SendHub, a Y Combinator-backed call and messaging solution for individuals, businesses and other organizations, is today launching a new product meant to address the needs of provisioning numbers to employees in larger organizations. With SendHub Manager, as the feature is being called, organizations will have access to an online dashboard where they can quickly create, move or delete phone lines for their staff. Explains SendHub co-founder Garrett Johnson, “it’s essentially like Google Apps for phones.”
The company, which began as a messaging-only service, expanded to support voice calls and voicemail this past summer. At that point, it became a viable competitor to something like Google Voice, for example, as you can now get your own SendHub phone number, then place or receive calls and text messages using your own phone. On the iPhone, SendHub offers a native application for this, and an Android version is in the works.
With SendHub Manager’s debut, the focus is not so much on the end user, but on the business or other organization handling assigning these phone numbers to its employees. The system, which essentially consists only of an online dashboard (which is accessible on mobile as well), is designed to be simple enough that I.T. doesn’t have to be involved – an office administrator could handle the phone number adds, moves and removals.
SendHub says that one of its hundreds of early beta testers for the new SendHub Manager was iPhone repair startup iCracked, which used the platform to assign over 300 lines to its technicians. “They can add lines when they get a new tech, or remove lines when someone leaves the company,” explains co-founder Ash Rust. “Crucially, they don’t lose any of that information – they can pull the number from that person, without losing that person’s contacts and all the clients they’ve accumulated over that time period.” The system can scale up to an unlimited number of phone lines, too, the co-founders tell us.
The ability to assign and re-assign lines without losing data is a big plus for many businesses, and specifically those in the financial space as well as in other organizations where communication can be sensitive, such as in schools or in healthcare.
SendHub is able to keep a record of phone calls, who they were to, call length, and records of texts, and in a few weeks time, it will introduce the ability to export and archive this data as well, which has been users’ most-requested feature outside of a native Android application.
The dashboard isn’t just about making phone line provisioning easier, it’s also about helping businesses manage their mobile phone budgets, too. Businesses can upgrade the individual phone lines under management to the specific plan that makes sense for that user, says Johnson. “It’s not a one-size fits all approach. Some people will consume more messages or voice minutes, so now rather than having to spend a lot of money to buy the same phone [and plan] for everyone, you’re now able to provide them with the plan that works for them using their existing device,” he says.
SendHub even allows businesses to start everyone off on the lowest possible plan, and then switch on an option to have those lines auto-upgrade as needed. “You’re never going to be in the position of paying for something you don’t need,” Rust adds. (If only the carriers worked like this.)
Before today, the company offered several tiers above its free, individual plans: either $10, $25, $50, $150 per month for premium accounts offering more minutes and texts, voicemail transcription, support for groups, and more. SendHub Manager, meanwhile, continues that same pricing scheme – to sign up here instead, it’s $5 per line to start, and then also increases in tiers ($10 through $150, again).
The company is also announcing new growth numbers today, saying that it now has over 60,000 users, up from 5,000 in June 2012 and 25,000 in October. It’s also now sending over 3 million text messages per month, up from 2 million in October and has sent 13 million total texts to date, up from 5 million total, again in October. SendHub handles over 100,000 calls per month, as well.
Rust says that the company’s revenue has also doubled since October, and is now “well into five figures.” He says SendHub will be profitable this year, and while it’s eying the international market long-term (early tests in Canada are already underway), it’s near-term focus is on getting things right here in the U.S. The immediate focus going forward is building the Android app, and adding tablet support.
TechCrunch readers interested in signing up can get $10 off towards the use of SendHub Manager. The first 100 readers signing up here can use the code TCSH10 to get started.
SendHub provides a simple, fast and reliable communications platform for businesses and organizations. Our BYOD business phone system is easy to use and manage with no contracts or no hardware to install. Business owners or IT admins can easily add, delete or reallocate phone lines, monitor usage, and download analytics with a single click. Call or text using any device, whether it is a PC, cellphone or tablet. We give the first phone line for free and additional lines...