With backing and pipeline from Salesforce, Talkdesk appears set to soar

Call center technology isn't the most exciting of use cases, but young vendor Talkdesk isn't letting that get in the way of traction.

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Take seven-figure deals, monthly revenue over $1 million, and a strong push from Salesforce and its founder Marc Benioff, and you've got a potent recipe for success. This is the case for cloud-based call center vendor Talkdesk. The company does something simple: it allows organizations to stand up a virtual call center in a matter of minutes. With one click, Talkdesk integrates into other customer-facing solutions, such as Zendesk and Salesforce. Talkdesk itself is built on top of Twilio's increasingly broadly used communication APIs. The company picked up funding from Salesforce a few weeks ago and already has over 1,000 customers. Talkdesk is also handily moving up the food chain from SMB customers into larger enterprise deals. High-profile customers include Box, Qualys, Anki, and DoorDash.

Basically, Talkdesk takes the sort of functionality we'd have expected from an old-school PABX and call-center combination (call center, IVR, skills-based routing, and reporting) and delivers it in a single web-based interface. In doing so, it competes with a number of players: InContact, Genesys, AVOXI, VocalCom, and even support-center vendor Zendesk's own Zendesk Voice product. The idea of all of these solutions is that they make it far quicker, easier, and cheaper to stand-up and run a solution to provide high levels of customer support and personalization.

In an effort to expand their presence, Talkdesk recently introduced a free tier of product, Talkstart. Alongside the product launch, Talkdesk is partnering with a number of global accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, and venture capital firms to offer Talkdesk, for free, to emerging companies. Alongside complementary software licenses, Talkdesk is offering help with onboarding for these fledgling companies. There is an understanding here, Talkdesk itself was a startup that participated in the Dave McClure's 500 Startups program in 2011. Since then Talkdesk has scaled to 120 employees and raised $24.5 million in funding. It hasn't, however, seemed to have lost the awareness of what it takes to be a small, but growing, startup.

"As startups grow, the need to develop an excellent customer service strategy becomes absolutely critical to the acquisition and retention of customers," said Tiago Paiva, Talkdesk Co-Founder and CEO. "Leading voices in the startup space are quickly realizing that the provision of real-time, personalized support is make-or-break in the modern consumer landscape. For this reason, dozens of top VCs and accelerators, including 500 Startups, Techstars, and co.lab, are participating in the Talkstart Program to offer their associated startups one year of free Talkdesk licenses."

Have no doubt, this is a busy space, and Talkdesk has a difficult job ahead of itself to become in any way dominant. That said, the pedigree of its investors, the caliber of its partners, and its savvy targeting of the next generation of technology companies will all help it achieve its lofty goals.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.