SWITCH Changes Its Name to DIALPAD. Talk About A Broadbandit

Craig Walker may quickly be finding his face on someone’s “Most Wanted List.” Given his most recent move at his GV (Google Ventures) and A16Z backed startup, he’ll possibly be thought of as the this Internet era’s Willie Sutton, Clyde Barrow or John Dillinger after what he just pulled off this weekend. That and adding Android co-founder Rich Miner to his board, further linking the company to a mobile enterprise first strategy.

Walker, the co-founder of GrandCentral, which is now known as Google Voice, as well as UberConference and Switch.co just made the steal of the year, harking back the kind of stolen base memories of Cardinals’ baseball great and demon on the basepaths, Lou Brock that made him a legend. Walker just stole one of the most valued brands in telecom away from Yahoo…DIALPAD, a brand ironically mentioned last Thursday in the post, Where Have You Gone…A Look Back At Some Famous VoIP Companies.

Just about 10 years ago, Dialpad was acquired by Yahoo after raising some $68 million in venture funding. Walker, and his partners in crime, Vincent Paquet who like Walker started Google Voice as GrandCentral, and now YIP TV founder, and former VonagePresident, Mike Tribolet, rebuilt Dialpad from an ad driven telephony service into a telephony arbitrage and fraud prevention platform that allowed for least cost routing of international calls. In its heydey Dialpad was a competitor to Delta Three and Net2Phone in moving voice traffic over the Internet long before Skype and Vonage, and was turned by Yahoo into their Skype competitor, Yahoo Voice.

Fast forward ten years, Dialpad was a mothballed asset for Yahoo, collecting dust as a company name and a domain. Along came Walker with an offer and over the weekend Switch switched in name to Dialpad. The price, which Walker said, “was clearly minus a few zeros from what we sold it for,” was undisclosed.

As part of the weekend’s makeover Dialpad has also launched a new logo with the d and the p conjoined logo and the name as a logotype.

In addition to the new name, Dialpad released new native apps for Macs and Windows users, updated their browser extensions and mobile apps for iOS and Android. The apps include Dialpad’s first true mobile VoIP integration, allowing users to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi or broadband mobile networks. An iPad version is expected soon and video, which has been in beta for a while, and which I’ve tested with Walker as far back as August, is likely also just around the corner.

Given the integrations with Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps for Work, Salesforce and social applications LinkedIn and Twitter for context about the caller, ala Rapportive andCrystal Knows, Dialpad has more that’s relevant today than other Enterprise calling solutions. Add in their global, carrier-scale approach, with 7 data centers around the world, plus a war chest of $53 million in funding, Dialpad has enough to attract global business type customers, as they have done with Motorola, who need many thousands of people supported. Other VoIP companies like 8x8, Vonage and RingCentral focus on the smaller size, mid-market companies further pitting Dialpad against Microsoft’s Skype for Business, Mitel and the incumbent telcos like BT, AT&T and Verizon.

Based on my trials of the mobile app the VoIP service works very well over AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile’s LTE networks, as well as Wi-Fi with HD like quality due to the use of the SILK codec on Peer to Peer connections (P2P) and G711 for calls that end up on the PSTN.

Overall, the change in name is a great move for the company, but the real win is for the customers as the service and app upgrades are the real news.



Follow me on Twitter @andyabramson or read my occasional blog post at andyabramson.com

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