Eolos Meet, Building a cloud video-conference solution … but NOT from scratch!
2020 has been an unusually challenging year. Most of the companies involved in producing telecommunications software were pushed to the extreme due to an overwhelming claim from their customers: Do it remote right now!
Some of us were ready to run with this. After all, we’ve been singing this tune for a long time now. But this is easier said than done in the short term. Let’s take the case of redeploying an entire complex distributed Call-Center. This can prove to be a nightmare when forced to move your agents home where Internet service isn’t reliable.
Now the IT staff is supposed to have all the answers, right? So, let’s tackle another urgent request: video-conferencing.
We at Eolos IT Corp. have been working for over 15 years in communications-related software: Cloud PBX’s, Call Center solutions, WEBRTC video telephony and a slew of more cryptic projects deployed in closed carrier networks. But we were not ready to deploy our own video conference solution yet. Very well known players were playing this game: Webex from Cisco, Meet from Google (a.k.a Hangouts), PolyCom HW driven systems and so on.
This business scenario didn’t sound promising to us, and for this reason alone we never launched a vertical product of this kind. But as you may imagine……..COVID-19 changed everything.
Given the short timeframe we had, I decided to get my hands dirty and started digging into some GPL code from a Project I was subscribed to from the time JitsiPhone (a JAVA SIP softphone with plenty of nice features) was launched. Here they were, Jitsi video-bridge and some other collaborative projects ready for a new run. And voilá! After briefly reviewing the information at hand I found the bricks to build my new house.
Smooth path to success
I just needed some pieces to build the whole thing, although to my surprise, I was easily able to find the components needed and a high level API to glue it all together.
After less than a week I coded a functional prototype, added some features that brand new Zoom users would be expecting to find and the code was now ready to be shared with the art and development team.
Not bad for a 15 day project! Of course, the main components were extracted from the GPL Project and it helped that I was used to dealing with protocols like WEBRTC , SIP, SMPP, NAT issues and so on. Fortunately, this time I didn’t need to focus on the dirty work, I just focused on filling the gaps and building a good User experience for the WEB ( it also works on mobile browsers without a need for apps!).
Later, Sangoma followed our same path….…
It proved and easy trip and everyone’s happy, specially me. Not your normal process and outcome!