Startups Leverage Unified Communications Enhanced by DID – Here’s How

 

Being developer lead at DIDX keeps me very busy in doing exactly that…leading the development improvement and education. In October 2017, I traveled to Orlando for Astricon because I wanted to learn more and share with my team later. We participate in OpenSIPS, Cluecon, Kamailio World, and Astricon whenever possible each year for this reason. At these open source communications events we gather information and develop lasting relationships. Being one human and and with the time constraint it was little bit difficult to do everything I wanted at Astricon 2017. We software developers have a little different mentality than just for business. I end up realizing I should have asked for more business cards, connected with more on LinkedIN and open source forums. So much I saw, heard and studied!

Although I love the Astricon guys who produced the networking activities, I couldn’t connect or reconnect with everyone. This article gets its inspiration from this very conundrum! Proper workflow. Let me elaborate how can we use DID numbers to enhance modern workflow.

Our modern lives are crowded with different types of communication bombarding us. A customer can be calling you, messaging you, sending Facebook chats, popping into Whatsapp, posting emails and using other ways of communication, like one big tornado scattering everything in the head and the workflow. Data pings us on these all media and on top of that, on different devices like smart phone, tablet, e-Reader, FitBit, laptop and more. We try to retrieve all our data on mobile phone, but it is not easy to keep up with all information in that one place on such a tiny screen.  

Seven years ago, I was employed by a company in which our communications operations were highly inefficient. Every agent was busy practically 12 hours per day on phones/email/calls/faxes and mobile, running around in circles. I created a solution just by adding a very expensive Bluetooth earphone and connected our mobile phones with computer. Now, we were able to use our mobile SMS with computer, place and receive calls with our computers. Email was already on the computers. We were finally and practically hands free to do all work quicker and more fluently with less stress! We controlled everything through our computers, on the bigger screens. Sometimes when I was on call, I was also using SMS response or receiving response as was practical in handling the customer during call. That made my worklife much more productive.

Things would be great if our communication was only composed of that on phone, SMS and email. Today…not a reality. We are locked down in a world where our sales/customer faces are handling much more than those three modes of communication. We add Whatsapp/LinkedIN/Facebook/Twitter/Viber/Instagram/Skype and many more. Companies do not want to put restrictions on customer to one way of communication. We at DIDX, for example, want to communicate with our customers in the way that is most comfortable for them. Our inner selves, our company customer appreciation strategy is strong. We believe our work is customer-focused, and the customer is always right.

Programmable! What is this dilemma?

You will hear of many things labeled programmable. For me, most important is a direct inward dialing number (DID number) which must be programmable. This way most of our communication is unified on one device, in my case, my computer. As a software developer, for me, these DID numbers are life-changing stuff. Let us discuss how I use a DID number to make my life, especially work life more unified and organized.

A standard computer allows me to check my email. I removed the hassle of SMS on a separate device by connecting my mobile phone to my computer, but it was not a good enough connection. It still requires me to remain close to my computer to access my data. If I have a DID number that supports SMS, my issue is resolved without any complication. I can use my browser or my mobile phone to send and receive SMS, whichever is most convenient at any given time. Both worlds meet together. There is another cool thing; my contacts remain constant on both locations. Awesome, but get ready to be surprised more… keep reading.

What about unifying and managing additional methods of communications?

Even with the above improvements in unifying and organizing my data, there are still other apps I use pretty regularly. For example, my WhatsApp data is reserved to my phone still! Where should I go for help? No worries. There is one Arab guy who made an open source API to handle this. We can use our DID number, integrated with WhatsApp using this API. Now, our WhatsApp data, just like our SMS, is available on mobile and web. I know you will ask: what about WhatsApp web? But see it is about data in one place.  

Please note there are some issues related with WhatsApp Web. It is said that the special API made by the Arab guy violates WhatsApp terms, and that the guy who made the API received a few notices. Perhaps there is no issue with just one fixed number? I hope in the nearest future that WhatsApp will reconsider their terms and conditions in the name of our global quest for simplifying life, especially worklife. WhatsAPP does not allow API integration because of the potential it presents to encourage spamming. There must be a way to keep spamming from happening while enabling API integration..

You said something about voice?

The beauty of the DID number is that it can be easily integrated with Asterisk or FreeSWITCH and a termination provider. They have great voice quality. I can be reached like a local call by my customers if the DID number is local to him, and I can use the same DID number to call my customer. I can also use speech to text facilities to grab all data which customers might want to use to call.

Instagram and other similar services all have APIs available and can easily be integrated in my computer or other device system to have everything I need to communicate…unified and organized.

It means when I open email, I have the option on my message to call/SMS/WhatsApp… oops! But what about Facebook that so many of us use? Keep reading

Social platform communication

Practically, all social networks enable API integration, so I can integrate my Facebook/LinkedIn portals, too. Now, I can collect that information and make available as needed for my office workflow. Everything is collected and unified. I can use any good open source CRM like sugarCRM or Vtiger and keep everything organized that is related to business in the window of my browser.

Is it not cool? Many companies are working to build the most efficient unified communications setup,, but due to the nature of technology, it is up to your startup as to when and how you will do so. You can also check DIDX.net (company where I work) and other DID providers to take advantage of the power of local DID numbers from every nation. Who knows? Ideally, you might be the founder of another great startup that pulls DIDs and all these unified communications features and more together that are required to run a truly modern business workflow.

Please comment whatever you think. I will deeply appreciate your feedback of debate and further elaborations.

Written by Kamal uddin Panhwar Senior Software Developer DIDx INC (didx.net)

VoIP, the Magical Sauce that Will Continue to Drive Trillions of Dollars of Business

VoIP is one of the reasons that Vonage, Skype, Whatsapp, 8×8 and even DIDX were and are solid gold. VoIP, also known as voice over Internet or IP telephony, is just one of the types of communications we have available to use over Internet. But it’s not JUST! As Jeff Pulver said in the 2017 ITEXPO keynote, “When you have natural language interfaces, running with AI, what is it run over? It is riding voice over IP. That’s right, the technology which is inherently taken for granted which some of us didn’t take for granted for years… that magical sauce is what is going to drive a trillion-dollar of business in the not-too-distant future…”

A December 2017 press release notes that Ooma, a company “that’s probably still best known for its VoIP platform, today announced that it has acquired Butterfleye, an AI-powered video camera and security platform that produces a smart security camera for home and business use.” Like “VoIP” is something to be embarrassed about! “Still best known,” like they need to expand before it’s too late? It’s not something to be ashamed of. As long as people speak, sing, and listen to each other, voice over something is a hot commodity like salt cheese, rice, coffee and tea. We take it and them for granted!

So what does Ooma plan to do with Butterfleye’s camera? It will become a part of its Ooma Home security solution. It will also be sold by itself under its original brand name. Features of the camera include face and person recognition and thermal, sound and motion sensors and 24/7 live streaming to practically any device. It sells for $199.99. My cosplay leather jacket brand store is on eBay, so I shop there also and find WiFi cameras as inexpensive as $20 there. Butterfleye team says their security camera is more intelligent and robust than others. (BTW, people want to run away when see GoFundMe or IndieGogo campaigns in their social media feeds, but Butterfleye got their start with over $4 million dollars that way.)

In a recorded video conversation among TMCnet’s Rich Tehrani, Digium’s David Duffet, MongoTel’s Moshe BT and me, our overall goal was to come up with a list of ideas for current companies “still” best known for VoIP…to grow, expand and such. In summary, we decided upon security, SMS, managed services, webRTC, AI, direct inward dialing, chatbots, IOT, CRM, billing, data mining…integrating any of them with VoIP to meet the needs of any sector such as entertainment, agriculture, transportation, medicine, retail, tourism, education, etc.

For example, in 2017 Sugar CRM launched HINT, a software that automatically searches the Internet for business and personal data. TenFold is creating a VOIP/CRM/ marketing connector with features like smart agent Artificial Intelligence and Zoom.us meeting mashups. Those two and Ooma are just three of thousands of “VoIP” companies on every continent that keep their core revenue builder VoIP while launching other products and services that are relevant to their market.

Acquire or be acquired. Appreciate voice. Don’t forget. DIDX is here to help your company grow. From now until January 30, 2018:

  1. Free port in of phone numbers of select 24 nations to DIDX.net for all DIDX customers.
  2. 50% credit on new DID purchases for all current DIDX customers.
  3. $100 credit to NEW DIDX sign ups.

Grab More of Telecom and IP Communications Market with the Power of DID Numbers

Happy holidays, 2017! Let’s talk now before the year is over!!! Technology changes to make business more lucrative and life more convenient, but both survive best via a combination of the best innovation and tradition. The goal for all business, in particular, to discover and update new, more practical than ever implementations of products and services. It is no longer just sci-fi movies and shows that share how geographical boundaries will vanish from our world. Now is when that is happening. We are now connected with each other in such a way that boundaries matter less than ever.

Traditional PSTN/mobile communications services and email are really not the most efficient method of communication for businesses. DID numbers are the most effective way to encourage current and potential customers, colleagues, vendors, research partners and more to call businesses. The DID (direct inward dialing number) has no boundaries. A businessman in UK can now own a US number via direct inward dialing when called by those in the US it will ring wherever the UK businessman sets it to ring. The highly empowering use cases are numerous. A potential customer in the US dials the US DID number. It rings the businessman in the UK, thus, enhancing customer experience, support and retention. The UK businessman now has a market, not just in the UK, but also in US. The scenario can be repeated for the US businessman to own a DID number of any city in which he wishes to market, to outsource and more.

Because today’s customers are used to using a mix of technology in communication as is convenient to him or her at any given point in time, businesses need to be available every way possible, including email, chat, webRTC and most conveniently of all direct inward dialing phone numbers. This mix creates unique customer behavior of high expectations. They want what they need and want it to be granted on demand. When they need something from their product or service provider, they want it to be easy to reach them now, not when the vendor has time to get to that customer’s email. Consumer behavior of our modern generation demands quick and easy contact with and quick and efficient response from the product or service provider.

Suppose a potential or current US customer needs to buy a software or service, he quickly browses the Internet and selects a company, usually based on peer recommendation and/or marketing language that convince him. So… he has chosen a company first that fits his needs; it is in UK. He will probably double back and choose a US company even if it is does not perfectly meet his needs. The UK company loses the customer even though they were perfect for each other just because the customer wants to dial a US phone number to reach a provider, not a UK phone number. The US customer most likely feels more comfortable calling a US number instead of a UK number because it is less expensive and feels local. He does not want to use live text chat because misunderstandings can easily occur nor video webRTC because his coverage does not always include strong enough network for video or he does not feel comfortable with video. Back to the beginning, if the UK business owns DID phone numbers of every country where their market is located, it will more likely be chosen to provide a product or service. A US DID number would have saved the day, landing the new order!

Businesses that need retail DID call forwarding to be the choice of product and service provision by any certain local market, can find consumer and small business solutions like this from Voicenter, Flexiroam, MyDivert.com, Big Daddy, Amazon and Virtualphoneline.com. Companies like these make a real business out of providing local presence, direct inbound dialing via DID phone numbers since 1999, the earliest of any of its kind. They make available DIDs of 60 to 140 nations or more at all times and offers special order of other nations’ phone numbers.

On the other hand, if your company is more interested in buying DID phone numbers in bulk and reselling them to consumers and other businesses, then DIDX.net is the perfect choice for you.

Let’s talk a little more about the different scenarios of how DID phone numbers can be used to reach big business and startup goals.

Mobile Application

Startup and veteran communications companies and entrepreneurs can provide this exciting calling feature and facility to any specific country or all by mobile application. They just need 1-2 servers and a VoIP switch (or open source asterisk/Voip software) to give such facility. WEBRTC services can reduce cost in bandwidth by enabling, not only audio and video web dial-in, but also dial-in via direct inward dialing phone numbers. The application will be able to simply grab DID numbers from DIDx.net using its API and make available DIDs from 140 nations or more.

For call forwarding, they will use their Asterisk/FreeSWITCH or other type of voice switch to connect the call. Businesses in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia and other regions have made the king of money people pay attention to in this business. Just message me privately, and let’s have a call to discuss!

SMS Service

Another great business use of DID numbers is SMS service. Today anything can be programmed. Today’s boom of AI and robots makes even much higher demand of such SMS-based services, as these service can provide instructions/updates and notifications for different activities which can be linked with humans’ mobile phones. So DID numbers which have feature of SMS are a great asset in this case. The world needs more countries to offer SMS-enabled DIDS on DIDX.net because the market niche is in demand, is skyrocketing and will continue its growth.

Call Forward Services/Calling Card Business

Though these two business models are not anything new, it’s like David Duffet, Digium’s Asterisk Worldwide Community Director, says, “Some people do well with the ‘keep on keeping on … making it better and better.’” Although market is very saturated, there is still a high demand for new startups to offer these services. They will do well as they add more more features that meet the needs of their market niche to experience excellent profits.

IVR/Auto Attendant

Although call forwarding is good but for business, there is another service that takes CF to a new level. And…machines are necessary to take steps to assist agents to more effectively help customers. Newly popular chatbots can be integrated with this automated solution. Although it is easy to setup on such systems using Asterisk/FreeSWITCH, modern information requires more integration with modern systems and CRMS. There is big potential in the current and future market.

Call Center/Predictive Dialers

Of course, star users of DID numbers are call and contact centers. Direct inward dialing phone numbers (DID phone numbers) are used for incoming calls from current and potentials customers, donors and collaborators. Market well for the product or service the call center provides information about, and the incoming calls will abound. DID phone numbers that are a local call for those who call in response to an advertisement, commercial, infomercial, or Youtube or other live stream demo, make placing that call quick, easy and most of the time…free for the potential customer, donor and collaborator.

Remember, DID phone numbers are for inbound calling, not outbound calling. The outbound is often seen as spam, unwanted hassle, but when a company makes it easy and free for interested parties to call in to a call center to place an order, complete a donation, get technical support or collaborate on research and such…that’s direct inward dialing beauty! Support, sales and other types of service and communication can easily be conducted because of DID phone numbers integrated with call and contact centers and predictive dalliers

Many cutting edge entrepreneur will say that technologies such as direct inward dialing and phone numbers are old stuff because of the Whatsapp/Viber/Telegraph phenomenon. No money in DID phone numbers? Can’t be true! From the consumer level, a lady placing a call to DID phone number that is local to her in order to reach an organization she needs to have a quick, efficient communication with to get what she needs is so much faster and more trustworthy than clicking to Whatsapp or Skype. Then to top it off, quite often her cellular and data network are often slow, dropped and such. She will call businesses she needs to buy from and get help from when the calls are local calls that are free or nearly free.

DIDs can be integrated with chatbot, Iot and AI technologies, all over Internet connectivity to produce convenient and highly efficient communication also. We at DIDX.net invite our customers, vendors, communities and others in IP communications industry to discover how to grow your new business or expand your current one in daily conversations and in person at conferences and exhibitions. Contact me today to get started using DIDX.net. The future is bright!

By Kamal uddin Panhwar, Senior Software Developer/Team lead and technology lover at DIDx(didx.net)

Our Current DIDX Buyer Members – Check Email for Fantastic Port Phone Number Offer

Our DIDX customers are important to us. Every day our every thought is … “how to please, grow, better partner with you.” Check your inbox today for some thank you offers never available before on DIDX! Sign in to your DIDX.net portal today to get started.

For example, there is a wonderful porting phone number offer for the next 30 days of DIDs of the following:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Canada
Costa Rica
Chile
Croatia
Czech Rep.
Denmark
France
Germany
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Panama
Peru
Puerto Rico
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
United Kingdom
United States
Log in to your DIDX account today to take advantage of wholesale direct inward dialing phone number (also known as DID number, virtual phone number, SIP DID, voip phone number) marketplace.
With kindest wishes,
All of us at DIDX