BroadSoft's recent announcement of their new RESTful API and the supporting mashup contest is another sign that larger telephone operators will soon support "Web as a Platform" application development. BroadSoft provides telephony application servers and recently upgraded their XML based interface to support REST. Typically, telephony applications are built on more closed and obscure technologies such as Parlay. By providing a RESTful API, BroadSoft opens up carrier class development opportunities to those with typical web development skills. This may have far-reaching effects in the telephony market, as 300 carriers world wide use BroadSoft software including Verizon, Sprint, Cox, Telstra and Telefonica.
This announcement follows on the heels of similar announcements from British Telecom, Orange and Vodafone, all of whom support APIs to their core network to support services such as Click to Call, Conferencing and Location Based Services (more at our profiles for the BT API and Vodafone API). Other major carriers, such as Deutsche Telekom, are expected to announce their API offerings in the Fall.
It is expected that most carriers will provide some sort of API access to their core network to support "Communications Enhanced Business Process" (CEBP) deployments. A CEBP deployment uses phones to enhance a business process through messaging, data dissemination or retrieval. A recent report by Gartner highlights the business advantages to those companies that deploy CEBP improvements; telephone operators are increasingly anxious to find new and profitable services to replace profits eroded by commoditization and increasing competition.
The mashup contest is offering $50,000 dollars in prizes and services. The first place winner receives $5,000, an expenses paid trip to BroadSoft's Connection 2008, a presentation slot at the Show Me The Apps session, listing on the BroadSoft Marketplace and other marketing opportunities. The contest ends on September 2nd, with finalists announced soon thereafter. It's now included in our Mashup Contests Page.
Track telephony APIs, mashups and contests on our Mobile and Telephony API and Mashup Dashboard