The phrase, “there’s an app for that,” crept into popular culture in 2009 with the launch of the iPhone 3g. And, as the popularity of the Apple Store and Google (News - Alert) Play attest, the floodgates for apps are wide open. However, while this is all well and good for our personal devices, what about the development of third party applications for popular business communications platforms?
Last year, IP infrastructure and application solutions provider GENBAND,to encourage third party developers to use their ingenuity to enhance the utility of the GENBAND A2 Unified Communications (News - Alert) Application Server, created a challenge to reward developers interested in leveraging the GENBAND platform. It was rewarding experience (pardon the pun) for the winners, GENBAND and most importantly customers. It was such a success that GENBAND decided to launch its second annual GENFuzion Developer Challenge.
This year, it has been joined by unified communications (UC) and IP handset powerhouse Polycom Inc. The goal is to expand the innovation possibilities by incenting developers to enrich the capabilities provided by Polycom IP voice solutions, like the Polycom VVX 500 business media phones.
The challenge runs from September 2012 through January 2013 when winners will be announced. GENBAND is looking to duplicate the success of last year which recognized multiple innovative communications-enabled applications. In fact, Manish Jha, vice president, SwitchPoint Solutions, winner of the inaugural GENFuzion Developer Challenge stated, “The contest provided us with the opportunity to have our applications marketed and made available to GENBAND’s global customer base, assisting us in delivering our solutions to market. The program presented a phenomenal opportunity for our business, providing us the platform, tools and open architecture necessary to develop IP-rich and intuitive communications solutions.”
You have to be in it to win it
The GENFuzion Developer Challenge recognizes the top three applications across several strategic categories that include:
- IP phones, family applications
- Converged applications (TDM and IP environments)
- Mobility and business productivity
The top three winning apps will receive cash prizes of $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively; category winners will be recognized with honorable mention prizes. In short, the stakes are substantial.
As noted, this is a win/win/win/win for GENBAND, now Polycom, their developers and ultimately customers. Jim Kruger (News - Alert), senior vice president of Product and Solutions Marketing at Polycom (who will be one of the judges), added, “By opening the new GENBAND RESTful APIs to developers and providing a collaborative testing environment for application development, GENBAND has created an outstanding developer eco-system for fostering innovation…We are pleased to join forces with GENBAND to empower developers to create breakthrough apps for our combined customers.”
Mark Pugerude (News - Alert), president of Global Sales and Marketing for GENBAND in commenting on the previous success and the fact that the prizes have been increased this year stated, “We are excited to add Polycom as a key partner and welcome their extensive knowledge and expertise in providing world-class IP voice and video solutions. Polycom’s advanced IP phones allow us to extend our unified communications and provide developers with even more possibilities to deliver creative applications that our combined customers can leverage.” He further noted that, “With the introduction of the new GENBAND RESTful APIs, we are promoting the latest in WEB based APIs, making it easier than ever for the developer community to leverage widespread existing HTTP support and enable their communications applications.”
It takes a community
The challenge is just one aspect of how GENBAND extends a warm embrace to developers. Through its GENFuzion Developer Community, the company provides “Sandbox” testing for applications.
That is just the start of what the community offers as the foundation of a growing ecosystem. It creates a collaborative discussion forum in addition to opening its APIs to developers, and gives developers broad reach to the GENBAND customer based by promoting the apps in the GENApps Showcase.
For more information on the second annual GENFuzion Developer Challenge, visit http://genfuzion.genband.com. GENBAND and Polycom together is making the end of January a time to bookmark. It will be fascinating to see what the winners did for their rewards.
GENBAND is a Gold sponsor of ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter, and be sure to visit GENBAND in booth #913.
Edited by Jamie Epstein