This is part of a broad range of APIs offered by Deutsche Telekom and basically gives developers using the DT network access to the full range of Tropo.com capabilities. As they note on the page, you can:
- Make & receive phone calls from within any web browser or application
- Run Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) applications with speech recognition (ASR) and Text-to-Speech (TTS)
- Send SMS out of CRM applications
- Create conference calls with up to 50 participants
Basically create any kind of "voice mashup" you can think of. I would also note that Tropo supports multiple languages for speech recognition and text-to-speech, a fact that may appeal to European developers.
Now why would a developer want to use "Telekom Tropo" versus just "regular" Tropo? The answer seems to be that DT takes care of all the billing integration and makes it easy for developers to charge for their services. From what I can see, all that billing integration is handled directly by Deutsche Telekom.
Now, obviously, this only works on the DT network, but that network is quite large throughout Europe at around 93 million subscribers.
In reading the Telekom Tropo API Q & A, too, I found an interesting note:
Telekom Tropo is hosted in Telekom data centes in Germany and therefore fulfills the highest European security and privacy standards..
Which means to me that the Voxeo Labs team made it possible for the Tropo server-side software to run directly within a mobile operator's network. This could lead to very interesting business models more where mobile operators could easily deploy Tropo capabilities to their developers as the Deutsche Telekom team has done.
Congrats to the Tropo and Deutsche Telekom teams on this news and I look forward to learning about what developers build now that this capability has been brought into DT's "developer garden"!
UPDATE: BusinessWeek is reporting today that Deutsche Telekom announced a partnership with MasterCard and is in talks with Google - both about adding partners to its mobile payment system.
[Full Disclosure: I was employed by Voxeo from October 2007 to September 2011 and participated in the launch of Tropo.com several years ago. However, I wouldn't write about it if I didn't think what they are doing is cool!]
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