Company gets new CEO, will exclusively target enterprises, and reportedly cut jobs
Fuze has become the latest vendor in the crowded cloud communications space to streamline its business, replacing its CEO and other executive team members and reportedly cutting an unknown number of jobs.
The Lowdown: Company officials this week said Fuze will focus its Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) efforts exclusively on enterprises and will move forward with Brian Day – its one-time CFO – as CEO.
The Details: Day replaces Colin Doherty, who came to Fuze as CEO in February 2017. In a blog post outlining the changes, Day wrote that Tom Siegel, who was senior vice president, is now chief sales officer, replacing Chris Doggett.
At the same time, Day wrote that the Boston-based company will cater only to the enterprise market, where the growth potential is greatest. The move will enable Fuze to take advantage of the trend in the industry of enterprises shifting their communications and collaboration operations to the cloud.
In his blog post, the new CEO spoke vaguely of having to “make critical and challenging changes across our global organization,” though he didn’t mention anything about cutting jobs. However, there are reports that the company could reduce its 740-person global workforce by as much as 25% and one report said that 10 people in the company’s Sydney, Australia, office – which was said to have a total of 45 employees this year – were laid off.
The Impact: The move to the cloud over the past several years has been highly disruptive to the unified communications (UC) market, with an influx of smaller pure-play vendors – including the 13-year-old Fuze, BlueJeans Network, and Zoom – challenging such established vendors as Cisco, Microsoft, Polycom, and others. There has been rapid consolidation in the space, with vendors like Polycom and ShoreTel being acquired and Avaya forming a partnership with RingCentral as it looked to stave off being bought.
BlueJeans CEO Quentin Gallivan in his own blog post earlier this month wrote that his company – with a valuation of more than $700 million – had passed the $100 million mark in recurring revenue and that it would become profitable in the next few months. Gallivan also said BlueJeans remains committed to its channel partners, but he also spoke about making “a strategic decision to optimize resources to accelerate our path to profitability with a more efficient go-to-market strategy,” and Business Insider reported that the company was laying off 40% of its workforce.
Background: Cloud communications will continue to be a dynamic market. Synergy Research Group said that revenue from cloud-based solutions make up about 64% of total global collaboration revenue.
The Buzz: “It has become clear to me and to the team that Fuze must capitalize on its competitive advantage in the enterprise market in order to realize the company’s full potential,” Day wrote in the blog. “Moving forward, Fuze will center itself on providing transformative cloud communications solutions to the enterprise market. Focusing our efforts on building enterprise solutions aligns our business with the industry trend of larger companies moving communications to the cloud and enables us to invest in our core strengths. To effectively align Fuze’s operations to focus on the enterprise market, we have had to make critical and challenging changes across our global organization. We are now laser-focused on meeting the evolving needs of enterprise organizations, by providing global cloud communications solutions that empower them to move away from legacy systems and embrace digital transformation. By centering our focus and operations on the enterprise portion of our business, we will best position Fuze for long-term success.”