Microsoft launches Azure Communications, adds VoIP, video, and messaging

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Microsoft has revealed Azure Communication Services (ACS), a new platform that it says will enable developers to add video and voice communications, instant chat, and SMS features to mobile, desktop, and web apps. 

The first fully-managed cloud-based platform of its kind, ACS promises to advance customer engagement and provide next-gen customer support functions. As with other business phone systems, the technology streamlines communications, in this case via the same infrastructure used by Microsoft Teams. 

This secure network has proven reliability, is GDPR-friendly, boasts low-latency, and automatically scales depending on demand. Developers can create new workflows through user-friendly APIs and SDKs and utilize other existing Azure protocols too. 

User-friendly APIs

ACS will also allow developers to create multi-channel voice and video calling functions, personalized instant chat features, SMS capabilities, and inbound and outbound phone services. APIs can be accessed in multiple languages and SDKs are available in JavaScript, Java, .NET Core, and Python. On the client-side both iOS and Android SDKs are available. 

“Our goal is to meet businesses where they are and provide solutions to help them be resilient and move their business forward in today's market,” said Scott Van Vliet, Corporate Vice President of Intelligent Communications at Microsoft. 

“We see rich communication experiences—enabled by voice, video, chat, and SMS—continuing to be an integral part in how businesses connect with their customers across devices and platforms.”

Although the full platform won’t be available to try out until October, developers are able to experiment with ACS APIs for voice and video calls and instant chat using samples available on the ACS GitHub page.

Kieron Allen

Kieron is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade of experience writing for magazines in print and online. Today, his focus is on cybersecurity, blockchain, and emerging tech.