Twilio makes Aussie push with former Symantec channel talent

Comes after Twilio appointed Microsoft’s former One Commercial Partner organisation vice president, Ron Huddleston, as its new chief partner officer
Richard Watson - Twilio's country director for Australia

Richard Watson - Twilio's country director for Australia

Twilio has established a new presence in Australia, with the local operation being headed up by former Oracle and Symantec executive, Richard Watson, who has stepped in as the cloud communications provider’s first local regional country director.

The move comes as Twilio, which is headquartered in the United States, steps up its global channel push, having appointed Microsoft’s former One Commercial Partner organisation vice president, Ron Huddleston, as its new chief partner officer in February.

The San Francisco-based cloud communications platform vendor announced on 12 February that Huddleston would join the company, with his new role seeing him draw upon his background and experience in building partner programs to help bolster the vendor’s developer-first approach.

Twilio’s new Australian office marks the company’s eleventh international office outside of the US, and its launch is expected to create local jobs in sales, customer success, service and support in Sydney and Melbourne.

“International expansion represents a significant long-term growth opportunity for Twilio,” Twilio’s COO, George Hu, said. “This move builds on our existing customer and developer momentum in Australia, and lays the foundation for building a significant long-term business in Australia and across the APAC Region.

“Richard [Watson] will lead a broad effort to grow our Australia team, drive momentum, and build customer relationships. We believe we're only at the beginning of this incredible journey and we can't wait to see how our customers use Twilio to engage their consumers in a whole new way,” he said.

Watson stepped into the role in January, after nearly three years with Symantec and close to nine years with Oracle, where he worked before heading across to Symantec.

At Oracle, Watson was the vendor’s security and identity management general manager for A/NZ for nearly five years, a role he held after being a regional sales manager for the company.

Watson has also done time at Sun Microsystems – which was acquired by Oracle in 2010 – as well as RSA Security, CA Technologies and Courion Corp.

It is anticipated that Watson’s experience in building teams “focused on customer success” will play a key role in driving the growth of Twilio in Australia, building a team in Sydney and Melbourne and better accommodating the needs of its growing customer base in the local markets.

“We have had a fantastic amount of organic traction here in Australia, with leading companies including Atlassian, zipMoney, Domino's and Airtasker already building and scaling their applications using the Twilio platform,” Watson said. “This is a testament to the quality of Twilio’s product offering and also to the maturity of the Australian market,” said Richard Watson, country director at Twilio.

“There is a strong culture of innovation here and IT leaders in Aussie enterprises recognise the opportunities that new technologies can offer their business,” he said.