April 13, 2017

Forbes

Steve Kokinos Creates Fuze To Provide A Better Communication Platform For The Mobile Workforce

A Series of Forbes Insights Profiles of Thought Leaders Changing the Business Landscape: Steve Kokinos, Cofounder and Executive Chairman, Fuze.

Unified communications as a software service (UCaaS) is a big and growing business representing a $200 billion market as companies increasingly shift from owning their communications gear to subscribing to services that perform the same function on any device, such as a laptop or mobile phone.

Fuze is one such company helping to create that market and growing fast as a result. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company was named to the Forbes 2016 Cloud 100 list and has attracted over $300 million in venture funding valuing the company north of $1 billion.

"I started Fuze with Derek Yoo, my co-founder and our CTO, about ten years ago on a simple premise and vision. We couldn’t figure out why enterprises keep buying the same crappy communications tools over and over again, even though they don’t do anything to help their end users," laughs Fuze co-founder and Executive Chairman, Steve Kokinos.

"We had faced those challenges ourselves, personally, in prior businesses and when we started to uncover the problem, it turns out it’s a pretty complex one," says Kokinos, which is also why he refers to the company as a ten-year-long "overnight success."

“We built our multi-tenant cloud platform from the ground up to be exceptionally agile, redundant, and secure without the restrictions of other UC services and the expense of on-premise designs. This enables our customers to deploy cloud communications quickly, easily, and cost effectively."

According to Kokinos, there are about 400 million people who use communications tools at work every day and only 10 percent of mid-sized companies (250-1,000 employees) have migrated their tools to the cloud. Only 5 percent have migrated at larger companies with 1,000 or more employees. So while Fuze has scaled nicely, he sees tremendous runway or future growth. To help scale the business further, Kokinos brought in a new CEO, Colin Doherty, who had led several other companies though this critical growth phase.

"I think the challenge we have now is two-fold: how do we get the operating metrics for the company around cash and margin feature sets to compete with some of the larger players that are coming into the space; and how do we scale the business for growth in ’18 and ’19. I think we have a great platform and a great foundation to do that from," says Doherty.

Read more: www.forbes.com/sites/brucerogers/2017/04/13/steve-kokinos-creates-fuze-to-provide-a-better-communication-platform-for-the-mobile-workforce/#3f3522f74c96