This past week Flowroute attended ClueCon 2015 an annual conference created for developers, by developers who focus on creating innovative voice and messaging apps & services. Flowroute has long been a supporter of FreeSWITCH and its events because it brings together the right mix of developers, technology and innovation. This year was no different. Our team had the opportunity to engage with a number of developers on topics such as how WebRTC is evolving, the high cost of fraud and the impact APIs are having on the industry.
Unlocking the next wave of telecom innovation with APIs
APIs are the conduit to creativity in the telecom world, which was a consistent message heard throughout the event. There were a number of interesting demonstrations that highlighted how to add messaging to the communications channel in less than ten minutes and only six lines of code. That’s amazing when you consider the amount of time, resources and money it took companies not even two years ago. Another unique use case came from Seven Du, a renowned FreeSWITCH platform expert, who demonstrated how to allow users to run a presentation inside of a conference call on FreeSWITCH, by utilizing APIs to setup, edit, and end channels (calls) as well as how to upload and display PDFs, GIFs, and JPGs during a conference call.
Preventing fraud still a challenge
Fraud continues to be a growing concern whether you are a consumer or enterprise due to its high cost and the still limited options to prevent it.
Applying machine learning to detect fraud was a common thread at the event. Fraud detection has always been core to our offering, which has led us to build automatic fraud controls into the Flowroute service. You see, from the first day our customers start making calls we create individual call profiles of our customer’s outbound traffic. This contains how many minutes are used, calls per second, and unique numbers dialed, which are then segmented by the day of week and time of day. By analyzing the call data, we are able to determine if there are any irregularities in the call patterns. For example, if there is suddenly 10,000 calls to Cuba and you have never made any calls to Cuba, Flowroute will block outbound traffic to Cuba and then send an email to the customer notifying them of the abnormality.
If the traffic is legit, customers can simply click the “unblock” link in the email and outbound traffic will resume. Unfortunately, we do sometimes receive false negatives from new accounts or businesses because we haven’t established enough traffic to create consistent traffic patterns. Another step customers can take to mitigate fraud is to whitelist numbers and set a maximum outbound rate – which can be set up directly through the Flowroute Account Manager.
The evolution of WebRTC
The trend is clear: communications systems are moving to incorporate WebRTC, with global players molding or adopting the technology. Communications itself is converging to a single platform, served by the WebRTC standard, which the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are working in tandem to formalize.
During the event we saw a number of interesting WebRTC innovations. Verto is a good example as they have rolled out a feature rich signaling protocol that interacts with FreeSWITCH, putting most of the effort into the video components. Other WebRTC innovations we saw at ClueCon are multi-stream HD video conference setup, active speaker detection, and 3D sound positioning. The devs we spoke with talked about their use of Object RTC (ORTC) which makes it easier for devs to manage connections and manipulate media streams in WebRTC. The ORTC specification supports advanced video conferencing technologies like scalable video coding (SVC) and simulcast which can then be used to more easily create “Hangouts” like apps.
At the end of the day…
It was clear that the use of APIs to deliver innovative voice and messaging apps & services is core to reenergizing the telecommunications market. Making this a very exciting space to be in right now. ClueCon provided a great forum for us to see first hand how devs are creatively using APIs, as well as provide us a glimpse into the future of the market.