We’ve heard much debate about fixed mobile convergence kinds of solutions being the next great communications technology, bringing together the fixed and mobile worlds. Certainly, we are seeing the adoption of certain partial FMC solutions, such as find me/follow me capabilities of IP PBXs.
But, there is an important communications medium that has been omitted from these solutions — Web-based and other applications, into which communications functionalities can be embedded directly, thanks to emerging platforms like IntelePeer’s AppworX solution. AppworX has been developed to bridge the gap between the more traditional fixed and mobile communications worlds and the application development world that is driving innovation today. The goal is to allow rich media communications to be embedded into applications, and then to be delivered seamlessly to the end user, enriching — and simplifying — the experience.
Since AppworX is designed to drive communications through applications, it makes sense that IntelePeer (News - Alert) would seek to partner with the largest software developer in the world. Indeed, it has now joined the Microsoft Partner Program, which will allow IntelePeer to collaborate closely with Microsoft (News - Alert) developers to deliver communications capabilities from within Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Services.
According to Microsoft architect, Joe Hofstader, Microsoft recognized a number of synergies between the two firms early on, especially regarding the ability to drive an FMC-type service through the IntelePeer Network.
“We are creating a mashup platform using Microsoft Live Services and connecting it with IntelePeer’s AppworX platform, which allows users to make calls over mobile networks and over the PSTN from Web applications,” explained Hofstader. “This enables conferencing from social networking sites, and different kinds of messaging that requires access to the telephony network.
While IntelePeer brings to the relationship its SuperRegistry and AppworX platform, Microsoft’s strength lies in its core platforms and applications and online experiences. Combined, the two create a formidable partnership for extending communications technology to any application.
“We see a lot of opportunities for various hosted applications, which we can communications enable and really extend their reach out to the end user telephony devices that they may be connected to,” said IntelePeer’s vice president of product management and marketing Charles Studt (News - Alert).
Initially, the two firms will introduce a personalized rich media widget that will feature a series of business and social collaboration tools, enhanced with rich media communications capabilities, like live voice, streaming video, music, conferencing, and more. Importantly, despite new capabilities being introduced into applications, users will have access to them through an already familiar Microsoft Live Messenger interface.
Once installed, users can initiate communications using any of the available media forms simply by dragging and dropping registered contacts into the communications method of their choice.
“It’s the ability to connect on any device trough location- and presence-based services,” said Hofstader. “It’s absolutely huge, moving forward in the software world to be able to connect everybody, regardless of where they are or what network they’re accessible through.”
Each user, whether in the office, at home, or on the road, has his preferred communication methods. These preferences are likely to vary based on time, day, who is calling, and through which applications. The tandem of IntelePeer and Microsoft are now making these choices even more meaningful, extending communications to truly all devices and networks.
“CaaS is there to connect disparate endpoints over disparate networks,” said Hofstader.
According the Studt, the opportunity presented by partnering with Microsoft is great.
“There are a lot of opportunities to take solutions, which today are not necessarily tightly coupled, and bring them together to create a very robust environment and user experience.”
CaaS — Communications as a Service — is what IntelePeer terms this integration of communications into the software environment. It is the melding of the SaaS (News - Alert) trend with the communications world. It’s more than software — it’s software combines with hardware and the communications networks.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Erik Linask