Five9 Execs Talk CCaaS “Megadeal”, Generative AI Strategy, & International Expansion

“The team is executing with an increased level of passion and purpose that I’d just love to see,” says CEO Mike Burkland

Five9 Execs Talk CCaaS “Megadeal”, Generative AI Strategy, & International Expansion
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Last Edited: May 22, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

Five9 has secured a CCaaS “megadeal” with a large U.S. bank, expected to be worth $8 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) once fully ramped.

Dan Burkland, President and CRO of Five9, shared the news during an earnings call, where he also laid out the vendor’s generative AI strategy and discussed its continued international expansion.

Unfortunately, he didn’t delve deeper into the big customer win, as the contract remains hot off the press. However, Burkland did highlight several other significant deals.

Major CCaaS Wins

Five9’s first win is a legacy replacement deal with a healthcare provider of financial management and patient experience management services and solutions.

The business had worked with Cisco on-premises technology. That environment did not support omnichannel, virtual agents, workforce engagement management (WEM), and several other integrations.

To evolve, the business switched to Five9’s Intelligent CX platform and enabled all of these integrations and applications.

Shedding more light on the inner workings of the deal, Burkland said:

They will be leveraging our AI and automation portfolio to perform authentication with voice biometrics, natural language recognition for call routing, and IVA self-service for checking account balances, payment status, and appointment reminders.

In total, Five9 expects the deal to generate $4.7 million in ARR.

The next deal falls short of that mark, delivering $2.3MN in ARR. Nonetheless, it is with another regional bank, which perhaps underlines Five9’s prowess in this vertical.

Operating across several U.S. states, the business wanted to move on from legacy contact center technology and develop a more agile, comprehensive ecosystem.

As such, it turned to Five9 to deliver omnichannel, conversational analytics, and performance management solutions, alongside several AI and automation tools.

Yet, the vendor did not only secure the deal due to its deep tech portfolio. As Burkland explained:

They were looking for a partner with the professional services expertise who could best deliver and tailor all of these applications to enhance the customer experience improve their efficiency, cut costs, and increase revenue.

These wins are just two of many seven-digit deals, with Five9 enjoying its strongest-ever bookings quarter for Q1.

Meanwhile, the vendor also reports to have doubled its pipeline – which may help generate many more megadeals in the near future.

Generative AI Plans

During the earnings call, Mike Burkland, CEO of Five9, also broke down Five9’s AI strategy, which has generative AI very much front and center.

That strategy has three pillars. First is taking an agnostic approach to the large language models (LLMs) it leverages. These underpin generative AI innovation.

Sharing why he believes this is mission-critical, Burkland stated:

This allows us to rapidly innovate and consistently be at the forefront of delivering meaningful solutions to our customers that are leveraging the most innovative technology available.

The CEO also suggests that this is a more sustainable approach than the route some of its competitors have raced down.

Second, Five9 is placing emphasis on the delivery of practical AI solutions that generate ROI.

“An example of a practical AI solution is our AI summaries offering,” added Burkland. “This uses OpenAI’s GPT models to summarize agent conversations and publish them to the CRM in real-time.”

That product is Five9’s first generative AI solution to become generally available to customers.

The final pillar involves embedding AI into the fabric of the Five Intelligent CX platform. In doing so, the vendor hopes to allow customers to gain immediate out-of-box value from AI.

For instance, Five9 is building in more workflow automation to mechanize back-office tasks, connect systems, centralize information, and trigger cross-platform automations. The latter may include launching surveys or sending proactive messages.

Giving another example of how sticking to this pillar may drive further value to clients, Burkland said:

Our AI insight solution gathers and aggregates valuable data from customer interactions, identifying repetitive requests, and that acts as a prescriptive tool to identify use case candidates for self-service automation.

In following this three-pillar strategy, Five9 aims to build out its portfolio of eight different AI and automation solutions, increase customer engagement, and drive contact center efficiency.

Burkland also promised to bring new products to market that will deliver on Five9’s vision for fluid customer experiences.

International Expansion

Finally, Mike Burkland drew attention to the progress Five9 had made in expanding its brand far beyond the confines of North America.

“Our international revenue in Q1 grew 48 percent year-over-year… and has now grown more than 40 percent year-over-year in nine of the last 11 quarters,” said Burkland.

To build further momentum, Five9 has also strengthened its partnership with BT – formerly known as British Telecom – a global network provider with a significant presence across Europe.

Now, it will offer Five9’s CCaaS platform to its customers as a managed service laced with BT’s global voice and data services.

Delving deeper into the deal, Burkland said:

After an extensive multiyear evaluation process, BT has chosen Five9 as its primary CCaaS solution to enable the migration of their thousands of legacy installed base customers to the cloud with the Five9 Intelligent CX platform.

As BT already has an established, specialized contact center practice that centers on customer experience transformation, the deal is exciting for Five9’s international business.

Such moves challenge the perception of many analysts – including Garner –that Five9 is somewhat pegged to North America.

Yet, over the last three years, its international growth has accelerated, which may soon see the vendor slip into the well-publicized leader square of the CCaaS Magic Quadrant.



Artificial IntelligenceCCaaSGenerative AI

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