Hackathon Generates New Conversations, New Applications and Potential Revenue Opportunities

Next Generation Communications Blog

Hackathon Generates New Conversations, New Applications and Potential Revenue Opportunities

By: Gilles Duboué, IP Platforms Innovation Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent 

Recently in Munich, Alcatel-Lucent ran a 12 hour Hackathon that pitted the industry’s best and brightest developers against each other. The mission: build the most original, compelling and marketable app using New Conversation APIs.

New Conversation APIs make the rich functionality of IP Communications simple to mash up into applications. By enabling developers to easily integrated voice, video, data and contact information into any app, service providers can innovate faster – providing entirely new communications experiences to end users from any screen, device and network. They enable operators to explore new opportunities for enhancing retail services and to pursue new wholesale markets through application partners (web, verticals, M2P, M2M…).

For the Hackathon, Alcatel-Lucent provided on-site the virtualized, commercial grade IP communication platform and APIs access through its WebRTC Border Controller, Converged Telephony and Rich Communication Servers. But the real stars were the developers, whom powered by pizza, beer and caffeine, brought the adrenalin, ingenuity and drama.

The Hackathon did not disappoint. The developers delivered highly original, compelling and marketable apps that run on IP communication serving as the foundation for today’s LTE network and VoLTE services. A panel of global telecom industry analysts, developers and operators had the tough task of choosing a winner.

Ultimately, judges named PhoneDeck the winner. Its developers used New Conversation APIs and WebRTC technologies to deliver an app enabling the seamless mobile integration into CRM Salesforce. The app significantly improved the work experience of sales representatives through a screen-pop displaying relevant information about the customer calling on the mobile; call whispering providing information from a previously scanned customer business card stored on the CRM; click to call back on the sales representative’s browser; mobile, multi-device call handover; and mobile call reporting.

Hackathon finalists included:

  • Apizee  delivering an app that enhanced the contact center experience with Rich Communication Service (RCS)/Joyn: a mobile consumer uses RCS to interact with a web call center and inversely a consumer surfing on a web site interacts with a mobile sales representative equipped with RCS/Joyn.  It demonstrated how, by exposing APIs to 3rd  party developers, service providers can extend RCS continuity to the Web and how the B2C web contact center and user experience can be enriched with voice, video and content-sharing (pictures, files, and screens). 
  • Quobis hacked their SIPPO application to demonstrate the value of a common WebRTC client for rapidly launching WebRTC applications that interoperate with telco services and provide a consistent user experience for Smartphone, tablet and desktop. The demonstration highlighted how service providers can, by enabling WebRTC access to their existing legacy services, extend their reach and create new revenues from the browser. 
  • Alten’s Enriched Unknown Number app addressed an everyday issue of how to handle calls from anonymous callers or callers that are not part of the called party contact list. It enriched incoming calls with supplemental information retrieved from a web query to web applications,  external sources or by directly asked the calling party using a play and record API.  The demonstration highlighted the speed and value of recreating and enriching popular IN-based applications (e.g. Stop Secret / Privacy Manager) in an IMS and open model allowing service providers to deliver additional retailed features or new retailed services to VoLTE subscribers.
  • Estos added a WebRTC interface to their unified communications solution for small and medium-sized enterprises. By integrating the New Conversation APIs/WebRTC JavaScript libraries in an enterprise website, Estos showed how easy and fast it is to enhance existing legacy services with WebRTC and improve the end-user experience. More generally, it highlighted the incredible market value of extending communications as a feature in Web Content Management System (WCMS) such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.

Such competitions ultimately benefit end users like you and me. It provides a path to creating a world where communications is more dynamic and compelling – one that connects all contacts and communications in the online and real worlds to make the act of communicating simpler and more meaningful.

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