Multi-mode communications – moving beyond person to person voice
Voice has evolved to become a key enabler used to enrich other applications and to support new ways of communicating. This isn’t a new phenomenon – various initiatives have sought to characterise and help develop the market in recent years. Today, it’s clear that business communication is about so much more than person to person conversations and the shift to multi-modal voice is rapidly gaining momentum. Far from being dead, voice has a rich future to offer.
As a number of commentators have pointed out, communication is shifting from the traditional mode of person to person calling to incorporate new sources of information and new forms of interaction, between people, applications and web services. We’re all used to the historic way of communicating, in which we dial a number and make a call. With this model, there are a number of possible outcomes in classical communications systems. For example, the call may be answered directly, be routed to a switchboard or be delivered to voicemail. However, today, there is a rapidly growing range of new possibilities.
For example, users of Gintel’s solutions can combine presence and status information to determine when to make a call or to set their availability to others. People have become accustomed to such features, because many of them are available in private P2P applications with closed (albeit often very large!) communities of users. They add value to classical communications and help businesses have better conversations – but API integration is helping shift the model into new and less explored areas and creating rich new possibilities to capture value from voice.
API integration brings voice calling into other applications, enabling new ways of combining data and triggering events – for example, conference calls, voice calls, messages and so on. It also allows events to be chained together. Dean Bubley, in a recent article, refers to this as “application-embedded” voice and makes the point that more flexibility is required in the way in which voice applications are designed. We agree.
This flexibility has always been at the heart of what Gintel does. EasyDesigner, our graphical tool for creating voice services uses triggering to initiate actions and to connect events to form a logical sequence and flow. Using our APIs to enable integration with third party solutions allows this model to be extended further, bringing powerful voice capabilities to other applications and services.
To some extent, this isn’t a new phenomenon. A few years ago, the term “Communications Enhanced Business Processes” was prominent but, perhaps because it was a bit of a mouthful, it hasn’t proven to be enduring. Round about the same time, people like Martin Geddes were also writing about contextual communications and the reinvention of voice as “hypervoice”. While this captured headlines, the initiative seems to have lost momentum somewhat – but, while the industry group may be rather quiet today, the principles on which it was founded remain true and create many exciting opportunities for the future.
Today, voice is spreading into new applications and use cases. It remains important for person to person communication but it’s now a tool to be used according to context, external triggers and new sources of data. This momentum is unstoppable and we fully anticipate that the new wave of IoT communications will add to this. The market has definitely evolved – voice integration with other applications is just something we take for granted in 2018. So, if you want to explore how to move beyond traditional voice into the next generation of blended, contextual communications, then why not talk to Gintel and see how we can help? Voice is dead? Long live voice!