Yammer top execs join Fuzebox to go head to head with Microsoft

A year after its $1.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft, four of Yammer's executive team have left to join Fuzebox -- to compete in the online collaboration space.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Four Yammer executives have left the company 15 months after its $1.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft in 2012. But instead of starting from scratch again they have joined Fuzebox, one of ‘the most promising companies in 2013’.

Credit: Fuzebox

Fuzebox provides real-time voice, video and content collaboration solutions that allow people to work together across locations and devices.

Headquartered in San Francisco the company has bolstered its leadership team by bringing on board Yammer executives. Today it announced its new CEO, Yammer Chief Customer Officer and Salesforce.com veteran David Obrand.

“FuzeBox has built a differentiated product that is well positioned to disrupt the business collaboration marketplace”  ~ Jeff Horing, Cofounder and Managing Director Insight Venture Partners.

Joining Obrand, former Yammer and Salesforce.com sales leader Mary Pecka was named Chief Customer Officer who will lead worldwide sales operations and customer engagement.

Former Yammer and Microsoft executive Georg Ell was named Vice President and General Manager, EMEA. Ell will lead international expansion beginning with the European market.

Former Yammer finance executive Jonathan Grant was named VP of Finance and will be leading finance, accounting and investor relations.

Today Fuzebox has also announced that it is to target global expansion and has added a Freemium service to its offering to drive adoption by allowing customers to experience the product before subscribing.

It has two subscription offers, Pro and Enterprise at $8 per month and $20 per month respectively offering extra features such as Webinar mode or telepresence connect.

It has also raised $26M in Series B funding led by Hermes Growth Partners with Series A investors Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Insight Venture Partners. Including Series B funding, FuzeBox has raised a total of $46M to date.

The collaboration industry is ripe for a newcomer to disrupt its foothold. Recognized as the #125th fastest growing company on the Inc 5000, Fuzebox has already attracted some big name customers. 

Starbucks, NASA, Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, Kellogg’s, and General Motors use Fuzebox for presentations, online meetings, marketing webinars, screen sharing and collaboration.

It also has features to help solve the interoperability issues between HD telepresence systems by allowing users to connect regardless of which brand of equipment they use.

It is platform agnostic and supports up to 12 HD video conferencing streams with up to 125 participants on Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, and Android.

“With the consumerization of IT movement gaining momentum, Fuzebox is well positioned to disrupt the $42B collaboration services market.” said Mike Volpi, Partner at Index Ventures .

"There is a huge market opportunity which is underserved by the existing players." ~ Georg Ell, Vice President and General Manager, EMEA Fuzebox

“Loss of productivity has burdened the distributed workforce for far too long and it is time that changed".

"FuzeBox is redefining the real-time collaboration experience across teams and organizations of all sizes, in any location and on any device,” said Obrand.

“I am thrilled to join FuzeBox at such a pivotal time in its growth".

"We will use the new capital to expand our technology leadership, drive viral freemium adoption, scale global sales and marketing, and build a world-class support organization focused on customer success”.

Positioning itself squarely against Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting and Microsoft Lync, Fuzebox shows that it wants to be taken as a serious competitor in the collaboration market.

"Fuzebox is hugely exciting for us. It is a disruptive technology with phenomenal quality in the technical leadership, the engineering product and the organisation behind it" said Ell.

"There is a huge market opportunity which is underserved by the existing players. It was the only organisation that met all of our criteria that we felt very optimistic about"

Solving integration issues across platform and devices is a big hurdle for many enterprises – one that, if Fuzebox manages to solve, would enable seamless collaboration – the way we wanted – right from the start.

Editorial standards