Choosing a voice API may seem like a daunting task. But by focusing on two things- the API itself and the API provider- it can be a manageable one. Here, we outline 6 key things to look out for when making this important decision for your business.
What makes a good Voice API?
On the API side, the primary thing to think about is usability. An API that’s hard to use, or that lacks adequate developer documentation, will extend your development cycles and eat up ROI. Here’s what to look out for:
1. An excellent developer experience
Your voice API needs rock solid developer support as your developers are the ones that are going to be working with the API. Ultimately, if you’ve hit a development snag with your voice API, your voice API provider should be there to help you get through it. With Telnyx, your developers can get on-call help from telecom applications engineers through a Slack channel, whatever time of the day or night.
2. Access to development tools
The whole point of an API is to improve efficiency and minimize your development workload. Your API provider should offer tools to help your development teams get integrations done faster.
3. SDKs and extensive developer documentation
API providers need to deliver SDKs (software development kits) that any development team can use, no matter what language they work in. If this is not on offer from an API provider, it’s a red flag. The same goes for developer documentation. If the resources aren’t available for development teams to get the information they need, it makes your voice API very hard to use.
At the end of the day, inadequate developer support and documentation is going to cost you time and money in development, and potentially lead to bugs and issues in the end user experience.
What should you look for in a voice API provider?
If you’re happy that the API provider has adequate developer support, tools and documentation you then need to evaluate the provider itself. Here are some things to note:
4. Partner with a licensed carrier, not just an API developer
A true, licensed carrier connects you to their own network. This gives you more control over the service you get from your API developer. It also means that your API provider has access to exclusive telecom databases for looking up numbers, a much deeper phone number inventory, and has a say in telephony policy negotiations.
A true carrier simply has the best leverage to provide you with excellent telecom service and go to bat for you in developing telecom policies, in addition to developing an API.
5. It’s all about the network
No matter how well-optimized your code, or how solid the API, your voice application is going to suffer if it’s not connected to a strong network. Relying on the public internet and third-party network operators to connect your voice calls, can have knock-on effects such as latency issues like lag and jitter, packet loss, and exposes your voice data to potential cyber attacks.
While third-party networks can be better than using the open internet, it means the API developer has very little—if any—power to fix connection issues when they arise, because they don’t control the third-party networks.
Working with an API provider who owns and operates their own network and never connects calls through the public network or third-party operators can provide a solution to these problems.
6. You'll need support, 24/7/365
If you have a problem with your voice API, you need it solved now. Otherwise, your app could be out of commission for hours or days. This is why your API provider needs to deliver around-the-clock support, so you can keep your application running around the clock.
And that’s it! If you check these six points as you evaluate API providers, you’ll make the best choice and get the best results in your products.
Making the decision
A voice API can unlock unrivaled agility in your business. There’s simply no substitute for being able to build voice connectivity into any app or technology stack. But you only get this power and agility if you choose the right voice API. So check your voice API provider and see if they meet these standards before you start building on their API.
To read more about choosing the right voice API and to see how you can build your voice apps with the Telnyx Voice API, download our free eBook here.
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