CXTech Week 27, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 27 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.

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Example of Reportage versus Analysis. Verizon and Zoom.

https://telecomreseller.com/2019/06/28/verizon-links-with-zoom-to-enhance-global-customers-business-communications-choices/

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4272928-verizon-zoom-video-deal-highlights-challenges-wireline-business?dr=1

The above two articles show the difference between how the event of Verizon reselling Zoom’s conferencing service is reported within the telecom industry and in the financial industry.

I’ll begin with the financial industry as my reaction to the announcement aligned with their analysis. I’ve pointed out for several years the continued lack of response from AT&T and Verizon to Twilio’s on-demand SIP trunking. AT&T’s API marketplace is a technology band-aid in an attempt to defer the company-wide reset required in how AT&T and VZ serve small and medium business customers. That is reasonably priced one-stop-shop bundles focused on vertical needs.

The wireline segment represents 24% of the total VZ revenues. Wireline includes residential and commercial landline voice, the consumer Fios internet and video packages, enterprise solutions, partner solutions, and business markets. In Q1 2019, revenues fell 3.9% year over year or $300 million lower in the quarter. Quoting VZ, “Our enterprise solutions, partner solutions and business markets revenues declined by 4.5%, 12.5% and 4.9% respectively, driven by technology shifts and pricing pressures.” I witness this shift in the small and medium businesses around where I live, once a VZ stronghold, as those businesses discover they can pay consumer-like rates from a variety of providers for all their enterprise communication needs. Its becoming all about the bundle in enterprise!

The model VZ and AT&T need to adopt is that of Vonage, a one-stop enterprise communications shop. That is across all these technology buckets: SIP trunking, UCaaS, CCaaS, CPaaS, and vertical focused workflows / solution wraps / integrations. BUT presented as easy to consume business solution bundles, not a mess of features, services, partners, and a charging model focused on nickel-and-diming. The Zoom band-aid though fashionable and good for Zoom, does not address the change required across the incumbent telcos’ enterprise communications businesses.

 

Nebrija University and mashme.io announce their new Room of the Future eLearning facility

Congrats to mashme.io on another win, this time with Nebrija University implementing the mashme Room of the Future technology powered by SyncRTC.  We covered a similar deployment at CSU’s College of Business earlier this year. And we’ll have Víctor Sánchez Belmar, Cofounder and CEO SyncRTC and Mashme Group presenting his experiences at TADSummit Americas in October in conjunction with the IIT RTC Conf.

While studying at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Víctor Sánchez wanted an easy way to connect with friends and family around the world. However existing video communications solutions were either too expensive or required IT involvement and dedicated hardware.

As a result he founded a video conferencing solution called MashMeTV, which he launched commercially in April 2013. Built using an open source communication protocol called WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications), MashMeTV became so popular that more than 415,000 users from 71 countries were using the application by October 2013.

Victor will share the hard-earned experiences in moving from initial adoption success with a free service to a profitable service. Hint, it requires lots of focus.

 

Omnichannel Is Dead. The Future Is Harmonized Retail

Worth-while read on simply focusing on the customer journey.

Omnichannel has been around for 16 years, it’s not new, using SMS and Whatsapp is not the origination of omnichannel. It’s a nice article reminding us about not focusing on the technology of marketing.

The goal is not to be everywhere, nor is it to be seamless or unified. Those might be necessary but they are not sufficient. With harmonized retail the aim is to have the critical aspects of the customer journey all sing beautifully together.

As a personal example in my retail experience. I arrive into BJs Wholesale (like Costco and Sam’s Club), fire up the BJs app to check my vouchers (only way it makes economic sense to shop there), and I am greeted with a screen that recognizes I’m in the store and shows all the services I can use being there. It’s not a beautiful experience by any stretch of the imagination, but is an example of the point Steve makes on the customer is the channel, not the technology, at critical points in the customer journey (me being in the store).

This also highlights why omni-channel messaging services needs to work with the marketing aggregators that deliver the harmonized retail solutions to retail brands. We’ll see some more examples of below.

 

TADSummit Americas Agenda Highlights

TADSummit Americas, 15-16 Oct, runs in parallel with the IIT RTC Conference in Chicago. This is the first time we’ve run TADSummit in North America, the TADSummit Americas agenda reflects the uniqueness of the American markets. Our focus is programmable communications / telecoms, which we also call CXTech.

We’re a small, independent, no-BS event (see our policy statement), which for the past 7 years has led the thinking in the industry; and hence been copied by the rest of the industry’s events in the following year.  We’re proudly independent: you’ll not hear silliness about the API economy (check these thought-leading articles on “The Great API Con” and the coming “API Economy correction” to understand why); nor trite phrases like “digital transformation” or “video is the new voice”. Rather clear, thoughtful, common sense insight based on decades of experience to help you grow your business.

TADSummit is the communications innovation event for entrepreneurs. If you want to understand the latest thinking, ideas, opportunities and insights in programmable telecoms / communications before everyone else. TADSummit is the only event to attend for 7 years running. Plus you’ll meet some great partners to help grow your businesses together.

Register for TADSummit and the IIT RTC Conference here, and use the code TSDISC so get $100 off registration.

 

Email Marketing and Omni-Channel Messaging.

Here are a couple of articles showing that email marketing is getting renewed investor interest and the increasing role it plays in CPaaS:

 

Twilio’s Valuation Is Way Too Frothy

I like Twilio’s valuation as its great endorsement of the whole CXTech category. I agree with the analysis, but given the stickiness Twilio is showing in enterprise accounts, and the continued lack of response by AT&T and VZ in US SIP trunking (a $5.4B market in the North America), I think it has the potential to beat the 2020 currently stated growth target. But like all predictions about the future, I may be wrong.

 

The Verge article: Libra, Explained

Facebook is evil, it thinks its users are “dumb fu*&s”, ergo Libra is evil. I read the Libra white paper and was a little concerned; then after reading The Verge article I understood just how evil Libra could be. Quite simply, stop using FB, you’ll feel better about yourself.

 

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

David Freeman has left Telstra and is now a director at Sonrai Consulting.

Ryan Payne, is now Associate Director, Mobile Portfolio, Optus Network Planning & Services.

Peter Willis is now Senior Manager Software Based Networks. Peter was on the same BT sponsored MEng course at York University and I, just a couple of years ahead of me.

 

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