams have designed & developed over the past 10-years. The conversation between the two software engineers went something like this…

“We are getting a number of customer complaints that the application keeps crashing their systems. Have you looked at the database queries that are running? You know the database is our Achilles’ heel man. We can’t support all that many simultaneous queries. Maybe we should trying queuing up the queries so they don’t overload the system? Yes, I know if we do that it will take longer for things to run, but better they run then crash all the time, right? You know table joins may be a problem too. The database just can’t handle queries that require table joins. Maybe the queries we are running are just too big… I don’t know man; we’ve got to do something soon to fix this. OK, try some stuff & get back with me. I’ve got to tell our customers something.”

I can’t tell you all how relieved I was that I wasn’t in this company’s position. My jaw about hit the floor when I heard the guy refer to their database as their Achilles’ heel. If there is one thing that our customers don’t need to worry about it is our database solution. Handling large volume database transactions is one of our core competencies to say the least. Our database solution handles millions of transactions daily without skipping a beat. These transactions aren’t from a single source either. We handle database requests coming from over 250 API methods, customer service web sites, reporting traffic, & obviously from systems applications handling call processing.

Transaction processing is just another one of the many solutions & services we offer & stand behind. We aren’t trying something new or untested either. We have a proven solution that continues to provide our customers with the reliability & scalability that enterprise solutions demand.

To conclude, I did consult with this gentleman about Jaduka’s Transaction Services API. He seemed overjoyed to hear that we had made our solutions available via simple Web APIs. His company obviously doesn’t have the time, money, or resources to develop a high volume database solution on their own & we’ve got a call later today to discuss this opportunity in more detail.

Plugging Starbucks into Telephony

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Every time I walk into Starbucks I’m hit in the face with a new sales promotion. Howard Shultz & crew are doing all that they can to turn Starbucks around. If successful, their current promotion will have consumers visiting a Starbucks twice a day. The approach with this promotion is that if the consumer returns with their morning receipt after 2:00 PM, they will be offered any grande (that is a ‘medium’ for you folks that have yet to pick up on the Starbucks lingo) iced drink for $2.00 instead of the usual $3.50 & above price tag.

I can’t help but look at a promotion like this & imagine the benefits that Starbucks could achieve if they would simply use communication & transaction based technologies to market & manage this promotion. The problem is that too many companies perceive such an integration to either be impossible, or if possible then too expensive.

My morning coffee was paid for using my Starbucks credit card. Talk about a loyal Starbucks’ customer… I earn Starbucks points with all of my purchases instead of miles or cash back. Since Starbucks has already “signed me up” why not alert me of this promotion via text message or better yet with a phone call rather than catching me only after I’ve walked through their doors? It wasn’t until I purchased my coffee & then asked for my receipt that the clerk even notified me about the promotion. What if I wouldn’t have asked for my receipt? Would the clerk even have told me about the promotion?

Even if I do decide to return later today it is now my responsibility to remember the promotion & I’m also forced to keep track of my receipt for the rest of the day. With the use of communication & transaction based technologies I wouldn’t have to do either. Since I’m already a loyal customer & I’m using a Starbucks card I shouldn’t need to hang on to my receipt. My purchases could be tracked on-line & when I return later in the day my Starbucks card could be scanned to validate that I made a purchase earlier that morning. As for forcing me to remember the promotion, since Starbucks already has my mobile phone number I could be sent a text message or recieve a voice call around 1PM to remind me about the promotion. Both of these solutions could easily be enabled through the use of Jaduka’s Voice & Transaction Services APIs.

Again, it’s obvious that too many companies do not realize how easy & inexpensive it is to add these types of technologies to their applications & promotions. This is especially true for companies wishing to add voice.

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) for too long now has been inaccessible to companies that do not have huge telephony equipment or deep pockets. With Jaduka’s Voice API we have removed these barriers & we have made it easy & inexpensive to plug in to that telephony network. With our APIs you can make your applications & promotions heard.