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  • Writer's pictureLenora Thomas Streamlining your communication tools.

When contacting a company, there are multiple channels for communication that can be available to you. From phone to email to chat, to messaging on social media, but each is its own channel and brings in a disruption to reaching out to the company. If you send an email, you may be able to fill out a form on the website; however, to get the response, you have to go to your inbox. For chat, you might reach out on the website if someone is available, but they might transition to email or phone depending on the issue, or direct you to a completely different site for support.

Trent Johnsen, CEO of wants to change that (and more). But before we get into what Trent is building, let’s introduce him!

Trent enjoys being at the forefront of building disruptive technologies, particularly in communications. His entry into tech was developing wireless tech and call centers for paging systems, helping to build the blocks for the mobile industry that we so heavily rely on. From there, Trent co-founded Offsite Data Services. He and his team became international offsite data backup and recovery service providers before most companies would even consider going offsite for their recoveries (something now everyone is doing).

After two years— and sneaking in just before the dot com bubble in 2000—, Offsite Data Services sold for $62 million when they were making only $400,000 per year. Trent joined the new company but with the dot com bust, ended up looking for a new technology to work in and got involved with Voice Over IP (VoIP) with Shift Networks. There, Trent helped build the first national provider of Cloud Telephony/hosted Business Communications. The technology was later acquired by Oracle and Cisco.

If that wasn’t enough, Trent then co-founded Hookflash. In 2011, Google opened up over $200 million of code for audio and video, proposing that it should be a native function in web browsers. At Hookflash, Trent and his co-founders, proposed the architectural standard for the technology, enabling an estimated four billion web browsers with real-time video, voice, and data connections, which they licensed to Microsoft in 2018.

Never one to let moss grow, Trent moved on to his current project Watching the roll out of chatbots, he could see the transition from traditional telephone networks starting. But there were a couple of issues. The first is the disruption in customer experience of going from a chat bot to phone or a support system.The second was an issue of identity.’s goal is to provide an integrated experience right from a business’ website. Need to contact a company? You can go to their website and contact with them in the format that you are most comfortable with. Prefer video? Or don’t like video and only want audio? You can do it all from one spot without missing a beat. Have a support issue and need to screen share? Or want a quick sales demo? Again, it’s possible right from the website.

For those in sales, if someone is checking out your site, over 75% of a customer’s research is done before they contact you. What you really want is a process that gets them from there to your services smoothly. For support, you can easily transition from chat to phone to screen share. It makes the customer experience an easy one.

This type of interaction is only the first part of Trent’s plan, as his goal is to build the next generation of global telecom, built purely for the internet layer without a requirement for VoIP and cloud infrastructure. This is where the second issue of identity comes in: How do you determine who you are speaking with without the traditional phone number?

Trent and his team are handling this by offering flexibility. You can use an avatar on your website, or link to Slack, Front, or a more traditional email authentication like Microsoft Active Directory. Identity will be maintained, and you can reach out to who you need to in multiple formats.

As always with this blog, I asked Trent “Why Alberta” - and it’s because our province is home. We have the three pillars that are needed to build a strong tech industry. As an industry, we have access to the talent pool, the ideas, and to potential investors.

As to why Trent took part in this interview? If you are an Albertan-based company and would like to have a single channel for your sales or support, Trent would like to hear from you. Trent is looking for Alberta companies interested in partnering with him. Check out

Want to learn more? Tune into my full interview with Trent:

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