Venture Watch: Three Companies That Will Change Your Business - Page 4

Five9 Communications

Continuing the theme of software as a service, this new company applies VOIP (voice over IP) to virtualizing call centers.

As regular readers know, Im a big fan of the transformational effects of SIP-based VOIP technology. Its changing the telecommunications industry dramatically, using inexpensive boxes and edge-based call routers.

But in addition to enabling Vonage and AT&T Advantage style services, its also providing big benefits to call centers.

Historically, inbound and outbound call centers relied on expensive solutions that integrated computers with PBXs and telephony switches. But with VOIP and SIP, all you need to do is add a little bit of smarts to a dumb box, stick it on the Internet, and now you can virtualize the call center for much, much less.

Five9 Communications provides a hosted app that provides very sophisticated call center capabilities to small and midsized businesses. Setup is pretty easy. Simply put a small black gateway SIP box at each desk—and plug into the companys service. Because VOIP and SIP work over the Internet, your work force can be anywhere—at home, in another country or in a central office.

The Five9 Virtual Contact Center provides automatic call distribution among those connected boxes, along with predictive dialing, interactive voice response, call routing based on operator skills, and centralized billing and management.

Five9 levels the playing field, according to Kertzmann. "Small to midsized companies can now afford the functionality and capability that was only available to large companies" in the past, he said.

It sounds like a decent solution for companies trying to compete with the big boys, whether youre an e-commerce play going up against Amazon or a software company providing product support. For more information head to www.five9.com.

Next page: Three more to explore.