Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom have teamed up to offer developers and enterprises a platform full of communications and network APIs.
The network APIs allow enterprises to integrate 5G capabilities – such as speed, latency, and Quality on Demand – into their business applications.
As a result, the two network providers will allow businesses to accelerate digitalization and improve end-user experiences.
“Wireless networks have been key in digitalizing consumers,” adds Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson. “With the capabilities of 5G, enterprises can now leverage mobility as well to transform their businesses.
Through network APIs, developers and enterprises get easy access to the advanced capabilities of the network to develop entirely new use cases.
To create this platform, Ericsson utilized the CPaaS solutions it secured as part of the acquisition of Vonage, which it completed in 2022.
Yet, if Ericsson only wanted CPaaS, it could have snapped up more of a pure-play provider, such as Sinch or Infobip. Doing so would have cost much less money than $6.2BN.
So, why Vonage? The likely reason is that Ericsson recognizes the potential of these network APIs to bolster Vonage’s broader portfolio. Here’s how it may just do that.
Vonage Can Differentiate Through Mobility
The API platform Ericsson has created holds significant potential to improve the performance of over-the-top (OTT) smartphone applications.
For instance, consider how consumers use these apps to communicate. CPaaS technology enables such communication. However, the quality of the conversations that take place on them is often unreliable due to poor network connections.
A classic example is the UCaaS applications employees download onto their smartphones, with users struggling to converse with colleagues on the go.
Over the past year or so, stalwarts in this space have strengthened their operator relationships to circumvent this issue.
For instance, Microsoft joined forces with Verizon to release a Teams Mobile integration. Meanwhile, Cisco teamed up with AT&T to launch a similar service: Webex Go.
These innovations have helped, leveraging dual-sims and coordinating network contracts. Nonetheless, mobility remains an issue across UCaaS platforms.
Thankfully, these new network APIs may prove a game-changer.
Indeed, Vonage will likely now plug these network APIs into the back end of its solution and manage the entire network experience.
As a result, it may increase the mobility of its OTT Vonage Business Communications app.
That could offer a significant differentiator for Vonage in UCaaS while the vendor’s CPaaS business will likely gain momentum – especially with Deutsche Telekom pulling strings in the background.
Deutsche Telekom to Fuel Vonage’s Growth
CPaaS is a crowded space. Yet, there is room for considerable growth, with Juniper Research expecting the market to reach a global value of $25.99BN by 2025. That’s up from $7.13BN in 2020.
Ericsson will hope Vonage seizes a sizable slice of that pie, with mobility as a differentiator and Deutsche Telekom reselling its communications APIs alongside the network APIs.
Doing so appears to be a priority for Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.
“Our network is the very foundation of our company,” he stated. “By opening it up, we are creating new ways for customers and developers to generate value for their business.
APIs are a key strategic focus for Deutsche Telekom.
Businesses that purchase these APIs may embed more reliable communication channels into their apps. That will give them more control over the conversation, enable next-level mobility, and allow them to harvest more customer journey data.
That last benefit is significant because – if the contact center has an omnichannel system – it can pull through that data and feed it to an agent when the customer reaches out via the app.
As a result, the agent gains more customer context to help them resolve their query. That will likely reduce handle times, increase satisfaction, and level up the contact center’s data strategy.
Of course, Vonage also has a CCaaS solution, and such a use case underlines how the new network APIs may help lift the value of the vendor’s complete collaboration portfolio.
Yet, there are more ways that mobility could improve customer communications – as Vonage may build new enterprise communications use cases and quickly build vertical-specific solutions.
Will it prove significant enough for UCaaS and CCaaS buyers? That is a talking point.
However, in the CPaaS market, mobility is a compelling differentiator.