Ribbit's software, which is a cloud computing application that uses the Web as its foundation, lets programmers duplicate land-line and mobile phone calling features for Web sites. The idea is to add a voice communication element to sites that goes beyond e-mail or instant messaging, allowing users to hear their contacts.
Before BT acquired Ribbit, a programmer used the open Ribbit APIs to build Ribbit for Salesforce, which lets users integrate voice mail and messages into their workflow and update computer records by phone. Users can call in to the application and view task lists and agendas, or even initiate an entire approval process from their mobile phones, among other features.
That successful integration in April was a proof point to show BT that the Ribbit approach works for businesses. Ribbit can now leverage BT's broad footprint to take its platform to a wider audience, which is what it hopes to do at Adobe Max, which is geared for Web developers.
Ribbit CEO Ted Griggs told eWEEK in an interview before the launch that the Ribbit developer platform will allow software developers, integrators and carriers to build telecommunications services for anything from productivity-minded enterprises to social networks.
Griggs said Ribbit has automated the developer process to let programmers sign up for an account, access APIs in a sandbox and take their accounts public to use their APIs in commercial applications and charge for their applications.
Programmers can control and monitor their portals without contacting anyone. Griggs compared the easy startup process to Amazon.com's cloud computing system.
Ribbit has also implemented a Bring Your Own Network program, in which carriers with their own transport networks can add the Ribbit software to their own applications. VOIP providers BroadSoft and Sylantro Systems are leveraging this offering first.
Ribbit has more than 7,500 developers toiling on its platform, based on the SmartSwitch, a piece of software that enables voice data to move across land-line and mobile phones, and that integrates with Skype, Google Talk and IM applications.
Ribbit is leveraging BT's 21CN (21st Century Network) programming team and hopes to build on that. Griggs noted:
"BT is betting that this new model is the future because in the long run they'd rather be seen in the same vein as a Google than in the same vein as an old AT&T or something."
To propel application development on Ribbit, the company is hosting a "Killer App" contest at Adobe Max that will award prizes for the best Ribbit integrations in business productivity, media, social network, carrier and next-generation applications.