At the All About the API 2016 show in Las Vegas, I got a chance to catch up with keynoter Davide Petramela to talk about Zang. The company is a division of Avaya focusing on Platform as a Service – it isn’t unlike Nexmo or Twilio, but the difference may be the Avaya (News - Alert) tie-in, meaning the company can draw on years of telecom heritage and experience.
His keynote focused on Disrupting the Pace of Innovation: "The next level of innovation in the digital economy is driven by the ability to embed communications right into cloud-based applications. Zang is on the forefront with dramatically simple tools and APIs that enable developers and designers to build their vision in a heartbeat."
In a separate conversation, he told me the company wants to double down on the concept of open APIs and make development as easy as possible. He wants a line-of-business owner to be able to develop apps. This echoed the sentiments of Gareth Smith of Microsoft (News - Alert) who said in his keynote, “Citizen developers will grow as IT becomes more pervasive in the enterprise.”
Davide stressed that, using Zang, developers can focus on the UI and build solutions on a globally accessible cloud with security and user-authentication built-in, adding that Zang’s goal is to make the cloud as open as possible by exposing the APIs to the platform and to the applications built on the platform.
“Without APIs, products are useless,” he exclaimed.
For instant, if a company is using Salesforce and, in a meeting, is able to build a virtual meeting room that connects to Salesforce, it has instantly created functionality to allow the team to set up and execute the campaign while in the meeting, saving precious time and resources. Using Zang’s APIs, he said, you can add a meeting room easily, allowing you to communicate in text and then escalate to video.
He also cited Zuzapp, a mobile customer engagement and messaging app used by hotels, noting that the company can focus on the UI while letting Facebook (News - Alert) and others handle social and Zang handle communications.
Zang uses open REST APIs, which are comparable to those used by others in the space and pricing is comparable. The company’s new Engagement Designer has a drag-and-drop interface which means easier app development in the future. In fact, several new products are in the works – video rooms, contact center and a full-service cloud, to name a few.
APIs aren’t new, but there seems to be a law similar to Moore’s Law at work – meaning APIs building on each other are ever-more powerful. If I were to formalize it, Tehrani’s API Law says APIs are at least twice as powerful each year for similar or lower cost.
And this is the point of Zang and, frankly, many other companies providing programming interfaces. Davide said developers can now focus on the UI and let others handle things like CRM, communications and many other services.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi