Telo is a company out of Atlanta that has been creating APIs that help businesses since 2011. When I first heard about them I was intrigued by the work they were doing and was fortunate enough to video chat with the founders. I was excited to learn more about the technology they were building and what exactly they do. Although I like technology and want to learn a lot more, I’ll admit it can sometimes be hard to understand, so a good place to begin is on their about page on telo.com:
"Telo pioneered the first developer friendly telephony data API in 2011 with the launch of OpenCNAM. Since then, Telo has expanded its developer focused product line to include EveryoneAPI, a highly advanced reverse phone append API, and released subsequent versions of OpenCNAM extending Caller ID coverage to include over 200 countries. Today, Telo is committed to leading data services innovation by providing APIs that supply systems worldwide with information that is rooted in exhaustive research and avant-garde intelligence.”
The first thing you’re probably wondering is “What is an API?”. In short, an API is the messenger that takes request and tells a system what it is you are trying to do. Think of an API like a waiter in a restaurant. You sit at a table with a menu of choices. The kitchen is in the back of the restaurant waiting for orders to fill. The waiter writes down your request or order and takes it back to the kitchen to prepare. It then brings the fulfilled request or order back to you.
You use APIs every day without even knowing it. If you Google or type into something like Kayak, “flights to New York” their website is using the API from Delta, United, and other airlines' websites to pull information like travel times and prices.
Here’s what's cool about Telo, they developed the first API that does this with telephone numbers. OpenCNAM (CNAM is just an acronym for Caller ID Name) does this with caller ID. You can try it here with your phone number! EveryoneAPI does this but is next level. Here’s a list of information it can pull from a phone number when someone calls a business:
- Name (Name of person or business)
- Profile (Social data)
- Address (full address including city, state, zip, and even geocoordinates associated with the number)
- Location (Latitude and longitude)
- Line Provider
- Original Carrier
- Linetype (landline or mobile)
You can imagine how useful this information would be to businesses. There are many ways to apply this technology to business and I’m not aware of all of them, but two businesses that are currently using Telo’s API are Nomorobo and Calltrackingmetrics. Nomorobo uses this information to identify spam callers and block unwanted robocalls. CallTrackingMetrics uses Telo’s API to streamline a business's call center and provide keyword attribution which helps them calculate ROI. I’d suggest checking out each of these websites!
It is a fascinating field and one I’m just starting to wrap my head around but it was cool to learn about an innovative company based in Georgia doing such great work.