Developers of third-party applications that run atop VoIP networks have a tremendous opportunity ahead of them. Developers need to not only create applications, but help work to raise awareness of what is possible with VoIP.
This morning’s opening remarks from Zeus Kerravala, vice president of Yankee Group
to the assembled developers at Avaya
Developer Day 2006 addressed the emerging market for VoIP applications. Kerravala likened the current state of the VoIP industry to the earliest days of PCs when they were just emerging from the mainframe era.
Kerravala spoke of the perception held by many end users that VoIP is still primarily a cost-cutting play. Relying on research conducted by Yankee Group, he underscored a vast lag between the number of people who have partially deployed or are testing VoIP with the number of companies that have “fully deployed” the technology. In his estimation it is the lack of compelling applications that are holding back mass adoption of VoIP at the enterprise level.
And that’s precisely where the developer community, represented by groups such as Avaya’s DevConnect Program, come in to play.
According to Yankee research, Kerravala pointed out that the reason many (92%) people want to embrace VoIP is that it makes it easier to deploy other collaboration applications over a converged voice/data network.
So it seems that enterprises realize the need to converge their networjks and that VoIP will underlie the advent of future applications. The question remains: What are those applications, and who will deliver them? Again the answer pointed squarely back at the developers in the room: These developers have to come up with the third-party applications that will raise awareness of what is possible and subsequently drive demand.
Kerravala pointed out some initial applications that early adopters seem to be latching on to as benefiting from a converged voice/data infrastructure, including telecommuting, mobility, video conferencing, and call center.
He shared numbers that 88% of respondents to his firm’s survey believe strongly or somewhat that third-party vertical applications will increase the likelihood of VoIP adoption in their enterprise.
The goal of course is a complete integration of Voice + Data + Business applications. It is this three-fold convergence that is destined to deliver business value.
Kerravala told the audience how he believed that Web services will be the likey platform for development, for a number of reasons, including its broad appeal, and the large numbers of developers with whom the development environment is already popular; the strong support of emerging standards; and the fact tha Web services are platrofm and transport independent.
Some potential markets he mentioned were Higher Education, Financial Services, Hospitality, and City/Municipal Governments.
In the end, Kerravala closed with the following thoughts:
- VoIP adoption — while slower than expected — is here with us to stay.
- The winners and losers of this game will be determined by companies with the best, most robust third-party applications.
- Future business value will come from the third-party applications that run on top of voice platforms.
- Voice enabled applications will enable new levels of business productivity.
- VoIP applications will do to telephony what PCs did for computing.
It’s a theme I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot this week as we head from Avaya Developer Day to the full-blown VoIP Developer Conference
program, which begins tomorrow: Developers have before them a tremendous opportunity. An opportunity to not only create the next generation of applications that will take advantage of increasingly deployed converged voice and data networks, but also to influence the purchasing habits of enterprise communications application consumers for years to come by virtue of raising awareness of what VoIP makes possible.
For further perspectives on this morning’s keynote, check out what Rich Tehrani had to say
on the matter.