Is That Voice in Your App?

[qi:086] Things have been tough as of late for plain vanilla VoIP service providers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that voice over IP is over as a technology. As my good friend Andy Abramson points out, the focus in the future is going to be on adding voice to apps.

This was one of the trends I talked about when the now-defunct Business 2.0 launched its Next Net series in 2006. The idea behind the series was that as broadband became all-pervasive, everything from the web to mobile to video to voice became part of the next evolution of the Internet. (It has been a guiding principle of my coverage here on GigaOM.)

Fonality was one of the companies we picked for the list, because even at the time, Chris Lyman, Fonality‚Äôs CEO, was talking about adding voice to apps. He made a key move today, acquiring Insightful, one of SugarCRM’s largest resellers. The new offering from Fonality, called FonalityCRM, integrates the CRM suite with PBX and offers click-to-call dialing, agent screen pops and several other features.

Others are also experimenting with similar VoIP-app mashups. Iperia, for example, is building an app for real estate agents. Ike Elliott , formerly of Level 3 (LVLT) points out that voice-data-applications have been around for a while, especially in call center applications.

However, as open-source telephony tools (such as Asterisk) become even more sophisticated, and the web 2.0 community finally comes to grips with the importance of voice, we are going to see some clever mashups come to the forefront. Companies like Lypp are making it relatively easy to add voice to web apps through their APIs.

The Lypp API enables rapid VoIP feature implementation, including: click-to-call and click-to-conference; virtual phone booth calling features; and the integration of basic and advanced telephony, such as embedded email and profile call links for Facebook, MySpace and other web-based applications and services.

Have you seen a VoIP-Web 2.0 mashup you like? Drop us a note, or leave a comment.

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