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Zendesk Gets New Board Members, Moves Closer to IPO


Rogue IT is on the rise.

Zendesk, a San Francisco-based customer service platform provider, announced today it has added three new board members, including Michelle Wilson, former general counsel for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Caryn Marooney, vice president of technology communications at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

The news comes two weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported Zendesk hired Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to underwrite its initial public offering set for sometime this year.

Zendesk offers a cloud-based software platform that helps manage customer support, help-desk ticketing, and issue tracking. According to the Zendesk's website, over 40,000 companies including Disney (NYSE:DIS), Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), and Xerox (NYSE:XRX) use Zendesk's services.

The company has so far raised $85 million, and has over 40,000 customers, reports Quartz. According to a company tweet, Zendesk hired its 500th employee in November 2013.

Zendesk is one of a few companies offering what's been dubbed "rogue IT." That's the name given to software and devices that employees are bringing into the workplace -- like Dropbox or Evernote -- because they offer ease and accessibility that traditional company-provided resources do not. A recent survey of 500 IT decisions makers showed 43% are aware that their employees are using outside software in favor of their own.

Writing for USA Today, technology columnist John Shinal noted that Zendesk's popularity threatens traditional players in the space, such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), SAP (NYSE:SAP), and IBM (NYSE:IBM). These companies charge massive upfront costs and high annual fees to manage companies' customer support systems.

Meanwhile, Zendesk offers its services for as low as $25 per month.

Find me on Twitter: @brokawbrokaw

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