Disruptive Dialpad Kills Off the Cost for Small Business Phone Systems
Dialpad announces the new FREE version of their software
A company known for their unique approach to pure-cloud communications, Dialpad have long highlighted their aim to “kill” the standard desk phone. Now, it appears the company will be taking steps to bring an end to the average phone bill too, with their new “Dialpad FREE” service for small businesses.
The latest service could bring the monthly phone bill for start-ups and growing companies down to practically zero, just in time for the festive season. If you’ve got fewer than five employees to connect with in your organisation, then you can tap into the free Dialpad solution, without any strings attached or hidden expenses. What’s more, the system offers everything you might expect from the standard phone service, except for E911.
We spoke to Amanda Bourque, project manager for Dialpad, and Dialpad FREE to find out more about the recent release.
What Pushed Dialpad to Offer a Free Version?
Today, while technology continues to evolve in the business space, voice continues to be a critical tool in any environment. That means organisations need to make sure that they’re running on a stable, reliable platform. Dialpad began their journey into the communication world with their cloud-based UberConference – something that the brand continues to use today. However, in 2015, they officially launched “Dialpad” in an effort to kill the desk phone for good.
Dialpad is unique because they have the power to get their customers up and running on a cloud-based system quickly and effectively. For instance, they managed to get Motorola on the cloud within less than a day. I asked Amanda why they made the decision to give away a free version of their software when they were already such a competitive business.
“Our CEO Craig (Walker) was very passionate about this idea. We felt like we were in a position where we had built a platform that customers were happy with, and we wanted to do something unprecedented in today’s business world. Craig felt that it’s tough to start a business in the first place – the last thing you want to worry about is spending $200 on a phone system. This free option is kind of our way of giving something back to small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
From a business growth perspective, the free option will allow Dialpad to tap into the mass-market. Amanda told me:
“Our economics are very sound, and we can limit our feature sets easily while keeping costs low. We feel that the upside of offering this free system is that we’re bypassing one of the most difficult barriers in moving to the cloud – the cost risk. We’re giving people a chance to try something for free, then upgrade when they know they’re getting value back from their new strategy.”
What Can We Expect from Dialpad FREE?
Dialpad is in a great position to offer their customers a free service because they’re positioned in the cloud industry. They already have a wide range of both modern, and traditional enterprises and companies that use their services every day. By offering a free service, Dialpad will now also be able to work with smaller companies as they start to grow.
“We tried to make Dialpad FREE as simple and elegant as possible, so that small businesses could have an easy way to tap into high-quality voice on any device. What we’re trying to do is give people a free phone system, with no strings attached. You can download and use it from anywhere.”
The FREE subset of the award-winning business phone system comes with a wide range of features, including:
- The choice to take a local phone number, or keep your existing phone number
- Five user access reachable through extensions
- An additional room line separate from those five users
- 100 Outbound minutes each month
- Unlimited Inbound minutes
- 100 SMS messages (Inbound and Outbound)
- LinkedIn and G Suite Integration for access to contact information
- Free UberConference accounts for all 5 accounts
- HD calling
- Analytics – voice recording and more to determine peak times in terms of traffic, etc.
What’s the Goal of Dialpad FREE?
Dialpad will be using their free solution to target small businesses and give them an opportunity to simplify communication while maintaining a professional appearance.
“Professional solutions like Dialpad can help smaller companies to scale over time without spending too much money. By working with start-ups and smaller companies, we can grow with them throughout the years.”
Dialpad FREE offers the same self-service simplicity that you would expect from the standard software, and it also taps into G Suite integration, making the most of the strong relationship the brand holds with Google. As companies grow, they can choose to upgrade their package to standard, pro, or enterprise, depending on their needs.
I asked Amanda why Dialpad chose to partner with Google, and she told me that there were two reasons:
“First of all, it helped us from a fraud perspective. It’s much easier to filter people out by looking at who’s paying for their email service. The second thing is that G Suite integration allows customers to really make the most of the wide range of services we can offer.”
Importantly, Amanda went on to note that while the company is starting off with a G Suite integration, they’re not going to be restricted to Google in the long-term.
“We’ll be launching Office 365 very shortly after G Suite, and we’ll see how things go as to whether we’ll be opening the software up to other providers. Generally, it will just mean putting more mechanisms in place to prevent fraud, and finding out how our customers respond to the first 2 offerings first.”
Where Will Dialpad FREE be Available?
Unfortunately, Amanda informed me that, to begin with, the company will be releasing Dialpad FREE exclusively in the United States, but they will be considering expanding their opportunities over time.
Before we wrapped up our conversation, I asked Amanda how she thinks the quest to kill the desk phone is going.
“I think we’ve killed the desk phone for about 85% of our customers now. Of course, it’s still out there, and some people will want to stick with it for a little longer. For now, we just want to make sure that our customers have options. Once they can see that a cloud UI is much more efficient than a desk phone, they’ll hopefully begin to switch.”
Dialpad are still on the path to killing the desk phone, and now they may be officially killing the phone bill for small businesses too.