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Observe AI Layoffs ‘Could Impact Partners’ Ability to Sell’

Observe.AI garnered $125 million last year.

Claudia Adrien

February 15, 2023

2 Min Read
Layoff notice
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The ink has barely dried on buyout packages at Observe AI, as the company is going through a round of layoffs that has significantly affected its channel organization. According to sources close to Channel Futures, Jon Heaps, who served as vice president of channels at Observe AI, has resigned. Heaps is a longtime leader within the channel community.

“This could impact partners’ ability to sell,” one source told us.

Channel Futures could not verify the number of laid-off employees by publication time. Nor could we confirm the degree of workforce reduction within the company’s channel organization.

Keep up with our telecom-IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and the ensuing channel impact.

Observe AI did not respond to email and LinkedIn requests for comment.

Zoom Is an Investor

Observe AI is a company whose business model is based on making visible the millions of interactions between a customer and a brand to get a “complete picture of every customer conversation,” according to its website. Some have dubbed it one of the most promising artificial intelligence startups. Last year Observe.AI raised $125 million and added Zoom as an investor.

Such success raises concerns about why its leaders are in the position they are today. Did the company, like many other tech firms, overhire during the pandemic? Is the competition among organizations creating contact center technologies too stiff, necessitating cutbacks? Whatever the reason, Observe AI’s commitment to the channel is now in question.

Last year, however, was a different story.

Heaps-Jon_Talkdesk.jpg

Observe.AI’s Jon Heaps

When Observe.AI garnered $125 million, Heaps said the record-setting funding only bolstered the company’s dedication to partners.

He told Channel Futures that “we really expanded the channel team significantly, and I’ve hired a lot of seasoned veterans. We will continue to expand our channel team as well as our direct sales team, and they will work in harmony with each other. So, there’s no such thing as channel versus direct. This is part of our whole go-to-market motion.”

Investing in the channel means more opportunity to get more revenue, which only furthers Observe AI’s goal to go public, he said at the time.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Claudia Adrien or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Claudia Adrien

Claudia Adrien is a reporter for Channel Futures where she covers breaking news. Prior to Informa, she wrote about biosecurity and infectious disease for a national publication. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and resides in Tampa.

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