When my team and I started the Software-Defined Telecom movement in 2005, I had already been working remotely for 10 years. Back in 1995, working from home meant 2 analog phone lines; dial-up internet on one phone line and calls on the other. AOL Instant Messenger was still a few years away.
That may sound painful, but the good news was that it was evolving quickly. By the time I started working on FreeSWITCH, I had high-speed Internet and could spend all day collaborating on free VoIP calls but working from home was still a bit of a chore.
With the advent of our technology and the goal of changing communications, we were able to iterate quickly on a powerful platform. Our work was changing the way it was possible to communicate over the Internet, however, with great power also came the burden to simplify how it was harnessed. Not everyone wants to type commands into a terminal.
SignalWire was created to continue that tradition and help accelerate the innovation of Software-Defined Telecom. We are a fully distributed company which means we all work from anywhere and there are no permanent physical walls. Even if we grow big enough where we have many people in close proximity, it's clear there would still be a huge network of remote communications between cities all over the globe.
When we started building our global network for SignalWire, we wanted to communicate from day-to-day. We weren't satisfied with the tools that were available, that's why we started SignalWire in the first place (and FreeSWITCH before that) so naturally, we built a solution.
The key to the SignalWire vision is that we want to simplify communications with Software-Defined Telecom. We have been working on that mission tirelessly for years. The more we grow the more our own real-life experiences help make it clear how we have to design our products and services and that is exactly how SignalWire Work was born.
SignalWire Work is how we go to the office. It's born from standards with portability and security in mind. We don't think anything is worth doing if you can't do it from your phone and if you can't use APIs to make it cooler as you go. You can enter a virtual office and travel between rooms without disconnecting from any device; like a Kiosk at the Apple Store, your own personal phone, your laptop, or your new Oculus VR.
SignalWire Work is a powerful broadcast platform. In podcast mode, you can record a presentation and control the camera angles from your phone and stream the video to YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live so you can share it with your colleagues later.
When you enter a room, you can see a video preview of all the other active rooms and travel between them as easy as you could walk down the hall of a real office.
Of course, not everything in a real office is "great", so we left those parts out. (Sorry Milton, we're gonna need you to come in on Saturday)
We can use machine learning to remove background noise, detect poor network conditions and try to save your bandwidth, and text or call you when someone enters your waiting room. When you need to review a video or live stream from YouTube or your favorite camera stream you can play it and share it with your co-workers. And don't forget the use of well-timed video clips you can fire off just in time to get that office laugh.
Why can we do this and so much more? Because we have been thinking about how to make it possible since before anyone even knew it was a good idea and we built the technology platform that makes it all possible from the ground up. It's all APIs so you can interact at any level and integrate it all with your favorite call control code and office needs. Heck, you can write your own GUI if you want to. Why not?
Video has become popular lately. Anyone can go download a WebRTC demo and try to craft it into a product and those who are more fortunate can try to buy a small company to get a head start but we are developers and we put our heart and soul into our designs and products and we spend a great deal of time thinking about how developers and the many non-developers in their lives both feel at home. Basic video chat apps are one thing, but there is a big difference between "tin cans and string" and a robust IP-based high-quality communications network that evolves on a daily basis and unlocks endless-potential.
This is not a trendy new fad for us, this is our lifestyle, our heritage and we're just getting started.