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Angel.com: Making it in a Voice 2.0 World

Angel.com is a new breed of hosted VoIP service provider. They don’t provide hosted business telephony service, but rather they provide a hosted IVR capability.  With Angel.com, any business, large or small, can deploy sophisticated voice applications, ranging from simple auto attendents, to credit card processing, database systems, call centers, outbound IVR and more.

Following the Voice 2.0 conference on Monday,  Angel.com VP Sam Aparicio dropped by the iotum offices to discuss his solution with us.  What impressed me the most about his business was this:

  1. They’ve built a sophisticated, but easy to use, front end for creating IVR applications.  Form based, it allows anyone, from novice to expert, to create an application.  Once complete, it generates VoiceXML which can then be run, or customized further by a VoiceXML jockey.  It provides the right balance between the complete flexibility of VoiceXML, and the usability required to get people running quickly.
  2. They’ve clearly thought through the implications of Voice 2.0 architectures also.  For instance, applications are extensible through web services interfaces for mash-ups with other network services.  Moreover, Angel.com itself exposes a web services interface, so that remote applications (like iotum, for instance) can manipulate the call path directly, allowing for the creation of many kinds of solutions using Angel.com to originate and terminate calls.
  3. The business model is designed to target even the smallest businesses. Built on the Nuance platform, Angel gives tiny businesses access to very sophisticated capabilities.  For a low (sub $100) monthly fee, even a 5 person travel agency can have a high end call management solution, with advanced speech services.  Angel provides the DIDs, and application platform.  You just tell it where to terminate the calls.

Angel.com is a poster-child Voice 2.0 company.  A hosted solution, with XML based web services interfaces, and a programmability model designed to attract the long tail of voice solutions, they are also a terrific success story. With 1600 customers today, and over 10,000 applications running on their platform, they’re living proof of the viability of Voice 2.0 businesses.

Thanks for dropping by, Sam. 

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • rocky October 23, 2006, 5:36 am

    Check out ifbyphone for this!

  • Aswath October 23, 2006, 7:33 am

    Shouldn't a hosted application, ipso facto be disqualified for the Voice 2.0 moniker? After all the intelligence has moved to the end.

  • Alec October 23, 2006, 8:36 am

    Hi Aswath! I think I've expressed this opinion before, but if not, here goes. There are applications that make sense in the network, and there are applications that make sense on the endpoint. IVR is definitely a "makes sense in the network" application to me. Following that, it's simply a matter of deciding whether you want the IVR on prem, or you want to use someone else's IVR on demand. To me, what's exciting about the Angel solution is the web services interface. If you go back to the Web 2.0 manifesto, it talks about the use of XML programming interfaces to give programmatic access to some of these shared services. That, in my opinion, is a big step forward.

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