TextUp: The Modern Day Phone System That Promotes Work-Life Balance
Using your personal phone for work purposes has its pros and cons.
On one hand, it can be really efficient as all of your communication is in one place and you only have to keep track of one device rather than two.
On the other hand, it can be very difficult to establish a healthy work-life balance as there is nothing stopping co-workers or clients from calling you at any time of day. This is especially true in the social services space where effective case management can be difficult with so many different stakeholders involved.
Fortunately, there is now a platform that helps social workers and care providers do their jobs more effectively while protecting their non-working hours: TextUp!
TextUp is a cloud-based phone system and CRM platform that creates capacity for caregivers and enhances overall organizational effectiveness. It was founded in 2018 by two Brown students and one Rhode Island School of Design student who leveraged Brown’s venture accelerator called Breakthrough Lab (B-Lab) an intensive 8-week accelerator program designed to support student entrepreneurs developing high-impact ventures.
Work Phones And Compliant Recordkeeping For A Fraction Of The Cost
Here’s how it works.
After an organization agrees to use TextUp, employee social workers and care providers sign up for access to the platform. Every individual receives a unique phone number from which they can send HIPAA and FERPA-compliant messages to their clients. All communication back and forth is kept securely in the platform and can be viewed by different team members to ensure continuity of care. Social workers can sign off at the end of a shift knowing that their peers have everything they need to continue managing the case appropriately.
Do clients notice any difference?
No. Communication comes and goes as normal text messages and phone calls would between two smartphone devices.
With TextUp, organizations don’t have to worry about purchasing expensive communication systems as social workers can use their personal devices, except now, they can truly disconnect from work.
The app’s recordkeeping nature also creates capacity for social workers and care providers as they no longer have to manually record every interaction with their clients. This cuts down on their administrative burden and enables them to spend more time on case management.
Customers pay on a monthly or as-needed basis. An organization’s first three accounts are free. After that, the monthly plan costs $30 / phone / mo or $5 / phone / mo on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Nonprofits get a slightly discounted rate relative to corporate clients who pay $50 / phone/mo on a monthly basis and see similar increases on the pay-as-you-go side.
To date, TextUp has 10 contracts and 150 users.
Unlimited Growth Potential
TextUp was founded by Eric Bai (Brown ‘15), Hanna Oh (RISD ‘15), and Michelle Petersen (Brown ‘18), three students who witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by their target audience.
The team co-created TextUp with social workers at the Harrington Hall homeless shelter. Since then, the platform has primarily been funded by grants awarded by organizations such as United Way and VentureWell. This past May, the team was accepted to participate in the MassChallenge Rhode Island accelerator, which will likely coincide with the founders jumping full-time into the business.
The team’s ultimate vision?
“…to create a community-powered, open source, secure case management platform,” says Bai.
With a few early adopter agencies heavily using TextUp today, the company has been able to convince other organizations throughout New England to give it a shot.
In the future, the team has left open the possibility that TextUp services other types of organizations with case management functions, such as law firms and foster care agencies.
TextUp: Ready For Liftoff
This Untold story is an inspiring example of how far you can get with the right team working only on a part-time basis while you prepare for the full-time jump.
Through the hard work and persistence of the founding team, TextUp came alive at the hands of three busy individuals who were also working other jobs and going to school. They built a minimum viable product, found their first clients, and proved the concept before any one of them was fully invested in the platform. They built the launching pad, now it’s time for takeoff.
For those of you who are tired and weary – find encouragement in this story! Trust in your team, work hard, and you will create a much softer landing for yourself when you go full-time.
If TextUp is a service that can potentially help you with your work-life balance, check out their site!