Ifbyphone Acquires Cloudvox - Offers Flexible Cloud Telephony

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Ifbyphone Acquires Cloudvox - Offers Flexible Cloud Telephony

ifbyphone-logo.jpgAt ITEXPO, Ifbyphone announced that have acquired Cloudvox, a company that offers "open" hosted Asterisk telephony applications. I spoke with Irv Shapiro, CEO of Ifbyphone by phone just after he passed through Chicago Ohare's airport security on his way down to ITEXPO in Miami. Irv explained that the marriage of Ifbyphone and Cloudvox brings the best of "proprietary" telephony apps by Ifbyphone and "open" Asterisk AGI and AMI applications that developers can build on Cloudvox.

Irv explained that with the Cloudvox acquisition they now offer 3 scenarios for applications:
- Own the application(s)
- Rent the application(s)
- Have developers integrate or build application(s) from scratch

Essentially, you can use the pre-built apps offered by Ifbyphone or you can do
Asterisk AGI or AMI in the cloud. AGI and AMI are part of Asterisk's core API allowing you to develop applications for the popular open source Asterisk platform. Using AGI and AMI you can build just about any telephony application you can think of. Cloudvox's "secret sauce" is how they extended these into the "cloud", allowing developers to write apps that are hosted. Asterisk v1.6 AGI runs in their cloud. Customers with their own Asterisk servers can host the apps, while retaining control over other aspects of their phone system.

Importantly, Cloudvox's technology is multi-tenant and secure since it is sandboxed from other tenants. Ifbyphone offers their hosted telephony platform for 3-6 cents/minute depending on customer call volume.

I asked Irv, "With the ability to host telephony apps in the cloud, are there any plans to offer a hosted app store, similar to Apple's iPhone App Store?". Irv responded, "That's a very interesting evolution that we're evaluating."  Some sample applications include click2call, virtual call center, call recording, Adhearsion/Ruby, and more.

"By acquiring Cloudvox, we're sending a message to businesses of every size: If you're interested in using telephone applications to automate sales, marketing, business processes, and Web applications, we're the place to start," said Irv Shapiro, CEO of Ifbyphone. "Businesses can rent an existing application from us and tightly integrate their business with that app. Or they can now use Cloudvox to build their own portable, open application from scratch and still take advantage of our cloud infrastructure and phone expertise."

Ifbyphone claims that with the acquisition of Cloudvox they are the only cloud telephony provider that enables customers to rent a phone-based application, integrate with an existing Ifbyphone app, or build a custom app. Cloudvox bridges Web apps with phone services, enabling developers to place, receive, and control phone calls from their own software (including Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, C#, and simple HTTP/JSON).

"Cloudvox handles all of the telecom features, giving developers complete control of the phone call and their app," said Troy Davis, Cloudvox Co-Founder. "Cloudvox is the most practical way to launch comprehensive phone services, and with Ifbyphone's infrastructure and experience, we've created the best cloud model in the industry."

Ifbyphone currently has 15,000 customers. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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