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September 09, 2008
September 09, 2008

IntelePeer Transforming Communications with Rich Media features for Web Apps and Enterprise Software

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

Hosted on-demand communications and rich media services company IntelePeer (News - Alert) is pushing out its latest technology platform designed to make it easy for software vendors, service providers and Web companies to add the interactive impact of voice, video, SMS, data and other rich-media communications capabilities to Web sites and enterprise software applications – even with minimal or no telecommunications experience.

The Foster City, Calif.-based firm has released IntelePeer AppworX, an open communications platform that is expected to seamlessly deliver enhanced voice and multimedia features from within any Web or IP-based application to any phone or network-connected device. The communications-as-a-service (CaaS) offering is expected to appeal to those looking to increase collaboration among business application users and creating an enhanced user experience for fans of social networking, e-commerce and entertainment Web sites, according to John Hart, senior vice president of Business Development at IntelePeer.
“For four or five years we have had that voice is going to be the next killer App,” said Hart. “But now we really have that technology to bring quality voice to applications.”
Jeff Ogle, senior analyst for Current Analysis (News - Alert), says telecommunications services operate in a different realm from that of Web services and software, which often makes it difficult to integrate voice and other rich media features into applications. “For service providers, application software vendors and Web companies, this is the fundamental challenge they must overcome to be able to deliver enhanced services that generate new revenue opportunities.”
What IntelePeer AppworX open communications platform provides is a means to seamlessly deliver enhanced voice and multimedia features from within any Web or IP-based application to any phone or network-connected device. Its communications-as-a-service (CaaS) offering is ideal for increasing collaboration among business application users and creating an enhanced user experience for fans of social networking, e-commerce and entertainment Web sites, said Hart.
A perfect example, notes Hart, is social networking sites such as Facebook (News - Alert) that can interact with the technology by selecting the IntelePeer VoicePoke! application. Another is MIO.TV, a soon-to-be-released online social network for U.S. Latinos that has incorporated community telephony services like click-to-call, dating and celebrity conference calls into its rich media platform that runs in a standard Web browser with no downloads. 
“Our research shows that even the most active text-messaging users opt for a great voice interface if given the chance,” said Matt Johnston, COO of MIO.TV. “Thanks to the IntelePeer AppworX platform, we blur the lines between online and offline social media activity. By adding advanced voice and media blast features from the beginning, we enhance our members’ experiences and increase the velocity of sharing on our site.”
The difference, unlike low-cost consumer VoIP services, IntelePeer AppworX solution combines the best of Web 2.0 and Voice 2.0 technologies with the company’s own carrier-grade telecommunications network for high-quality transmission of voice and related rich media services to users’ wireline or wireless device of choice. “Worldwide reach is achieved through IntelePeer’s redundant network peering grid infrastructure and its direct connections with more than 60 service providers around the globe. This proven network manages more than 6 billion calls per year,” according to Hart.
The IntelePeer AppworX platform includes pre-built applications, widgets, application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development tools. It also features a SuperRegistry with subscriber management and Telephone Number Mapping (Carrier ENUM) services in a runtime environment. This complete approach eliminates the need for hardware acquisition, network interoperability testing and extensive, costly customization on the part of the application developer.
In fact, what is happening is the commoditization of traditional telephony services is forcing service providers and software vendors to compete with advanced voice, rich media and multimedia functionality that enhances the value and usefulness of their products and services, according to  Charles Studt (News - Alert), vice president, product management and marketing, for IntelePeer. “Our platform provides an easy and cost-effective means to quickly bring these features to existing and new Web or corporate applications. Our innovative packaging using a CaaS model provides developers with an environment based on a proven, high-quality telco infrastructure that increases customer satisfaction and creates new revenue streams.”
IntelePeer provides all of the back-end operations for its customers, linking the best of IP-initiated calls and features with the traditional telecom network and managing carrier licensing, regulatory compliance, billing and reporting through a CaaS model. The Web site owner or corporate application provider can confidently offer new revenue-generating services such as click-to-call, call blast, conferencing, and find-me/follow-me functions and content delivery.

Partnering with IntelePeer opens up a wide range of possibilities for software vendors and service providers for a number of web-based businesses and customer relationship management firms, says Hart. For starters,  conferencing and web casting service providers can integrate IntelePeer rich media features, providers can deliver automatic conference scheduling through Outlook. When the scheduled conference begins, IntelePeer automatically dials each person into the conference – no need to remember complex dial-in instructions.
For  social networking sites members can click-to-talk with their friends, set up a call from a PC to a phone, or even directly between phones, based on each member’s preference and media and entertainment sites’ owners can increase community enjoyment and interaction with artists and content by adding media-rich services and fan management features, including voiceblast and mediablast applications.
While online shopping hasn’t received the attention it did just a few years ago when making purchases over the Internet was emerging from its infancy,
IntelePeer has focused increasing click-to-talk functionality that allows customers can easily connect live with a customer service professional to ask questions and make informed purchases.
In addition, Customer relationship management (CRM) software allows sales representatives and customer support professionals to click a link to automatically connect them via the phone to clients or prospects. The call can be recorded or transcribed and automatically entered into the system, eliminating late or incorrect entries. Employee productivity through enterprise applications can be enhanced with the integration of voice and conferencing capabilities within mission-critical business applications, such as enterprise resource planning
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is The Compelling ROI Benefits of Contact Center Quality and Performance Management Technologies, brought to you by Voice Print International (News - Alert).

Thierry Grenot, founder and Chief Technology Officer at Ipanema Technologies, writes the WAN Optimization column for TMCnet. To read more of Thierry’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray


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