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Programmable Communications: It’s All About the APIs
Going digital today is not a consideration or a choice for businesses. It’s a critical transformation that any organization needs to execute if it is looking to thrive.
In Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs, 76% of respondents said that demand for new digital products and services increased in 2020, with 83% reporting that it will have increased again by the time 2021 is over. The survey highlights that an organization increasing its use of digital channels to reach customers is 3.5 times more likely to be a top performer than a trailing performer. “Those at the top have gone all-in on digital business, and they have developed the capabilities to allow them to do it,” said Andy Rowsell-Jones, distinguished research vice president at Gartner, in a prepared statement.
The pandemic proved the immense value of flexible, scalable cloud-based API-enabled systems for customer engagement, with a key requirement of customization through programmable communications. This enables companies to seamlessly guide customer engagement through different channels, managing the customer journey from first contact to transaction completion.
We are all familiar with APIs, even though we may not realize it. Messaging and voice APIs are essential to create the programmable communications that facilitate so many interactions. For example, messaging services in healthcare include patient authentication to book a video or phone consultation, scheduled reminders via SMS for future appointments, and mass notifications to all registered patients of appointment availability. Online retail is powered by messaging APIs — two-way authentication, smart web assistants, delivery scheduling and confirmation, and even automatic alerts of discounted offers for loyal customers. With BICS, best-in-class messaging termination with direct routes underpins the efficiency of these messaging services.
Voice APIs today are extremely flexible. A single API from BICS can, for example, convert a one-time password or automated message into speech, customizable by language, voice type, speed, volume, pitch, and emphasis. Number anonymization means personal numbers can be hidden — a good example of this is the system of communications between driver and passenger used by ride-hailing apps. Global organizations such as banks meanwhile can enable clients to speak to “local” bank personnel using in-country numbers selected by API.
While the customer enjoys a seamless experience, the infrastructure required to support APIs and programmable communications must be sophisticated, robust, and secure. Cloud-based communications needs cloud numbers, SIP trunking, and seamless connectivity to the major cloud providers. Security needs to be built into the network end-to-end and layered on top of the communications services. BICS is unique in its global network reach, expertise, and experience across the communications landscape, both technological and from a regulatory perspective. Professional support of regulation-compliant local and national numbers around the world is a necessity to protect brand integrity and support international expansion.
Organizations looking to succeed and grow in the post-pandemic world need to be digital-first businesses. They need scalability to support their expansion, and stability to ensure customers always experience the best possible quality interactions, even during unexpected spikes in demand on network resources. Being somewhat digital today is not enough — with APIs businesses can be all-in.