The purpose of this CXTech Week 33 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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I was talking with Dan Miller this week, it reminded me of his weblog on the 5 guiding principles for Conversational Commerce that I consider important.
1) Recognize that Conversational AI is *not* a thing
Dan’s not as blunt as I on the dumbass term AI, but does highlight it as being ‘highly imprecise’. The key take-away is investment in various flavors of “analytics” (primarily speech, text and predictive) are proving to be quite vital for design and deployment of an Intelligent Assistant that can consistently predict and rapidly respond to a customer query or direct instructions
2) Listen. Don’t surveil.
Privacy is only going to grow as an issue. The dumbass handling of who can listen to what messages and whether those messages are personally identifiable has been appallingly handled so far. It’s the greatest barrier to pervasive voice interface adopting in the home, and this year as cemented some people’s views.
3) Take advantage of every API out there
At every TADHack I always finish on the importance of mashing up the sponsors’ APIs.
4) Make room for humans
Humans need to talk with humans on some issues, not a machine. Automation only goes so far.
5) Use IAs to KISS, not!
What Dan means it use assistants to make it easy for the customer to get more done in one interaction. Not make it so simple everything takes ages, like navigating an IVR when your problem spans several departments (e.g. network issue and billing issue).
Webio the Conversational Middleware Company in conjunction with Spreedly has won the 2019 Innovation Lab Award at the PaymentsEd Forum in San Francisco for WebioPay Conversational Payments. Well done Webio!
A couple of Good Account Fraud Articles
Global ad fraud is predicted to cost $23bn in 2019 and could reach $32bn in 2022 including indirect economic and social costs, according to the report ‘The Economic Cost of Bad Actors on the Internet, Ad Fraud 2019,” by cybersecurity company Cheq.
I’m sure you’ve seen the click farm videos on Linkedin, Redditt, and Twitter. Knowing the ad is served to a real person is big business! Telesign will show the importance Score (its trust rating API) plays at TADHack Global, TADSummit Americas, and TADSummit EMEA for everyone in CXTech.
Useful set of slides on how ATO is evolving and the strengths and limitations of 2FA. Again Telesign will be covering how their Score API can help everyone across the CXTech industry reduce the ATO problem.
Mio powers seamless communication between Slack, Microsoft Teams & Webex Teams.
Mio’s technology solves a common problem that exists within modern enterprises today: too many siloed messaging apps. Mio keeps teams in sync by enabling employees to chat directly or in groups, share files, edit messages, and more – all from their tool of choice.
Founded by Tom Hadfield and James Cundle in November 2015 and based in Austin, Texas, Mio has raised $12m from investors including Goldcrest Capital, Eniac Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator, and Capital Factory.
On Wednesaday 16th October at TADSummit Americas in IIT Hermann Hall, Director of Customer Success, Frank Geck, will present Case Studies in Enterprise Messaging Federation at 1.25pm. Here, he will walk through use cases and customer stories from enterprises that have completed their interoperability journey.
The session will help IT managers and buyers understand the benefits and relevance of interoperability and federation in enterprise messaging.
Frank is also participating in the CPaaS Panel earlier in the day at 10am. Closing the Gap with Twilio, What CPaaS Providers Need To Do will address what, if anything, providers could and should do to remain competitive in an immature market already heavily dominated by Twilio. Frank will bring his Tropo experiences to that conversation 🙂
Automat Berlin are a software development company, led by Marten Schoenherr, who was previously the co-founder and CTO of immmr. At TADSummit 2018 we had an excellent review of the immmr experience, its one of the most important telco service innovation case studies I know. What is really cool about Automat is they are leveling the CPaaS playing field, helping all CPaaS providers raise their game in providing easy to use tools for their customers. They are leading a can not miss session at TADSummit.
I strongly recommend you check out Automat Berlin’s blog as what they’re doing is relevant to the whole CXTech industry:
I know I say this too often, but TADSummit continues to lead the thinking of our industry. If you want to understand the latest thinking, ideas, opportunities and insights in programmable telecoms / communications before everyone else. TADSummit is the only place to be for 7 years running.
Also we have a new partner for TADSummit EMEA, 19-20 Nov at IdeaLondon, BlogGeek.Me – Tashi Levent-Levi. He’s offering 20% off his WebRTC course for everyone who attends TADSummit. You can see an overview of the course below, and at the WebRTC course website.
I’m building the CXTech Landscape at the moment, many messaging aggregators now offer A2P access to RCS. When asked on the volumes, the answer is often zero or close to zero. It’s amazing something with such little revenue / usage can see such broad adoption. I guess that’s the asymmetric power of the telecoms industry to push through new technology, or perhaps FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on Google’s latest iMessage attempt.
Twilio and RingCentral post Impressive Quarterly Results
Q2 revenue continued the trend of strong growth, growing 86% to $275 million, surpassing the $1 billion run-rate mark, with a gross margin of 59% (bear in mind Sinch’s GM is 25%). They are few CPaaS of Twilio’s size or even growth. Enterprises want programmable telecoms / communications. Well that’s a very glib statement, enterprises want cheaper SIP trunking, they want messaging and voice services that are on-demand and web-centric. Where are AT&T and Verizon’s on-demand SIP trunking or APIs to access their services?
Q2 revenue grew 34% to $215 million, with gross margin of 77%! As the market matures these numbers are going to become much more important.
People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
Congratulation to Daniela Puzzo, who is now VP of Marketing at Fonolo. She helps Fonolo punch well above its weight-class on awareness and influence in the CXTech space.
Well done to Chip Wilcox who is now Head of Product at Toku World. I was just adding Toku World to my CPaaS landscape and the following day I see Chip has joined them. Chip has been involved in TADHack and TADSummit over number of years.
I made it onto a list of UC influencers this week by Mio. Given I tend to point out some of the challenges behind the assumptions of UC in the enterprise, e.g. business telephony may be a winner takes all, messaging and collaboration are not for most enterprises; in Asia the mobile phone and WeChat/WhatsApp is proving a good enough UC solution. I was surprised 😉