Dialpad was one of the coolest services ever… It allowed you in the 1990s to call any number in the US for free via the web. It caught fire around the world and was one of the first viral hits on the web. If was an app, it would likely be worth north of $100 billion today but sadly, there were no ultra-successful app stores at the time. And if memory serves, our phones weren’t smart, all they did was allow us to flip them open and talk.
Craig Walker, became a founding investor in the company and later sold it to Yahoo. Later that same year, 2005, he start GrandCentral Communications with his business partner, Vincent Paquet and soon sold it to Google to be the foundation of Google Voice.
Vincent and Craig more recently saw the opportunity to disrupt enterprise communications the same way they’ve disrupted the consumer IP communications market time and time again. Their cloud-based solution has huge news – a major win, supplying communications for Motorola – 6,000 users in total. When 8×8 launched its service it focused on the SMB – likewise for many cloud vendors… It’s a big deal to have such a large customer so early in the process of launching a company.
In addition, they have changed their name back to Dialpad, after successfully purchasing the URL from Yahoo.
They also announced three experienced, high-profile additions to the team, including Morgan Norman (from NetSuite) as Vice President of Marketing, Steve Milner (from Rackspace) as Vice President of Sales and Omar Lee (of Google/YouTube) as Head of Design.
“The largest open social network is the phone — it’s how we connect across our personal and professional lives,” said Craig via a press release. “Dialpad’s approach to voice allows companies and coworkers to take greater advantage of it and always reach people on their own terms. But fully ‘socializing’ voice this way required a complete rethinking of how we present communication services to workers from any device or application. The result of this effort is our simple Dialpad.”
Vincent echoed this sentiment on a conference call interview with me where he said the enterprise has moved to the cloud but their phone systems haven’t. He went on to say in a written press release, “Our user-centric design strategy addresses the needs of the new generation of mobile and tech-savvy workers, such as those at Uber and Motorola, who want a more consumer-like communications experience at work.”
It will be interesting to see how many people remember the Dialpad name and if it resonates more than the old one. Ironically, for all the talk of how new cloud is, Dialpad was one of the first cloud communications solutions on the market – yet most people may not know it. Going forward, it will likely be the company’s mission to explain, they more or less founded this market decades ago and want to lead it today.