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Apps Aren't Just for Smartphones - They're For Desk Phones, Too!

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Here at M5, we want to make the desk phone experience as useful and immersive as the modern smartphone experience. They may not be as sexy as their mobile counterparts, but as our CEO Dan Hoffman says, desk phones are always going to be an integral part of enterprise communications. "We see desk phones remaining in the future - they’ll just be one part of the mix [of many available communications tools]". But as TJ Thinakaran writes in a post on ReadWriteWeb, applications for voice networks have been lagging behind the innovation in the smartphone market.

Thinakaran says that voice network applications are essential to allow businesses to interact meaningfully with their customers. Desk phone apps can find data from across different sources, and display it at the right time to make the conversation more relevant and more personal. The cloud can create "the illusion of simplicity," says Thinakaran. "The tasks of setting up trunk groups, interacting with carriers, and so on are taken care of by the service provider, who in turn provides open, on-demand APIs to connect, create and execute calls." The user has to focus only on the conversation at hand.

M5 has been working hard to develop such voice applications and integrate them into our own Smart Business Phone System. "We're trying to create a comprehensive system you can access from anywhere," Hoffman says. Just last week, we launched M5 Connect, connecting web browsing directly to phone calls. All of the most utilized tools in the enterprise arsenal should be tied together. The desk phone needs to evolve along with the people who are using it.

Developers: Where Are Your Voice Network Apps?

In the race toward capitalizing on the smartphone boom, application developers are focused on creating apps for smartphones, but very little attention is being given to creating apps for the voice network.

The phone call is no longer considered sexy. However, just like the human need for conversation, the phone call is never going to go away. People will always talk, and that conversation will continue to be a perennial part of any communication strategy. Building apps for the smartphone may be cool, but building apps for the voice network is essential.

The nature of the phone call is rapidly evolving, especially as it relates to commerce. As businesses fight to stay relevant in the conversation - no pun intended - they see the value of using new data streams to access customers and utilizing existing streams effectively. They do this by using the telephone to send out a message that attracts customers.

There is a need to personalize the phone call. It's a direct response to the fact that people have little patience for the generic phone message, especially in this microblogging age. Unless it's apparent early on in the message that it was meant specifically for them, it's going to take a lot more to get the customer's attention. Not only does the phone call need to be personalized for each customer, but this personalization has to be able to scale with the business.

via Developers: Where Are Your Voice Network Apps?. Posted by TJ Thinakaran.