Centre stage with Brian Kardon, Chief Marketing Officer at Fuze…
A topical Q&A with a leading light within the unified communications community.
Born – I was born in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States as both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were written here. It’s also home to Philly cheesesteaks and Rocky Balboa.
Studied / Education background – I graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with both a bachelors and MBA degree in marketing and finance. But my real passion is playing music – I play the tenor sax, clarinet and piano every chance I get. I’ve also recently obtained a diploma in wine from the Wine and Spirit Trust (my daughter is a sommelier, so I really need to keep up).
Current role / bio – I’m very fortunate to be the Chief Marketing Officer at Fuze, the leading global cloud communications and collaboration platform for the enterprise. I’m responsible for our market positioning, demand generation, thought leadership, and integrated marketing worldwide. Prior to Fuze, I was CMO at Eloqua (NASDAQ: ELOQ) where I was part of the team that led Eloqua’s explosive growth and leadership in the marketing automation sector, resulting in a successful IPO and subsequent purchase by Oracle. Previously, I was Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Forrester Research (NASDAQ: FORR) and CMO at Reed Business Information (NYSE: RELX), the largest B2B publisher in the world.
Tell us a little bit about Fuze and your role in the company?
At Fuze, we believe that when you break down the barriers to communications, people can do their best work. We are seeing an unprecedented change in the workforce driven by an open-talent economy, a multi-generational workforce, and remote and flexible working patterns that require advanced collaboration technologies. The workforce of tomorrow need tools that support distributed teams and high performance. Fuze is at the centre of this transformation.
What’s Fuze’s USP? What makes you stand out in the market?
Through one simple, secure platform with a best-in-class user experience, enterprise technology leaders can transform communications, reduce complexity, and empower people to seamlessly collaborate on any device, whenever and wherever they want. Fuze’s goal is to be the trusted global communications provider to the world's leading businesses, creating software that empowers people to interact whenever and wherever they want.
Fuze’s has recently run some big data analysis into millions of its calls and meetings, what were the key findings of this analysis?
Fuze is sitting on a treasure trove of global meeting data. We analysed data from more than 5 million people, 1.5 million separate meetings, 20 million calls, and 33 million messages across every country in the world. We wanted to uncover patterns and unique elements in the way different groups communicate and collaborate. Who knew that Denmark has the highest usage of video conferencing and India the lowest? Or that calls that include European participants run significantly longer than those with just Americans in them. The key here is that you really have to understand regional and cultural differences in your own organisation. For example, if your regional office culture supports it, ensure a “video on” policy for all electronic meetings. Management needs to lead from the top; execs help drive adoption of new video, chat and sharing tools. As for face to face meetings, a recent study reported that 67% of all in-person meetings are rated as “ineffective”, yet employees spend more than 15% of their time in those meetings.
Where do you see the emerging opportunities in the UC market?
Technology advances, distributed workforces, and an overhaul in the way people think about work are driving a fundamental shift in the way that today’s businesses must operate. We are seeing a once-in-a-generation shift from on-premise legacy communications systems to the cloud. Most forward-thinking organisations have embraced the cloud in CRM, accounting, ERP and other applications. Communications seems to be the last frontier, and it’s a massive opportunity. This is particularly true amongst larger companies who are generally slower to adopt.
What big trends do you see impacting the way people work and communicate over the next 1-2 years?
We are certainly seeing the decline of email as the primary method of communication. But replacing email are a variety of point solutions that are fragmenting communications – LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Slack, WhatsApp, Skype, Chatter, FaceTime, and so many others. There is real issue with Shadow IT with employees bringing their own communications apps to the workplace that may lack the security that the organisation needs. Increasingly, companies are looking to consolidate their 6-10 communications apps to provide a better employee experience while at the same time ensuring secure communications.
What do you love most about your job?
I love to learn new things. I am particularly excited about the role of AI and machine learning in our lives. With digital assistants and advances in natural language processing, we are entering a whole new world of communications. My job at Fuze puts me smack in the middle of this dynamic.
Join Brian at UC EXPO at ExCeL London, 15-16 May 2019
“As companies look to connect to a global and distributed workforce, it is critical to understand the diverse communities that make up these groups and how they prefer to communicate. Fuze has undertaken a global communications study of unprecedented magnitude – analysing millions of calls, video meetings and chat – to better understand the geographic, demographic, engagement levels, and technical considerations that drive effective communication. In this session, I will share the important conclusions from this global study to improve productivity and employee engagement.