I attended Restconn 2017, this weblog provides quick review and some context on what it means to the industry. I’ve known Ivelin, Jean and Amit since 2004/5; they are the core team behind Mobicents (the open source project now called Restcomm) and they founded Telestax which leads Restcomm. Back in 2004/5 there were lots of open source telecom application servers thanks to Sun, Mobicents, OpenCloud, Kamailio, and many of the large vendors building SIP and / or JAIN SLEE AS (Application Servers) were trying to create an open source community around their projects. I include FreeSwitch in the list (which started a little later in 2006) as it scales to service provider numbers, while Asterisk is solidly enterprise scale as some cPaaS providers discovered 😉 If I missed you off the list, its not intentional, I’m not doing a market report here, just a quick weblog.
The test of time has meant Telestax is one of the last people standing.
Over the 13 years I’ve known the guys we’ve seen lots of ‘architecture wars’ and mis-information around SDP, SIP servlets versus JAIN SLEE, TAS, IMS MMTel, IN / NGIN (and all its variants) and the migration of ‘legacy IN’ services to IMS. That’s more or less water under the bridge. Today, service providers have a few open and closed source options for their programmable telecoms needs. More and more service providers are using open source because of economics and all the services available on those platforms. Restcomm’s time has finally come.
I attended Restconn 2017, to understand RestconnOne and its marketplace; but more importantly to meet the rapidly growing ecosystem of companies building their businesses on Restcomm. Compared to Restconn 2015, there was a doubling in the number of companies attending, a doubling of the people in Telestax, far greater diversity of industries and types of service providers in the ecosystem, and likely a couple of orders of magnitude increase in the revenues. The Restcomm community is now in a rapid growth phase as revenue momentum draws in more and more partners.
Telestax announced RestcommOne which is a cloud-based version of their platform that enables any service provider to offer to its ecosystem APIs, SDKs, GUIs, service components and fully-packaged market-ready services. This is not about making service providers competitors to Twilio. Instead its about enabling the cost effective launch of new services using voice, video and messaging (SMS and IP) – programmable telecom. Though the press chatter about APIs, the dollars are in the the services. This is an important point, focusing on APIs tramlines thinking; the business opportunities and consumption models are far greater than APIs, hence why I look at the broader programmable telecoms category.
Telestax also announced the Restcomm marketplace, I saw the embryo for this back in 2013 at the first ever TADSummit in 2013. Its a way for the Restcomm ecosystem to deliver services wherever Restcomm is deployed, and its widely deployed across most carriers, cPaaS providers (e.g. Twilio and Nexmo use them), xVNOs, enterprise vertical solution providers, enterprises themselves, and all the other emerging categories of businesses using Restcomm. Its not an app store, rather its a way to access services built on Restcomm, experiment, and pay as you grow. Its approach is open and lightweight, letting the ecosystem experiment and discover what works. This approach likely puts it on a collision path with Twilio in the future, as to maintain revenue growth and build better margins Twilio will need to focus more on the services it and its ecosystem offers.
I want to send some props out to some of the Restcomm partners I met (apologies to all the others – I was multi-tasking throughout the event so I didn’t have enough time to talk with you all):
- DataArt – if you need to build / modify services for RestcommOne or implement your own Restcomm instance DataArt (a global technology consultancy) has the world-class expertise and engineering services to make it happen.
- Hook Mobile – enabling SMS on existing numbers.
- InteliWISE.com – widely deployed chatbot platform
- iPitimi – enterprise comms provider
- Juvo – mobile financial services.
- MetTel – xVNO focused on enterprise, they’re big, this one is going to be interesting to watch.
- NTT AT – they had a great example of using WebRTC with a cute Sharp robot smartphone.
- Ovoo – lots of programmable telecoms skills, they were showing their OCS (Online Charging System) that is deployed in a tier 1 carrier, which is built on Restcomm. They will also be running TADHack Global Krakow (website coming soon).
- ProIDS – broad based enterprise / telecom integration and development skills, which of course include Restcomm. They just launched click2callme.pl that improves the way people interact with businesses (retails, services, etc.). AND that is not all, they also run TADHack Global Warsaw. AND here is their CTO Dominik Miodunka at TADSummit 2016 talking about Evolved VAS Solutions, and their CEO Irek Nowak talking about Telco-grade support for open-source.
- Simfony – IoT solution provider.
- Unifonic – cloud communications provide with an initial focus on the Middle East and Africa.
- Voxist – what voicemail should be, see Karel here at TADSummit 2016 talking about Voxist.
At TADSummit 2017 (website coming soon) you’ll be able to meet many of these ecosystem members, many other members of other ecosystems, and many consumers of these services such as xVNOs, enterprises, vertical focus service provider, and traditional carriers. TADSummit the only programmable telecom event, 2017 will be its 5th year. If you want to make a difference to your 2018 numbers, TADSummit 2017 will do it for you!