Utah's ContactPoint wins Amazon grand prize for innovation
ContactPoint, a small St. George software firm, is a grand prize winner in a global contest sponsored by an arm of Amazon.com that targets startup companies.
Amazon Web Services chose ContactPoint and three other companies from among 2,500 commercial businesses in dozens of countries that entered the annual contest, which sniffs out the best technologies that run on AWS cloud computing servers.
ContactPoint got $100,000 in cash and services from AWS, as well as access to Amazon's promotional muscle, CEO Jason Wells said Tuesday.
"They invited us to apply. It was an invitation, and I think they liked what they saw us doing," Wells said.
ContactPoint last year launched LogMyCalls, software that records incoming phone calls from customers and generates data that companies can analyze to update their marketing, develop sales leads, chart close rates and improve customer service.
Wells said the software is gaining a wide following among companies that lean heavily on telephone calls to generate sales or field customer questions. Clients include Big O Tires, health care provider Kaiser Permanente and the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.
"It's really about the businesses that want to take care of their customers, understand what their needs are and act on that. So often, when you call a business you are treated poorly or you don't get what you are looking for. That is why only about 20 percent of the calls that go into a business result in a sale. We are able to help them improve that percentage," Wells said.
The privately held company is growing rapidly. Founded in 2001, it initially listened to clients' calls from sales and customer service teams and then evaluated how well the teams performed. In 2010, ContactPoint decided to automate its service. Two years later, it launched LogMyCalls.
Annual revenue is less than $10 million, but Wells said sales grew 100 percent last year. Close to 300 clients a month signed up with ContactPoint in 2012, Wells said.
"There is a lot of money spent on Web analytics to understand who the customers are who go to your [website]. But [for] businesses that rely primarily on the phone call to get a customer, there is very little data available to help them optimize their marketing and their sales efforts and their customer service.
"That's the need that we are filling," Wells said.
The other grand prize winners announced by Amazon Web Services were Grand Cru OY, a Finland-based game developer; TraceLink Inc., a Woburn, Mass., company that provides a cloud-based service to track counterfeit drugs; and Mortar Data, a New York company that developed an open source framework for building pipelines to move large quantities of data.
O • Amazon Web Services, at aws.amazon.com/startupchallenge/