Monday, May 13, 2013

Welcoming our latest challenge sponsor, RingDNA!

We’ve just kicked off a series of crowdsourced development challenges with our newest sponsor, RingDNA. This is the just the beginning of an ongoing relationship with a very cool company, with multiple challenges in the pipeline. We caught up with RingDNA Founder & CEO, Howard Brown, to chat about tapping into a community development model.

Q: Hey Howard - how’s it going?
A: Tremendously well - thanks for asking. We’re busy signing up customers, we just got our first profile in VentureBeat, and thanks to you, we’re really excited about our first CloudSpokes project.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about RingDNA?
A: Sure. We help improve marketing & sales performance by connecting the business phone to the CRM. For the past decade, companies have gone to great lengths to monitor & measure online behavior, and they use that data to make business decisions. Now CMOs and CSOs want the same level of insight with call metrics, and we deliver it to them in real time.

Q: What problem is RingDNA trying to solve, and how?
A: We use call data to solve lots of problems for sales and marketing departments. For example, business surveys show that the phone is actually their best sales channel, and marketing departments spend $68B in annual domestic advertising specifically to make the phone ring. But the moment a sales rep picks up the phone, all visibility into what marketing efforts delivered the lead are instantly lost. RingDNA solves that problem by connecting any online or offline marketing effort to a phone call. For sales teams, that means that we can connect the right call, with the right data, to the right rep at the right time.

Q: What first attracted you to crowdsourced app dev with CloudSpokes?
A: First, we’re a huge fan of crowdsourcing in general. For example, the RingDNA logo was created on a crowdsourcing site. Second, we’ve been really impressed with the way CloudSpokes has brought that model to development. Your private beta was absolutely the right way to approach this  - starting with just a few companies in a very controlled environment so that you could optimize the process before going large with it. Knowing that history gives us a lot of confidence.

Q: Can you tell us more about your first challenge, and the ones upcoming?
A: Our initial challenge is to create a Chrome extension that allows RingDNA users to click on phone numbers in and make calls right from their browser. Although we have a lot of products for mobile sales teams, we’ve been developing some browser apps for inside sales teams, and this widget will be a fantastic addition to the product suite.  As for future projects, we’re looking to enable partner and customer companies to leverage the RingDNA platform. For example, a company could build a RingDNA widget that brings an additional data source that they care about into the RingDNA mobile experience.

Q: What’s your "spirit animal"? :-)
A: Definitely a Wookiee, as in Chewbacca from Star Wars. Wookiees are massively strong, and they value loyalty, courage and new technology.

We’re definitely excited about this new engagement with a hot new mobile technology partner. RingDNA has a huge opportunity to entirely disrupt the business telephony, mobile CRM, inside sales, and service industries, and we’re thrilled to get the community involved in the journey. Read more about RingDNA’s call tracking systems, and stay tuned to our app dev challenges for more.

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