Phonevite API released at ITEXPO

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Phonevite API released at ITEXPO

Phonevite-logo.png At ITEXPO I met with John Nahm, CEO and co-founder of Phonevite, an intriguing VoIP-enabled one-to-many broadcasting service that takes the concept of the popular Evite email-centric invitations service and extends it to the phone world.

Calvin Kim is the other co-founder and he actually founded Dialpad, one of the pioneers of VoIP with their Java-based click-to-call application. Dialpad was later sold to Yahoo. Calvin is now the CTO of Phonevite.

John explained he wants Phonevite to be like Evite but for the phone. Phonevite was incorporated in January of last year and has reached profitability with their premium customers. They offer a free service with the only limitation that you can only blast a maximum of 25 phone numbers/contacts.

John explained that the largest users of his service includes lots of schools, Boy Scouts, soccer / little leagues, emergency rescue teams, and emergency management teams. The most important feature of Phonevite is that it trumps email when it is a time-critical matter and users don't check email regularly. Or even if they do check email, John explained what if each of the soccer team's parents are on the way to practice, it starts raining and the coach wants to cancel. They will most likely not be email accessible while driving. Using Phonevite you can blast the entire team's mobile phone list announcing that practice has been canceled.

John pointed out that SMS is an alternative, but it has a limit to how many people you can SMS and it is difficult to describe situation in the 150 character SMS limit. The premium service offers a tiered bonus structure for tiered VoIP calling rates. Also, schools and non-profits get a discount.

At ITEXPO Phonevite is announcing their API. This will enable websites such as, Evitesocializr, pinger, etc. to directly tie into Phonevite's service.

Interestingly, the back-end doesn't use Asterisk, the open-source PBX platform. John told me they developer the back-end VoIP calling interface themselves. They do leverage other open source software though, such as MySQL.

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