Lantre Barr
Lantre Barr is CEO and founder of Blacc Spot Media, a collaborative team of designers, developers, and thought leaders specializing...
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Lantre Barr | June 30, 2016 |


Ready for the Communications Gold Rush?

Ready for the Communications Gold Rush? Companies like Twilio, Vonage's Nexmo, and Cisco's Tropo have staked their claims, innovative communications API portfolios at the ready.

Companies like Twilio, Vonage's Nexmo, and Cisco's Tropo have staked their claims, innovative communications API portfolios at the ready.

Whether we are interacting with our family and friends or our colleagues at work, connecting with each other has never been easier. Favorite methods for communicating, from old-fashioned telephone calls to email, text messaging, video chat, and messaging within apps, vary from one person to the next. But one thing is certain, and that's that being connected is now key and we have lots of options at our disposal to communicate easily.

This new connected reality has driven many businesses to innovate at light speed to meet consumer demand. Indeed, we're in a new age "California Gold Rush." Because they can communicate using over-the-top applications like WhatsApp, consumers no longer find traditional telephony as attractive as an option as they once did. Many people don't even have a home telephone anymore.

This new reality has left some telecom traditional giants reeling and searching for ways to recoup lost revenue. Meantime, new companies pick up the slack with innovative offerings. Such is the case with Bay Area companies such as Twilio, Nexmo (now a Vonage business), and Tropo (now Cisco) and their API-based approaches to communications.

On June 23, as widely reported, Twilio listed on the NASDAQ (TWLO) and saw a 92% jump in shares by day's end. That Twilio experienced such an impressive pop on its first day of trading is really no surprise. Investors, developers, and businesses alike recognize the value in the communications API market.

As most of you know, comms API providers like Twilio give developers and businesses the ability to build messaging, voice, and video capabilities directly into their software applications or business processes with a simple set of APIs. They don't have to worry about global infrastructure, negotiating with carriers, or the support necessary for continued innovation. As a result, businesses can shift focus on activities related to driving revenue for their companies. Twilio currently powers some of the world's most well-known digital brands, including Uber, WhatsApp, and Airbnb, while companies like Viber, Expedia, and FitBit use Nexmo's communications APIs, for example.

As developers, we are excited by the possibilities enabled by API-enabling communications. We see promise in Twilio Programmable Wireless, introduced last month, for example (for a related post, see "Twilio Dives Into IoT, Signals the Future of Comms"). Developers can use Programmable Wireless APIs to build unique, programmable communication workflows for cellular-connected IoT devices, phones, and tablets. That's pretty revolutionary.

Among the most interesting functions Programmable Wireless will enable are:

  • Enterprise Communications - intelligent routing, logging, and recording of business-related calls and texts exchanged through an enterprise team's cellular-connected devices
  • Asset Tracking - keeping tabs on valuable mobile assets by leveraging ubiquitous cellular coverage for telemetry, and enabling IT management teams to track location, update software over the air, and access data services
  • Untethered Network Access - providing connectivity for devices like consumer wearables and medical devices without requiring Wi-Fi networks or companion devices

We are heading down the path where consumers will soon expect to be able to communicate with family and friends or customer services representatives from within every application that they use. Traditional telephony will fade away as "smart communications," led by companies like Twilio, Nexmo, and Cisco, becomes commonplace.

Are you ready for the new California Gold Rush?


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