Speech Jumps into the NCAAs

Telephone application platform provider Ifbyphone has joined with JumpForward, an organization of former college coaches and athletes, to deliver a comprehensive communications solution for college recruiting.

JumpForward’s Sports Relationship Management solution leverages ifbyphone’s telephone application programming interface (API) to build a communications solution that tracks and manages all calls made between coaches and potential student athletes.

The ifbyphone application used by JumpForward contains a Unified Communications Dashboard that allows the student athletes to instantly call college coaches by clicking a "Start Call" button that can be embedded in email messages or Web sites. The application first calls the athlete’s designated number and then dials the college coach’s phone, thus keeping the student athlete’s number private.

The solution also contains a group calling and messaging feature, inbound and outbound calling capabilities, call routing, call management, and call-tracking features.

To avoid recruiting violations, "NCAA schools—and there are literally thousands of them—have to track every contact between coaches and the students being recruited," says Irv Shapiro, CEO of ifbyphone. "As part of the call process, we track that for them."

To guide high school athletes through phone conversations with college coaches, JumpForward also provides a database of more than 60 questions a high school athlete may want to ask. This feature also allows athletes to save responses and notes from their calls with coaches.

"We’ve provided JumpForward with an application that lets them control the placement and tracking of every call," Shapiro says. "We provided JumpForward with our API and they did all the programming.

Shapiro also says the agreement with JumpForward is the latest of several his company expects to reach this year to expand distribution channels for its applications, which are primarily geared toward small and mid-sized businesses.

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