CXTech Week 13, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 13 newsletter is to highlight, with commentary, some of the news stories in CXTech this week. What is CXTech?  The C stands for Connectivity, Communications, Collaboration, Conversation, Customer; X for Experience because that’s what matters; and Tech because the focus is enablers.

Examples of what falls into CXTech includes: Programable Telecoms / Communications, CPaaS, UCaaS, CCaaS, open source telecom software, CPaaS enablers, Multi-Factor Authentication / Instant Authentication, Telecom APIs, WebRTC, Cloud Communications, CPaaS enabled services, omni-channel, telecom infrastructure as code, telecom service dashboards, the myriad of UIs making APIs and enablers and services useable beyond coders.

You can read more about why we’re testing out this definition in the following weblogs: TADSummit State of the UnionWhat’s in a Name Part 1 and Part 2 discussions.

I wrap up the newsletter with a section covering, “People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff.”

You can sign up here to receive the CXTech News and Analysis by email. Please forward this on if you think someone should join the list, I also publish this on my weblog. And please let me know any CXTech news I should include.

 

Zoom files for IPO

Zoom filed its initial public offering documents Friday last week and plans to list under the ticker ZM on Nasdaq.  Founder / CEO Eric Yuan is a great guy, and that’s not just my opinion, he was ranked at the top of Glassdoor’s annual list of best-rated CEOs last year.

When Eric left Cisco to found Zoom, 45 employees from WebEx joined him. That’s some leadership!

Summing up this stage of the conferencing business: focus on the customer experience, rely on the large incumbents not focusing on customer experience, sell sell sell. Plus a big dollop of happiness – which is part of Eric’s secret leadership sauce.

The speed at which companies can launch communication and collaboration platforms has increased by an order of magnitude compared to when Zoom launched in 2011. Thanks to CPaaS enablers like 2600Hz KazooTelnyx UCaaS, and many others.

Zoom reported in fiscal 2019 revenues of $330.5 million, up over 100% from $151.5 million in fiscal 2018.

Zoom had a private valuation of $1 billion as of 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal. The S-1 filing says the company plans to raise $100 million, though that figure will likely increase. Once listed the valuations could be in the $10-15B range. You can read more analysis of Zoom’s S-1 filing here.

 

Zoom adds UC

Zoom Phone (AKA Zoom Voice) is an add-on cloud phone service announced in 2018. It consolidates business communications and collaboration solutions and replaces PBXs. At EC19 Zoom announced several new features for Zoom Phone including:

  • Call-to-Video Progression. Users will be able to transition from a Zoom Phone call to a Zoom Meeting, no hang up-and-call back required.
  • Contact Center Partner Program. Five9 and Twilio will provide integrations for enabling on-net SIP trunk peering and call routing options.
  • Salesforce Integration. Users can make Zoom Phone calls by clicking on a phone number in Salesforce.
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning. Service integration to Poly and Yealink will ease task of setting up and deploying Zoom Phone connected devices.

When we started promoting this category of CXTech, I remember some commentators disagreeing with the convergence in the industry. Zoom is a great example of the consolidation, as in the limit its all applications written on telecom app servers.

 

 

Aerial Direct announces the acquisition of IPCortex

Rob and the IPCortex team have been supporters of TADHack since the beginning. They won the Google Prize for RTCEmergency. Rob also runs the London location for TADHack Global. And Rob gave a great presentation at TADSummit 2018.

Aerial Direct have bought great technology and a great team. IPCortex are a perfect example of the democratization of technology made possible by programmable telecoms. Delivering real time communication and collaboration solutions that work on-premise, hosted and through service providers.

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Movius Raised $45M for Expanding of MULTILINE, a full-featured work phone in a simple mobile app.

Movius (previously known as IP Unity / Glenayre) is a global provider in mobile communications software to enterprises.

Enterprises around the world use the company’s all-in-one mobility platform, MULTILINE, to connect with their customers in more convenient, cost-effective and compliant ways. The platform offers an easy way to extend and integrate voice, text, and messaging services into other systems, like CRM or collaboration tools.

Movius has over 1,400 businesses as its customers, and its carrier partners include Sprint, Telstra and Telefonica. Movius allows businesses to assign a second number to their employees’ phones. Hence, the employer remains in charge, even as employees bring their own devices to work.

 

Thrio and VoIP Innovations partner

I covered both Thrio and VoIP Innovations in last week’s newsletter, I didn’t realize until after EC19 they’re partnering. This is another great example of diversity and democratization taking place in CXTech.

Thrio’s contact center solutions combined with VoIP Innovation’s SIP trunking, is available through VI’s Showroom to VI’s 2000 channel partners and clients. This is an example of how how CCaaS and CPaaS are being wrapped up into easy to consume solutions for small and medium businesses.

 

Blockchain in CXTech: TOP Network and Algorand Platform Partner

TOP Network is a blockchain powered cloud communications network with over 60 million users, and Algorand, a proof-of-stake blockchain platform, are developing scalable blockchain services and infrastructure components on the public chain platform. Think of it as putting lots of telecom functions and services onto the public chain.

It’s early days, but it’s great to see more work in this space. Status (Ethereum OS) were very successful at TADHack Global 2018, with hacks like Dnuncia from Popayan in Colombia.

BTW Eric Yuan is an advisor to TOP Networks. It’s a small world in CXTech.

 

TADSummit Asia 2019, KL, 28-29 May. The CXTech Event.

In just over 2 months we have TADSummit Asia 2019 on 28-29 May in Kuala Lumpur. It covers 2 days:

Registration is open!

The benefits of attending across the diversity of attendees include:

  • If you are a CIO trying to understand what CPaaS, UCaaS, CCaaS, chatbots, cloud communications, omni-channel communications mean to your business. What is possible versus slideware. TADSummit will provide the clarity of insight you need.
  • If you are a technology or service provider in the programmable telecoms / communications segment you will meet peers with a track record of innovation in this space, in an open environment, to help grow your businesses together. Creating the future faster.
  • For Telcos / CSPs (Communication Service Providers) and their strategic suppliers, TADSummit provides an independent thought leadership event to see the future of telecoms today, and help you build the partnerships to grow your communications business.
  • For developers and students, TADSummit provides an insight to an exciting technology space that can set your career on a fast-track. Check out this video on all we’ve achieved with TADHack over the passed 5 years.
  • For regulators and thought-leaders you’ll meet the brain trust of the growth engine revolutionizing communications (telecoms if you prefer), a $1.2 Trillion industry.

 

Enterprise Disconnect by Dan Miller

A great article from Dan that highlights this shifting sand in enterprise telecoms as CPaaS, UCaaS, CCaaS and many other products and services converge. Its part of the reason we’ve created this CXTech newsletters and let’s face it they’re all services written on a telecom app server.

 

Understanding Twilio by Paulo Santos

One of the more insightful financial analysis of Twilio, but missed several points on SIP trunking margins (its not simply reselling calling and messaging), and Twilio’s expansion into higher margin enterprise communication services like CCaaS (Flex is 80% of a CCaaS). Plus the continued growth of IP based RTC where it’s not reselling the PSTN.

Positioning Vonage as a VoIP company is a rather legacy view. It’s an enterprise communication service provider. A virtual enterprise focused telco if you like, with a broad offer across VoIP, UCaaS, CCaaS, CPaaS, and more. At its heart it’s a telco, a company buys VoIP, then UCaaS, then CCaaS, and CPaaS provides a range of value added services wrapped around those core offers. Its CPaaS business will become increasingly focused on growing revenue within its enterprise accounts. Based on the ideas presenting in the shift in telecoms weblog.

Twilio is on a different trajectory to Vonage. It’s built-out and owns the core telecom app server infrastructure. Which sets it on a different trajectory of enabling lots of different enterprise communication service provider to package up services in ways convenient to all the different types of businesses around the world. Convergence of services and diversity in delivery.

 

Edify, frictionless CX platform

I mention Edify, not only because they use CX to reference their communications platform – CXTech is beginning to stick! Edify meets the needs of team leaders, managers and developers, helping to unify your entire team.

 

Kaleyra Becomes a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider

I mentioned Kaleyra in CXTech Week 9, as they are listing on the NYSE, and bought Hook Mobile (Terry Hsaio’s business) last year. Implementing and maintaining the WhatsApp integration isn’t easy as Facebook sucks, because it behaves like a monopolist.

 

Symbio launches its CPaaS

Symbio Networks, a wholesale IP communications provider, announced on the 27th March its API (Application Programming Interface) Developer Zone. The API Developer Zone delivers the next level of usability for Symbio’s service offering, providing a rich set of telecommunications capabilities that can be seamlessly integrated into any software application.

There are CPaaS everywhere! Not just the US 😉

 

West gets CXTech

More endorsement that the CXTech label is working with this article from Rob Scott of UC Today.  “At West, we’re embracing things like UCaaS, CPaaS, and CCaaS to embody this aggregation model. We’re telling people that they can pull the things that they need together.”

 

Behind the Curtain: Demystifying AI and NLP

I recommend you have a look at this Fonolo webinar.

In this live panel discussion, three industry thought leaders narrow in on the latter, focusing on speech analytics, NLP, and other AI tech. They discuss its impact on the customer service space and what the future holds. The ultimate purpose of this event is to help you clearly understand these technologies, while demystifying AI and NLP in the process.

Join their panel discussion on Thursday, March 28th at 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT as expert panelists from Sparkcentral and Speakeasy AI provide clarity on this hugely important subject. You’ll also be able to tweet your comments and questions to @fonolo with the hashtag #demystifyAI, or comment on our conversation streaming live on YouTube.

 

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Simon Wong has joined Mulesoft from IBM. I’ve known Simon since his Oracle days. Mulesoft has been investing in Telco API via connecting to WeChat, WhatsApp, Twillio, and others.

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