Ribbit Rolls VOIP for Salesforce.com

Ribbit for Salesforce converts voice to text and puts the data right into Salesforce.

Fresh out of a beta test in which 70 businesses used its inaugural product, Ribbit made its voice application available to all Salesforce.com customers in the United States and added voice automation memos April 30.

Ribbit for Salesforce goes beyond traditional VOIP (voice over IP) services like Skype and phone number integration technologies like Google's GrandCentral by melding mobile voice communications with Salesforce.com's software-as-a-service CRM (customer resource management) application.

Written by a Salesforce.com consultant using Ribbit's open API, Ribbit for Salesforce clones users' mobile phones online in Salesforce.com and enables users to update computer records by phone and integrate voice and messages into their workflow.

Ribbit for Salesforce also converts voice to text and puts the data right into Salesforce. With the voice automation feature, users can call in to the application and view task lists and agendas or even initiate an entire approval process from their mobile phones, then view the results in the application on their PCs upon returning to the office.

Also, instead of getting together in a boardroom or hopping on a telephone-supported conference, users can communicate with each other through Ribbit on their computers over Skype VOIP and VOIM (voice over instant messaging) platforms such as MSN and Google Talk.

This is done through Ribbit's hosted SmartSwitch software, which sits on Linux-based servers and ultimately connects to the Web browser.

Open from the start

With Ribbit for Salesforce, the phone and browser connection was the primary function out of the gate. But Ribbit CEO Ted Griggs noted that thanks to the augmented partnership between Salesforce.com and Google, Ribbit was able to bring voice into the mix instead of just text messaging through Google Talk.

"Things are kind of swirling around us that even we're not aware of that are making the whole ecosystem better," Griggs said, adding that businesses are already paying $25 per seat per month for one- or three-year contracts with Ribbit.

Ribbit is also unique in that from its launch in January the company allowed application developers to build apps off of its telephone-plus-software platform. Now there are over 4,000 programmers toying with the platform, the company said.

Other Internet companies, most notably Facebook and MySpace, waited a few years to open up their platforms to allow third-party development.