CXTech Week 8 2020, News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 8 2020 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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SimCon3 is on March 5th and 6th

SimCon3 will be on March 5th and 6th, in Bristol, UK. The full details are at I’ll be presenting on “Are We There Yet? Telecom Services’ Slow Migration To IP.” It’s going to be fun with a majority Brit audience, I can put in lots of British references, especially now they are now divorced from Europe.

I’m really excited for the SimCon awards, its the awards the industry should be handing out if industry awards were judged on merit rather than pay to play.

They have interesting speakers sharing their wisdom, including the leadership from three key open source projects – Kamailio, Asterisk and Drachtio, as well as stimulating in-house talks.

Whilst Rachel Riley won’t be joining SimCon this year, see SimCon 2019 video below, they have an excellent speaker called Brad Burton before this year’s SimCon Awards. Brad is not only “the UK’s #1 motivational business speaker” but also the founder of 4Networking, the UK’s largest national business network.

Tim Draper puts $1M into the Aragon blockchain project to create digital courts

A few years ago a project called Aragon began. Aragon provided the framework and tools needed to create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) ranging from structures created for thousands of users to simple ones designed for just a handful of people. Its so-called “court system” can handle “subjective disputes that require the judgment of human jurors,” according to them.

This is all well and good, but they also require genuine investors who know what they are doing.

The company just announced an investment from Tim Draper,  the billionaire VC who has previously backed Tesla, SpaceX, Coinbase and Baidu, but also went heavily into crypto a few years back.

Aragon, founded by entrepreneurs Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo, aims to create what they call the world’s first “digital jurisdiction,” providing tools for the management of digital organizations, as well as an online dispute resolution service.

Luis was one of the first ever TADHack Global winners in 2014, you can see his winning pitch video below. Well done Luis!

VoIP Innovations is back, and brings Sangoma to sponsor TADHack-mini Orlando

We’re excited to announce VoIP Innovations are back sponsoring TADHack-mini Orlando. VoIP Innovations (through the company they bought, Apidaze) has sponsored TADHack since its founding in 2014.

This year VoIP Innovations brings with it Sangoma, who bought them in 2019. What’s really cool is Sangoma have 2 prizes this year. One $1k pot for hacks on Apidaze, and a second $1k pot for hacks on Asterisk (the oldest, most popular, and widest used open source telecom project in the world). They’re ideally looking for hacks that mash-up both Apidaze and Asterisk.

IntelePeer Sponsors TADHack-mini Orlando

We’re excited to announce IntelePeer as a 2020 sponsor of TADHack-mini Orlando.

IntelePeer delivers an omni-channel communications platform as a service built for the enterprise, Atmosphere® CPaaS. They believe that business communications are meant for more than just simple interactions – they should enable businesses to deliver truly delightful experiences.

With their voice, messaging, ready-to-use applications, open APIs, and real time analytics, companies can build and integrate communications-enabled workflows to create world-class customer experiences and improve business processes through automation. Their full-stack solution is backed by a rock-solid network and a team of experts who provide nothing but award-winning customer service.

Building on the intelligent assistant theme of Enterprise Connect TADHack Orlando, developers can focus their hacks on a specific use case scenario that will improve a business process by implementing chat bots or virtual assistants using technologies like IBM Watson Assistant or Google Dialogflow. IntelePeer makes it quick and easy to build out comprehensive communications flows using their Atmosphere® SmartFlows, Engage (see video below) and Analytics platforms. There’s $1k in prize money available for hacks built on Intelepeer.

TADSummit 2020

Given all the events run by corporations, trade bodies, and professional event organizers; why should TADSummit exist in 2020? Especially given programmable telecoms / communications is no longer a hot topic.

Firstly, communications is fundamental to the human condition, it’s not going away. Secondly, now it is programmable, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible.

Third and most importantly the marketing in the enterprise communications / telecommunications industry is dominated by a few large organizations, and it’s mostly corporate BS. TADSummit delivers with an explicitly stated no BS policy. Just look at the intro, questioning why we even exist.

Today’s landscape is ephemeral, increasingly so:

  • Avaya reselling RingCentral? You ain’t seen nothing yet!
  • Will Twilio still exist in 2030? Not in its current form. And definitely the vogue of pretending to engage ‘developers’ will have subsided into a more realistic ecosystem-based approach.
  • How is the enterprise communications market growing when prices are falling? It isn’t.
  • Open source doesn’t scale or deliver ‘mature / busy’ enterprise needs. That’s BS! But you may need a service provider / technology partner that can help.
  • Privacy, security, authentication, authorization, identity remain the elephant troupe in the room, but it’s getting solved by programmable communications.

The only place you’ll meet the people understanding and creating the future of programmable communications is TADSummit. In 2020 we will be entering our 8th year. All content is live broadcast, recorded and edited for offline viewing. Your time spent at TADSummit pays back year over year.

Our 3 events are:

CXTech Week 8 2020

6 Million Reasons Twilio Could Dominate The CPaaS Industry

“Twilio now hosts about 6 million developers on its platform.” Its really accounts, not developers. I remember the games Twilio and Tropo would play in the race to 1 million developers.

The claim in the article is, “This means that Twilio has 6 million developers constantly building new applications on their platform, and Twilio is able to analyze trends from these developers’ activities. So essentially, Twilio has an army of 6 million programmers developing Twilio’s next best thing. And the programmers are paying Twilio!”

This isn’t true, nor is the positioning that Twilio is a platform business correct. In part because the CPaaS label is incorrect. Twilio is a services business. It delivers SIP trunking, Contact Center, Account Security, marketing, customer care and operations services using programmable communications. The API is just a way of delivering those services.

As the incumbent telco industry is so slow and self-centered, Twilio ran circles around them in offering basic communication capabilities in a way developers needed. There are now 10s of other providers doing the same thing, and cheaper.

Companies like Home Depot (HD), Delta (DAL), and Lyft (LYFT), created specific communication tools that enable these businesses to interact with their customers across a series of communication channels. Twilio’s software enables Home Depot to send alerts to customers, for example, when customers’ supplies are on the way to be delivered or when supplies have arrived in a Home Depot store. But the backend systems are slowly catching up, and Home Depot doesn’t want to be in the software business. Hence why Twilio has been moving up the stack into services.

I agree with the main contention that, “Twilio remains a buy at ~$17B market cap.” But I disagree with most of the argumentation in the article. Twilio is not a CPaaS, CPaaS is a dumbass term. Twilio is on its way to dominate the enterprise communications business, thanks to programmable communications / telecoms, a $200B market, and all the aligned business processes, which takes it closer to a TAM of $1T. We’ll be discussing this topic more at TADSummit through 2020.

Analyst says Twilio Should be a UCaaS Vendor

Given the previous discussion, it’s not a surprise that I disagree with this article as well. Twilio’s ecosystem already delivers a range of high margin employee communication services. Twilio is in the contact center business, and through SIP trunking is also providing VoIP (telephony) to businesses. So its pretty much delivering the full business communication stack, like Vonage. Its just they position themselves differently.

Vonage is a business focused communication service provider. Twilio is labelled a CPaaS because it’s a fashionable term. CPaaS is a dumbass term, and applying the CPaaS label to Twilio is equally dumbass. Twilio is not a business focused communication service provider, it’s a business focused communication service enabler.

While Vonage sells the stack to its customers directly (and to a lesser extent through channels). Twilio enables anyone (including itself) to use its stack to sell its business communications and related business processes stack. It’s a subtle difference, but you can guess which can likely scale faster wrt sales.

Why 2020 will be a year of transformation for the CPaaS industry

This is a truly awful article, and I disagree with most of its arguments. However, the one thing it gets right is “Asia to drive the next wave of growth for CPaaS.” And we’ll be discussing this at TADSummit Asia in May.

Enterprise Connect 2020: Everything in Communications Up for Grabs

See, there are articles I can agree with 😉 Enterprise Communications is much more dynamic these days, though the misunderstandings and BS have never been higher. I’ll be at Enterprise Connect on Monday 1st April, after running TADHack-mini Orlando over the weekend. If you’d like to meet-up for a chat, just drop me a line. You’ll get rare insight that people make investment on, rather the trite buzzword bingo that makes people feel warm and fuzzy and continue what they are doing.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Congratulations to ANDRES MACA for becoming a Software Engineer at VeriTran. Andres and his colleagues, Juan Daza and Camilo Segura, created a world-class winning hack at TADHack Popayan 2018. You can read about Dnunica here.

Sammy Khalifa, is now Business Development at Raya Contact Center. I first met Sammy at Apifonica / Dzinga.

This isn’t a change in position, rather a company name change. Pamela Clark-Dickson is now the Practice Leader, Communications and Social, Consumer and Entertainment Services at Omdia. Omdia is the roll-up of Informa, Ovum, Heavy Reading, and a load of other Analyst / Report generators from across telecoms. Simply vendors and telcos do not buy reports anymore. Back in ‘90s and early ‘00s the main suppliers had subscriptions to all the reports. Pamela is one of the good analysts.

CXTech Week 8 2020

Mark McIlvane is now Senior Vice President, Cloud, MSSP and Strategic Partners at Pulse Secure. Yet another move out of telecoms/communications into security. I’ve known Mark since his Personetta days, building service platforms for telcos. Now that’s a thankless task 😉

Congratulation to Ali Saghaeian who is now the ServiceNow Process Owner at eHealth NSW.