Inspiration

Telcos sell from the cloud, but don't sell like a cloud. They need to. Zilkr lets them. But we also need to build things that show their users what mixing two clouds together can do. Thus Zilkr for HipChat.

What it does

It makes phone numbers that are sold to businesses show up in HipChat. It flips HipChat presence to red and 'on the phone' when a call is answered. It makes calls a discussion item so that a sales lead call can be shared and collaborated amongst a sales team. Same for support.

How we built it

We took phone numbers from our customers' phone networks. We used the Zilkr API to get told about & operate on these phone numbers' calls. We built a back-end, managed a set of HipChat rooms, used the HipChat presence API, added calls into rooms, created settings to link a number to multiple rooms and a room to multiple numbers.

Challenges we ran into

The HipChat API is non-trivial to understand, especially the visual elements. Trying to follow a visual language that hews to HipChat but has other service elements is not simple. Quite often, using elements within a dialog box vs a glance do not operate the same way. There was a good bit of reverse-engineering we did on some of the room management API calls in order to get it working as expected.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

An add-on that instantly makes millions of business numbers collaborative is cool. More importantly, its productive for users. Making it visual gives it a differentiator to a similar product we have for Slack. The administrative ability to add this integration once, yet let each HipChat user do what they want with their own number reduces onboarding friction. We removed the need to 'log in' to each phone company's account by users...by employing voice-based 2fa.

What we learned

Visual integrations are tougher but more valuable. Calls are inherently transient, but their impact is not...the ability to take a call and keep its trail as a knowledge item can be very powerful.

What's next for Zilkr for HipChat

Ensure our phone company customers and their users get our love and attention. Add features based on market demand. Add more phone companies under the Zilkr API, so that Zilkr for HipChat becomes the de-facto way a phone on a desk is tied to HipChat on a device

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