Varolii Rolls up $8M to Grow Communications Biz After Surviving the Great Recession

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iPhone devices on top of the existing voice, email and text options.

Varolii also wants to incorporate more proactive self-service customer care features, making sure people get their problems resolved short of getting on the line to a call center unless it’s really necessary.

“If you’re an entity that’s got millions of customers, how do you divert the right customer to self-service? Varolii is right in the middle of that decision path,” McCann says.

Varolii’s not the only company working on that sort of thing. Nuance Communications, for instance, is among the providers that offers an interactive customer service application for wireless carriers, an outgrowth of the company’s acquisition of the former Bellevue, WA-based SnapIn Software.

Varolii now has about 230 employees nationwide, including about 160 in Seattle and another 40 or so in the Boston area, a result of the company’s purchase of EnvoyWorldWide. McCann said the balance of Varolii’s employees are at offices around the country, typically near large customers.

After riding the economy’s ups and downs—OK, mostly downs—over the past three years, Varolii is now seeing more signs of a thaw in corporate spending: McCann says his company’s pipeline of projects is up about 60-70 percent over last year.

“Companies are beginning to unlock their budgets,” McCann says. “They’re still being very careful—no companies have got massive growth budgets—but companies are unlocking their capital and their expense budgets. Companies are also getting much more comfortable with the cloud.”

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