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Five9, Genband Formalize Partnership

As vendor partnerships often begin, the one between Five9 and Genband started with a customer's unique requirement. A U.S.-based entertainment company wanted an easy way to support several hundred contact center agents, mostly offshore, using Chromebooks. Delivering the contact center application over WebRTC would provide the answer.

The deployment leverages both the Five9 and the Genband clouds, Wendell Black, VP of global channels at Five9, told me. Five9 cloud accepts the voice interaction in its cloud data center, then wraps the call in an "envelope" for routing over the Genband cloud to the offshore agent.

Working together successfully with this customer led the companies to discuss broader areas of collaboration. Those discussions culminated in a formal UC and contact center partnership between Genband and Five9, announced yesterday. "Part of the partnership is to have a better 'wrapped together' UC and CC solution to offer to customers," Black said. While Genband's Kandy cloud communications platform has not come into play on initial deployments, Kandy and its Wrapper applications will be key in what the two companies work on going forward, he added.

Five9's cloud-based contact center also becomes a new alternative that Genband can offer to its enterprise customers. While the largest part of the Genband business is developing and delivering technologies for carriers to use in creating services, the company also has many very large enterprise customers -- in part a heritage from its acquisition of the Nortel carrier business (read the history here).

Those familiar with the former Nortel communications portfolio will remember the SL-100/CS2100 platform, the enterprise version of which had been popular among universities, hospitals, and government agencies. These are all now Genband customers, many of them actively looking for ways to rejuvenate their communications environments. Five9 becomes an alternative for these organizations as they look to modernize their contact centers while easily leveraging existing infrastructure.

I asked Black if there is any connection between Genband's traditional strength with carriers and this announcement -- i.e., are Genband's carrier partners more likely to look to offer the Five9 cloud contact center solution based on this new partnership? "That is to be determined," he said, while indicating that he certainly hopes to use the partnership to create relationships with Genband's 700 carrier partners. Five9 has a goal to broaden its global business and creating relationships with service providers around the globe certainly supports that strategy.

Next month, Genband is holding its annual user and partner conference, Perspectives '17, in Los Angeles. Black will be there as a keynote speaker, and I'm sure he'll be using the opportunity to explain to those carriers the value of bringing Genband and Five9 solutions together to market.

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