One partner says the move doesn't make sense, while Five9 says it does. We present you with both sides. You be the judge.

Moshe Beauford, Contributing Editor

November 13, 2023

3 Min Read
Blan-k/Shutterstock

Last week, cloud contact center provider Five9 and Vancouver-based IT and customer service outsourcing firm TELUS International said they made a deal. In the newly-minted partnership, the duo said they would merge their strengths — Five9's CCaaS platform with TELUS Interntional's global reach and scale. 

The Canadian firm has a global network of contact centers in over 32 countries, which will give Five9 customers the ability to provide customer support to their customers in more than 50 languages. Another advantage of the agreement is that those customers can receive that assistance in their local time zones. 

Regarding innovation, Five9 is a leader in CCaaS, according to Gartner's annual CCaas Magic Quadrant Report for 2023, which named the cloud contact center provider and others as leaders.  

Combine this with TELUS International's fresh FUEL iX customer experience (CX) tool powered by generative AI and the alliance could spell trouble for competitors who are growing increasingly CX-centric. 

Fuel iX extends tools for digital consulting, data analytics, self-service applications and AI-enabled platform integration, which could considerably enrich what Five9 is already doing in the CCaaS sphere.

Partner Says: "A Moot Point for Channel Distribution"

Looking beyond the marketing buzz of the announcement, it appears that it's customers and not partners who stand to benefit from the move. That's according to Robert DeVita, founder and CEO of Mejeticks.

Five9 Telus

"There is a lot of marketing in this announcement, but as in all partnerships, this one will come down to execution as most BPOs (business outsourcing platforms) are platform agnostic and will support any platform the end user chooses to deploy," DeVita told Channel Futures. 

He further conveyed that Five9 being a leader in the CCaaS makes him believe that most BPOs already have familiarity with their platform, noting, "I don’t understand why Five9 would be willing to market the TELUS International BPO platform with the risk of alienating others that they work with." 

As for partners, there's not much to offer on that front. DeVita said that at least on the channel side, TELUS International's parent company, TELUS Communications, "historically has not adopted a wide channel strategy to include the agent community, so this may be a 'moot' point for channel distribution.”

Five9 Says There Are Definite Partner Advantages

Five9 Telus

Five9 SVP of global partner sales, Jake Butterbaugh, lent discernment to the channel play here. He said the coalition is unique and leverages the firm's "partnership plan that capitalized on Five9's sell with, deliver with and build with partner methodology from the start." 

As a strategic resell partner, Butterbaugh said, TELUS International can resell the entire Five9 solution stack. "We have identified specific joint technology alliances to integrate within their unique value propositions, including both strategic WFO (workforce optimization) and AI solutions that will benefit its customers," he added.

In addition, Butterbaugh told Channel Futures that TELUS International has elected to expand its service capabilities with Five9 certifications, "that include both the certified implementation partner program and Five9 IVA (intelligent virtual assistant) solution engineering certifications. 

"By integrating these capabilities within their own teams, TELUS International can also build day two managed services that Five9 will support," he said.

The real test of partnership usefulness will be time, as DeVita told us. For now, we have the understanding that at least customers should see the benefits of the deal in the short term. The long-term benefits remain to be seen. 

About the Author(s)

Moshe Beauford

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.

As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.

Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.

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