Discussion with Laurent


Continuing with my discussions with compelling and interesting UC executives, NoJitter posted my conversation with Laurent Philonenko, the VP of Unified Communications at Cisco (and interim CTO and intranet blogger). This interview was logistically a bit more complex than the others due to travel commitments on both sides. LaurentPhilonenko

Laurent has been a senior executive at three UC/telecom leading companies. He held an executive position at Alcatel (ALU is mostly associated with carrier products in the US, but in Europe and officially at least in the US it has a strong enterprise focus). ALU acquired Genesys a contact center leader and placed Laurent as its CEO, and then he moved to Cisco’s call center division. Laurent now heads up Cisco’s UC and collaboration efforts. He has seen a lot, but says we haven’t seen anything yet.

The rate of change and Innovation is much faster than ever before and still accelerating. In fact, a few years back, carriers, enterprise, and mobility were three different worlds, with little, if any, intersection…We have seen nothing yet in terms of what the technology will do

Maybe its the French accent, but Laurent is someone who speaks with passion. He loves the technology and loves the turbulence it creates. He sees it as an opportunity. Of course, that’s easier when you are a market leader. Unified Communications is a confusing concept because it blurs so many disparate technologies into one – but it is emerging as a powerful toolset – game changing.

I figured Laurent is a pretty busy person so I didn’t expect much of his time. But I was wrong. He was truly committed to an engaging conversation. He didn’t avoid any topics and clearly communicated his ideas and responses. He played an active role in the final piece – not to limit liability but to ensure he said enough.

This Q&A; interview was the fourth in the series, number five is expected in a few weeks. The prior three were:

Dave Michels