CXTech Week 28 2020 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 28 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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TADHack Global 2020 Launched

TADHack Global

TADHack Global 2020 will run across 10 locations / hubs around the world on the weekend of the 10th and 11th October 2020, plus from the comfort of your own home, we’ve accepted remote entries since our founding in 2014.

A change for this year is all locations will run hybrid, that is both in-person (optional) and online (definitely); or fully online where in-person is not advisable. Each location page will set out its plan based on the local situation closer to the event.

Whether you’re not able to make it to location, or you’re avoiding crowds because of COVID-19, you can still take part in TADHack Global 2020. Over the past 7 years, your chances of winning are the same being in-person or remote.

The sponsors making TADHack Global 2020 possible are: SimwoodSangoma, and Avaya. A special thank you to Simwood for being the first sponsor of 2020, demonstrating their commitment to developers around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locations include:

As you can see, TADHack is a massive community making the largest communications / telecoms focused hackathon in the world for 7 years straight. Well done to everyone involved!

The TADHack Global 2020 website is live, as is registration, go to whatever location / hub is right for you and register there. We’ll be adding more locations and I hope at least one more global sponsor in the coming months. If you’re interested in running a location, sponsoring a location, or sponsoring TADHack Global, please get in touch.

Gamma buys German IP Company HFO Holding AG

I focus on several channel moves this week, as other news is light given many are taking a break in early July given the longgggg first half of the year. Given lockdowns began in March, when many would have taken a break.

HFO is a provider of SIP trunking in Germany. Recently, the company began selling cloud PBX through a collection of channel partners within Germany. German regulation has enabled an interesting mix of local VoIP providers. A shout out to VoIP Labs along with Automat Berlin for supporting TADHack Berlin again in 2020.

Gamma is expanding across Europe, and HFO provides the beachhead it needs to build presence in the German market. The market has about 36 million phone system seats, it’s almost twice as large as the UK. However, Germany has a cloud penetration of 6%, one of the lowest rates in the big 5 of Europe.

New Vonage Channel Chief

Vonage has appointed Curt Allen as its new channel chief. Last November, Curt Allen stepped down from his role as Windstream Enterprise’s president of strategic channels.

I’ve pointed out in previous newsletters that Vonage is a business focused telco, with a direct sales model, and an emerging channel model. And this is a potential weakness compared to the more diverse channel / enabler model Twilio adopts, which supports a greater diversity of channels.

Bringing Curt in shows Vonage is planning on making the North America channel a much bigger piece of its business, this market is the bulk of its revenues.

Internationally channel has always been more important for Vonage. As I look across their operations, it’s still in a phase of rapid growth in hiring, storming out what is the right approach across the diversity of markets. Look at the Gamma’s recent purchase of HFO as an example of country level planning is required.

TPx Communications Appoints Don Joos as Chief Executive Officer

Back in August last year I pointed out Siris had bought TPx, showing the growing importance of channel in CXTech, and the likely consolidation we would see. The above Gamma purchase is one.

Now TPx has brought in Don Joos from Shoretel, so we’ll likely see some interesting moves later this year and into next in the race for scale across the North American channel business.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Congratulations to Jared Smith who is now Senior Vice President of Product at Simwood Group plc. BTW Simwood are sponsoring TADHack Global 2020 and providing the video collaboration with Simwood Meet.

This one is a blast from the past! Dan Burnett is now Executive Director of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. He’s a brain on 2 legs. Brings a wealth of experience in making standards work for the market. And did great work in WebRTC until it got too political and he moved onto blockchain – that’s my view, Dan is way too savvy to say anything like that 😉 We got to know each other while he was working with Tropo, and we chatted over a beer in Rome, realizing how much we had in common.

Neha Khare is now Head Of Digital at Vendiman Pvt. Ltd.

Paul Beastall started an additional position as as Non Executive Director at Evonetix Ltd. I’ve known Paul since he did an excellent student project for me at BT Labs back in the ’90s. He was an uber geek then, and still is.

Sara Wollesen is now Director, Partner Marketing at IntelePeer. BTW Intelepeer are sponsoring the Chicago location os TADHack Global in October.

Well done Frank Geck who is now Regional Sales Manager at Oblong Inc. I’ve known Frank since 2013 when he was with Tropo, with Dan Burnett.

Graham Bolton is now Broadband Networks Account Director UK & Ireland at CommScope. We’ve known eachother for a couple of decades. Time flies!

Alex Salkever is now Vice President Marketing at Sight Machine. We connected when he was working on APIs in 2013 for Telefonica.

Fergus O’Reilly is now Manager at Stripe. Again, we’ve known each other for a long time 😉

Anant Kumar is now Senior Vice President – Head Product Engineering at Bharti Airtel. We’ve known each other since 2014 when he worked on API Management.

Srikrishna Komatineni is now Principal Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS). We met back in 2009 when he worked for SingTel.

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