CXTech Week 40, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 40 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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Congratulations to Simwood on the Acquisition of Sipcentric and Birchills Telecom

Simwood have wanted to offer a multi-tenant own-branded hosted PBX for many years. They’ve tried a few solutions but they’ve never been adequate, and building it the Simwood-way has never happened.

Many competitors are simply licensing other people’s magic boxes or have built something in-house. The latter is hard to do, and to be frank, not many have done it right in their opinion.

Therefore, Simwood announced this week that they have completed two acquisitions, one of which includes the IPR and business of Sipcentric Limited, a longstanding customer and a great team of super-smart cookies. The other Birchills Telecom Limited.

Simwood are a sponsor of TADHack Global 2019, and I’m trying to get Simon involved in TADSummit Americas while he’s in Chicago 😉 They’ve made my employee communications landscape a little simpler, and the fashionable name for hosted PBX is UCaaS 😉


Congratulations to Edify Labs Raising $10 Million Seed Funding

Yep, you read that correct, $10M seed, not series A. I highlighted Edify Labs in CXTech Week 14CXTech Week 13, and CXTech Week 12, after learning about them at Enterprise Connect 2019.

The round was led by San Francisco-based First Round Capital, a venture capital firm whose partners worked with brands like Uber, Roblox, and Warby Parker when they were emerging. Other investors in this round include Anorak Ventures, Pathbreaker Ventures, Morado Venture Partners, Bling Capital, Bonfire Ventures, SeaLane Ventures, 7percent Ventures, and Liquid 2 Ventures. This funding will be used to expand Edify’s market presence and continue building the sales, marketing, development, and customer success teams.

Edify co-founders Weeks and Bracken Fields, also CTO, founded the company in their home state of Indiana in October 2018. Building on the core belief that businesses should not be trapped by expensive, stale, cumbersome technology, they invented a unified, omnichannel platform to manage internal and external communications. With a small team beside them, the duo launched Edify Huddle in June 2019 in response to the long-stagnant contact center (CC) and unified communications (UC) technology landscape.

Uniting UC, CC and communications platform (CPaaS/API) functionality in a single, cloud-native software solution, Edify Huddle lets users move seamlessly among channels within one conversation. This frictionless transfer capability gives agents the ultimate flexibility to interact with customers, one another, and internal subject matter experts to solve problems quickly and completely from a single pane of glass.


UCaaS Provider netsapiens Reaches 1 Million User Mark

There are so many more UC providers than just the large companies like Cisco, Microsoft, and RingCentral. I’ll share the size of the small and medium UC provider market at TADSummit Americas, Astricon and TADSummit EMEA. Don’t let the false narrative of the trade press gloss over the massive achievement of many smaller UC providers, 80% of them are open source based – just like the web!


RingCentral to Become Exclusive Provider of UCaaS Solutions to Avaya in Strategic Partnership

Looks like Avaya’s given up on its UCaaS aspirations, and will transition customers onto RingCentral. I wonder if its CPaaS aspirations are next? Avaya channel margin + Avaya margin + RingCentral price = something only large enterprises locked into the Avaya ecosystem can consider. Another example of how the small and medium sized UC providers are going to grow faster than the large vendors in this market. Again I’ll share the bottom-up build market data to justify that statement at TADSummit and Astricon. Looks like Simwood’s acquisitions, see above, are well timed 😉


TADHack Johannesburg returns

Joburg is now the are largest TADHack location by number of registrations at over 500, and we closed registration a couple of weeks ago.

MTN’s chief information officer, Phinda Ncala, says: “TADHack offers an engaging way for us to unlock the creative and innovative talent that already exists in SA. It brings together our entrepreneurs, budding technologists and community ambassadors to leverage technology to solve the pressing issues we face as a country. We cannot think of a better expression of MTN’s commitment to the future of SA.

You can read in this weblog more about all TADHack Johannesburg as achieved over the years.


Location Focus: TADHack Popayán

Popayán is the capital of the Colombian department of Cauca. It is located in southwestern Colombia between the Western Mountain Range and Central Mountain Range. It has a population of 258,653 people, is located 1760 meters above sea level, and its typical daily temperature varies only between 55-75F (13-24C) all year round!

The town is well-known for its colonial architecture and its contributions to Colombian cultural and political life. It is also known as the “white city” due to the color of most of the colonial buildings in the city center, as you can see in the picture above.

TADHack Popayán is now in its 3rd year thanks to Cluster Creatic. You can see all the hacks from 2017 and 2018 in these playlists, and some of the photos in the picture below. Popayán has produced global winners in both of its previous years, with impressive hacks that received special commendation from the global sponsors. TADHack Popayán is a great example of how high tech skills and innovative talent are everywhere, not just in the Bay Area.

Popayan city


5 must-see sessions to attend at TADSummit 2019

Have you planned your schedule for the 2019 TADSummit Americas yet? Mio has, and here is their recommendations on the top 5 must see sessions at TADSummit Americas 2019. BTW we’re at over 160 registrations, TADSummit is an impressive gathering of people from across the Americas and beyond, focused on CXTech.



Webex Teams vs. Microsoft Teams: Choosing the right platform

Chat to others in your industry using both platforms, not ones locked into just one. You’ll see Microsoft Teams as the edge on usability. Especially if Webex is a resell though a telco, mentioning no names 😉 The massive growth we’re seeing in UC, UCaaS, VoIP, Enterprise Telephony (note most businesses do not want UC) is because Telcos are struggling to keep up as they do not own the technology they’re reselling.


People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Martin Cookson is now EMEA Integrated Experiences Business Development at Oracle. I’ve known Martin since his time at BT, which was many decades ago 😉

Maxime Bayen is now a Senior Company Builder at GreenTec Capital Partners, an Africa focused investment company. Previously he was with the GSMA, and one fo the few people their to acknowledge to work of TADHack.

Daniel Forsman is now Chief Engineering Officer at Previously he was COO and Co-Founder at Sinch, and before that VP R&D at RebTel.  Here is his presentation from TADSummit 2014 in Istanbul when he was with Sinch.

The USA’s most talked about cities. Interesting analysis from Peter Griffiths, City Strategist at ING MEDIA, who I’ve know since his time as an editor on Carte Blanche, South Africa’s most respected weekly investigative journalism TV program. The city analysis compares the visibility between city rankings and online mentions. And aligns with our experiences given running TADHack Global across a number of those locations.

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