Telestax Blog

Long Live CPaaS – Or Why APIs Are Here To Stay

A Bit of History

For many years telco vendors (e.g. Ericsson, Cisco and Huawei) held the keys to the castle by designing and deploying complex proprietary network solutions that were often focused on one singular aspect. They would place all of their fancy new functions inside a closed and dedicated box that was accessible only through specific OEM channels. Such would be available only to the OEM vendor technicians themselves or, if lucky, to the customer – but only after long and painful training sessions. Then there is the documentation reading (if and when available) that should basically award you a PhD degree in the end. If eventually the customer had to upgrade, or enable another (somewhat extended but almost identical) feature, it was very simple: just get another box, rollback, start over… This process had to be simplified significantly in order for CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) to emerge.

The “Softwarization” of Network Functions

Seem insane? Perhaps but it was the accepted way carrier vendor (i.e. Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom) relationships worked-out for years. And sustained by the voice and SMS driven revenues that the carriers collected in the glory days. But then data came – and with it simpler network functions that could be detached from their original boxes. There was no longer a need for complex signaling protocols and unjustifiable/painful integrations. Network functions started moving out from the steel boxes overpopulating infinite racks compounds to software modules that could pop-up anywhere and anyplace with just internet connectivity… The next step was to simplify these functions and abstract them from the underlying layers of legacy complexity – that was still there by the way. The goal: making it so simple, that anyone with basic network and programming skills could use them.

But the question is how to expose all these complex features and functions to non-telco players? Three simple little letters: API – which stands for Application Programming Interface. In a nutshell, by hiding the complexity behind “human-readable” organizations and wrapping them with well-known higher level protocols (like HTTP) that every web or app developer understands. Call it the democratization of network functions. Taking the power from the telco vendors and giving it to mainstream developers. It’s the beginning of Programmable Networks.

Exposing APIs is so powerful and inclusive that even old school telco organizations are adopting them for 5G. Here is a discussion forum dedicated to the topic.

Telestax APIs Simplify Your Business

At Telestax, APIs are in our DNA. In a nutshell, it’s the way we expose all of the cool features RestcommOne provides to application developers, telco providers and web-developers. We have an API for that: Voice API, Video API, and Messaging API. We even offer WebRTC SDKs.

This way any developer from any industry can focus on his job and leave the telco scary part to us. For example, imagine that you are creating the next killer app for marketing or customer care. To attract people you want to include a call back function where an individual inputs a number and immediately gets a call from one of your agents. You want this process to be seamless and automatic, but you’re a web-developer… You’ve heard about protocols, but you don’t really want to go there. It makes your head spin. So now what? Well, by using RestcommONE APIs it would be as simple as incorporating this URL in your application:<customer_number>&from=<mycompany_number>

Now everytime you call that URL, RestcommONE magic happens and your customer get a call. It’s that simple.

  • Voice or telco core knowledge needed = none.
  • Time to setup the app in Restcomm = 5 minutes.
  • Time to incorporate the API in your application = the time for copy & pasting the link above.

So, what exactly is the magic happening behind curtain that you do not see? The truth is, you don’t really want to know. And the good news is that you do not have to know. That is because Telestax will be there for you to take that scary from your shoulders. The truth is APIs rock our world, and fundamentally believe they are here to stay! Telestax APIs allow you focus on your business logic and not worry about really complex stuff under the hood – we worry about that.

View Kevin Nethercott’s TADSummit presentation about Telecom APIs.

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