Applications Today Do Not Work in Isolation Says Venky

Suzanne Bowen : Monetizing IP Communications
Suzanne Bowen
37 yrs in telecom, teaching, blog & grant writing, biz development, marketing, & PR. Favorite moments in life involve time w/ family & friends, networking, IP communications industry verticals & horizontals, running, traveling, foreign languages
| 1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition..." Barack Obama ..... 2. "One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." By Thomas Sowell

Applications Today Do Not Work in Isolation Says Venky

Venky of PlivoHow do we best meet people and organizations online and in person to do business with? As my readership and networks know, my favorite ways are via social networking sites and face to face conferences, exhibitions, and meet-ups. I was desperately searching via Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook for as many people as possible who were participating in CommunicAsia 2011 because once I arrived in Singapore, I wanted a full agenda of promising opportunities. One of the first to reply was Venky from Plivo which resulted in plans to record an audio interview for you to eavesdrop on podcast.

CommunicAsia was great except for one unfortunately embarrassing incident in the press lounge, but I've got enough integrity ... not to share the details of that. Back to Plivo!

So, what led to the name Plivo for this open source platform orchestrated by Venky (Primary Bug Injector), Michael Ricordeau (The Code Legion), Areski Belaid (Baker), and Nimish V. Adani (Eluding Multi-tasker)? 

Loved Venky's answer, "I have a fetish for five letter names. We had this domain We really didn't know what to do with it. Then, we came along with this framework, and we think it is quite ?-breaking in terms of open source. Plivo was tagged on it, and it was on its way."

Venky and Mike R. collided accidentally online when Ricordeau was doing a prototype, working to integrate a telephony switch and a web application. Venky had opened a VoIP startup. They both agreed the experience of integrating the web application was irritating. 

So as Venky said, "It's time to eat our own dog food, and that is how we got started."

David Heinemeier Hansson of Ruby on Rails, Matt Mullenweg of Wordpress, and Anthony Minessale of FreeSWITCH are an inspiration to Venky in his open source work and development. He believes that all three are revolutionary and change-making.

Venky is educated as an engineer. Looking back over his professional history, he shares that he was working for three companies at the same time ...  Indian company - Subex Ltd, an American startup Naruhs Networks and a Chinese multi-national Huawei Technologies. His six years' experience is in telecommunications internationally which gave him opportunities to travel abroad. He worked as a developer and a presales evangelist of these companies' products.


Now, Plivo uses Even Socket which is what FreeSWITCH exposes from its side. The Plivo applications talk to FreeSWITCH. The language used is Python. It does integrate with Gtalk and Skype as well as PSTN and mobile. As I have always said, "Do whatever you can to not have to say, 'No, we cannot do that," to your customer, right?"

How is Plivo able to run in a scalable and clustered way? Because what underlies Plivo is FreeSWITCH, absolutely. Venky gives advice to run one instance of Plivo and one of FreeSWITCH on the same box. Have as many boxes as you want to scale seamlessly. 

On the podcast we discuss the areas where most Plivo developers are and the problems that Plivo solves.

Today's applications do not work in isolation. Whether the telephony switch is Asterisk or FreeSWITCH, developers want to integrate other entities like databases, social networks, and external APIs. Plivo is an enabler here to do exactly this for a service that will be more a unified communications provision, not just voice. Venky says that even DIDX APIs can be integrated with Plivo and he explains why. Or ... people can bring in their own carriers. (About 06:45.8 into the podcast.)

In fact, anyone who wants to get started does not even have to know any telephony practices. Plivo makes the process very simple and helps IP communications entrepreneurs create something unique from the typical "vanilla" VoIP service. 

We also discuss how Plivo is different from Twilio. Venky mentions that Twilio is meant for mobile and PSTN; whereas, Plivo integrates mobile, PSTN, SIP, Skype and Gtalk, and others like them which enables ... again the opportunity to start-up a real unified communications service. 

Venky and I talk about the VoIP Users Conference that is scheduled every Friday around mid-day EST and that opportunity to network and toss ideas around on trends and resources of every open source telephony platform around with other IP communications-related people. We both recommend it. See

Be sure to visit and get it spinning on systems, as Venky says, and give feedback back to Venky and them. They have mailing lists, a Google group, and an IRC channel. Venky says they have helpers who speak several different languages. (That's cool.) For newbies, there is a simple script write-up to get started. 

logo-plivo.pngLast, a great conference to meetup with others who are excited and involved with open source unified communications is Cluecon in August 2011 in Chicago. Sign up at  Venky and Michael from Plivo are presenters!

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