CXTech Week 50, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 50 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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The Great Telco Debate

Dean Bubley’s tweets are often a good barometer on the BS level. BT’s new CSO was whining about OTTs, must be coming up on 20 years of such complaints. Given the CSO is ex-BCG such laggard thinking is not a surprise.

Fashionable 5G edge-washing was also a theme. Claims that 5G Edge is now a market because AWS has launched a service are silly. Just look at all the stuff AWS tests by offering it to the market to will see how the market reacts and then act according to market direction. The same is true with Google and RCS. Telcos need to get more irons in the fire, than making “big industry wishful-thinking bets”.

There was also the usual cloud fantasies, legacy will continue to trap telcos. I posted in reply to one of Dean’s tweets a ‘fake-quote’ from Google: “we like how you run your access networks, we could help you run your core cloud native if you like at a fraction of the cost.” Which I suggested is another reason why Google or Amazon or Microsoft should buy Telestax because of their vast repository of open source telecom protocol stacks.


ClearlyIP Acquires Montreal Based Modulis

Modulis, founded in 2006, is a VoIP provider to mid-sized and large enterprises in US, Canada and Europe. It specializes in providing reliable and redundant phone systems on a global scale with its multi-tenant, load-balanced, and failover-enabled Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) platform.

This follows on from their September acquisition of Cyclix Solutions, based in Gilford, New Hampshire. Cyclix was a provider of telecom services with SIP Trunking, Business Connect Hybrid Hosted Platforms and custom IVR applications with their Sigma Systems Platform.

You’re going to see quite a few transactions in this newsletter, and many more in 2020.


Enterprise Connect 2020 Keynotes including Slack and Microsoft

The keynotes for EC20 will include Slack (Steward Butterfield, co-founder & CEO, Slack) and Microsoft (Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft 365). Cisco and Amazon Connect are also keynoting.

Often Teams and Slack are positioned as competitive, they are not. Many enterprises will use both, in addition to many other messaging systems like Cisco Spark, most collaboration clients now include messaging, Wire, Glip (for RingCentral users), RioT, SMS, WhatsApp, RCS, Telegram, push messaging, Workplace by FB, RocketChat, Google, all the embedded messaging (for example in project management tools), and many many more. Hopefully Mio will be in the audience to point out there is no competition with their solution 😉 Let business units choose what’s right for them.

BTW TADHack-mini Orlando will run just before EC20 on the 28-29 March.


IntelePeer secures $55M credit facility

IntelePeer, a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) provider, just announced it has closed a $55 million credit facility to accelerate its enterprise-centric Atmosphere CPaaS. We may see some acquisitions soon 😉


Bandwidth brings Verified SMS by Google

Bandwidth announced that they reselling Google’s Verified SMS, which is gradually rolling out to Google’s Messages app on Android, using RCS. Verified SMS aims to reduce fraud risk while improving response rates and brand experience over text messaging.

Verified SMS means when businesses communicate with consumers, it puts business information such as a brand’s logo and company overview immediately in front of text. It’s what the telcos want to do with CCMI (RCS Joint Venture from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon), but it looks like Google’s steaming ahead without them. LINE and WeChat have been doing this for years.


Firstly, Congratulations to Brian Day on Becoming CEO at Fuze, and Commiserations to the 25% of People Laid Off

I’ve know Brian since his time at Octave Communications. Fuze is laying off about 25% of its workforce, mostly outside the US. Fuze competes in an increasingly crowded UC / CC market, where if you’re not top-dog, you’re winning on price, so cost management is critical. Fuze was founded in 2006, some of the technology was getting a bit long in the tooth.

Through 2020 we’re going to see more such restructuring in other older providers. You can not rest of your technology laurels long, the platform has to be constantly evolving. For example, the role of severless is going to be ever more important to manage costs in the next decade. FinTech is getting there on serverless, and programmable telecoms / communications (CXTech) is going to have to catch up as the real-time latency defense slowly erodes.


BCM One Acquires Unified Communications Provider Arena One

BCM One is a managed ICT Solution provider. It had a VoIP solution, which as getting a little long in the tooth. So Arena One provides the UCaaS solution it needed.


Radius continues acquisition spree with Reliance Networks

And it’s not just the US. Radius Payment Solutions continues its push into telecoms with the acquisition of Reliance Networks.

The acquisition of Reliance is Radius’ seventh in the past seven week! Three of these acquisitions, including Reliance, have been in the telecoms space; last month, Radius acquired dealers Pure Telecom and Trinity Maxwell.

Reliance provides consultancy and communications solutions for businesses, as well as offering the Multinet mobile solution which enables UK roaming across multiple networks. Reliance’s acquisition shows Radius’ intent to form a telecoms division covering mobile to UCaaS and hosted telephony.


Out of Band Authentication Market (Two-Factor and Multi-Factor) is expected to grow from $533 million in 2018 to around $1.9 billion by 2025

Telesign is an example of a provider in this market with a range of authentication solutions, as its increasingly more than 2FA, its also about risk assessment. As presented at both TADSummit Americas by Pierre Demarche, VP Product and Marketing; and at TADSummit EMEA by Abhijeet Singh, Senior Product Manager, Telesign.


CounterPath Launches Bria Solo

Bria Solo offers individuals looking for a standalone softphone with a unique opportunity to test drive their voice, video, messaging and presence application on both desktop and mobile devices.

Bria Solo includes an easy to use web portal where users can set up their voice accounts once and then simply login to their Bria application on Windows, Mac, iOS or Android with their username and password to start communicating.

Over the past decade, their popular X-Lite and Bria products set the standard for softphones. Bria Solo replaces both products with a single solution that centralizes the management of up to three devices for individual users. Yet importantly has the free onramp to experience the value of their product.


People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Congratulations to Kevin SooHoo, who is now Chief Information Officer at Asia Alternatives Management LLC. Kevin and I met about 6 years ago at a Telco Big Data conference when he was heading up Sprint’s Big Data strategy.

Alan Williamson is now Head of Cable and Technology Sales North America at Mavenir.

Ted Franz is now Kandy Sales at Ribbon, previously Telestax.

Martin Cookson has moved from Oracle to be the Commercial Director at Cambridge Consultants.

Pablo Sanchez Perez is now Global CMO at Atento (CRM and BPO outsourcing services). I’ve known Pablo since his time at Huawei driving innovation, for example in API exposure.

Tim Spencer is now Founding Partner at Balsam Venture Capital. I’ve known Tim since Sigma Systems were a client and I was on their advisory board, along with Mike Lee, Eric Burger and Matt Bell.

Congratulations to Fred Posner and Victor Seva for joining the management team of Kamailio.

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