The New Genesys: Juggling AWS and Azure

Genesys last week closed the Interactive Intelligence acquisition announced in August. The marketing team had clearly been working hard in the run-up to the close because some significant post-merger decisions were evident on the Genesys website immediately, and additional information was quickly forthcoming during an analyst briefing following the acquisition.

I was able to gather even more insight during a subsequent interview with a trio of Genesys executives. I spoke with Paul Segre, CEO; Tom Eggemeier, president; and Tom Fischer, SVP of Operations and GM.

From the new marketecture diagram at right, Genesys clearly sees strong brand value in the name of Interactive's multi-tenant cloud platform, PureCloud. Not only is PureCloud a key component of the going-forward portfolio, but the "Pure" branding now extends to Interactive's former premises-based contact solution, CIC, and the cloud/hybrid CaaS solution, now PureConnect, as well as to the original Genesys Enterprise Edition, now PureEngage. In Segre's words, the goal is to "convey with the naming a coherent suite."

A conversation developed on Twitter about the name PureEngage once Genesys released the graphic. Interactive's PureCloud solution had three flavors: Communicate, Collaborate, and Engage. Does that mean Genesys will now have PureCloud Engage and PureEngage? The answer to that question is, "No" -- but Genesys has not yet prioritized brand decisions that go "a layer deeper," as Fischer said. Stay tuned.

Genesys apparently will stay the course with Interactive's UC offerings, PureCloud Communicate and PureCloud Collaborate. In responding to a question on them during the analyst call, Segre said, "There is no change to the strategy associated with those capabilities." I take this to mean that Genesys plans to continue offering these capabilities while concentrating most of its efforts on the PureCloud contact center component. With the earlier generation product, CIC/CaaS, about 25% of licensees sold were PBX/UC versus contact center.

One of the reasons the future of Communicate and Collaborate comes into question is the close relationship Genesys has with Microsoft, given that these solutions compete directly against its Skype for Business Online offering. Microsoft, however, is "not concerned about PureCloud being on AWS," Segre told me when I asked him how Microsoft reacted to PureCloud's deployment on Amazon Web Services. "They are more focused on the high end. They prefer PureEngage to be on Azure."

By "high end," Segre implied that the Genesys-Microsoft relationship primarily focuses on the large contact center segment, those organizations with perhaps 1,000+ agents. The other implication is that when Microsoft and Genesys release an integrated Office 365/cloud contact center offer it will be built in Azure. (Note that CaféX's integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365, which I discussed in an October No Jitter post, is built in Azure.)

The separation of AWS and Azure product management activities will be eased by organizational design. Merijn te Booj, Genesys CMO, will continue to head product management for PureEngage and add responsibility for PureConnect. PureCloud product management will be part of a what Segre called a mini business unit.

As to questions I had about whether Genesys would bring its SIP Server to the PureConnect products (CPE or single tenant) and whether it would add PureCloud (multi-tenant AWS) elements to the PureEngage (traditional Genesys) offer, the company's initial focus has been around clarifying segmentation of individual product lines, Segre said. Exploratory work on possible combinations is underway, he said, adding that all of the possibilities I mentioned "are on the table."

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