On Tuesday Digium (the folks behind Asterisk) pulled the curtains back on their widely anticipated Developer Central community for SwitchVox. The community, designed for developers, resellers and intergrators, provides those interested in extending the capabilities of SwitchVox the tools, tips, tricks and support necessary to do so.

SwitchVox, which was acquired by Digium a few years ago, is a feature rich small medium business VoIP system built a top of the Asterisk telephony platform. The system has won acclaim amongst businesses, resellers and the VoIP industry for it’s usability, functionality and of course affordability.

Develop custom applications for SwitchVox

Developer Central is centered around SwitchVox’s Extend API which made its debut with the not so distant release of SwitchVox SMB 4.0, the system’s latest software version. In Developer Central, one will find themselves immersed in useful information, people and of course ideas.

Developer Central focuses on four main development components:

  • An XML API
  • IVR-Web Integration
  • Event Notifications
  • Switchboard panels

Each of these unique components can be leveraged individually by third parties or in-conjunction with one another, empowering the development of simple or complex applications. With the Extend API and the help of Developer Central anything from click-to-call capabilities to the communication enhanced business processes and business systems can be accomplished.

SwitchVox resellers can now verticalize the system

In Developer Central and SwitchVox’s suite of extensions, Digium is hoping to find themselves another game changer. By once again presenting a platform to the communications industry that allows for creation of applications that meet ever changing shifts in how voice and phone systems are utilized in today’s business, they may have just found one.

With this new offering, SwitchVox resellers can now differentiate themselves within the market through the creation of specialized and or verticalize applications that can be used in conjunction with the SwitchVox system. Thus transitioning both themselves and SwitchVox from another me-too offering, to something much different.

With Developer Central SMB’s can voice enhance business processes and systems

SwitchVox resellers won’t be having all the fun. Given SwitchVox’s use of widely adopted open standards based technology (such as PHP), developing applications isn’t just for developers, resellers and integrators. Current SwitchVox and potential small business customers are now afforded the opportunity to customize their systems, satisfying their craving for something that is “built for me.”

Application marketplace still undetermined

As good as it all sounds, there is one missing piece. For all of the potential these new tools and community hold, there’s no clear path to monetization or marketplace presented to would be developers.

Similar to Asterisk, Digium has left the monetization of one’s efforts to build a top SwitchVox¬† to the individual (although there is a featured applications page). While many who will access and utilize these tools (like resellers) are well equipped to monetize their efforts, there are many a developer who is not.

Without a carrot, it could be tough for Digium to entice more mainstream developers into putting time and effort into a project, lessening the volume and innovation that could come from this (think iPhone application development).

Who will build the next killer app?

Irregardless of a viable application marketplace, the launch of SwitchVox 4.0, the Extend API and Developer Central is great news and worthy of checking out. For there is no question that the next big thing in IP communications could come out of it.

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