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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Mike Burkland, CEO of Five9 (Part 2)

Posted on Monday, Nov 10th 2014

Mike Burkland: To map out the landscape, this is a market in which Avaya, Genesys, Aspect, and Cisco have a product. Those four legacy players control a very large majority of this legacy market. They’ve been around for several years providing solutions on-premise that are hardware and software-based.

Sramana Mitra: These four legacy players have both switching and CRM and you consider them as direct competitors? You also do switching and CRM?

Mike Burkland: We don’t consider ourselves a CRM player. We are integrated with the CRM players. When you look at switching, we think of this in a couple of components. I actually separate the contact center infrastructure into two components – PBX functionality, which we do not provide and routing functionality, which we do provide. Some of those legacy players provide both the PBX and routing. Avaia for example has both PBX and routing. Genesys on the other hand does not have a PBX. They are just providing that ACD or routing technology like we do. Some of the legacy players are in both of those spaces and some are in one side.

Sramana Mitra: That’s really your core area—the ACD routing?

Mike Burkland: That’s exactly right. If you look in the cloud universe, CRM is a separate component. CRM is separate and distinct from the two components that I talked about. That’s true even in the legacy world where you have CRM, PBX, and ACD solutions. They’ve complementary and distinct solutions. The cloud is no different. We, as a leading cloud ACD provider, are complementary with CRM players in our domain like Salesforce. We’re also complementary with PBX providers. You may know companies in the cloud PBX market like Ring Central, for example. They are providing that PBX functionality in the cloud and we are providing the ACD.

Sramana Mitra: You bring up Ring Central there. Their focus is actually small companies, right? Is your focus enterprise?

Mike Burkland: That’s correct. I just cited them because they’re cloud providers, but we typically don’t overlap too much in terms of our target market. We are upstream from them in terms of large enterprise but we do have a lot of SMB customers as well. We span both the SMB and the large enterprise market. About 60% of our revenue comes from the large enterprise market today. About 40% is SMB. That is where we started as a company years ago. When we’re going in to an enterprise and replacing their Avaya or Genesys ACD, we’ll keep their existing PBX in place. We’re agnostic to that PBX functionality. It can remain on-premise or the cloud. We’ll co-exist with whatever PBX solution is in the enterprise. That’s a real advantage to being able to move into these enterprises with very rapid deployments.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Mike Burkland, CEO of Five9
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