Genband gets sweet on Kandy, hopes telcos will too

ORLANDO, Fla.--Genband gave Perspectives 14 attendees here a sneak peak at its Kandy offering, which is intended to enable carriers and enterprises to quickly and cost-effectively add value for their customers.

Paul Pluschkell, shown on the big screen, demonstrated use cases for Kandy.

Paul Pluschkell demonstrates use cases for Kandy.

In a nod to Star Trek, the company repeated the mantra "resistance is futile" in its references to Kandy, meaning "we feel like this is the future of communications," said Brad Bush, chief marketing officer at Genband. Kandy allows developers to incorporate voice, video, collaboration, SMS, WebRTC, mobile, analytics and conferencing into their apps.

In a performance that conjured up images of The Jetsons, Genband used a keynote stage to introduce the virtues of Kandy. Paul Pluschkell, EVP of strategy and cloud services at Genband, delivered the one-two punch wearing oversized white-rimmed glasses and kicking off a series of demonstrations showing how it can be used in new business models.

Pluschkell, who was founder and CEO of Spigit before it became part of Mindjet, joined Genband earlier this year and spearheaded what became Kandy. According to Bush, "we put Kandy in its own little bubble and put cloud stuff with it and we put WebRTC with it and we said: 'Go build something fun that solves these problems,' because we knew what problems we were trying to solve."

Kandy takes WebRTC and other Genband assets and makes a "true easy-to-use, plug-and- play developer toolkit," both on mobile and the web, for communications applications. It's similar to Twilio in some respects but attempts to go beyond that to target telcos that have reliability, security and carrier-grade requirements.

Genband did not make a formal announcement about Kandy, relying on attendees' word of mouth and social media like Twitter to get the word out. "What we didn't want to do with Kandy was go out to the public too soon," Bush said. "It's not launched."

That said, the company expects to have something ready for the public by September. "We have a real product with real customers using it and real use cases being developed on it, but what we don't have yet is all the bells and whistles of being able to sign people up and do billing and all the other infrastructure that goes around that, so we're working on that," Bush said.

In a perfect world, "we want all of our customers to run through Kandy," he said. "We want to appeal to our service providers and our traditional customers." In the meantime, the company also would like to encourage end developers to get involved. "We would love to see a groundswell" developers building for it inside the telcos and the enterprises and on their own, starting new companies using it.

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