Start-up Ribbit hops into Web telephony

Adobe Systems Flash-based service, already integrated with Salesforce.com, lets developers embed voice services into Web applications.

Ribbit on Monday announced details of its Web-based telephony business, which includes a developer platform and plans for a voice service for consumers next year.

The company has built a telephony switch that can connect Web-based phone calls to a variety of phone networks, including voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, services like Skype.

Ribbit has already integrated it voice service with Salesforce.com. Ribbit

As previously reported , developers can access those voice services through Flex-based application programming interfaces (APIs) and with Adobe Systems' Flash browser plug-in.

Through the APIs, developers can add the ability to send and receive calls from a Web application and transcribe a voice message into text.

By having APIs available to others, the company hopes to create a rich set of features on top of its voice platform, according to company CEO Ted Griggs.

It also intends to make its own applications, including a consumer voice service, which it plans to introduce in the first quarter of 2008.

Ribbit has already integrated its service with Salesforce.com. It lets people keep a log of calls made to sales contacts, as well as view voice mail and e-mail messages.

The company intends to make money by charging directly for its voice service or sharing revenue with partners that use its platform to embed voice services, executives said.

In a demo, company executives showed how its voice component can be operate within a Web page. The phone pad appears as a small window that can be moved.

The company chose to build its platform using Adobe front-end Web technology, even though Adobe, too, is building peer-to-peer voice capabilities into Flash with a product code-named Pacifica.

Ribbit's Griggs said Ribbit has built on top of lower-level services with more traditional telephony services, including billing.

 

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