Enterprise Connect 2017 conference coverage
Reporting and analysis from IT events
Communication APIs boast a bevy of benefits, but don't expect this newfangled technology to replace unified communications completely.
Organizations and developers can embed communication APIs into existing business applications to streamline communications and workflows. As a cloud-based technology, communication APIs follow the same value proposition as other cloud products. Namely, users ordinarily don't need to worry about infrastructure, carrier connectivity or maintenance support.
Despite their advantages, communication APIs are not going to usurp prepackaged UC products, said Mark Winther, an IDC analyst. Instead, expect APIs to complement, configure and customize existing unified communications services.
On the other hand, Winther added, companies could cap their investments in preconfigured UC systems and use APIs to create customized platforms.
As a nascent technology, some questions hound communication APIs. For instance, are these tools business-grade? Can they support specific business needs, including security, compliance and auditability?
"There are questions about communication APIs," Winther said. The core customer base for APIs has been digital-native firms that wanted to grow quickly and perhaps ignored quality and compliance issues. But in the enterprise world, major banks and government agencies, for example, will think first about these enterprise-grade issues.
In the video above, Winther discussed the relationship between communication APIs and unified communications. He also examined the drawbacks of APIs, their ease of use, cost structure and the "deficit of developers" facing the API world.