App Creation: Durham College Students Are Using Zang Cloud in a Rewarding Way!

Posted by Alex Misevski on December 21, 2016

We’ve always touted Zang’s all-in-one platform, Zang Cloud, as a simple but elegant way to add communication tools to applications—even for non-developers. But we hadn’t foreseen that undergrads could also appreciate the technology and take advantage of an opportunity to put it to good use. Yet, when the occasion arose, we were delighted to participate in a two-week competition for Ontario colleges geared toward educating and engaging young people in modern technology, specifically unified communications (UC).

That the team taking first place honors employed our Zang APIs/SDKs and development environment is just icing on the cake. Click here to read the press release on Avaya.com. 

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The competition—the Maker Challenge, hosted by the Society of Communication Technology (SCTS)—invited students to test their skills by developing an application, extension or enhancement of a vendor’s UC-as-a-service (UCaaS) offering. The three vendors participating in the challenge were Cisco, Interactive Intelligence and Avaya, with UCaaS products Spark, Pure Cloud and Zang, respectively.

The Avaya Zang team from Durham College came away victorious with an application created to connect Active Directory users to Zang Cloud accounts using short message service (SMS). The benefit to users is the ability to communicate with servers even where Wi-Fi is unavailable—like from a tropical beach. The judges were impressed by the way the app solves a real-life problem.

The Zang app allows users to apply triggers and alarms to their mobile and Web portals so they can be alerted to any issues with their organization’s Active Directory database, which tracks user accounts and passwords. Users can then easily control the Active Directory through SMS commands, or simply click on a link provided in the text to log into their mobile client or portal to respond to and manage alerts.

Consumer applications are influencing the business space today in ways unheard of just five years ago. Young people, having been raised in a digital world, are entering the workforce never suspecting that access to their digital tools—their devices and apps—might be limited. They want a work-life balance that incorporates being on the go, including working remotely from their mobile devices. UC augments access to modern technology—such as video, voice and data—mitigating this dilemma.

Most students are unfamiliar with UC technology, so, in a way, unready for the real world. The vendor participants sought to familiarize the youth with UC, both to prepare them for their futures and to gain fresh eyes and innovative insights into their products and services.

The Zang platform helps users automate workflows, removing barriers for businesses striving to incorporate mobile, cloud and social into their communication strategies. Users—even those with no expertise in programming—are given the guidance and support they need to move smoothly through the app creation process, just as the Maker Challenge demonstrates.

Business leaders are leveraging Zang’s 100 percent cloud-based easy-to-use drag-and-drop tools, prebuilt apps and robust APIs means to develop custom communication solutions that improve the customer experience. The platform supports today’s tech-savvy customers who expect seamless interactions from the Web to their personal devices with the click of a button or two.

As part of the Maker Challenge winning team, Zang EVP Davide Petramala, explained how the Durham College team was able to utilize Zang technology to quickly develop a successful app. “In the old days, the process would take a year, starting with learning the technology and acquiring the necessary equipment. Now, since development is based on REST APIs, app creation can be accomplished in one day, and the app made available globally in two weeks.”

Companies across all verticals have come to realize that their expansion hinges on opening their internal APIs to the developer community, ushering in the new API economy. Zang leads the way, offering up an easy-to-use yet highly scalable collaboration platform for voice, video and SMS via open APIs. For more information on how you can leverage Zang Cloud technology, click here.

Topics: Ideas, Use Cases, cPaaS