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Interview with Irwin Lazar

by | Jun 1, 2021 | Interviews,

Irwin Lazar

Irwin Lazar

President & Principal Analyst at Metrigy

Key Topics:Unified Communications, Collaboration, Video Conferencing, VoIP
Location:Virginia, United States

Co-Founder, President and Principal Analyst at Metrigy leading digital workplace workplace research including unified communications, collaboration, and supporting technologies. Over 20 years experience as an IT industry analyst, previously with Nemertes Research and Burton Group. Prior experience was in network design and operations. CISSP.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I have a degree in management information systems and started my career in network operations. I joined a start-up analyst firm called NetReference in 1999 covering technologies including IP multicast, IP routing, and quality of service. After acquisition by Burton Group in 2000, I became the lead analyst covering enterprise telephony, which morphed into VOIP, then into UC, then into the broader collaboration market.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

UC security, team collaboration and workflow optimisation, SIP services, and E911/emergency call management.

Who influences you within these topics?

A variety of companies in all of these segments, as far as individuals I try to follow closely, a few include Cullen Jennings at Cisco, Jonathan Rosenberg at Five9, Mark Fletcher at 911Inform, Stewart Butterfield at Slack, Eric Yuan at Zoom, Jared Spataro at Microsoft, and David Danto at Poly.

What challenges are brands facing in this space?

Quite a few – both playing in the Microsoft Teams ecosystem and competing with Microsoft Teams are both challenges and opportunities. Differentiation and the need to maintain a rapid development cycle to stay competitive, including investments in AI, and the need to help customers understand value for their investments and provide them with appropriate management and analytics.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

I think we’ll see cloud continue to dominate, and applications evolve rapidly to platforms to enable integration of communications services with business processes. I think we’ll see a continued growth in focus on security, management, and analytics as well. On the vendor side, probably additional consolidation in the next year or two.

What brands are leading the way in this space?

Cisco, Microsoft, Zoom, Google, RingCentral, and 8×8 are the largest platform vendors that we’re tracking, but there are a lot of companies leading specific sub-segments, like security, management, PSTN access, and so on….

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

We work with companies who are interested in leveraging our research through podcasts, whitepapers, webinars, speaking opportunities, guidance on product innovation and video interviews.

What are your passions outside of work?

I’ve been a volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America since 2007 in a variety of different roles and am lucky enough to be the father of two Eagle Scouts. Aside from Scouting and family, my passions are travel and sports, particularly baseball.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Email, or through LinkedIn or Twitter.