Dialpad Adds Features to Cloud-Based Communications Platform

As the business grows and the company expands its global reach, Dialpad officials see the end coming for traditional desk phones.

cloud communications

Dialpad officials are on a mission to enable businesspeople to break away from their traditional desk phones for good.

The 5-year-old company, founded primarily by people who used to work on Google Voice and which is a member of the Google for Work program, offers businesses a portfolio of cloud-only collaboration tools such as voice, video, text and instant messaging that does not need any on-premises hardware—including desk phones. It also offers a product called UberConference, an enterprise-grade, high-definition audio conferencing system that requires no PINs or downloads and enables screen sharing and call controls from any device.

Now the company is touting the rapid growth it's seen in the past several months, is expanding its business into Japan and is releasing an array of enhancements that touch on analytics, new devices and integration with Salesforce.

The goal is to make it as simple as possible for enterprises to adopt the communication and collaboration tools they need at a time when their workforces are becoming more mobile, the number of connected devices are proliferating and they're continuing to migrate to the cloud, according to Vincent Paquet, vice president of product at Dialpad and a co-founder of Google Voice.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 business professionals by Dialpad found that more than 80 percent of companies have a remote workforce, and that the percentage is expected to grow over the next three to five years. In addition, 59 percent of respondents said that the desk phone is outdated, even though 66 percent said their employers still provide them with one. The usefulness of the desk phone is coming to an end, Paquet told eWEEK.

"That is the goal of Dialpad, to get people away from the desk phone," he said, noting that even those Dialpad users who initially keep hold of their desk phone "end up going to the [vendor's] laptop app. … All of this is really part of the push to get people off the desk phone. Today's needs are very different than they were 30 years ago."

The communication and collaboration market is evolving rapidly to address the demand from businesses for cloud- and software-based solutions, with established vendors rapidly building out their portfolios and newer companies like Blue Jeans Network, Vidyo and Fuze offering software- and cloud-only products.

Dialpad officials said the demand from enterprises for cloud-only solutions is helping to fuel rapid growth in their business. Dialpad, which has raised more than $53 million over several rounds of financing, said that it has seen a 70 percent year-over-year growth rate and now has more than 25,000 customers, doubling its customer base in the last six months. The company's platform has handled more than 1.7 billion voice minutes, and 85 percent of users are no longer using desk phones, officials said.

It also has a broad array of new high-profile customers, including Uber, TED Talks, U.S. Security Associates and Denison University. Dialpad already included Netflix, Fairchild Semiconductors and Second City as existing customers.

At the same time, the company is expanding its business into Japan, hiring former Softbank executive Tenshi Adachi as president and country manager of Dialpad Japan.

Among the 40 new enhancements introduced by Dialpad are analytics capabilities for both Dialpad and Uberconference by Dialpad. Through the feature, business users gain visibility into how the services are being used and see patterns—such as who the callers are, when the calls are being made, both internal and external message—that enable them to better plan their workdays, officials said. Administrators get insights into such data as who is using voice, messaging and meetings and from where they're using the services.

In addition, the company is releasing Dialpad for Apple's iPad, rolling out group messaging—including chat and text to anyone—and integration with Salesforce, which makes it easier for marketing and service employees to log on-call interactions while in Dialpad and automatically logging inbound and outbound calls into Salesforce applications.

Dialpad also is offering call blocking and spam filtering as well as voicemail transcription capabilities.