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Genesys Adds WEM Business Unit and New CMO
Genesys, a key player in the customer experience and contact center solutions space, today announced two significant senior management changes. Joyce Kim, the company’s new chief marketing officer (CMO), joins from Arm, the microprocessor company acquired by Softbank in 2016, where she was CMO and Chief Digital Officer. Kim succeeds Merijn te Booij, a twenty-year Genesys veteran, who now serves as general manager (GM) for the company’s new business unit, Employee Engagement Solutions (more broadly known as workforce engagement management or WEM).
Why a New CMO?
As Genesys pushes hard on its pivot from a premises-based contact center provider to cloud solution leader, CEO Tony Bates has discussed with analysts the need to bring in new, cloud-first, talent. Kim certainly fits the bill. Kim has worked for Silicon Valley firms for twenty years, including a five-year stint at Google and two years at Microsoft, functioning as the CMO of Skype for Business.
On a pre-briefing call with industry analysts, Kim touched on one area of her work at Arm that dovetails well with her new role at Genesys. Kim explained that the vision at Arm, after the SoftBank acquisition, was to bring together device data and customer data into enterprise data and customer data platforms. In November 2019, Genesys – along with Amazon Web Services and Salesforce – formed the Cloud Information Model (CIM), an open-source data model that looks to standardize data interoperability across cloud applications.
An analyst remarked that Genesys CEO Tony Bates has been actively working toward using partnerships to help transform Genesys, e.g., with Google, Microsoft, and most recently Zoom, and asked what experience Kim brought in terms of partnership expertise. “Everything that Arm does is through partnerships and a very vivid engaged ecosystem,” Kim said, which makes sense. Arm’s goal, as a microprocessor firm, is to have its technology embedded in the products of other firms.
According to Kim, applying this expertise to Genesys involves recognizing what overlap in portfolios occur with certain partners, and working towards friendly co-opetition. “The go-to-market and solutions that we can offer customers have to be within the realm of the broader partnership ecosystem.” Kim said. For example, AWS is the platform for the Genesys Cloud offer, and therefore, a close partner but also offers Amazon Connect, a competing contact center solution.
Genesys Employee Engagement Solutions
On the analyst call, one of my colleagues asked te Booij if the vision of the new employee engagement business unit is to create a standalone WEM offering or, more simply, to bolster and focus the efforts of Genesys WEM as part of the core portfolio. His response, mildly surprising to me, was both. “We think that with the cloud-native and integrated cloud offers that we have today, there's no real reason not to go-to-market directly with WEM,” he said.
Continuing his answer, te Booij highlighted the reasons a dedicated WEM focus makes sense. “I think that WEM is still a different go-to-market, a different buyer persona, a different entry point into an enterprise.” He went on to say that as a result of these differences, WEM needs a certain level of expertise and a different skill set than a contact center-only approach.
Looking to the future, te Booij reinforced how important artificial intelligence (AI) innovation is in the Genesys WEM portfolio, e.g., AI is already in workforce management algorithms. “I will embed AI into gamification. I will leverage AI to make work from home actually something physical and logical,” said te Booij.
While identifying the need for a new direction for marketing, Bates equally recognized the contributions a seasoned executive like te Booij could continue to make at Genesys. The employee engagement business unit will undoubtedly hit the ground running.