This is a guest post by David Rudder, President of Reliable Response. Dave is an active member of the Twilio developer community, and his company specializes in IT emergency notification solutions.
As software consultants, we’re always looking to better our services so that they make happier customers and bring in more hours under higher rates. Most of us specialize in some way. Either we do web pages, data integration, IT support or maybe we serve some industry that is poorly served by off-the-shelf software. Voice 3.0 is a burgeoning industry which can help you, the software consultant, to expand your offerings and bring more value to your niche.
Web Services Benefit Businesses
Public web services are finally beginning to yield benefits for businesses and the software consultants that serve them. Google Maps, a leader in public web services, is being used to provide mapping capabilities to thousands of businesses. New services which make it easier for businesses to do business are cropping up every day. Just look at Programmable Web.
One of the most exciting new class of services is hosted voice services, what is now being called Voice 3.0. Companies like Twilio now allow you to connect your applications to the public-switched telephone network (PSTN). Simple examples include click-2-call, the ability to call a contact directly from a web page. Or, a fully touch-tone driven business process. I have designed apps which give mobile customers the ability to approve purchase requests in the field and apps to allow field-techs to add notes to a ticket via telephone.
Differentiate Yourself with Voice Development Skills
Writing Voice 3.0 apps gives you a cache of skills that gives you a leg-up on other developers. You can use your new voice capabilities to offer new products to existing customers or to expand your reach into customers that you couldn’t interest in the past. The barrier to entry is low, for example $5/month with Twilio (or free while you’re in development), and the skills are easy to acquire. Adding voice capabilities means your skillset is in higher demand, thus increasing the rate you can charge and decreasing the time you need to spend selling your services.
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