A 33-year telco industry veteran from an incumbent telco industry is taking the helm at Voxeo. In one respect, it marks the coming of age for a long-time innovator who’s path to success is to bullet-proof and support a core set of cloud-based resources for enterprise customers. In another respect, as Jonathan Taylor, now Chairman of the Board of both Voxeo and its newest subsidiary, Voxeo Labs, explained in a post on Facebook, “I feel like MacArthur returning to the Philippines,” upon signing the lease for new office space in Menlo Park, CA.
Northern California is where Voxeo got its start (in Scotts Valley and Los Gatos, actually). In 1999, Taylor and Silicon Valley lawyer Gary Reback had the audacity to launch a company that provided developers with tools and Internet-based resources to build “Phone+Web” applications. Thirteen years ago, none of us knew *exactly* how the Web would impact incumbent telephone companies or what a “phone app” was likely to be. But Taylor, and his cohort at Voxeo knew that success was predicated on influencing, supporting and implementing Web based standards (i.e. VoiceXML and CCxml) and providing a point of entry or “playground” for a community of developers to employ while developing their own businesses – pattern that the likes of Twilio, Appcelerator and Tropo (now Voxeo Labs) are following with success.
Along the way, Voxeo made a number of moves and acquisitions that expanded its global reach. Its headquarters are now in Orlando, FL. It has a major presence in Western Europe, thanks to a timely acquisition of VoiceObjects. And it has steadily added to the cloud-based tools and resources that enable partners and developers to build, monitor and refine all Web+Phone applications. The roster of services that are supported now spans speech, text, Webchat, Instant Messaging and HTML5-based activities. All of the activities are backed up by a strong commitment to network up-time, 24/7 customer care, and links to the sorts of analytics required to make those apps dynamic and adaptive.
Enter Bob Ingalls, whose experience over 29 years at Verizon included conception, development and delivery of the FiOS Internet and TV product starting in 2003. He also spent the last 14 years as an executive in charge of sales and marketing for Verizon’s Mass Market segments including Consumer and Small to Medium Business. After retiring from the telco in 2007, he has served on the Board of Directors at Voxeo, so he is very familiar with the company’s development and marketing efforts. With Ingall’s at the helm of “parent” Voxeo, the company will have Bell-like DNA at its core, as well as some visceral understanding of the challenges facing today’s incumbent telcos as they confront competition from “over-the-top” service providers like Voxeo. Look for interesting initiatives in the mobile customer care realms, as Voxeo’s partners and customers continue market cloud-based services to enterprise customers. It’s the “mature” part of Voxeo.
Meanwhile, as Chairman of the Board, Taylor will be boosting Voxeo Labs’ initiatives and efforts to promote new standards and new communities required to define the future of Web+Phone, over-the-top services. It’s creating an environment in which developers can play around with softphones, WebRTC, virtual PBXs and speech apps and define the features and functions that will be popular ten years from now.
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