San Francisco-based cloud communications specialist Twilio has established a presence in Australia and has named former Oracle and Symantec exec Richard Watson as its first regional country director.

The Australian foothold will be the firm’s eleventh international office outside the US, with Twilio saying the move will create jobs in sales, customer success, service and provide support in Sydney and Melbourne.

Twilio offers developers and businesses a raft of cloud-based tools to build customer engagement features into their business applications, using a set of APIs for voice, messaging and video.

Watson brings two decades of sales leadership experience to his new role, which will be key to the company as it expands its presence in Australia. He most recently led sales teams for enterprise, commercial and channels as senior sales director at Symantec. Prior to that, Watson also held sales leadership roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems, RSA Security and CA Technologies.

“International expansion represents a significant long-term growth opportunity for Twilio,” said George Hu, chief operating officer at Twilio. “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. “

Speaking to media in Sydney last year, Hu said that Twilio’s own disruptive business model was not to sell to a head of sales or marketing.
“Twilio is part of a generation of companies that are going directly to developers,” he said at that time. “I think this is a really interesting shift; if you think about the old days of packet platform software servers where you would sell into the CIO… now you’re selling to a developer.
“We provide a set of APIs that allow developers to be able to very easily, programmatically control every aspect of communications, whether it’s sending messages, phone calls, video, chat or even programmable SIM cards to manage IoT devices,” Hu added. “Twilio is a company that was built for that purpose, by developers for developers.”
The firm – which launched in 2008 – has some 100 existing customers and partners operating in Australia, and is keen to boos this number as its team grows in the region.

“We have had a fantastic amount of organic traction here in Australia, with leading companies including Atlassian, zipMoney, Dominos and Airtasker already building and scaling their applications using the Twilio platform,” said Watson. “There is a strong culture of innovation here and IT leaders in Aussie enterprises recognise the opportunities that new technologies can offer their business.”