CXTech Week 12 2020 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 12 2020 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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Enterprise AI Developer Chatlayer.ai Acquired by Sinch

Chatlayer.ai provides businesses with an AI that uses a natural language understanding engine to interact with customers through text and voice. The are used by a range of enterprise customers including Belgian bank Belfius and insurance leader Foyer, and the company has established partnership relationships with companies like Proximus, Ordina and KPMG. In 2019, Chatlayer generated revenues of EUR 0.8 million, Gross Profit of EUR 0.7 million, and EBITDA of EUR -0.9 million. The company is based in Antwerp and currently employs 17 people. Don’t ask me how those numbers add up 😉

If you’ve read any of my recent work you’ll know my view: AI doesn’t exist, and I point you to this excellent review of “Designing and Deploying Chatbots” from David Curran of Openjaw Technologies at TADSummit EMEA last November.

Some CPaaS providers like Intelepeer and Avaya make it easy to work with platforms like IBM Watson Assistant or Google Dialogflow for implementing chatbots or virtual assistants. IBM and Google’s tools have their strengths and weaknesses, but are improving fast and are squarely developer focused. Some of the closed and expensive bot platforms, because they assumed contact center like pricing in their business model, are struggling with the business model changes. Their DNA is B2B focused rather than understanding the importance of developer commitment.

Openjaw shows a broader services wrap is necessary to help companies be successful with bots. Keeping the datasets limited and the scope of the bot small is necessary for chatbot success. Hence why we’ve seen megabots, a collection of specialized bots with a routing layer between them. Which has its own issues, but that’s for another presentation at TADSummit Asia in May.

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID- 19 mortality and healthcare demand: And what it means for TADHack Global and TADSummit EMEA 2020

I’m sure many of you have seen this report from Imperial College London. It confirms what many of us suspected, lowering the curve, means spreading the curve over time. Until the vaccine becomes available, social distancing the some restrictions will apply. Which means likely next year before things get back to normal.

Conferences that postpone until Q3 2020, may find they’re postponing to Q4, then Q1 2021, possibly even Q2 2021. Even as we start to get back to normal. Most people will not know if they’ve had COVID-19 and most will still be nervous until they’ve had the vaccine.

Of course things can change, the R0 could be much higher than thought, and the morality rate much lower, the virus is mutating relatively fast. Nothing is absolutely certain when talking about the future, other than 2020 planning for an in-person event is highly risky.

TADHack Global will run in October as planned. Most of the locations will likely be online, but where restrictions have been lifted and schools are running again we’ll run hybrid (both in-person and online) enabling people to take part in the way that works for them.

Similarly for TADSummit EMEA, we’re planning an online event, with the option of a hybrid event should restrictions be lifted enough that people are willing to travel. We’re recognizing the reality of the current situation, and the one year plus path we have before things get back to not worrying about shaking someone’s hand.

TADHack-mini Orlando 2020 Sponsors’ Resources

This weblog has the videos from Intelepeer, VoIP Innovations (Apidaze), and Simwood describing their resources and how to get access to help and support before and during TADHack-mini Orlando 2020.

Enterprise Connect is now Virtual on 30 March – 1st April

The largest Enterprise Communication event in the world will be running a virtual event on 30 March – 1st April. Following TADHack’s lead 😉 (well maybe a little bit) And just after TADHack-mini Orlando. They’re still planning an in-person event in August, but you know my views on the challenges there. The world has changed, we’re in a new normal until the vaccine becomes widely available next year.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Well done to Filipe Leitão who is now EMEA Solutions Engineer at 8×8. 8X8 have made a great hire.

Congratulation to Judy Kay for starting a new position as Vice President, Corporate Strategy at Honeywell. I’ve known of Judy since we were both in Lucent.

Frank Geck (Mio) added a role as Advisor at Approved Contact. Approved Contact dramatically improves the calendaring/meeting experience. Employees spend, on average, 11.5 hours a week working with contacts outside of their company. Approved Contact makes setting up these meetings super simple saving employees time instead of the ping pong back and forth to coordinate an open time. Approved Contact is one of the top five applications downloaded on the Microsoft Azure App Store for MS Teams and for Cisco’s Webex Teams.

Michael Tessler added a position as Board Advisor at Datalogue.io.

Eddie DeCurtis is now Vice President of Strategic Accounts at LivePerson

Jackie Berg is now the Canadian Sales Leader Communications at Pegasystems. I’ve known Jackie since she led sales at Sigma Systems.

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