A few months ago, when we were brainstorming Pyka, we realised that a reliable and scalable telephony system is critical. That’s when I started exploring platforms that would meet our requirement. One of the cloud telephony platforms widely recommended across various forums was Twilio. I stumbled across this amazing twilio demo and this is now my personal benchmark for a good product demo. Though I was happy with the features, outgoing calls to India were a bit expensive (about Rs.4 per call).
I came to know about TringMe, an Indian cloud telephony platform and they had better pricing and we built our proof of concept using that. We were convinced with the idea and started building the whole framework. All we wanted was to play an audio message when the user picks up the call. This wasn’t possible directly in TringMe and we had to internally place another call to achieve it. Just then, our friend Raja of Hexolabs suggested Tropo. I found Tropo simpler than Twilio and, more importantly, the pricing was attractive. Making an outbound call to a phone number and playing an audio was as simple as,
<?php call("+91955550100"); say(“welcome.mp3”); ?>
We finally decided to go ahead with Tropo for our MVP after we saw their excellent customer support. Our queries were answered within a couple of hours and this gave us complete confidence. We wanted fine-grained control on the outgoing calls as our system had to call multiple times till the user picks up the call.
After we completed the MVP pilot testing, we wanted to build a robust platform with redundancy. We had to keep the cost per call low as well. That’s when we came across Mobme, whose call rates were lower and they had a very rich response format. Their support team was responsive too. So, now we use Mobme for our voice calls for Pyka with an automatic fallback on Tropo.
Some of the interesting telephony startups that I came across during this time are Exotel, KooKoo and Miglu. Let us know if there are other interesting cloud telephony platforms that I might have missed.