By Matthew Lawlor, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Spearline
What Spearline does is unusual – we connect people by improving the quality of telecommunications around the world. Spearline is a technology company that proactively monitors toll and toll-free numbers for connectivity, audio quality and other key metrics globally. What does this mean? Many of our customers have contact centers and we check that their customers can get through to their overseas agents when they ring them and have a conversation of the highest quality.
How do we do this? We test numbers through the cloud-based Spearline Platform with servers in over 70 countries (and growing) and carrier connections worldwide. We cover 89% of global GDP and our multinational customers can reach 90% of landlines around the globe. Overall, the lines we are monitoring are generating billions of minutes of customer calls.
To put it into context, if one of Airbnb’s customers is abroad and has a query about the accommodation, or Mastercard’s customer has an issue with their card, what’s the first thing they do? Ring the company’s helpline. We make sure these types of numbers are up and running. We operate a support service 24 hours per day, 365 days per year for our international customers. This means we can help them to detect any issues before they are customer-impacting for their companies.
The majority of our customers are US-based multinationals in a range of sectors, such as financial services, pharmaceutical, travel, and retail. We are regular exhibitors at trade shows in North America. At the end of March, we’ll be exhibiting and speaking at Enterprise Connect in Florida. While we’re there, multinationals will have the opportunity to gain greater insight into developments around in-country number testing.
The beginning of in-country number testing
In 2009, the Spearline Platform was developed in response to a customer need for an innovative product that did not exist at the time. The need was to solve a frustrating and expensive problem in the telecommunications industry as inbound phone services could not be verified unless the company had a physical presence in the country. As a result, we created an in-country number testing solution. Before this, companies were relying on relatives abroad, backpackers and Irish pubs to ring the number for them. This was far from foolproof so we listened and responded to the telecoms needs of multinationals.
How has this worked for us so far? Testing phone numbers for connectivity and audio quality is not something you read or hear about every day. This doesn’t come without its challenges, which makes our milestones all the more momentous.
The Spearline Platform currently has the capacity to run hundreds of thousands of tests per day. We have a roadmap to expand this capacity fivefold to meet international demand for the product.
In 2003, we started with a team of two; today we have over 100 and by the end of 2020, we’ll have 150.
The Spearline headquarters is located in Skibbereen, Co Cork, Ireland. After a year-long renovation, we moved into our new premises last summer and, on August 9, the Ambassador of Ireland to the USA, Daniel Mulhall officially opened it, demonstrating our strong links with the USA.
Our global sales office is in Waterford, Ireland, and we also have offices in India and Romania. We cover all time zones and provide the round the clock support that’s needed for multinationals in an industry where issues are time-sensitive.
We continue to expand our customer base, coverage and workforce globally, and innovation is at the heart of it all.