Nextiva CEO: Why Private Companies Innovate Best

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James AndersonNextiva’s new communications platform will be a major differentiator for its partners.

Nextiva's Tomas GornyThat’s according to CEO Tomas Gorny who announced NextOS on Day 1 of Nextiva’s NextCon16 conference earlier this week. The platform, which Gorny said was two years in the making, aims to unify the multitude of communication applications businesses use.

Gorny, a Polish immigrant who founded Nextiva in 2006, sat down with Channel Partners to talk about NextOS, Nextiva’s partners and the advantages of being a private company.

The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: What feedback have you been getting about NextOS since announcing it?

Tomas Gorny: The feedback of NextOS was phenomenal. We knew before even coming here and announcing it — we have talked to several customers. Historically, when you go into those meetings, you’ve prepared for some pushback, you’ve prepared for upcoming objection. And that’s what we were expecting when we were going into a lot of those meetings. But what we got going in those meetings was something I’ve never experienced in my career and life. You go into the meeting, you present the product, and you still get asked a lot of questions from stakeholders, but ultimately the responses — we haven’t seen such a thing before. A couple of days later… you get an email saying, “When can we start testing it?”

In every scenario — we went to several meetings … different companies, different industries — all responded with the same emails. I sent those emails because we’re very proud of it. At the point we knew we had something. We knew we were solving a real problem. And that’s what we were working for for three years, and we kept it very quiet, because we wanted to make sure that this doesn’t leak out. It’s difficult to do in a company of 700 employees.

When I met with analysts prior the show — you get a lot of skepticism. “You’re going to compete with Salesforce. There’s Microsoft. There’s Cisco.” You get all of those different questions. I was trying to answer them as best as I could, but I don’t feel like I even did such a good job. After the keynote, we really alleviated all of those [questions]. Yesterday, every analyst I met — they said, “We get it. It just hasn’t been done before.” They frame it in all different ways, and they still ask me, “What do you mean about ‘collaboration,’ and what do you mean by this?” And it’s not for me always to determine the terms, what ‘collaboration’ means or what ‘engagement” means. What we’re giving is, solving pain points. I frame them…

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