Shortly after the 2008 presidential election, Gaurav Oberoi, a technologist and successful entrepreneur, agreed to do some research for a friend who was launching a new political consulting firm and wanted to conduct low-cost automated polls. To his surprise, Oberoi discovered the options were limited. The services that existed required expensive setup fees and had limited functionality. “All of the software was about a decade old,” Oberoi recalled. “There was no self-service option.”
Oberoi, along with his friend and prior business partner Chuck Groom, decided to build a polling service that would allow anyone to conduct a poll or automated survey through a web page. Rather than spend lots of time and money on telecommunications plumbing, Oberoi decided to use the Twilio API. With Twilio, he didn’t have to worry about building, maintaining, securing and scaling expensive infrastructure. He also didn’t have to negotiate deals with carriers or worry about fulfilling forecasted demand.
“Twilio let us focus on perfecting our core product, which was a service that makes it easier to conduct market research through the phone,” Oberoi said. In just six months, the team was able to launch Precision Polling. “It would have taken us up to a year and a half to be at that same point if we had not had Twilio,” Oberoi said. “We saved months of development time.”
Now part of SurveyMonkey, Precision Polling has been used by everyone from local governments and startups to large national political organizations and multinational corporations. The service currently can handle up to 30,000 calls per hour, and additional capacity can easily be added if necessary. Customers receive complete polling functionality on a pay-per-call basis, without setup fees.
Oberoi said that one the key benefits of Precision Polling is the ability for an organization to conceive and complete a poll in as little as an hour. Full disposition reports are available immediately.
Since the launch of Precision Polling in 2010, the Twilio back end has remained rock solid. “Twilio has never gone down on us,” Oberoi said. “I’ve been incredibly impressed with the uptime, the lack of bugs, and the general reliability and stability of the platform.”
Oberoi advises other entrepreneurs to explore the power of Twilio’s entire telephony communications stack. “Twilio has made it dramatically simpler for developers to build scalable, international services that use voice and text messaging,” Oberoi said. “They’ve allowed entrepreneurs to dream big about telephony-heavy business ideas without being burdened with the complex and expensive details of telephony plumbing.”