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Google expands UC reach with API platform buy, Box partnership

In UC news, Google is expanding its UC capabilities with a Box partnership and API acquisition, while a survey found mobile app design for wearables is a challenge.

Google is expanding its unified communications capabilities by partnering with Box and acquiring API platform Apigee Corp.

Google is set to acquire Apigee in a $625 million deal that's expected to close by the end of the year. Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google's cloud business, said the acquisition was motivated by organizations moving away from traditional modes of communication, such as phone calls, and toward "communicating programmatically through APIs."

Apigee's API platform, which has been deployed by Walgreens and AT&T, should help Google support its cloud business customers and implement APIs with its services, Greene said. APIs allow a company's back-end services to talk to the mobile and web-based apps used by its customers and partners.

The partnership with Box will offer new integrations between Box, Google Docs and Google Springboard.

The integration between Box and Google Docs will make Box a third-party storage service, and it will allow users to create and edit Google documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly from Box. The integration between Box and Springboard, Google's enterprise digital assistant and search tool, will allow users to search for information stored across the Google Apps suite and Box.

Twilio API platform offers enterprise capabilities

Twilio Inc. has announced new capabilities to support security, access management and administration requirements for enterprises that are using its API platform to build cloud communication services.

The Twilio Enterprise Plan includes:

  • Single sign-on. SSO offers IT departments more secure management for employee access to Twilio services, and it allows departments to use their existing identity management system to add and remove access credentials.
  • Role-based access control. IT can create roles and permissions specific to a company's use of Twilio. Active Directory integration allows users and privileges to be synchronized with existing tools that IT uses to manage permissions across all apps.
  • Auditing. A managed changelog and SIEM-capable API enables compliance personnel to stay informed of important security-sensitive actions, such as password updates.
  • Public key client validation. IT departments can upload their server's public key to Twilio, which validates that every REST-based API request is coming from an approved business app.
  • Segmented billing and usage. Billing and usage data can be structured in a way that maps to a business' organizational structure by separating logs and attributing expenses on a business unit level.

Wearables challenge mobile app design

A survey of mobile app developers found wearable and connected devices are proving to be a challenge for mobile app design and development.

Of the 230 respondents, 69% of designers and 65% of developers believe mobile app design and development for wearables and connected devices are a challenge, and they will continue to be one for the next 12 months.

The main reasons for frustration with wearable app development are a lack of clear vision among stakeholders, as well as the complexity of designing and developing apps for multiple devices and platforms, according to the survey from enterprise mobility provider Kony Inc.

For developers, the lack of time and resources and the complexity of omnichannel development were the top barriers during the development stage of mobile app projects. For designers, designing apps for multiple devices and platforms, as well as meeting end-user demand for new app features, are the top barriers for mobile app design.

Next Steps

Google UC offers strong collaboration, mobile features

Wearable devices lack apps, despite use cases

Twilio API platform embeds UC in business apps

Dig Deeper on Communication Integration with Enterprise Applications

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I just don’t get the appeal of Box. I’ve used it, but I’m just not impressed.
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