Real Companies Spring From Latest Twilio Contest

Most companies need help with their phone support. Parents want a safe way to let their kids to call relatives without sharing their increasingly-important mobile phone. And businesses have an insatiable appetite for better sales information or help hiring great developers. All of these problems are solved in the most recent contest from telephony-as-a-service provider (and ProgrammableWeb sponsor) Twilio. The company typically runs a weekly contest for its Twilio API, but gave devs twice as long for this mega-contest, which also produced five winners.

Many of the winners, who received MacBook Airs and passes to the Twilio Conference, used the brand new Twilio Client, enabling browser-based phone calls using Twilio's network. What follows is an overview of the five winners:

  • Talkdesk describes itself as "Zendesk for voice." It lets customers bring their call center to the cloud and eliminates the overhead associated with traditional call centers by letting any company have a distributed support team answer calls using the browser. Talkdesk, which has an overview video embedded below, also integrates with a number of other services, including the ZenDesk API and Highrise API.

  • Koderank uses Twilio Client's browser-to-browser calling to mimic an in-person code interview. It is an online whiteboard that lets interviewers view candidates' code live, with voice discussions happening with Twilio.
  • Bumble is a browser-based telephone that allows children of all ages to call loved ones using a safe Platform. The single-click visual calling system makes it simple for children to initiate phone calls.

  • RingDNA is a call tracking platform that is heavily integrated with Salesforce.com. It uses the Twilio Client to enable call center reps to dial contacts or handle incoming leads using their browser or iOS devices. RingDNA will launch publicly next week at Dreamforce, the Salesforce.com conference.
  • And every developer loves a developer tool, right? Flow Preview is a plugin that OpenVBX that lets users preview their newly created call flows from within the flow editor instead of having to call into the Twilio number.

At least one of these winners is already charging for their services, a good sign for a platform like Twilio, which charges developers to use its telephony products. And all of the services have the opportunity to be real businesses as they move beyond this competition. And they're in good company: in January we looked at three Twilio apps with funding.

Be sure to read the next Telephony article: Crossing the Pond: Twilio Expands to UK, Eyes Europe