CXTech Week 51, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 51 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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TADHack 2020

We announced the plans for TADHack in 2020. There are 3 dates for your diary:

TADHack-mini Phoenix with Avaya ENGAGE 2020, 1-2 February 2020.

There’s $15k in prize money available across a number of prize categories, winners get access to Avaya ENGAGE 2020 – Magic Johnson is one of the keynotes, and winners also get access to Avaya Welcome Party (featuring a Big Game) at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix – 10 minute walk away from the hackathon. And as aways we accept remote entries.

TADHack-mini Orlando, 28 – 29 March Orlando, just before Enterprise Connect 2020.

We’re back in Orlando for TADHack-mini Orlando #4, the weekend before Enterprise Connect 2020! Here you can see what we got up to at TADHack-mini Orlando 2019, as well as 2018, and 2017. For 2020 we’re adding a theme, a focus, for the hackathon on intelligent agents / assistants (also known as bots) using conversational interfaces. We have the support of renowned expert Dan Miller, Opus Research. Who will be joining us for the judging on Sunday, and supporting us in the run-up to the event. More coming on this soon.


And then big one! TADHack Global, 10/11 Oct <website coming soon>.  We’re working on some exciting plans for 2020 to help TADHack reach many more people and have a bigger impact within the communities that run a TADHack. Including:

  • New locations and some returning locations that took a break in 2019 and discovered they missed being involved 🙂
  • For locations that have school children involved we’re arranging specific recognition awards.
  • More opportunities for the winners to present at TADSummit and other related events.
  • More preparation workshops before TADHack Global.
  • Some locations want challenges, we’ll add them back in for 2020.
  • More post-event activities for winners and those taking part, for example an exclusive messaging channel for help and support in bringing their idea / hack to market. Also voting for people’s choice awards for the hacks.
  • Plus more to be announced in the coming months, its going to be great!


Voximplant Raises $10 Million to Fund Global Expansion for its Cloud-based Voice and Video Communications Platform that Services More than 20,000 Companies Globally

Congratulations to Alexey and his team, its great to see the progress. Voximplant have supported TADHack over the years, including running a highly successful Moscow location. Voximplant is strong in Russia, and plans to expand its North American footprint with this investment. There are likely a number of M&A discussions happening with North American companies at the moment, as its a well-developed CPaaS, thought the focus is more on services that are easily configurable through web pages (like IdeaMart).

The challenge I see is the Russian and North American markets are quite different with respect to programmable telecoms, though I find the attitude of the people in both businesses to be quite similar 😉 I’ve seen some Russian high-tech companies, with a strong position in their home market, struggle to adapt in growing their US business. Localization is critical across the product, sales, marketing and support.


net2phone Acquires Spanish UCaaS Provider RingSouth Europa

And the M&A continues, with net2phone, a business VoIP provider, acquired RingSouth Europa (RingSouth), a virtual PBX provider headquartered in Murcia, Spain. They’ve made the silly error of plastering the press release with the term ‘cloud communications’, the PSTN was the first hybrid cloud communication platform. And worse using the term obscures what the companies actually do. Just compare my one sentence explanation with the release. PR is about clarity in communications, not slavishly following weak-minded marketing.


Aircall leverages TelcoBridges ProSBC on AWS to Expand the “Phone System for Modern Business” Around the Globe

The are a number of popular open source options for SBCs. I’ve been surprised SBCaaS has not appeared in the offers from CPaaS providers, I guess its more a bundled offer. Aircall are built on Twilio, hence are more focused on the service aspects than the plumbing.


Ribbon and Amazon Partner to Deliver Real-Time, Automated Call Analytics and Recording

Ribbon’s SBC is now supports Amazon Chime. At TADSummit EMEA we discussed the ever growing offer from Amazon in enterprise communications. For TADSummit in 2020 I’m planning a session to discuss the SBC options with such services. I see open source as providing quite mature and easy to configure options, but as this newsletter shows the closed source options are proving popular.


People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

With the Kaleyra listing complete Terry Hsiao has left Kaleyra. He will be at CES in a couple of weeks. And you can see his presentation from TADSummit Americas here, “Experiences with Private (NOT PUBLIC) cloud implementations of CPaaS”.

Gaurav Khaitan is now Senior Manager, National Development Strategy at T-Mobile. I’ve known Known since Gaurav 2009 when we worked on APIs / SDP at Idea Cellular.

Good luck to Gabriel Cassim who is now CTO at Qubit Engineering Solutions. He took part in TADHack Global earlier this year.

Congratulations to Jeremy Delrue, he is now Regional Director – Southern Europe at Jeremy has supported TADHack over the years.

Congratulations to Niwat Yenkai, who is now Chief Commercial Officer at TPLUS Digital.

Jeff Bak joins Syniverse as VP of Product Management. Syniverse are a telecoms interconnect, clearing/settlement, and messaging aggregator. Last year they laid off 15% of the workforce. They’ve  been around $780-$790M in revenue for a few years, down from a peak of $900M in 2015. The messaging (engagement as they call it) business has the potential for most growth in their service portfolio. They’re well-positioned with respect to SMS in the US, one of 2 / 3 aggregators approved for direct carrier interconnect, however internationally the market is a more open market. The shift to IP messaging (WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat, push messaging, and RCS) is a threat to the growth of the traditional A2P SMS business.  I think some M&A will be necessary to leapfrog their business.


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