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Vonage's API tools embed video and add bulk messaging

Vonage drops an embedded video conferencing tool that can live on any platform and a mass communication tool to let enterprises customize messages at scale.

Cloud communications vendor Vonage on Tuesday launched an embeddable video conferencing tool, Meetings API, and a unified automation platform for omnichannel mass messaging, Proactive Connect.

Vonage Meetings API gives enterprises a customizable video communications capability that can reside in any platform or website, letting users enter screen-to-screen meetings directly without using another app.

Proactive Connect oversees a large volume of inbound and outbound correspondence and uses an AI-backed virtual assistant for automated chats or to loop in a human agent. It also enables two-way communication with customers and gives enterprises the power to customize content, such as offers or alerts, for better personalization.

APIs versus apps

Using Vonage APIs, Proactive Connect supports external messaging over voice, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp.

Other communications platform as a service (CPaaS) vendors with user-facing products, such as Microsoft, RingCentral and Zoom, amass revenue with their finished software, said Wainhouse Research analyst Sean Spradling. But Vonage gets most of its business by selling APIs, which let companies insert communications tools into other applications.

"Vonage is a leader in CPaaS," Spradling said. "It has some finished apps as well, just as the others have APIs that can be used. But an application software business operates in a very different way than an API business."

Video calling in the same platform

Likewise, Meetings API offers customizable video conferencing that can be placed in any platform or website for a more frictionless user experience.

Meetings API lets companies very efficiently and effectively communications-enable their apps and workflows without investing in their own engineering team.
Sean SpradlingAnalyst, Wainhouse Research

"Meetings, messaging, and calling -- the main workloads of enterprise communications -- are increasingly commoditized," Spradling said. "The value isn't in the workload anymore. The value is in how the right workload is embedded in the rest of your working experience, the interconnection of communications, and productivity."

The low-code tool means less reliance on developers for setup, he said.

"Meetings API lets companies very efficiently and effectively communications-enable their apps and workflows without investing in their own engineering team," Spradling said. "Democratizing the ability to communications-enable customer or employee experiences opens the door to digital transformations that were out of reach for many companies in the past."

Meetings API offers basic unified communications platform features, including chat, whiteboards, screensharing and recording.

Its user interface is modifiable and lets vendors pick from various themes and languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian-Portuguese, German, Catalan, French and others. Meetings API also lets businesses integrate branding that fits with the company's design aesthetics.

Options to bolster security in Meetings API include passwords, private meeting access, meeting locking, joining before host, waiting rooms, background blurring and HIPAA-compliant technology for telemedicine applications.

Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.

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