Martech Edge Interview with Kevin Dundon, Chief Strategy Officer, Alianza | Martech Edge | Best News on Marketing and Technology
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Martech Edge Interview with Kevin Dundon, Chief Strategy Officer, Alianza

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Martech Edge Interview with Kevin Dundon, Chief Strategy Officer, Alianza


Published on 14th Mar, 2024

I joined Alianza more than a decade ago, just a year after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to the stage at the first AWS re:Invent Conference to share that the streaming giant would be moving all of its core network infrastructure to the cloud. The news was game changing and encouraged us to think differently about the business. Fast forward 10-plus years and cloud-native strategies have taken hold across almost every industry. Alianza recognized the opportunity for telecommunications and built one of the industry’s only cloud-native communications platforms tailored to service providers.

Today, through our recent strategic collaboration agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS), we sit at a similar inflection point. Alianza recognizes the opportunities that will be driven by AI and remains steadfast in our commitment to modernizing core network infrastructure capable of delivering the latest technology innovations. These new capabilities will democratize access to technology for businesses beyond the enterprise all the way to Main Street, where Alianza supports so many communications service providers. Small business communications will be transformed by AI and natural language calling features, ushering in a new level of intelligence to the core of our economy.

As Alianza’s Chief Strategy Officer, how do you approach aligning these functions to drive overall revenue growth and business success? 

Strategy is collaborative at Alianza. Our leadership team regularly sets aside “whitespace” to ideate what’s ahead for the business and what various partnership agreements, customer deals and other opportunities will mean, not only from a revenue perspective, but also for product and our customer success organizations. We often have these conversations within a healthy culture of debate, where contrary points of view are not only encouraged but expected to get to the right outcome at the right time for the business. This fosters alignment across the organization before plans are implemented, which enables us to execute with greater speed and agility even as we face challenges or setbacks.

How do you create clear & compelling differentiators for Alianza in the market, ensuring that it not only stands out from the competition but also drives real value for the customers?

Alianza is a B2B technology platform purpose-built to enable communications service providers to deliver a full suite of offerings to residential and business customers. We serve a finite market and unlike many organizations, Alianza isn’t a mere line of business within a larger organization. Our sole focus is delivering core communications services to broadband service providers.

Our complete dedication to the market is emphasized by our partner mindset. We view our customers as indispensable strategic partners. We don’t just compete based on feature functionality; we prioritize being easy to use, easy to consume, and easy to manage to drive value. We actively learn from our customers and take their input into consideration as we build and refine our platform. This alignment ensures we meet our customers’ needs throughout their entire lifecycle.

Alianza focuses on cloud-native solutions for both legacy voice and next-gen cloud communications services. Can you elaborate on the of adopting a cloud-native approach in telecommunications? 

The telecommunications industry is at a pivotal moment. Legacy voice infrastructure is reaching end of life and becoming increasingly risky and costly to maintain. Telco service providers are trying to explore new revenue streams and find ways to invest CapEx, drive down OpEx, and monetize their networks. The logical path forward is cloudification. Migrating legacy infrastructure to the cloud not only reduces the cost of ownership and streamlines operations, but it also sets the stage for mobile convergence and creates an environment ripe for AI. 

As previously mentioned, Alianza is working to democratize AI by bringing it to Main Street. For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to harness the advantages of AI, it's imperative that service providers facilitating their core communications transition their legacy network infrastructure to the cloud.

Top of Form

Bottom of FormAlianza is committed to ensuring first-rate customer experiences for more than 200 service providers. How do you approach customer relationships in a way that has an underlying partner mindset? 

Alianza operates on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. This means our customers play a critical role in our revenue growth – they must sell for us to grow. Our success is directly tied to our customer’s success, and that’s why we view them as indispensable strategic partners.

Alianza’s customer success teams are largely focused on sales enablement. We equip our partner sales and marketing organizations with the tools they need to sell Alianza in tandem with our customer’s core services. We don’t just provide a service; we serve as their underlying platform and an extension of their team. By doing so, we help our customers drive down costs and contribute to their revenue growth.

Can you share some key strategies or initiatives you’ve implemented to supercharge growth and reduce costs for Alianza? 

In late 2022, after increasing our engineering and development spend by 44%, Alianza committed $200 million to research and development to accelerate cloud communications growth. This five-year investment shapes our ongoing strategy, ensuring we continue to deliver service providers with the products they need to successfully move their core communications systems to the cloud.

Our R&D investment continues to drive innovation at Alianza and keep us ahead of the curve. Right now, we’re heavily investing in AI to level up our end-user experience, offer deeper insights, and meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers.

What are some current trends in the telecommunications and cloud industry that businesses should be paying attention to? How is Alianza positioning itself to adopt these trends and stay at the forefront of the industry?

In today’s market, most legacy technology industries are transitioning to the cloud. The driving forces behind this migration are cost efficiency and enhanced end-user experiences. Alianza has already fully embraced the Telco 3.0 shift, offering a full-stack cloud-native platform that helps service providers supercharge growth, reduce costs while elevating the customer experience.

Additionally, we’re witnessing a surge in demand for bundled communication services. With Alianza's robust API, service providers can integrate the Alianza platform into their existing offerings, such as Wi-Fi, broadband, and security, to create a one-stop-shop for residential and business customers. Our platform is also white labeled, enhancing its appeal to customers by granting them end-to-end brand ownership of their platform. 

Given our commitment to innovation and our unwavering grit to consistently push the status quo, Alianza is strategically positioned to deliver the best cloud communications experience for telco service providers.