Monday, May 05, 2008

Voice 2.0, Developers Prefer Open Source Telephony Platforms.

With all the open source VoIP IP Telephony platforms like Asterisk, OpenSER, and FreeSWITCH being in the carrier grade and more and more developers are attracted to these platforms for development of next generation voice applications. You might wonder what Voice 2.0 bring. It will provide similar changes and advances that Web 2.0 did to the world wide web.
It seems that also the large telecom companies and carriers are the second favoured platforms to work on.
It is clear somewhat that the adherence to these methods because it costs more to approach end users directly and most of the niches, investor money, have been taken up by early adopters. So the next best is to ride the waves created by the likes of Asterisk and we all know that SIP is every where and the most favored API to work on. A few years ago very few people knew what Asterisk is. Today it is the telephony buzz word, although some people think it is a French/Belgium cartoon character. But I am waiting for the Telephony 2.0!

WEBWIRE – Monday, May 05, 2008
A survey of Voice 2.0 developers carried out by iLocus, a research firm focussed on emerging communications, reveals that 72% of them prefer to work with Open Source telephony platforms like Asterisk, OpenSER, and FreeSWITCH and offer services direct to the consumer. The survey is part of a report ‘Voice 2.0: 2008 Status Report’ published by iLocus today.

Open Source platforms mentioned above are now considered carrier grade. For a standalone Voice 2.0 applications open source telephony platforms meet the developer criteria. Although working directly with telcos like BT (rather than going via vendors like Microsoft or Sylantro) is the second most favoured choice, it seems that Voice 2.0 developers overall prefer to take control of their development by utilizing open source platforms and then going direct to the end user.

Going direct to the end user may sound hip, but there are marketing costs involved. On the other hand there are clearly benefits in offering applications via platform vendor channels. To start with, the platform vendors have an established telco customer base, who in turn have paying customers which forms a natural first target population for a developer’s Voice 2.0 application. With the carrier grade telecom platform the vendors are also able support a scalable deployment.

The survey also reveals that the Voice 2.0 developers are not so keen on consumer driven applications. While they might consider developing an application that can be utilized across both business and consumer segments, their preference is to develop applications that are used in the business world. This might be for monetization considerations. In the consumer segment it is hard to monetize the mashups. CRM is on the minds of three-quarters of the developers. Conferencing and mobile VoIP are the joint second most popular target

Surprisingly SIP is the most popular API even with all the noise about web services APIs. Certainly some of the most popular Voice 2.0 applications are those developed by the ones with telecom background. How that will change over the next couple of years remains to be seen. But all the efforts around web services APIs then seem to make little sense if telcos/vendors are not able to attract web developers.

Voice 2.0: 2008 Status Report is available here.

Publication Date: May 05, 2008.
Price: USD $1,400
(Price includes a soft copy with multi-site/multi-user license)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


1. Scope of Voice 2.0

2. Why Now
2.1 Hosted Model and Broadband Ubiquity
2.2 The Issue of Timing
2.3 Social Networks as The Driving Force Behind Voice 2.0
2.4 Leveraging Investments in Bandwidth
2.5 High Level APIs

3. Voice 2.0 Delivery Models

3.1 B2B Model
3.1.1 For Telecom Providers
3.1.2 For Non-Telecom Providers
3.2 B2C Model
3.2.1 The Direct-to-Consumer Paradigm
3.2.2 The Service Bureau Approach
3.2.3 Ribbit Case

4. Wireline Telco Approaches to Voice 2.0

4.1 Tweaking legacy platforms versus the SDP approach
4.2 IMS and Voice 2.0
4.3 Do Wireline Telcos Really have a chance?

5. Examples of Telco Voice 2.0 Activities

5.1 BT
5.2 KDDI
5.3 Telecom Italia
5.4 Global Crossing

6. Voice 2.0 Programs of Platform Vendors

6.1 Nokia Siemens Networks
6.2 Alcatel-Lucent
6.3 Huawei
6.4 Ericsson
6.5 Sonus
6.6 MetaSwitch
6.7 Sylantro
6.8 Microsoft
6.9 Italtel
6.10 Broadsoft

7. Voice 2.0 in enterprise space

8. Voice 2.0 Developer Survey

8.1 Segments Voice 2.0 Developers are Targeting
8.2 Applications Voice 2.0 Developers are Targeting
8.3 Platforms They Prefer to Work With
8.4 Leveraging Platform Vendor Channels to Deliver Voice 2.0 Applications
8.5 Going Direct to the End-User
8.6 Desirable Aspects of a Voice 2.0 Developer Program
8.7 Type of APIs Used by Voice 2.0 Developers
8.8 Type of Primitives They Want Access To

Appendix: Voice 2.0 Developers Surveyed

Tables and Figures

Figure 8.1: Voice 2.0 developers’ interest in business versus consumer applications
Figure 8.2: Voice 2.0 developers’ integration targets
Figure 8.3: Partner preferences of Voice 2.0 developers
Figure 8.4: Perceived merits of working with service providers and switch vendors
Figure 8.5: Perceived merits of going direct to the end-user
Figure 8.6: Factors attracting Voice 2.0 developers to a developer program
Figure 8.7: Type of APIs used by Voice 2.0 developers
Figure 8.8: Which switch interfaces Voice 2.0 developers want exposed


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