Innovation Corner – All About APIs
Service Spotlight: The Phone.com API
APIs, or Application Programming Interface, are a building block of communication between various software components. API is a broad term that refers to a communications protocol that can be accessed to extend, expand or in some way better services.
- You don’t have to be a “techie” or a developer to make APIs work for you, your team, your communications, your technology and your work.
- Companies like Phone.com provide customers with the API tools and information they need. An API is like a “toolbox of opportunities” for small operations looking to do big things.
- APIs allow you to automate processes that were previously performed manually. It helps to make the more complex simpler, add speed and efficiency and eliminate waste or delay.
API is a broad term that refers a communications protocol that can be accessed to extend, expand or in some way better services.
“APIs are a standard that allow and enable communications between a program and a service,” Alon explains. “In today’s world where people provide a lot of services online and they want to integrate their services and enable people to integrate them into other services, there is a need to define what can be done and how it can be done,” he added.
“APIs take away unknowns between two computers so that they can say, in essence, ‘Let’s just talk about what we need to talk about.’”
At the end of the day, APIs create opportunities and capabilities that lead to greater efficiency, less use of valuable resources such as time or manpower and more cost-effective and sustainable growth for companies of all sizes.
How can APIs extend or expand your Phone.com service? Consider these real-world scenarios:
- SMS Autoresponder: A medical professional such as a psychiatrist receives an after-hours emergency patient text message in the middle of the night or at some other time when the doctor is unavailable. Through APIs, rules can be set up to generate an SMS autoresponder, or a text that automatically replies with something like “If this is an emergency, please call 911.”
- Voicemail to Text Response: Busy service providers such as plumbers or AC/Heating specialists receive lots of calls and voicemails during the day. Sometimes, they are on a job and just can’t get to the phone as it is ringing. Using API, they can set up automatic text (SMS) response to voicemails that acknowledge the message and promise a response soon: “I received your voicemail, and will get back to you ASAP.”
- CRM Record: As part of your lead-generating process, you can use API to create a record in your CRM (your Customer Relationship Management tool) for every inbound call based on which specific extension it comes into. So, for instance, calls that come into the marketing extension are handled one way, sales another, customer service another, and so on. All of these leads and inquiries are automatically segmented for future follow-up and use.
- Document to Dropbox Account: Each year you (or your clients) must gather paperwork for year-end accounting purposes. Instead of manually scanning, emailing, faxing or otherwise handling each and every document, APIs can be used to set up an automated process that creates a Dropbox document that is sent directly to its rightful folder, complete with a share link and notification to the person who is waiting for those documents.
As always, with all of our options and customers, we like to remind you that even if you don’t see what you are looking for, we are agile and flexible enough to create it for you out of what is already being offered – just ask!