“Remember that no one arrives in the CFO seat fully prepared for everything that will be expected of them. Surround yourself with people who know more than you and don’t be afraid to seek their advice and counsel. Ask questions, listen to what you hear, and then lead.” –CFO Gregg Clevenger of LiveVox
The Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s is as good a place in time as any for Gregg Clevenger to use to begin explaining the mix of professional and personal circumstances that made Rochester, New York, his port of entry into the CFO office.
At the time, Clevenger recalls, he was a vice president for Goldman’s Sach’s media entertainment and technology group in Singapore and had observed $100 million of recently raised funding “go up in smoke.”Read More
Having been recruited to join Goldman while overseas, Clevenger returned to the U.S. as something of an unknown. “People didn’t really know me in the U.S. context,” he remembers. “So it was going to be a very tough row to hoe.”
What’s more, the travel to which Clevenger was accustomed was no longer a great match for his young family.
“My first two children—one born in Singapore and the other in Hong Kong—I never saw them,” comments Clevenger, who began commuting daily to Goldman’s Manhattan office from a new home in Connecticut.
It was at about this time that Clevenger began accepting calls from a number of recruiters, one of whom he believes likely brought him to the attention of a publicly traded, midsize telecom located in Rochester.
“That whole Rochester thing: I never would’ve thought ‘Hey, let’s move to Rochester,’ but it was kind of a personal reset as well as a career one—to live, work, and have our kids go to school in a community,” explains Clevenger.
Having joined the company as head of corporate development, within 3 years he found himself entering the CFO office, where he remained for 4 more years while helping to lead the business through a major restructuring brought on by the telecom sector’s crash.
Looking back on his decade as an investment banker, Clevenger says that he has few doubts about his move to the operations side of things: “I’ve now been doing this for 20 years—it’s hard for me to imagine being an investment banker for 30 years.” –Jack Sweeney
CFOTL: Tell us about LiveVox. What does this company do and what are its offerings today?
Clevenger: LiveVox is a SaaS software provider of customer service and digital engagement tools for contact centers. We seamlessly integrate omnichannel communications with a CRM that’s purpose-built for contact centers, and we have workforce optimization tools for contact center management—and it’s all in a single pane of glass. The contact center space is pretty massive. It’s close to $30 billion a year today, and McKinsey estimates that it’s going to grow to over $80 billion by 2030.
Today, most of that $30 billion is on-premise software—only about 15% is in the cloud. Like many other categories of software spend, it’s moving quickly to the cloud. The cloud contact center space, which is about $5 billion of the $30 billion today, is on a path to be the vast majority of the $80 billion spend in less than 10 years. That’s a pretty massive TAM to go after.Read More
It’s growing very, very quickly. LiveVox is uniquely positioned to go after it because we’re one of the very few providers that is completely cloud-native. We’re a 100% multitenant platform built entirely on the public cloud, which enables us to get customers up-and-running quickly and efficiently and allow them to pretty much plug-and-play with their existing software.
Being in the public cloud also enables us to innovate very quickly and very cost-effectively. We estimate that our cost and implementation time are about one-tenth of those of our competitors that are built on private cloud architecture. We’re also the only cloud contact center provider that has a built-in CRM that’s made specifically for call centers. It easily and seamlessly integrates with and pushes and pulls information to and from other systems of record like Salesforce.com, ServiceNow, and Zendesk.
LiveVox | www.Livevox.com | San Francisco, CA