Most of us see emergency communication lines around us every day—from fire alarms, security systems, and emergency phones in elevators—but we rarely notice them until the rare moment they’re needed. When that moment comes, it’s important to know the system you’re using will get you the help you need quickly and effectively.
Right now, many of these critical tools rely on plain-old-telephone-service (POTS) lines that are becoming increasingly outdated. POTSReplacement.com by MarketSpark was created with the mission to modernize these systems.
Founders Jake Jacoby and Rob Engstrom used their entrepreneurial experience in B2B software to develop a cloud-based alternative to traditional telecommunication lines: through a combination of on-site, LTE-connected hardware and software built around Twilio’s Super Network, MarketSpark is able to offer a reliable communications infrastructure that’s creating safer facilities, delivering a better experience for customers, and is fire-marshal approved in all fifty states.
This easily scalable, Twilio-powered system has propelled MarketSpark to a sales pipeline of $500 million and growing, with thousands of sites relying on their technology and tens of thousands of lines supported in North America—plus a global expansion on the horizon.
But most importantly, their system plays a critical role in protecting the public and saving lives.
MarketSpark primarily works with large enterprise customers who need an effective, scalable alternative to their existing POTS lines.
“The way we do that is through cloud-based infrastructure,” Jacoby explained. “We use a combination of an LTE router that gives us our connectivity, an ATA to do analog telco, and a battery that can power our on-premise infrastructure for 48 to 96 hours or more.”
These on-site devices make use of local phone numbers for E911 that are mapped via Elastic SIP Trunking to MarketSpark’s servers. Those servers are tapped into the Super Network—and are purposefully peered at the same data centers as Twilio to make the process as seamless as possible.
When a user initiates a call through MarketSpark’s Twilio-integrated platform, it can be carried out at speeds far faster than a traditional line could provide, making sure they have access to the help they need.
That kind of near-instant connectivity is crucial to the success of MarketSpark’s services and the safety of their users.
According to Jacoby, who now serves as MarketSpark’s CTO, Twilio was at the core of their platform from the very beginning: “We did some evaluation on how we could get things working, and I figured out quickly that we needed to build our system around Twilio.”
We did some evaluation on how we could get things working, and I figured out quickly that we needed to build our system around Twilio.
Jacoby said one of the best examples he’s seen of how MarketSpark improves operations for its customers came after meeting with a major commercial real estate business: “The day after we spoke with them—the very next day—somebody got stuck in one of their elevators, pushed the emergency button, and the line didn’t work.”
That situation speaks to one of the biggest problems with POTS lines: until someone is in a moment of crisis or scheduled testing comes around, it’s hard to know if the system is even operational, which often leaves the public at risk.
“You have no idea if the traditional POTS line is working or not, you just get a bill every month, and it’s a big bill,” Jacoby said. That lack of clarity is one of the biggest reasons customers turn to MarketSpark.
Having accurate, real-time insights not only makes everyone safer, but is often far more efficient—which appeals to MarketSpark’s enterprise customers who want to know they’re getting the most out of their communication tools.
Instead of spending needless time testing lines manually and worrying whether they’ll work in a moment of crisis, MarketSpark’s customers get real-time updates on the lines they’re running, including usage data and uptime information, all through a convenient portal that provides peace of mind.
“Our lines are used all the time to save lives,” Jacoby said. “Whether it’s a pool phone, an elevator call button, a blue light emergency phone on a college campus or in a parking garage—all of that is critical infrastructure.”
With the speed and stability of Twilio’s Super Network, MarketSpark is able to ensure that infrastructure works exactly the way it needs to in order to keep their customers safe and connected.
Our lines are used all the time to save lives. Whether it's a pool phone, an elevator call button, a blue light emergency phone on a college campus or in a parking garage—all of that is critical infrastructure.