VOIP apps branching out, panelists say

VoIP-data mashups will be tailored to specific industries, they say

There was a time when vendors billed VOIP primarily as a money-saver. But according to some companies attending this week's VON Fall 2007 conference, VOIP's ability to mash up voice with other data applications could be its biggest asset for businesses.

During a VON break-out panel, representatives from VOIP platform providers described how digital voice services could be incorporated into data applications that are tailored to specific businesses and occupations.

Iperia, for instance, showcased a demo application that runs on its Iperia VX platform that would give real estate agents real-time updates of when prospective buyers are showing interest in particular homes.

Essentially, the application would kick in after prospective buyers call the direct-dial number displayed on the "For Sale" sign of the house they're interested in. Because every house has its own individual DID, the software would recognize the house the buyers were looking at. It would then give them the options of taking a virtual tour of the house that would be displayed on their cell phone screens; of getting information about the house's size, cost and features; or of directly calling a real estate agent.

If the prospective buyers choose to call the broker directly, then the agent receives a message on his computer notifying him of the buyers' number, as well as the house the buyers are interested in. He can then click their number directly to call them back and arrange a live tour of the house.

Iperia CEO David Jodoin said during the panel that real estate companies are just one of the many different businesses that could benefit from this kind of application. Others that could use the IperiaVX platform for similar services include travel agents, doctors and lawyers, he said. Panelist Kevin Nethercott, the founder and COO of LignUp, said his company was interested in making a similar application that would act as a VOIP-based portal to provide brokers with updated data for individual clients.

Panel moderator Thomas Howe, CEO of Thomas Howe Co., noted that VOIP applications could also be used to automate services that have traditionally drained time and resources from IT departments. Howe said that one of his company's projects was developing a VOIP-data mashup for a large Texas IT company that had previously used 10 employees solely to work at a helpdesk and reset employee passwords. With the new mashup program, employees would simply have to make a call and enter their ID numbers to have their passwords reset automatically, thus freeing up helpdesk resources for other activities.

"This is a problem that we're solving using both Web services and voice," Howe said. "We have traded a $10-an-hour technician for a 10-cent phone call."

While panelists touted the benefits of their VOIP platforms, they acknowledged that many of the new VOIP applications have yet to really catch on in the marketplace.

"Fundamentally, the question is not how creative we can get with these services, but how willing you are to use them," Jodoin said. "It's been a struggle to get something as simple as click-to-call to be considered valuable by customers."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?