Ultimately this combination allows us to deliver a superior user experience, more consistent quality across the globe and focus our development on the areas users care about most.
TRP: The company has raised $26 million in funding - what does it plan to do with that?
GE: We are preparing to scale the service globally and putting the appropriate resources in place. The funding will help accelerate our product innovation, expand our global infrastructure, drive market awareness, and allow us to build out our global customer support and customer success organization.
TRP: Can you tell us any interesting ways that Groupon, GM, Oglivy, Evernote and others are using the service?
GE: FuzeBox helps people work more effectively across locations and devices, so the use cases and benefits are broad. Groupon, the daily deal website, uses FuzeBox to help unite a highly geographically dispersed workforce.
Sales reps in the field use Fuze on a variety of devices to connect with corporate employees at their desk or in conference rooms, including connecting to Cisco Telepresence systems without incurring substantial service fees.
Ogilvy, one of the leading global advertising and PR agencies, uses Fuze to help teams in different cities stay in close contact to deliver great results for customers across geographies. Fuze also allows Ogilvy to meet face-to-face more regularly with clients over video.
Educational institutions like Saint Louis University are using FuzeBox for distance learning and to overcome the barriers commonly associated with a distributed faculty and student population across campuses and around the world.
They use Fuze university-wide across nearly 20,000 faculty, staff and students on campuses in St. Louis and Madrid. Applications include distance education, online classes, online office hours, test preparation sessions, training, guest lecturers, evening and adult education, and many administrative applications.
The marketing team of a major online retailer uses FuzeBox to share designs, videos, and annotate content in real-time across US and international teams.
They also use FuzeBox for video recruiting, which accelerates the candidate screening process by allowing them to remotely interview candidates, record and share interviews with hiring managers and also reduces costs by reducing the need for candidates to travel for interviews.
TRP: How has your time at Yammer helped you take the service forward?
GE: Yammer was a pioneer not only in enterprise social networking, but in the enterprise freemium model and effective customer success for cloud-based services. I lead the company's growth in Europe, serving as the GM of EMEA, overseeing all revenue and business operations.
We established the permanent headquarters in London, grew headcount to 90 people and won the highest 3-star award in the Best Companies scheme, for company culture. These experiences will help me as we look to grow another successful, hard-working, fun team culture, hiring the best talent in Europe for FuzeBox.
It also helps that I'm truly European, being half-German / half-Dutch but having grown up in the UK, so I have a strong sense of the culture, challenges and opportunities ahead in Europe. I've also long been an advocate of the UK tech community and a big believer in the potential of London's Tech City.
TRP: BYOD, social enterprise and the cloud: overhyped, or the future of business?
GE: It's already here, so I wouldn't question it, but instead consider the implications. BYOD and SaaS has fueled consumerization of IT, which has changed the how technology is brought into the enterprise. Users and business units want to make their own choices and not have them imposed, and they will pick the best solutions, buying cloud services and no longer buying into complete collaboration stacks (particularly on-premises).
You only have to look at the traction of Evernote, Box and Dropbox – all successful even though companies had previously invested in typical enterprise tools with similar capabilities, but nevertheless brought in by users and the business who demand simple, fast solutions that work on all devices. This will continue.
The reality of BYOD and Cloud require companies to rethink their strategy. However, instead of viewing this as a threat, organizations should see this as an opportunity to listen to employees and follow their lead in selecting tools that better match the needs of current work environments.