Dialpad expands cloud communications business into Japan

As a Google for Work partner, the cloud communications startup has grown at a rapid pace in a sector crowded with heavy hitters.

The development of cloud communications services has gained significant momentum this year: Tech giants like Cisco and Microsoft are regularly adding new capabilities to their enterprise collaboration tools. Twilio took its developer approach to cloud communications public this year with resounding success.

Meanwhile, amid all these headlines, the five-year old firm Dialpad has been grabbing major enterprise clients by offering a pure cloud communications platform. The company offers voice, video, instant messaging, text and online meeting tools -- free of any on-premise servers or storage, and without any need for hardwired phones.

Dialpad, with most of its original team coming from Google Voice, has raised over $53 million over three rounds of funding. As a Google for Work partner, the company has scored major customers like Uber and Motorola. In the first half of 2016, the company doubled its customer base, boasting a 170 percent year-over-year growth rate. With around 25,000 paying customers, its maturity is on par with Twilio's.

"The simple vision of Dialpad was to help every business, midsize to enterprise, connect all their employees and help them work from anywhere," explained Morgan Norman, Dialpad's vice president of marketing.

In other words, added Vincent Paquet, Dialpad's vice president of product and strategy, Dialpad will there to fill a company's communication needs as the desk phone becomes obsolete. "In three years from now, there won't be a desk phone anymore," he said.

To keep up its rapid growth, Dialpad announced Wednesday that it's bringing on former Softbank executive Tenshi Adachi as president of Dialpad Japan. The move makes Dialpad the first pure cloud communications provider to enter the Japanese market. Along with a Tokyo office, the firm is setting up two data centers in Japan.

The company on Wednesday is also rolling out 40 new enhancements to its two products -- Dialpad, which offers voice, video and messaging services for in and out of network communications, and UberConference, an enterprise-grade HD audio conferencing system. Dialpad says it's able to roll out several enhancements at once and quickly deliver new releases thanks to its reliance on the Google Cloud Platform and the WebRTC framework.

The new features include analytics for Dialpad and Uberconference, giving end users a way to understand communication patterns, as well as a way for administrators to monitor company-wide communications. Dialpad's new group messaging feature streamlines internal and external communications from any device. The company is also integrating its tools with Salesforce, making it easier to log on-call interactions while in Dialpad and automatically log inbound and outbound calls into Salesforce.

"We are fueling an unparalleled level of innovation across our Dialpad product," Paquet said. "No other company is delivering this approach, with the same complete, optimal experience for office-based, remote and mobile users. Our latest series of innovations empower customers to discard their desk phones and move away from the old players in the market, such as RingCentral and Cisco, that still leave their customers dependent an old and irrelevant desktop technology."

In case there was any doubt about workers' willingness to ditch their desk phones, Dialpad on Wednesday also released the results of a survey the company commissioned, polling more than 1,000 companies about their communications. It found that regardless of size or industry, 80 percent of companies already rely on at least some remote workers. Additionally, 67 percent say their employees are allowed to work from home.

"What we found out is the world today is your office," Norman said. That approach, he said, "is valid now in enterprise and small to mid-size businesses."

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