Enterprise Connect – PaaS, SaaS, and building apps

Posted on March 16, 2016 by Andrea Mocherman

Last week was a busy one for the Flowroute team. We launched our new SMS capabilities, became Mitel certified, attended Enterprise Connect, and had a little fun along the way. As always, a number of trends and themes stood out during the show.

PaaS and SaaS are top of mind

This year’s Enterprise Connect had a distinct developer feel to it, as quite a few solution providers showed off UC functions built into business applications. Based on some of the announcements at the show, there is clearly a growing marketplace for developers in telecom. For example, Avaya announced its PaaS platform, Zang, a cloud communication and applications-as-a-service platform that enables developers to build custom, communications-enabled apps. Cisco also announced Spark, which provides devs the ability to utilize the API to integrate calling, messaging and video into their business applications.

Next killer app for video?

We were hopeful that we would witness the next killer video app at this year’s conference. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. What we did find was Video on Display’s omnipresence everywhere you turned. We saw Vidyo demonstrate video integration into ATMs. Polycom, a Flowroute partner, showed off its RealPresence Centro, which presents a very cool way to collaborate in a natural, seamless manner. There were some other vendors, including Smart Technologies, Crestron, InFocus, and Microsoft, who showed their multipurpose room displays too much fanfare. The good old days of using Live Meeting and Lync are clearly in the past.

Developer shift

The vibe of Enterprise Connect is slowly changing to have a more developer-centric feel. The questions and use cases are changing from “What do you provide?” to “I want to add text messaging and voice capabilities – do you have APIs or SDKs to do this?” For providers like Flowroute whose sole purpose is to simplify the way communications are accessed and applied to applications and services, this is a great indicator that customer needs are aligned in that direction.                                                                                      

Final Notes

Presentations and conversations at the show highlighted the overall need for enterprises and developers to have complete control and transparency of their communications services. The announcements around CPaaS last week are exciting for the industry as a whole but it doesn’t remove key concerns around the expense, time and complexity required to consume telecom resources. So while this will certainly spark innovation, developers will ultimately want to gain direct access to telephony resources like phones numbers, call routing, texting, and advanced signaling to truly innovate with telecom.