CXTech News and Analysis, Week 8 2019

The purpose of this newsletter is to highlight, with commentary, some of the CXTech news stories from this week (week 8). 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.

Examples of what falls into CXTech includes: Programable Telecoms / Communications, CPaaS, UCaaS, CCaaS, open source telecom software, CPaaS enablers, Multi-Factor Authentication / Instant Authentication, Telecom APIs, WebRTC, Cloud Communications, CPaaS enabled services, omni-channel, telecom infrastructure as code, telecom service dashboards, the myriad of UIs making APIs and enablers and services useable beyond coders.

You can read more about why we’re testing out this definition in the following weblogs: TADSummit State of the UnionWhat’s in a Name Part 1 and Part 2 discussions. Thanks for everyone’s support and contributions through the public discussion.

I wrap up the newsletter with a section covering, “People, Gossip, Interesting Articles, and Frivolous Stuff.”

You can sign up here to receive the CXTech News and Analysis by email. I only put about 10 people on the distribution list initially, not to spam everyone who knows me or is involved in TADS. Please forward this on if you think someone should join the distribution list. And let me know if there’s any news I should include for next week.

CLX renames to Sinch

CLX’s DNA has been around in the telecom space since 1989 when Symsoft, its telco-focused division was founded. CLX bought Symsoft in 2009. ‘Officially’ the CLX brand was founded in 2008, in my opinion the DNA of the company goes back to 1989.

Since the acquisition of Symsoft it’s done a number of acquisitions, check out Crunchbase for 6 of them. They have another acquisition coming up in April of the PR/Marketing firm. Why? Coz you do not generally sell CPaaS to brands for campaigns, rather to their Marketing agencies that run the campaigns. So this is more vertical integration, like we saw with their Mblox acquisition.

CLX provides messaging interconnect for many CPaaS providers. I remember Nexmo pointing out its direct carrier interconnect agreements, when some larger competitors were using CLX.

Sinch popped on the scene when RebTel spun out its platform in 2014. RebTel once focused on being the WhatsApp for voice. It’s now focused on mobile money. CLX bought Sinch in 2016. You’ll notice many of the deals are linked with the Swedish Telecom Mafia 😉

CLX with revenues of >$300M was relatively poorly known in the CPaaS space given its US bias. Sinch wasn’t in the field long so didn’t get much of a chance to build a brand. We did have a presentation from Daniel (CMO of Sinch at the time and now with Acast, and yes he’s also part of the Swedish Telecom Mafia) . BTW the other presenter, Hugh Goldstein, is now part of VoIP Innovations! You’ll be able to meet the VoIP Innovation folks at Enterprise Connect and at TADHack-mini Orlando the weekend before EC19 where VoIP Innovations is a sponsor.

CLX is an interesting company that straddles the web/telco divide. Integration across so many acquisitions remains one of my concerns. The rebranding helps with the presentation of a more unified business. Let’s see how they manage the people, process and technology challenges as discussed in this article on the challenges of the telco-way and web-way.

Sinch is a great example of why CPaaS grossly mislabels what they do, while CXTech captures the span of their business.

CXTech can be fun! And solve the fear of missing out (FOMO)

A witty article from Telesign on the use of streaming audio to address FOMO. We need more fun posts like this 🙂

Urgent Industry Action Required on MLTS NPRM (FCC 18-132)

Urgent Industry Action Required on MLTS (Multi-Line Telephone Systems) NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) (FCC 18-132) ASAP.

The Notice proposes to define MLTS (Multi-Line Telephone Systems) consistent with Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act which define MLTS as “a system comprised of common control units, telephone sets, control hardware and software and adjunct systems, including network and premises based systems, such as Centrex and VoIP, as well as PBX, Hybrid, and Key Telephone Systems.

The Notice proposes to interpret this definition to include the full range of networked communications systems that serve enterprises, including circuit-switched and IP-based enterprise systems, as well as cloud-based IP technology and over-the-top applications. We further interpret this definition to include systems that allow outbound calls to 911 without providing a way for the PSAP to place a return call.

So UCaaS / CPaaS / CCaaS / enterprise VoIP if you can make a voice call through your service to the PSTN it potentially means you!

VoIP Innovations is Now a Virtual CLEC

VoIP Innovations is another company that straddles the web/telco divide. Focusing on enterprise communications than the vertical integration we see with Sinch in marketing campaign management. The lines between CPaaS, UCaaS, CCaaS, wholesale VoIP, enterprise VoIP and Telco continue to merge. The shift in telecoms continues!

Examining the Evolution of Programmable Communications (NoJitter Article)

We’re at the beginning of a modular enterprise communications revolution, addressing the critical issues of simplicity, speed, and flexibility. Enterprise communications is getting quite exciting. We’re witnessing a convergence across a number of traditionally separate solution areas: communications platform as a service (CPaaS), unified communications as a service (UCaaS, aka cloud / virtual PBX), contact center as a service (CCaaS) and basic enterprise communication services like VoIP and SIP trunking. This is why we’re testing out the CXTech handle.

2019 the Year of Employee Experience (article is in Portuguese, use Chrome to auto-translate)

GoContact are an interesting CXTech company. They have a range of enterprise communication offers across UCaaS and CCaaS. Both direct and channel sales. A good understanding of the market. A blog called CX Blog, so clearly get what we’re trying to so with CXTech. Took part in TADSummit 2018. And a nice article on the importance of employee experience. The consumerization of experience has a massive impact on training costs, adoption, and performance improvement. In the limit its the employees that define the customer’s experience.

Webio Launches Customer Conversational Forms for the Enterprise

In putting TADSummit Asia 2019 together I’m having many interesting conversations on the status of CXTech across Asia. Chat bots are on the 2019 roadmap for many Asian corporations, generally as a PoC (Proof of Concept). Some of the interesting insights include: viewing chatbots across both employee and customer use cases; and trying to avoid implementing chat bots tied for specific functions, e.g. HR or CRM. Instead viewing conversational interface support as middleware across all functions and company data. Which backs up the work of Webio in being a conversational middleware company. Check out their recent work on conversational forms. And thanks to Paul Sweeney at Webio for all your support at TADSummit and the CXTech discussion.

People, Gossip, Interesting Articles, and Frivolous Stuff

John Elliott is now EVP Sales and Business Development at VoIP Innovations. Previously with SignalWire. (He hasn’t at the time of writing updated his Linkedin profile, but I did check with John first that it was public).

Jose de Castro is now Chief Architect of Twilio Flex. Previously, he was co-founder and CTO at their arch-enemy Tropo. (He’s only recently tweeted and updated his Linkedin profile so the move is now public.)

Scott Warner is back with tyntec as Head Of Account Management.

This one is from the end of January, but this is the first CXTech newsletter. Clark Peterson (ex-Vonage) is now on the Board of Directors of Alianza (UCaaS / CPaaS provider).

Transparency Market research have a new big number: Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) Market Worth US$79.3 Bn by 2024.

There’s a new type of CPaaS, ChargePoint as a Service!

Subscribe to CXTech News distribution list here.