BlueNote Networks on Sept. 25 introduced a pair of new software offerings that marry voice over IP with service-oriented architectures.
The startups aim in the new SessionSuite SOA Edition and SessionSuite Desktop products is to allow voice to be embedded within SOA applications running on IP networks.
"SOA brings to an IT organization a distributed application framework that allows them to develop a suite of software services that can be reused and shared among complementary business applications, instead of building monolithic business applications.
"There are easier ways to embed voice into business applications than using [Computer Telephony Integration] interfaces from monolithic PBXes," said Sally Bament, vice president of marketing at BlueNote Networks in Tewksbury, Mass.
The two programs allow BlueNote to expose to developers the ability to make a phone call as a Web services application program interface, and at the same time allow other business applications to affect how to handle a phone call.
For example, a CRM application could initiate a phone call, route incoming phone calls to a users mobile phone, or make a Web services request to another business application like a calendar and based on the result determine how to route an incoming call.
Another benefit in embedding voice services into applications is the ability to streamline the interaction of Web-shopping users and call center agents.
From a click-to-call button on a Web site, a call can come into the Session Suite software, which tags the call with contextual information from the users activity on the Web site.
It then forwards the call to an agent while populating that agents screen with the information on the users shopping activity.
Such information can include the Web page the user was on when the user made the call or shopping cart information.
"Were keen on a lot of the functions that API provides us. I believe itll be a big hit for us next year," said early customer Mark Ustik, CEO at The Hudson Group in Boston.
"Our customers are clamoring for some of the integration features, the biggest being integrated call detail reporting," added Ustik, whose company markets hosted applications for the ground transportation industry.
Ustik, who believes SessionSuite SOA Edition is unique in the completeness of its functions, sees the new software as a means to drive additional services revenues, and he believes his customers will benefit by being able to reduce the number of call center agents they must have on staff.
The software implements a call manager function, is a full Session Initiation Protocol server, and provides registration proxy, call forwarding, call transfer, integrated voice response, Quality of Service prioritization and more.
It can also interface with existing PBXes, and it provides Network Address Translation and firewall traversing tools.
BlueNote is targeting the new SessionSuite SOA Edition at business analysts, application developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to allow them to add Session Initiation Protocol-based voice and video services to applications, Web sites or business processes.
SessionSuite SOA Editions Software Development Kit hides the underlying communications infrastructure complexity from the developer by exposing the communications services through Web services APIs.
Within the SDK is a session lifecycle API that allows an application to initiate a phone call, control it, terminate it and tag data with the phone call.
The session manage API provides access to provisioning information for users, calls or services in the system. A session plug-in framework allows an application to impact how to route a call.
SessionSuite Desktop is a companion program to SessionSuite SOA or BlueNotes existing SessionSuite Enterprise that allows users to add voice functions to Windows clients.
It allows end users to make calls from within Windows applications using a single mouse click.
It also provides companion phone control that allows users to have a choice of which handsets they want to use, whether its a VOIP phone or mobile phone.
"We separated the control of a phone call from the media – the actual speaking – so that users can continue to use their phone of choice and control the operation from their PC," said Bament.
Both are due by months end.