CXTech Week 34, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 34 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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Asterisk Celebrates 25 Million Downloads

Sangoma, a leader in delivering Unified Communications solutions for SMBs, Enterprises, OEMs, and Service Providers, both on-premises and in the cloud, announced that September will mark the 25 millionth download of Asterisk, the world’s most widely used open source communications software.

Asterisk is the largest open source telecom software community. It’s the longest continuously operating open source telecom application server project at 20 years old, founded in 1999. This is an impressive achievement that demonstrates Asterisk’s leadership across the telecom industry.

There have been many other telecom app server projects from companies such as Sun (Sailfin, founded in 2007) and Opencloud (founded in 2000 and bought by Metaswitch). My recent open source telecom software research shows the Asterisk community has the greatest diversity of implementations: across employee and customer communications, from specialized functions like SBCs (Session Border Controllers) to CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service). Well done to everyone in the Asterisk community! And see you at AstriCon 2019, October 29-30, at the Omni Battery, Atlanta, Georgia.


Please Reserve Your Weekend of 12-13 Oct for TADHack Global 🌍🌎🌏

TADHack Global 2019 on 12-13 October is running across many locations around the world. Please reserve your weekend of 12-13 Oct in your diary for a great time at one of the largest and most diverse hackathons, now in its 6th year. Thank you.

Please Register here

We have Global sponsors Telesign (Mobile Identity, Trust), Simwood, (Programmable Telecoms, Fraud Protection), and VoIP Innovations (Programmable Telecoms). Check out their resources on the front page by scrolling down to the resources section.


Simwood sponsors TADHack Global 2019

We’re excited to announce Simwood are sponsoring TADHack Global 2019.

Simwood are well known to anyone who has been about the open-source telephony scene. They operate a global network, in places down to the fibre in the ground, the network routers and telecoms switches – an almost obsessive elimination of supply chain to control everything. But they love to break new ground in how to do things, giving back in talks and sponsorship at all the major open source conferences for many years. They’ve been about since 1996 too, when they were the first global gateway between SMS and internet, both of which looked like they may catch on.

What they do in programmable telecoms is geeky, cool, and above all customer focused. From developer-friendly APIs and human-friendly interfaces, to their unconventional approach to fraud protection, Simwood empower their customers and champion a fair and transparent marketplace in telecommunications. Irreverent founder Simon Woodhead thinks nothing of calling out industry regulators and monopolies, and Simwood punches well above its weight in voice and influence.

That isn’t to say their voice or influence is small though. From UK roots, Simwood is now also licensed in the USA and is building out network there, with teams on both sides of the pond. It has customers in 52 countries and more than 7m numbers on-net, many hosted for other carriers. Their telephony services are behind many successful VoIP providers (ITSPs) and carrier customers, who are often co-located in one of Simwood’s 13 data centres, in 5 Availability Zones, and building on-top of the Simwood APIs.

Simwood passionately believe technology convergence can change the world for the better and they exist to enable that change. Put another way, programmable telecoms from Simwood can make the world better, through helping solve problems that matter to you across your work, family and community life. Which is exactly what TADHack is all about 😊They care deeply about end-user privacy and security though, something Simon has not only written the book about but keynotes about.

Check out Simwood’s resources for TADHack Global here.


Please Register for TADSummit Americas (15-16 Oct) and IIT RTC Conference (14-16 Oct) in Chicago

TADSummit Americas, 15-16 Oct, runs in parallel with the IIT RTC Conference in Chicago. This is the first time we’ve run TADSummit in North America. You get access to both events for the price of one ($300 is the full price), use the code TSDISC to get $100 off the ticket price – Register here! What a bargain, only $200!

If you want to understand the latest thinking, ideas, opportunities and insights in programmable telecoms / communications before everyone else. TADSummit is the only place to be for 7 years running.  We also call the category CXTech (shorter, more catchy term). The C stands for Connectivity, Communications, Collaboration, Conversation, Customer; X for Experience because that’s what matters; and Tech because the focus is enablers. Check out the CXTech newsletters.

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.


Nice review of Voxist by the Founder’s Institute

Voxist began as a hack in TADHack Paris, and is making rapid progress in customer adoption in the US. Karel, the founder / CEO will be presenting at TADSummit EMEA on Voxist and also on Le Voice Lab.


The Importance of Automation in removing Fake Accounts on Linkedin

Between January and June 2019, Linkedin took action on 21.6 million fake accounts. This includes:

  • Preventing 19.5 million fake accounts from being created at registration. This means the vast majority – 95% – were stopped automatically, without ever being live on LinkedIn.
  • Restricting 2 million fake accounts before members reported them and 67,000 following member reports. This was possible by pairing human review with artificial intelligence and machine learning and our members who report fake accounts.
  • 98% of all fake accounts we prevented or took down were done so through our automated defenses, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. The rest were captured through manual review.

Its mobile Identity solutions that are capturing 95% of those fake accounts. Its CXTech that’s solving most of the problem. More and more companies face this issue as they bring their processes online. Telesign will be covering the opportunities at both TADSummit Americas and TADSummit EMEA.


Nice review of the Benefits of Anonymous Phone Numbers from Apifonica

Nice review of the many applications and business benefits of anonymous phone numbers for both calling and messaging from Apifonica.



Great piece from Telesign on Ad fraud and the role mobile identity plays. By eliminating the problem at its genesis fake users are never able to hop on a platform and cause mayhem.

Global web and mobile platforms have successfully used TeleSign’s Mobile Identity solutions globally to block bad actors preventing the growth of the fake economy. By using carrier data TeleSign can provide a layer of extra security to any platform and set up a list of red flags that will banish a fraudster to the swamps from which they came. Learn more at TADSummit Americas and TADSummit EMEA.


So much Discussion on legacy Enterprise Telecoms, The Mitel / Avaya hook-up

Mitel/Avaya is a long running story, its unfortunately not about the customer or technology. Simply about financial restructuring and managing down the legacy products while trying not to loose too many customers.

Remember Avaya used to be part of Lucent, back in the day when telco switches were ‘down-sized’ for enterprise consumption. Nortel did the same thing, and Avaya bought those assets in 2009.

Searchlight bought Mitel for $2B last year, and is reportedly getting $1.67B of the combined $5B entity. But Avaya’s cap is $1.34B. I’m not sure how 2+1.34=5, even with $250M pa synergies (cost cutting). You’ve gotta love stock market math 😉

In my opinion breaking up is the only sensible option, as discussed in CXTech Week 20. Avaya’s whole portfolio is a complicated, multiple overlapping product mess from lots of acquisitions. Avaya has struggled to consolidate the legacy product mess. It’s simpler to just target their customers directly, as Microsoft and Cisco have done for over a decade, and in the past 5 years the UCaaS and CCaaS players have also been quite successful.

However, sensibility and making a quick buck off investors who believe 2 + 1.34 = 5, means that’s never going to happen.

I’ll be sharing my CXTech landscape and market sizing work at TADSummit Americas and TADSummit EMEA where you can see just how many suppliers are in this space, many of which are on-prem / hosted not just trendy cloud, as internet access in many countries can still be a bit crap. Legacy can be a choke chain that just keeps a business from moving forward fast enough.

Also ignore the silliness on the importance of the combined UCaaS and CCaaS offers. Often the enterprise buyers are different. Employee communications and customer communications are different. Businesses will continue to have multiple suppliers to meet their specific needs. It’s only the large vendors who are making the claims, (ever wonder why?), the hundreds of smaller vendors are making good business by focusing on solving the customers’ problems in employee or customer communications.


Congrats to Lorien Pratt, chief scientist at Quantellia, for this NPR piece: Hunting for the holy grail of digital language translation

As always, clear and to the point:

“Lorien Pratt, chief scientist at an AI firm Quantellia, noted that what Google is perfecting is translation for everyday life, casual conversation.

Translation tech has to advance much further for conducting business where mistakes could cost a lot of money.

“And then there’s jargon-specific translation, so like if I’m a medical practitioner or a lawyer or something like that, obviously that needs extra intelligence,” Pratt said.

That’s the stuff businesses can’t get wrong because the consequences could be far greater than using the wrong noun when you’re looking for the bathroom.”


Artificial Intelligence on the Trading Desk Greenkey Webinar

As always, replace the word AI with software (or machine learning or statistics if you prefer). Its a nice review covering:

  • Trading desks are currently overwhelmed by data that is unstructured, without standardization and beyond the scope of human ability to process in a timely fashion. Consolidation of trading roles means that there are fewer people available to focus on data research on any given desk
  • An overview of Natural Language Processing (NLP), which consists of Natural Language Understanding and Natural Language Generation, roughly equivalent to the processes of “reading” spoken words and “writing” text from the voice data generated
  • The advantages of A.I. in trading, including automation and productivity, data transparency and generating new insights from existing data
  • The prevalence of voice and increasingly chat conversations that are cited as essential components of trading desk workflows, with 16 percent of traders polled by Greenwich Associates using more than one chat tool on a regular basis
  • An overview of recent NLP and Machine Learning (ML) innovations that include important tools to enable better workflows, as well as interactions between humans and computer-aided tools such as BOTs and FAQs
  • A discussion of investment in future technologies such as A.I. in banking, which is essential to harnessing the potential revenue to be found in currently lost and unstructured data. Maximizing sales efficiencies and improving client experiences were cited as key results from implementing automation on top of existing legacy technology.


New Sturm Collaboration Campus Opens to the Community Utilizing Room of the Future Technology

Arapahoe Community College (ACC) in Colorado received a generous donation from the Sturm Family Foundation for innovative technology and support in their new collaboration campus located in Castle Rock. The new campus named the “Sturm Collaboration Campus” opened its doors on August 16th to the Castle Rock community. This pioneering new venture brings together ACC’s partnerships with Douglas County School District, Colorado State University System, and the South Denver metro business community to provide a seamless pathway to a degree or workforce training.

The Sturm Collaboration Campus is utilizing SyncRTC’s video collaboration technology to enable the delivery of a more accessible, collaborative higher education curriculum. The facility includes a Room of the Future training room hostingan eighteen screen, ultra-high-definition videowall that has been configured to support 40 remote students in a blended learning environment. Designed specifically for education and corporate training, delivers an immersive eLearning experience to simulate a physical classroom session. Lecturers are able to engage with students in a similar way as they would face-to-face, utilizing tools such as Raised Hands, Whiteboard, Automatic Break Out Rooms, Classroom Chat, collaborating in real-time on documents, and sharing multimedia content.

You can learn more of SyncRTC’s success at TADSummit Americas on 15-16 Oct in Chicago, running in parallel with IIT RTC Conference.


People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Kemal Altintas, is now Senior PM, Apple TV Video Services at Apple. I knew him back in his LG days working on their APIs for their partner platform. I was trying to get him involved in the first every TADSummit back in 2013.

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