A Q&A with Brian Kardon, CMO of Fuze (formerly ThinkingPhones)
After announcing our company rebrand to Fuze on Tuesday, I had the chance to sit down with our CMO, Brian Kardon. What followed was a discussion on what shaped the new name and how this sets the vision for Fuze and its customers going forward. Meet Fuze, formerly ThinkingPhones, through the eyes of our head of marketing.
Q. Why is ThinkingPhones rebranding itself as Fuze? A. The brand “ThinkingPhones” no longer described the full scope of our solutions. The acquisition of Fuze by ThinkingPhones in late 2015 provided us with an ideal opportunity to rebrand and remove the limitations of our existing name. In 2015, we made smart acquisitions that propelled our company forward by expanding our video and collaboration capabilities, and we just announced a funding round of $112 million, bringing our total funding to more than $200 million. Today, the energy at Fuze is palpable.
This rebrand is an important signal to our investors, customers, prospects, and team that our offerings are so much more than phone and voice systems. We’re ready to take things to the next level to deliver a fresh approach to communications for the modern workforce. Our new manifesto—Simplicity. Productivity. Security—further unites us under a single brand promise. This promise is all about giving people new, easier ways to collaborate, share insights and perspective, and build relationships that matter. We’re doing all of those things under a new name, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
Q. How does this rebrand reflect the company’s vision for the future? A. Think back to 2007, when Steve Jobs decided to remove the word “Computer” from Apple’s name. Recently, Google also changed its corporate name to Alphabet because the company has become so much more than search.
As companies evolve, so does their brand. This is something we’ve taken to heart. At Fuze, we’re about so much more than phones. We are seizing the opportunity to advance communications for today’s mobile, on-the-go workforce. What will that industry look like in five, 10 years’ time? It’s difficult to say for sure. What we do know is that our vision for the future far exceeds any one particular device—it’s all about how technologies interact with the humans who operate them that will drive our company forward.
Q. So why the name Fuze? A. Fuze captures the sentiment behind our company’s ideology, playing off the word “fuze” and its homonym “fuse.” “Fuze” means to set forces into motion. To “fuse” something is to bring together otherwise disparate concepts; to unify in ways that create something greater. Think of the old adage, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I think that is very applicable with Fuze.
We are a leader in the unified communications market, a $20 billion industry. What could be more appropriate than to truly unify, or fuze, your communications in a single user experience across all your devices?
Whether it’s about bringing technology together to create greater productivity or bringing ideas together to instill greater team collaboration and nurture new business insights, it’s all a fusion of input that creates a better collective result.
Q. Why now? A. There’s never been a better time to be at Fuze. The UCaaS industry needs champions of cloud-based systems where users can be free to work however and wherever they desire. We’re agile—and customers value that. As the market migrates toward simplification and as enterprises become increasingly distributed and global, the importance of our offerings is undeniable. It’s less a question of “why now?” than it is “why not now?” By changing our name, we hope to show that change is good. Adapting to reflect where things are headed is always a good thing.