CXTech Week 11 2020 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 11 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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The Serenova and Lifesize Merge

This was one of those deals that I thought had already happened, before it actually happened. Lifesize and Serenova are both HQed in Austin with similar number of employees 300/200 and converging revenues $100M / $40M respectively.

The puppet master behind this is Marlin Equity partners which owns both businesses. The spin is adding video to contact center, which is a tertiary benefit. Its Marlin packaging up an enterprise communications solution provider across comms and business processes to sell to a legacy provider looking for a shiny full-featured cloud offer.

I’m still not convinced on many of these quality, performance and optimization tools, that were folded into Serenova. I consider having to deal with a person a failure of a company’s process. It means there’s a problem, which I just want resolved, not an attempt to make me like what’s being done to me because I’m talking to someone. Like a carrier that wants to screw me onto another bundle, I’m still pissed at the way Verizon treated me.


I was fortunate to be invited to present at SIMCON3, 5-6 March in Bristol at Simwood’s HQ. Its Simwood‘s annual gathering across its rapidly expanding ecosystem. Bringing together a quality cast of people from around the world, including Simwood’s customers and partners.

For me, the most value I gained from the event were the many conversations with Simwood’s customers. Understanding the evolution of their businesses, how they view the enterprise communications market and its trajectory, the operational problems they face, and why they’re working with Simwood. 

Clearly there’s a lot of love in the room for Simwood ? Also the learning I gain at customer events goes far beyond what I gain at the big ‘destination’ industry events which are packed with marketing-speak. I was the only person to use the term ‘digital transformation’ through the 2 days, and I did preface that the term was utter bollocks.

I gave a presentation on “Are We there Yet?” reviewing the progress of VoIP; the misinformation that exists in the enterprise communications market; and provided quantification of, and recommendation on, the opportunities for everyone at SIMCON3.

The SIMCON awards (link is to the video) are unique in the industry, it’s not pay to play like most industry awards. Its recognition of people who are making a significant difference in the programmable communications / CXTech business. The winners are:

  • Leading by Example: Elisja Van Niekerk, founder of Coding Mamas, and founder of TADHack Johannesburg (the largest TADHack location).
  • The Voice of the Uprising: Allison Smith, yes the voice of your IVR.
  • Ahead of their Time: Telavox.
  • Pre-posthumous Legend: Olle Johansson.
  • The Nicest Guy in VoIP, Ever: Matthew Fredrickson.
  • The Geek Inspirer: Tim Panton.
  • Empowering The Next Generation: Me for TADHack. TADHack is only possible thanks to the help of over one hundred people around the world, including Elisja ?

Elijsa was on a roll this week, she also won the Woman of Stature award. Well deserved!

Enterprise Connect Got Postponed, but TADHack-mini Orlando is still on

TADHack-mini Orlando will be running on the 28-29 March both in-person (Valencia College’s Collaborative Design Center) and online. I anticipate about 20 people in person, and about 20 people online.

If either NJ or FL states become quarantined within the next 3 weeks, which is highly unlikely, we’ll move to a completely online event. I never thought I’d write such a sentence in my life, but I mention to exemplify that TADHack-mini Orlando is happening.

The remote entry procedures are covered in this weblog. You’re chances of winning are the same if you take part online or in-person.

We’ve had remote entry since the beginning in 2014. We did it to be inclusive of people who can not afford (time and/or cash) to travel to a TADHack location. Little did we know that those 6 years of experience enable us to cope with today’s situation.

TADHack Orlando

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

David Curran, Openjaw Technologies and TADSummit presenter, had great fun at Science Hack Day making a simple ventilator.

Congratulations to Kévin Tricot who is now a Senior Backend Developer at Square Enix Montreal. I’ve known Kévin since his time in Thailand, when I was putting they first ever TADSummit together in Bangkok.

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