CXTech Week 34 2020 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 34 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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Comms startup Element helps support secure communications during pandemic

Nice review of Matrix / Element and their deployment with CommCon.

Also nice to see the Matrix network currently has almost 19 million users globally across 45,000 server deployments, and gives them the ability to share a range of end-to-end encrypted information in real time, from instant messaging and voice calls to virtual reality communication environments and internet of things (IoT) data.

At TADHack we’ve been using them as our messaging platform since migrating from Slack in 2018.

Simwood: Turning our network around

An interesting review of Simwood’s experiences with Kubernetes. Quoting from the weblog:

“Serverless applications such as Google’s Big Query have dramatically changed the way we do certain back office functions, and indeed have transformed what is even possible, such as our competitor price matching. Access to hundreds of thousands of CPUs for 20 seconds, dynamically orchestrated, just makes so much sense for that once a month job that otherwise would not be possible, take days, or require grossly over-specified on-net resources.

And so to Kubernetes. The team has deployed Kubernetes on Amazon with great results. It is auto-scaling, they’ve deployed host-groups so Kubernetes Pods (collections of containers representing a service) are appropriately located, across multiple AWS Availability Zones and connected diversely back to our core network. All that in a manner that is cloud agnostic.

This is already powering Simwood Meet and whilst most focus has been on the underlying architecture, certain critical services such as call-routing (our micro-service which handles call routing) which gets called hundreds of times a second, and itself calls Redis hundreds of thousands of times a second, has fully migrated. This used to be anycasted on net with one instance per host and whilst that could flex it meant hosts had to be over-specified and call-routing could be adversely affected by host busyness causing occasional spikes in our otherwise legendary low PDD. It now runs on Kubernetes, as do appropriate Redis instances, and both are dynamically scaled in response to real-time metrics such as request latency. It is awesome!”

Simon will join us on the TADSummit EMEA / Americas Serverless Panel with Tim Panton, |Pipe| and Westhawk; and João Camarate Silva, GoContact.

Successful innovation implies taking risk – Francis Haysom

Complementary analysis from Francis Haysom, corroborating the points I made in this weblog reviewing the “Accelerating Innovation in the Telecommunications Arena” Paper.

Does the need for a collaborative trial predict failure in 5G? – William Webb

Great insight from William, proof-of-concept trails makes sense when the service, solution, technology, or provider(s) has no / little track record. Hence why start-ups and labs often do PoCs (MVP / alpha) to show a new way of doing things.

However, 4G is well established, 5G is an incremental development, its just another G as Dean Bubley puts it. So the PoC is for marketing purposes only, to fill the gap until a commercial offer is found. There will always be early adopters, because their justification is to be seen to be ahead of the competition. ‘Look! Our factory has 5G automation.’

But the early majority need a business case beyond marketing kudos. Sometimes experimenting in the field can help find the commercial offer. It’s just the $$$ and industry attention devoted to such experimentation is a distraction from solving the bigger problems facing the telco industry.

OpenSIPS Distributed Summit, 7-11 September

Proud to be giving the keynote, interesting results from the Open Source Telecom Software Survey 2020, and some guidance on the road ahead. We have much work to do!

8X8 grows Wavecell business in Asia

8×8 announced Asian startups Janio Asia and Coda Payments are using 8×8 Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) to more effectively reach customers anywhere. 8×8, through its Wavecell acquisition, recently launched CPaaS programmable applications, APIs and delivery capabilities beyond the Asia Pacific region to organizations in the US and the UK.

Avaya repositions itself as cloud provider for enterprise communications

Avaya has rebranding its entire communications portfolio under the Avaya OneCloud name.

Avaya OneCloud spans the entire Avaya product line, which is focused on contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS), unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS), and communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS).

Avaya offers a range of operational, consumption and commercial models that can be deployed on-premises as well as through Avaya’s private and public cloud offerings.

Expect to see lots more M&A towards the end of this year and into next.

I mentioned in CXTech Week 32 2020 the acquisition of Kandy by American Virtual Cloud Technologies, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) – think of its as a stock market blank check M&A vehicle.

Now, Firstcom Europe, a pan-European telecommunications provider has reached an agreement with independent European fund Kartesia for a loan facility of €29m (£26.2m). Firstcom bought Telesis last year, UK-based enterprise communications provider.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Chris Shaw started an additional position as Co-Founder at The Artocalypse. We’ll be presenting at at TADSummit EMEA / Americas on “Creating Inspiring Experiences for Virtual Family Events” http://www.tadsummit.com/2020/emea_americas/agenda-emea-americas/. I’m sure The Artocalypse will get a mention there as well 🙂

Check out Miguel Monforte Nicolas (CTO Summa Networks) Knowledge Pills, they really are excellent knowledge pills thanks to his extensive hard-won practical experience working in the core of telco networks.

Diane Myers is now Chief Analyst at Omdia

Adrian Burholt is now Curate at The Church of England

Oren Michels is now Co-Founder and Member Board of Directors at Pantastic, which helps indie brands reach more customers and grow faster than on monopolists like Google / Facebook / Amazon.

 Kazuhito Yokoi is now Software Engineer at Hitachi.

PrimeKey update on the OASIS Standard PKCS #11 Cryptographic Token Interface from Olle E. Johansson. BTW Olle will give a session at TADSummit EMEA / Americas on “Security and Real-time Communications – a maze of twisty little passages, that all look alike” http://www.tadsummit.com/2020/emea_americas/agenda-emea-americas/

Call-Em-All is now Text-Em-All, and integrates with TempWorks Staffing Software. I still have my Call-Em-All mug 🙂

This is great! Lego launches Braille version of its plastic bricks.

Braille Lego

I’m really excited by the TADSummit EMEA / Americas 2020 Agenda, its going to be an important milestone for the progammable communications industry.

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