By Jeffrey Schwartz
Jonathan Rosenberg is the latest Cisco veteran to join cloud contact center provider Five9, taking over as the company’s new CTO.
In addition to serving as CTO of Cisco’s collaboration group before leaving the company in September, Rosenberg will have a familiar boss – Rowan Trollope – who led the networking giant’s collaboration and IoT applications groups before Five9 recruited him last year as its CEO.
Looking to fill his bench, Trollope also recently recruited James Doran, who was vice president of strategy and operations for Cisco’s collaboration group. He’s now Five9’s executive VP for strategy and operations.
Five9’s cloud contact center is a SaaS platform for inbound and outbound call centers, designed with AI to provide intelligent call distribution, dialing and access to information. The offering is delivered through a broad range of partners that include master agents, resellers and systems integrators. Five9 also has a certification program for ISVs, offers connectivity with key SaaS-based CRM offerings and has what it calls an Individual Referral Program.
The company primarily serves SMBs, said industry analyst Irwin Lazar, a VP at Nemertes Research. According to Nemertes’ 2017-18 contact center study, Five9 represented 1 percent of call centers with fewer than 225 end users.
“They are in a crowded market in the SMB,” Lazar said.
Nevertheless, the company has reported strong revenue growth. For the most recent third quarter, ending in November, it reported a 30 percent gain on $65 million in revenues and is estimating its fiscal year will top out at just over $250 million.
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As Five9’s new CTO, Rosenberg will oversee the company’s AI development efforts, where he will manage product and software development, according to the company’s announcement. He’ll also work with David Pickering, the company’s new EVP of engineering, on developing the company’s overall technology platform and road map.
While Trollope will have a known quantity in Rosenberg, he’s also gaining one of the most respected technologists in internet communications. Rosenberg, who was also chief strategist at Skype, is well-known for his development of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the standard for establishing and maintaining voice and video communications over IP-based networks.
“The biggest aspect to me is that hiring both Rowan and Jonathan gives a lot of credibility to Five9 in the marketplace,” Lazar added. ‘That they were able to attract the top two from Cisco’s collaboration group will enable them to better position themselves among larger enterprise customers as a credible alternative to leaders like Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys.”
Rosenberg, who joined the company this week, was not available for comment. But in a statement, Rosenberg said he noted that he’s sees new opportunities in applying AI to the contact center.
“I believe contact center will be the tip of the spear in the application of natural-language processing to IP-based communications, and thus the ideal place to work,” he said.