Nexmo Launches Voice APIs

Eric Carter, Founder & Corporate Counsel, Dartsand
Feb. 28 2014, 08:00AM EST

Cloud-based communications provider Nexmo has launched a new set of cloud-based voice services. The new voice services are driven through a new set of RESTful voice APIs. Nexmo CEO Tony Jamous and team launched the new voice offering this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Jamous took some time away from his busy event schedule to share some thoughts with ProgrammableWeb about the new API offering. Regarding the driving factor behind the voice API development, he offers:

Communication is finally moving to the cloud. Enterprises and developers are looking to reach users and customers on their mobile phones. To do so, they require robust and agile APIs that could reach any phone. Nexmo bridges the gap between cloud and phones. We've done that successfully via messaging and we are now adding the missing piece that our customers (including large, Over-The-Top [OTT] apps such as Line, Kakao and Viber and enterprises like Airbnb and Pingdom) want through voice APIs. We also enable the largest reach of inbound cloud numbers in the world, thanks to our coverage in 64 countries globally. Our per-second billing makes it affordable to scale. Our focus on high-quality voice makes it appealing for business critical applications.

When it comes to the target audience for its voice APIs, Nexmo is focused on the gamut of potential users. Jamous believes Nexmo can fill gaps across the board, from application developers to large enterprises with legacy infrastructure:

[The target audience includes] OTT applications looking for high-quality voice. For example, WhatsApp announced that it is going into voice this week. Nexmo already enables 80% of the world's most successful OTT apps and it is the natural extension for them. Enterprises such as Airbnb and Pingdom that are looking to build web apps that can interact with phones. Service providers looking to scale globally [are also candidates].

The voice APIs are already in production: Voice makes up more than 15% of Nexmo's revenue. OTT apps have been the majority of adopters thus far, but enterprise adoption has picked up as well. Although interest in Nexmo's voice APIs has begun picking up speed, Jamous had a handful of potential use cases readily available:

  • Person-to-person communication is replacing traditional PST network calling
  • Intelligent voice menus
  • Next-generation conference calling
  • Call recording and voice stream analysis
  • Call centers and CRM application looking to use APIs and real-time phone number provisioning
  • Virtual PBX vendors looking to scale globally

Nexmo will continue to consider both the quality of its product and the revenue it generates when measuring success. Volume and voice quality are key to measuring success in an industry that has an enormous, trusted infrastructure in place. Additionally, its pay-per-second model offers a unique, and intriguing option to potential users. The revenue generated under the model will be something to watch.

Nexmo recently landed a new round of funding that has allowed it to invest in its new products. In addition, the company has announced several executive hires that will assist Nexmo in its rise to the next level. In a recent press release, Jamous clearly stated where he thinks Nexmo is headed:

We now offer the largest coverage in the world, with cloud-based virtual phone numbers in over 61 countries—and we keep expanding. Our goal is to interact with any mobile device anywhere around the globe.

Eric Carter Eric is the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a specialty technology distributor. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate, Virtual Assistant, and Software Development Industries. Follow me on Google+

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