Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again

I’ve been thinking about the best way to describe how long it’s been since I first began working at Genesys. It was before WhatsApp. Before Snapchat and Instagram, too. It was even before Twitter had its first FailWhale.  

In fact, when I first started at Genesys, there was no such thing as an iPhone. 

In 2005, I was hired for a combined analyst relations (AR)/public relations post. Now, I’m returning as a vice president to lead a team that works with industry analysts to communicate the Genesys story. Fifteen years ago, “the cloud” was still struggling to find a foothold, especially in contact centers and customer service. IBM was still pitching the concept as “utility computing,” or “grid computing.” Genesys was an important player in those early cloud days — in its global managed services and telco business.

After five years at Genesys, I saw the promise of what cloud computing could deliver to customer service — and how much it was going to revolutionize everything. When the opportunity arose to join RightNow Technologies, one of the pioneers of cloud-based customer relationship management, I couldn’t pass it up. And it was no surprise that, two years later, Oracle came calling with an offer to buy RightNow for $1.8 billion. CEO Larry Ellison had famously suggested just a few years before that the cloud had no future in the enterprise, but he was in catch-up mode. Even Ellison could no longer deny the value in combining a customer base that was hungry for innovation with the efficiencies of cloud computing.

I’ve spent most of the last decade helping one startup after another shape its message, build its brand and extend its reach. By the time I reached Twilio in 2017, I had a reliable playbook for shaping the message of cloud-based communications offerings and built deep and lasting relationships with the contact center and CRM analysts that are key influencers in the market. People ask me what the companies I’ve worked at have in common. First, they’ve all excelled by elevating the role of the customer service agent. The second attribute these companies share is community — the community of users, the community of customers and also the community of its own employees. It’s the strength of that community that helped drive each of those companies into the upper-right sweet spot of one Gartner Magic Quadrant after another. 

Genesys has evolved a lot in the 10 years since I left. It’s no longer public or owned by Alcatel-Lucent. It has embraced the cloud. It has developed an enviable partner network. And it offers valuable applications and integrations through its AppFoundry Marketplace. The Genesys I knew, and the one I’m joining today, has always known how to focus on engagement experience; this next chapter continues the through line of my career. It’s a chance to draw attention to an area in which Genesys carries unique weight: giving customers choice. Genesys has a diverse base of customers of all sizes in countries around the world. Its cloud business has grown exponentially and the core business provides customers with ever more options. The knowledge and experience this company has—and its reputation for supporting enterprise customers and a worldwide network of partners and consultants — is critical to the ongoing expansion of its cloud and core contact center business.

For those of you who may not know, AR is… well, it’s a complicated space. AR folks are the bridge between the company and the analysts who judge our products, services and solutions. Analysts are the people our customers rely on to help them decide what to buy — and in this new cloud-driven world, enterprise customers really require the in-depth analysis that only analysts can provide. Luckily, our corner of the world happens to be blessed with some of the coolest analysts in technology; they’re experienced, smart and well-informed.

But the key to analyst relations is to recognize the importance of serving the needs of both sides of the relationship — the company and the analysts. Integrity is essential. Analysts know when you’re providing them the information they need rather than merely funneling a marketing message.

In my new role, I’ll be responsible for enhancing the AR team’s contributions to global strategy. Already a strong team, we’ll heighten brand awareness, support key marketing campaigns and more proactively engage with industry influencers. I’ll work closely with Olivier Jouve and Barry O’Sullivan, the general managers leading the Genesys Cloud and Core business units, respectively, with Peter Graf, Chief Strategy Officer, and Tony Bates, CEO, to make sure analysts are well-versed in every aspect of our offerings. The AR team will synchronize with the marketing team to make sure we’re sharing the right message to accelerate customer demand for Genesys Cloud and core offerings.

Today’s my first day back and I’m hitting the ground running — well, flying, actually. I’m gearing up to attend the annual Genesys analyst conference, taking place this week in Galway, Ireland. I am looking forward to meeting my new team and being (re)introduced to the top analysts in the industry.  

My industry. 

Our industry. 

And, yes, I’ll be using an iPhone while I’m at it.