CXTech Week 15, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 15 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.

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.

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

You can sign up here to receive the CXTech News and Analysis by email. Please forward this on if you think someone should join the list, I also publish this on my weblog. And please let me know any CXTech news I should include.


Mitel and Talkdesk partner for enterprise cloud contact center solution

This week Mitel and Talkdesk announced their partnership. It confirms the convergence across CPaaS, UCaaS and CCaaS isn’t just a nice categorization, but necessary for sales. As I’ve said many times, these are all just applications running on a telecom app server. It is more complex than that in practice, but the essence is true. Channel is important for Talkdesk to grow quickly, and Mitel provides a mature enterprise channel, where selling UCaaS and CCaaS together makes sense.

Mitel began in 1973 when Michael Cowpland and Terry Matthews founded Mitel which stood for “MIke and TErry Lawnmowers”. Their first shipment of three lawnmowers was lost in shipping, so they quickly adjusted to produce a telephony tone receiver product. Cowpland has also stated that the lawnmowers were not suited to Canadian lawns. My view is it was a way to get out of any Bell Northern Intellectual Property claims when founding the business, as neither had as much experience in lawnmowers as they did in telecoms. And from there is a complex story, today it’s a roll-up of Aastra Technologies, Mavenir and ShoreTel.

UCaaS and CCaaS convergence is interesting, as for SMB I’m seeing UCaaS extending into a light-weight CCaaS. I know some analysts have a definition problem here, but if it looks like a call center seat, and acts like a call center seat, and is integrated into your company’s workflows. It’s a call center seat. A way to look at the CXTech category is it’s partially about telecoms being sold in a web way. Making services once only available to the realm of large corporations because of $$$, available to the masses at $.


CSU’s College of Business first U.S. business school to provide on-campus, real-time online blended classroom through technology

While studying at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Víctor Sánchez wanted an easy way to connect with friends and family around the world. However existing video communications solutions were either too expensive or required IT involvement and dedicated hardware.

As a result he founded a video conferencing solution called MashMeTV, which he launched commercially in April 2013. Built using an open source communication protocol called WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications), MashMeTV became so popular that more than 415,000 users from 71 countries were using the application by October 2013.

Victor has successfully navigated from the curse of a popular free service to a growing profitable business. Congratulations to the team for their deployment at CSU’s College of Business! BTW, we’re hoping Victor will be able to present at TADSummit Americas in October, agenda coming soon.


Call for Speakers Fifteenth Annual Illinois Institute of Technology Real-Time Communications Conference

The IIT RTC Conference and Expo – October 14 –16, 2019 on the IIT main campus in Chicago, IL, is a venue for connecting the future to today in real-time where thought leaders from industry and academia gather to discuss, debate and shape the future of the rapidly changing real-time communications field. Everyone living at the intersection of voice, video, messaging, mobility, the cloud, and the Web – technical developers, innovators, engineers, academic researchers, product managers, marketers, entrepreneurs – has things to learn, things to teach and people to meet at this conference. Take advantage of this opportunity to share your expertise with, and learn from, 200+ fellow real-time communications leaders from across the globe by proposing a presentation at this Fall’s conference!

They’re soliciting presentation proposals at the leading technical and business edge of how we think about, create, and implement real-time communications networks, services and applications. Presentations will be placed into the following conference tracks:

  • WebRTC
  • Internet of Things
  • Programmable Telecom Networks
  • Next Generation Emergency Communications
  • TADSummit Americas


Flowroute Weblog: TADHack-mini Orlando 2019: Driving Innovation and Social Good for the Future of Telecom

A nice weblog reviewing all the hacks created on Flowroute at TADHack-mini Orlando in March, just before Enterprise Connect.

TADHack-mini Orlando helps showcase the sponsors to the EC19 audience, this year it was Flowroute, Telesign and VoIP Innovations. TADHack is an excellent recruitment tool, not only for employees and contractors, but also for apps into for example VoIP Innovations Showroom.

It brings new blood into the industry, which is sorely needed. I do not feel old attending Enterprise Connect, which is saying something these days! And most of all it keeps the sponsors’ honest. There is nothing as insightful (or as hard) as working with a diverse group of developers using your APIs, SDKs, and documentation. They are brutal – it’s great 🙂 Its surprising how few CPaaS providers are willing to put their technology where their slideware claims 😉

Here’s a funny tweet from Vincent Tang, one of the TADHack winners:


Video conferencing company Zoom could be valued at $8 billion in upcoming IPO

In CXTech Week 13 we mentioned Zoom would be listing soon. They set an IPO price range of $28 to $32 per share, giving the company a $8.25 billion valuation on the upper end of the range.

Given the IMF’s downward revisions of global growth, the generally silly state of politics wrt trade, and the rash of IPOs coming up. It looks like the bankers are anticipating a recession sometime soon.


Tyntec interview with John Coldicutt — CMO at Planday

Tyntec interview with John Coldicutt — CMO at Planday, a SaaS-based workforce management solution. In this discussion, we’ll cover the modern workforce and how today’s companies are using new technologies and tools to improve communication and overall user experience.

This interview reminded me of one I did with TimeForge in 2013, yes 6 years ago! BTW TimeForge were bought by Truno in 2016. I need to keep a better handle on all the M&A of companies using telecom APIs, not just the ones selling it.


We have a number of TADSummit webinars coming up in April. Thought-leadership in CXTech!

On Friday 12th April 9AM KL time / 11AM Queensland /  Thursday 11th April 9PM ET we’re running a webinar with Pamela Clark-Dixon and Hwee-Xian Tan of Ovum. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce two of the speakers of TADSummit Asia 28-29 May in KL. You can see the TADSummit Asia agenda here.

On Wednesday 24th April 9AM KL time / Tuesday 23rd April 9PM ET we’re running a webinar with Richard Im of Apigate. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce the Apigate keynote at TADSummit Asia 28-29 May in KL. You can see the TADSummit Asia agenda here.

On Monday 29th April 8AM NYC / 5:30 PM Colombo Sri Lanka we’re running a webinar with Roshni Hewamallika and Sandarenu Madan Arachchige of hSenid Mobile. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce the hSenid Mobile keynote and Omni-channel customer engagement platform presentation at TADSummit Asia 28-29 May in KL. You can see the TADSummit Asia agenda here.

You can see the impressive line-up of speakers for TADSummit Asia here.


??? Communications Platform as a Service Market across the World By Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM, Redhat, cloud Foundry, Google, Cloud Bees, Engine Yard

I bet you didn’t know all those companies were CPaaS providers? Neither did I. We’re seeing an array of companies using the CPaaS label as financial analysts now recognize the category. And analysts are adding to the confusing with reports like this.

CPaaS is a loose analyst created label. At TADSummit Asia, in the Programmable Telecoms Masterclass we’re going to break this down into customer centric definitions. Just slapping an API on a service platform does not necessarily make it a CPaaS. This is an example of the mis-focus on APIs, rather than the services, see my article from earlier this year on The Great API Con.


Bankers are getting excited about CPaaS, and also a bit confused.

I consider Pareteum as a broader offer than CPaaS, hence the issue this analyst has. Pareteum’s website doesn’t help their case as its everything to anything. But given the importance of WiFi and mobile broadband, the iPass acquisition is potentially an interesting move, if they can package offers on country, region and a global basis for brands and verticals across BOTH WiFi and mobile broadband.

Bandwidth is getting lots of financial analyst coverage and labelled a High-Growth Technology Stock. Bandwidth’s revenue increased to $204.1 million in 2018, from $163 million in 2017, and in 2019, management’s guiding for sales of between $231.5 million to $233.5 million. CPaaS could grow to $11 billion in 2022 from $2 billion in 2017, so the bankers are predicting more double-digit top-line increases in Bandwidth’s future.


I keep discovering new CPaaS, this time Clique.

Clique announced that it has been selected as the exclusive communications provider for the Workout With Me application. Workout With Me is launching later this year and is currently working to connect with trainers that will engage with the company as contractors to remotely train its clients.

Andy Powers, Founder and CEO of Clique, commented, “Workout With Me is the first consumer application we’ve partnered with in sometime. The use case was just dead on and we’re very excited they’ve chosen us this early in the process. I’ve personally invested in On Demand applications as well as Health and Wellness so the use case was even more native to us.”

Workout With Me is a seed-funded mobile application set to launch later this year. The company’s mission is to provide the best mobile on demand training solution to distributed customers in their homes and at gyms.


ALE’s (Alcatel Lucent Enterprise) Rainbow Collaboration platform is now a CPaaS

When a term becomes fashionable there’s no stopping where it gets used.


Evolve IP Acquires; Leading Speech Analytics and Natural Language Technology Firm

While big names made their AI acquisitions last year, mid-tier are now doing the same, but using terms we can all understand on why they’re doing it. Here is what provides to Evolve IP:

  • Transcriptions that are synched with audio playback. Just click a word to hear the conversation from that point in time;
  • Automatically mark important moments with clickable access to the exact point of conversation;
  • Text and audio are keyword searchable and sharable;
  • Syncs to CRM systems and HubSpot; and
  • Leverages multiple technologies in speech recognition, natural language understanding, voice analysis, and machine learning to provide high-quality transcripts and analytics about the conversation.


More DIY filling of NOT-SPOTS

Jame Body has been leading the charge here for a number of years on MONeH (Multi Operator Neutral Host), and regularly reports his progress at TADSummit. In the above article the local government in Eure-et-Loir has got tired of waiting for the MNOs to end not-spots in the countryside, deciding to construct its own masts in the region.

CXTech week 15

Announced via Twitter, the local authority approved funding for the ‘Eure-et-Loir Mobile Networks’ project in an effort to bridge the digital divide. The scheme will create a new company, which will have a budget of €10 million and aim for 100% geographical 4G coverage, through building its own mobile infrastructure.

Given the multiple decades of MNOs not filling not-spots while claiming they have a plan, at some point (hopefully by now) society, government, and regulators have to realize a different approach is required.


People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Couple of moves I cannot tell you about as they do not want to make it public, yet I’ve been introducing them to new opportunities. Skills in CXTech are in demand, I have people asking me every week if I know a proven CXTech marketing, product management, development, or sales person. If you’re on the market let people know through this newsletter.

I’m on vacation next week, there will be no CXTech Week 16 newsletter.

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