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What’s Cookin’ with Five9 Global Systems Integrators

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Steve Infante Managing Director, Global Systems Integrators

I have worked in technology for almost 30 years, holding leadership roles at Accenture and Cisco as well as a conversational AI company prior to joining Five9. Throughout my career I have seen many seismic shifts in technology –from mainframe to distributed processing, analog to digital to IP telephony, and of course, the journey to the cloud, just to name a few.     

I have also managed to start and grow a culinary business in Chicago, where I cook, host, and execute fine-dining pop-up dinners in cool locations around the city. My skills have been honed by some of the best chefs in the country and I have learned so much about ingredients, techniques, and artistic plating to deliver dishes that excite guests and provide them with an amazing experience.  

To draw a parallel between food and technology, the journey toward an effective AI strategy requires a lot of the same elements as a mind-blowing dish.   


When I create recipes, I think about the elements that will need to come together to create a harmonious dish. When you think about your AI strategy, there are dozens of elements that impact your business beyond just the technology. Organizational and process changes, interoperability, integrations of current systems, CX, data integrity, and reskilling employees are just a handful of elements that need to be managed throughout the journey.  

Our Global Systems Integrator (GSI) partners have built out practices that help clients create the recipes that leverage their deep understanding of our clients’ businesses and the industry along with technical capabilities to deliver the care and feeding of the systems.  


No matter how thoughtful the recipe, a salmon course will fall short if you don’t use the freshest and highest-quality salmon available. For the AI journey, the ingredients are the tools and technology that act as the platform to deliver the capabilities. From the CRM to the contact center, if you use low-end, off-the-shelf systems, you create a much higher level of risk that your solution will fall short. GSI’s have experience working with multiple solution vendors to provide proper guidance in choosing the right “ingredients” for your AI recipe.  


There are many advanced skills required to deliver a “Michelin Star” caliber dish, including knife skills to butcher the salmon properly, brining the fish, and proper cooking techniques. The preparation of the dish’s elements is just as important. Cooking at an elevated level has a lot to do with knowing in what order things come together.    

Something I see too often is clients making the decision to go at it alone when building out and executing their AI strategy. Clients may have the capabilities required but having a seasoned GSI team with the skills to deliver the capabilities in the right order, de-risk the program, and provide insights into adoption, operations, and growth around the platform offers clients a higher rate of success.  


Even if the salmon is cooked perfectly and the other elements of the dish are tasty, it won’t matter much if the fish is thrown on the dish with a hastily ladled sauce on top. If the fish is cut perfectly, the sauce is thoughtfully drizzled, and the vegetables are placed tightly alongside the fish, the guest will immediately find the dish appetizing and it will literally taste better as a result.  

Similarly, if technology is simply deployed without a thoughtful approach, the solution will not be appetizing to those who use it.  Humans’ previous perception of AI and its impact on the day-to-day life of the employee or customer cannot be understated as a potential challenge. Without a level of thoughtfulness, AI solutions are at risk of failing. GSI’s can help “set the table” and provide guidance around internal and external awareness, training, and ongoing monitoring of how the solution is helping and supporting the goals of the client.   

A Great Chef 

 The difference between a cook and a chef, is a chef takes everything into account and is ultimately accountable for the final product placed in front of the guest. A chef creates the recipe, sources the quality ingredients, has the skills and techniques to execute, leads the preparation, has the artistry to plate the food in an appetizing manner, and ensures guests have an amazing culinary experience.    

Our GSI partners are great chefs. They have the capabilities, experience, and creativity to help clients navigate the AI Journey. At Five9 we take great pride in our mature and always evolving GSI practice. These relationships are playing an increasingly critical role in our success as a company because of their ability to guide clients through this journey and consistently deliver successful outcomes. So, whether you are contemplating your AI Strategy, in the middle of it, or have deployed a solution, Global Systems Integrators are a critical element to a successful experience.  

In the end, it’s not so far-fetched to consider these parallels between food and technology. The tenants of having a good plan, the skillset, the thoughtfulness and creativity, and the overall ability to deliver are key in both scenarios. Working with Five9’s GSI partners increases your level of success tremendously by employing all these critical elements to the journey.    

To learn where your organization is in its contact center and AI maturity, take the Five9 Maturity Model Assessment now.

Bon Appetit, 

Steve Infante
Managing Director, Global Systems Integrators
Resident Five9 Chef

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Steve Infante Managing Director, Global Systems Integrators

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