tropo Dont accept vendor lock ins! Voxeo open sources Tropo, its cloud based telephony service.

Today the world’s largest provider of VoiceXML hosting, Orlando based Voxeo Inc., announced its plans to fully open source the technology stack that drives their Tropo.com offering.

Here at The Next Web we regularly cover innovative services that bridge the voice and the Web world. Writing voice driven applications has long been a niche discipline as it required solid understanding of VoiceXML. This changed when Voxeo introduced Tropo.com earlier this year. In a nutshell it allows developers to write powerful telephony applications using their language of choice (currently Groovy, JavaScript, Python, PHP and Ruby with potentially more languages to come).

Given the exponential growth of cloud services, industry thought leaders warn about their “natural tendency toward monopoly”. Richard Stallmann, founder of the Free Software Foundation, pointed to the potential risks of cloud services back in 2008 as being “just as bad as using a proprietary program.”

With Voxeo’s move to fully open source the code that forms Tropo.com, the company clearly positions itself against locking customer into a single vendor’s platform. People will literally be able to create their very own Tropos should they ever decide to take their services off the Voxeo platform and put it onto their own servers (or those of other providers).

Voxeo’s Dan York told The Next Web:

“Customers need to have an open, interoperable cloud so that they have freedom of choice. From our perspective, we’d rather compete on who has the best hosting platform and the best customer service versus who can do the best job of locking customers in to proprietary protocols.  We think that’s the best for customers and the industry overall.”

The telephony industry has a long track record of trying to protect their walled gardens and is pretty famous for making customers dependent on a single vendor. We appreciate Voxeo’s clear position on contributing to the open source community and keeping services truly open.

If you’re in the business of building speech applications, checking out Tropo.com today should be a first on your list.