The new SessionSuite WebCaller client, which uses the communications services in BlueNotes SessionSuite, allows developers without deep telephony expertise to embed voice communications within Web-based applications or on Web sites.
The new WebCaller, which can support VOIP-using and non-VOIP-using Web visitors, targets the growing interest in PC-based calling using consumer-oriented services such as Skype and the addition of voice to instant messaging services.
"IM products in the past 12 to 18 months have added free or low-cost voice calling for point-to-point chat," said Alan Rosenberg, director of product management at BlueNote, in Tewksbury, Mass.
But rather than target consumer services, the startup is targeting enterprises looking to gain business value by integrating voice into business processes. "Enterprises want commercial-strength applications that will integrate and leverage existing telecom infrastructure. They want to take message flows and convey them back to call center agents, and have a high level of control over voice clients," he explained.
WebCaller uses the API for BlueNotes SessionSuite software, which implements the functions of an IP PBX as reusable SOA (service-oriented architecture) services. SessionSuite provides a call manager, a full SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) server, call forwarding and transfer, voice mail, auto attendant, "meet me" conferencing and browser-based applications. It also provides a registration proxy, integrated voice response, QOS (quality of service) prioritization and NAT (Network Address Translation), and can interface with existing PBXes.
The WebCaller telephony client can be used to implement click-to-talk access to call center agents from a Web site, as well as to embed voice calling into portals and kiosks. It can also be used to provide Web-based communications services such as Web conferencing and distance learning.
With WebCaller, BlueNote is targeting such vertical markets as retail, hospitality, government and financial services. One such user, John Burke, vice president of technology at the Seaport Hotel, in Boston, said his company found the SessionSuite APIs used by WebCaller to be very easy to work with.
"Our developers dont know anything about VOIP or SIP, but they do understand Web services. We began a dialog with BlueNote the third week in October, we were in system test by Dec. 1 and we deployed the first 10 devices on Dec. 28," Burke said.
The thin client at Seaport Hotel is integrated with the hotels existing Nortel Networks PBX and handset and provides access to a next-generation kiosk intended to improve the guest experience. The kiosk, dubbed the Sea Portal, provides a touch-screen display for easy access to information about the hotel restaurant, spa, in-room dining and more. "Sea Portal gives you access to complementary phone calls with VOIP, Web access, and access to all guest services in the hotel," Burke said.
SessionSuite WebCaller will be available Feb. 26 as a part of the SessionSuite SDK.