Voice 2.0 developers like Open Source, independence

CIOL Bureau
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USA & INDIA: A survey of Voice 2.0 developers carried out by iLocus, a research firm focussed on emerging communications, reveals that 72 percent of them prefer to work with Open Source telephony platforms like Asterisk, OpenSER, and FreeSWITCH and offer services direct to the consumer. The survey is part of a report ‘Voice 2.0: 2008 Status Report’ published by iLocus.


Open Source platforms mentioned above are now considered carrier grade. For a standalone Voice 2.0 applications open source telephony platforms meet the developer criteria. Although working directly with telcos like BT (rather than going via vendors like Microsoft or Sylantro) is the second most favoured choice, it seems that Voice 2.0 developers overall prefer to take control of their development by utilizing open source platforms and then going direct to the end user.

Going direct to the end user may sound hip, but there are marketing costs involved. On the other hand there are clearly benefits in offering applications via platform vendor channels. To start with, the platform vendors have an established telco customer base, who in turn have paying customers which forms a natural first target population for a developer’s Voice 2.0 application. With the carrier grade telecom platform the vendors are also able support a scalable deployment.

The survey also reveals that the Voice 2.0 developers are not so keen on consumer driven applications. While they might consider developing an application that can be utilized across both business and consumer segments, their preference is to develop applications that are used in the business world. This might be for monetization considerations. In the consumer segment it is hard to monetize the mashups. CRM is on the minds of three-quarters of the developers. Conferencing and mobile VoIP are the joint second most popular target

Surprisingly, SIP is the most popular API even with all the noise about web services APIs. Certainly some of the most popular Voice 2.0 applications are those developed by the ones with telecom background. How that will change over the next couple of years remains to be seen. But all the efforts around web services APIs then seem to make little sense if telcos/vendors are not able to attract web developers.