Software developers who need to integrate voice with web applications might welcome
BT's £52.5m acquisition of Ribbit Corporation, a Silicon Valley developer of software tools.
BT will add Ribbit's platform to its 21st Century Network systems development kit (SDK). Ribbit's platform enables developers to add voice and automation features to virtually any web-based application or community. Some 9,000 developers have registered to use the telco's current SDK.
Developers have already used Ribbit to integrate voice into Salesforce.com and built voice applications that run directly from Facebook or iGoogle.
Software firm TierLinear has used the tools to add voice and SMS capabilities to BT BizBox. BizBox is a web-based set of productivity and CRM tools for small to mid-sized businesses BT launched in August 2007. More than 450 firms from small grocers to mid-sized technology firms are using it to give managers snapshots of their businesses.
The tools summarise customer interactions, meeting minutes, individual and team tasks, notes, calendars, HR records and invoices, among others. BizBox is available via any internet-enabled device.
BT developers used the SDK to add a click-to-call feature to its BT Tradespace social business network. This lets customers contact local traders. Some 89,000 businesses from florists to plumbers have joined since the launch in April 2007.
Ribbit said thousands of developers are using its products. It has also developed products for the enterprise software market, and has begun testing a consumer application it plans to launch later this year.