As unified communications (UC) has become one of the top enterprise voice solutions, many large companies have wondered how to best bridge this technology with their customer-facing communications, whether that be a call center, app, or website. One of the most exciting solutions involves application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow developers to quickly create custom voice applications for the enterprise that provide high-quality voice communications. Why are APIs a popular solution for building voice applications, and how can they benefit your business?
The Powerful Benefits of APIs for Building Voice Applications
Why would an enterprise be interested in leveraging APIs to do this in the first place? Building an application from scratch can be incredibly time-consuming and costly, even if your business has an expert team of developers on hand. APIs, with the powerful tool sets they offer out of the box, streamline development and accelerate speed to market. In today's competitive environment, that speed can make the difference between staying two steps ahead of the competition or lagging behind. APIs provide the flexibility and the agility to navigate this marketplace reality.
In some cases, voice APIs allow developers to build in a voice service using a few lines of code, linking a service such as voice conferencing to an endpoint for rapid initiation of a conference call, if desired. Not all features are quite that radically simple to integrate into an application or website, of course, but they are streamlined so developers can bring them on board without much difficulty. Inbound call processing, powerful call control features, call recording, and interactive voice response menus are among them. These voice APIs can even feature a text-to-speech engine that offers a wide set of accents and languages and the ability to track analytics across geographic locations.
However, it's not all about speed, of course. Quality is a major concern, particularly when it comes to enterprise voice solutions. That's why it can be beneficial for developers to tap an API that is linked to a powerful global network. Such an industrial-grade backbone can provide low latency by taking advantage of high-quality routes to Tier 1 carriers. Most major codecs are supported as well, providing the necessary support for enterprise-grade quality.
Use Cases for API-Powered Voice Applications
What applications might enterprises want to build using an API? The use cases are plentiful. A business might want to leverage these enterprise voice features within a custom mobile app, for example, so customers can quickly reach technical support. An organization might decide to build such functionality directly into its corporate website to better enable rapid communication with customer representatives who can answer detailed questions about products and services. Natively building such capabilities into digital presences streamlines the process for customers to connect and engage with the enterprise, reducing potential friction in the customer experience and improving customer satisfaction.
There are other promising applications for APIs in the enterprise voice context. Now that many businesses and their employees have become proficient in making use of their unified communications platforms to improve workplace communication, some of them are taking the logical next step of integrating these features within their existing business applications to boost productivity even further. In the not-so-distant future, APIs may integrate newer, cutting-edge technologies such as enterprise chat bots and artificial intelligence with voice to enhance customer service functions or other mission-critical business operations.
Attractive Cost Savings and Productivity Gains
Not only do voice APIs present enterprises with a powerful, scalable option for building voice services into their applications, but they also offer attractive cost savings and productivity gains. In addition to the considerable reduction in developer staff time required to bring these features to market, companies using APIs only pay for the services they use — often with no long-term contracts. By leveraging the UC provider's global network, they can avoid rental fees for individual phone numbers. Overall, enterprises going the API route can enjoy more manageable expenses while boosting their teams' productivity, gaining a leg up on the competition by releasing their products even faster.
The next era of enterprise voice communications is already here, and with it comes increased use of APIs to streamline and accelerate voice application development. If your business has not yet explored the compelling benefits APIs offer, it might be worth discovering how they might be an asset to your company by improving customer service and enhancing workplace productivity.
To learn more about what APIs can do for your business, contact a Vonage Business representative.