The purpose of this CXTech Week 28 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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Without Understanding History We’re Doomed to Repeat it for Telcos and CPaaS
The linked article above demonstrates the problems of taking a view of only recent history, the past couple of years. This partial view results in mistakes of the past potentially being repeated, looking back over a decade gives different reference and learning points. I apologize for mentioning again this link to a Potted History of Programmable Telecoms, but its does provide a broader view to help avoid previous mistakes.
A few points I’d like to highlight. There’s a much longer history in API repositories / marketplaces than RapidAPI, which is a relative newcomer. The Programmable Web founded by John Musser back in 2005, was bought by ALU in 2010 and sold then in 2013. Most on-demand APIs require just a credit card and you’re off and running in minutes. The benefits of the marketplace are slim for many integrators, service providers and even enterprises. Just ask them.
Uber could do anonymous calling on their own infrastructure using Asterisk or FreeSwitch, they certainly have the ability, and there were many A2P SMS aggregators in business before Twilio. Twilio simply removed the need for Uber to deal with telcos wrt voice services. You can not underestimate the frustration web companies have in dealing with telcos. Look at AT&T’s 2FA offer in its API Marketplace and see if any of the major 2FA consumers (web companies) are aware of the offer or would consider using it. This is an example of spin, the Press need to start challenging the rampant spin in this industry and verify claims like “Without Twilio, Uber for example would have never become the successful service it is today.” At TADSummit such spin would never be allowed to pass.
AT&T’s API Marketplace is the latest in its long history of telecom APIs going back close to a decade: see the video below from 2012, my review of their Developer Summit from 2013, and you can see some of the APIs they offered in 2013 in the picture below.
An important factor mentioned in the article is trust, telcos are a channel to market within their countries’ of operations. However, focusing on APIs is the wrong way to do it, rather focus on the services (solutions to business problems). For example, VoIP Innovations (who is an enterprise-focused telco) understand the role APIs play in enabling services, and has a focus on making it as easy as possible to add services that solve business problems with their Showroom. Check out their showroom here, this is just a first step, they have an exciting future planned!
Customer relationship is critical in enterprise communications (even for SMB) and telcos need to build this up beyond their legacy offers. API marketplaces are a technology band-aid to a deeper challenge telcos are facing in their relationship with enterprises, I discussed this in last week’s newsletter, CXTech Week 27. I’m not saying don’t use APIs, only someone with an agenda of dis-information would make the claim I’m saying that. What I’m saying, like I did with API management for telcos back in 2010, telcos have to do more than API Marketplaces that are only a technology band-aid.
Migration from Slack to Microsoft? Forget about it, focus on the enterprise tools that consolidate the results from the many ephemeral conversations.
In this article linked from the title there’s a nice mention of Mio, but Mio’s so much more than a migration tool. There is not one conversation so there will not be one enterprise messaging app. And do not forget all the conversations taking place over: SMS, WhatsApp, email, Telegram, LINE, WeChat, IRL, and many more.
There will never be one messaging platform as there is no one conversation. Most chat is ephemeral; project management, document management, and cloud storage tools consolidate the results of the conversations.
Zoom’s Security Flaw
Almost every app we use has some security scare at some point, often multiple ones. Search “Webex security issue”, to see what I mean. However, the video camera is a sensitive security issue given what people do in front of their machines. And as Zoom is a freemium service, it’s a little more ‘consumer’ in its user base.
Below are the 3 articles that sum the situation. The Jonathan Leitschuh’s Medium article that recently went viral. An example of the media reaction from Forbes. And the Zoom blog on the issue, showing their initial reaction and then further actions in response to the outcry stimulated by Jonathan Leitschuh’s article. This isn’t the first nor will it be the last time we’re going to see video communication security concerns.
It’s unfortunate they recently went IPO, as such hiccups attract much more attention.
Forbes Reaction to Jonathan’s article
This isn’t unusual, check out its history of Slack outages.
Similarly, it’s unfortunate they recently went IPO, as such hiccups attract much more attention.
For TADSummit EMEA we’ve recently added the VoIP Innovations keynote from David Walsh, CEO is “The P in CPAAS is for Partnerships”. Partnerships is a key theme for TADS in 2019, and we hope to create many before, during and after the event.
Hindsight is 20/20 and there is no question that what came to be known as “Communications Platform as a Service” quickly grew over the last decade from a couple of start-ups into a booming industry around delivering voice and SMS services through APIs. Of course, telcos and resellers, either enabling this trend on the wholesale side or losing deals on the enterprise side, wanted in on this trend.
Today, CPaaS is enabling new models for partnerships that speed up innovation and simplify the mass customization of apps and services. And it is giving carriers and resellers an opportunity to address requirements from existing customers and new markets. Carriers, resellers, and developers working together through new CPaaS business ecosystems to distribute value-added communications solutions. Let’s call it Communications Partnerships as a Service.
David Walsh, CEO of VoIP Innovations will lay out his vision for CPaaS and will share examples and experiences that carriers, developers, and resellers can use in 2020 and beyond.
For TADSummit Americas we have added an exciting presentation on “Experiences from Incorporating Sign Language in Customer Interactions” from Alberto Gonzalez, Senior Engineer, WebRTC.ventures / AgilityFeat, TADHack Global Participant; and Arin Sime, Founder/CEO WebRTC.ventures, AgilityFeat, and UniWellness Care.
The diversity of customer interactions has never been greater. Customer experiences that once required dedicated devices, and hence remained niche, can now run on almost any phone or laptop. Some of you may remember the first hack to incorporate sign language in customer service interactions from TADHack Global in 2015, SignChat. Four years later, adding sign language to customer interactions is becoming mainstream.
We’ll share our experiences from incorporating sign language in customer experiences. Programmable telecoms is not only enabling many new and better customer experiences, its making customer interactions ever more inclusive.
Another Article with Yet more Indoctrination on APIs
It’s about solutions to business problems, i.e. services, not APIs. APIs are a stepping stone to the service that solves the problem for which the customer pays. As an industry we’re scaring off most of the potential enterprise customers with this silly jabber on APIs.
People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
Bernardo Flood and Juan Pablo Villa have founded Entropy Labs, more coming soon! Bernardo will be attending both TADSummit Americas and EMEA.
Tomasz Owczarek is now Senior Account Manager, Partner Solutions at TELUS.
There’s another CPAAS, Center for Precision & Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS)
Artificial Intelligence Washing
I find all the #AI (Artificial Intelligence) white-washing much more tolerable, when I replace every instance of AI with the word software. The same goes for the phrase ‘Digital Transformation’ with ‘Business Improvement’. But I’ve not found a remedy for all the dumbass ‘digital’ prepositions, I need to replace it with something…