Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tello Launches Presence and Telephony Service

Tello, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, launched its business instant communication and collaboration service.

Tello enables users to locate and collaborate with their key contacts beyond their enterprise boundaries and across multiple platforms - including phones, mobile devices and PCs.

The service consists of Tello Enterprise for businesses and Tello Basic for individuals and runs on the Tello Connect platform. It features a federation system that aggregates contacts' presence (i.e., shows if the contact is available on a certain application or device) and allows interoperability of disparate voice and instant messaging systems.

Additionally, Tello interfaces with other communication tools, allowing users to launch voice calls, instant messaging and web sharing from a single interface.

Tello's current partners include Avaya, Cisco and Digium.

Tello was formed in late 2004. Eagle River, Evercore Partners, Rho Ventures and Intel Capital are the leading investors. The company is led by Doug Renert, CEO, who joined from Oracle Corporation where he spent eight years, most recently as vice president responsible for vertical industry applications.

Tello's founders include:

  • Craig McCaw, who also serves as chairman and CEO of Eagle River, a private company focusing on strategic investments in the communications industry; and Clearwire Corporation, one of Eagle River's portfolio companies, which operates wireless broadband communications networks.

  • Jeff Pulver, chairman and founder of, co-founder of VoIP provider Vonage, publisher of The Pulver Report and VON Magazine, and creator of the industry standard Voice on the Net (VON) conferences.

  • John Sculley, a venture partner at Rho Ventures. Previously, he co-founded private investment firm Sculley Brothers, and served as CEO of Apple Computer from 1983 to 1993. Prior to Apple, he was president and CEO of Pepsi.

  • Michael J. Price, a senior managing director of Evercore Partners. Prior to Evercore, he co-founded FirstMark Communications Europe, and previously spent eleven years at Lazard, where he led the firm's global Telecom and Technology Group.