Cloud

Zendesk introduces cloud-based call center option powered by Twilio

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Customer help desk management provider Zendesk on Monday unveiled Zendesk Voice, a new feature that lets customers set up cloud-based call centers for much less money than old-school call centers.

“Traditional call centers are a source of frustration to customers,” said Zack Urlocker, COO of Zendesk, in a statement. “You’ve got long wait times, complex phone trees and, most of the time when you finally get through to a real person, they don’t have access to the right information. Zendesk solves this frustration by converting conversations and messages into a digital format.

In a nutshell, Zendesk Voice is a VoIP system powered by cloud communications startup Twilio that adds a call center to Zendesk’s customer support. Businesses can use one specific phone number and push all calls into Zendesk’s interface. The software can also turn all voice conversations into transcripts, similar to Google Voice. Hopefully, those transcripts are better than Google Voice, which still has a few issues with accurate transcription.

Zendesk Voice is now available in the U.S. and Canada, with international availability planned for later this year. Calls to the Zendesk Voice system are billed at 5 cents per minute.

San Francisco-based Zendesk is one of a number of new-age venture-backed enterprise startups bringing consumer technology to the enterprise. The company recently closed a third round of funding worth $19 million led by Matrix Partners along with existing investors Benchmark Capital and Charles River Ventures. It also closed a $6 million round in August 2009.

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