CXTech Week 13 2020 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 13 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 Shocking State of BT’s Number Porting Business

Check out the shocking state of BT’s number porting business, as reported by Simwood eSMS Limited in the above weblog link.

Competition and choice work, we’ve seen it across many industries. It appears a lack of oversight by Ofcom in holding BT accountable is wearing down competition and choice in the UK’s telecoms market.

Don’t let the current crisis be used by the old monopoly to hide misdeeds aimed at weakening competition and choice for UK businesses and consumers.

As I compare the US and UK number porting operations, it’s quite shocking how poor the situation is in the UK.

Is There Room for Zoom Video to Continue Zooming Upward?

The answer to the above question is a qualified yes. Note, Eric the CEO has made a point of highlighting the increase in their costs in supporting schools around the world. My son now uses Zoom for some of his lessons in addition to Google Classroom; this support will likely soften Zoom’s earnings, while income is set to rocket.

The math in the article on events is wrong. We need to divide events into conferences (presentations on new ideas and learning, and associated discussion) and trade show. Trade shows perplex me as its all available on the web, and its mostly weak-minded marketing jabber from marketing people copying each other. Its main purpose is swag IMO. For meeting people, that’s off the trade show floor.

It’s a big money earner for events as people wander between expensive stand space and help marketing achieve their RoI by gathering leads. Doing this virtually is almost the same as going to a website and downloading some papers and reading some reports. I’m not certain this can virtualize very successfully, perhaps an online chaperoned tour? There again, who’s paying the chaperone?

Conference has 2 elements, content distribution of new ideals and learning; and those awful corporate deck presentations, which are just a tick in the box for the sponsorship fee. Moving online condenses the conference format, people are no longer trapped at an event attending relevant sessions; every presentation needs to win attention else it’s skipped. Online panel discussions are OK, need careful curation, and need to reflect the interests of those viewing the content. Its a posteriori knowledge you need from the presentation videos to see what and who is hot.

Which is a long way of saying, online events are starkly different to in-person. There will be an uptick for Zoom from events, but it will be small compared to increase from home working.

Upheaval in the Contact Center Industry in the rapid move to remote working

While the focus has been on WFH (Work From Home) and screens filled with videos of faces. The contact center industry large and small around the world has also needed to make the move to WFH while continuing to use legacy systems; in a matter of days!

I had an interesting chat with João Camarate Silva, Founder and CTO of GoContact on what they are seeing in the market. They are helping contact centers that run on legacy systems setup IVRs, Inbound Queues, Outbound Campaigns, and get their agents working remotely using a browser / softphone. Then either sip trunk with the legacy system or just redirect DIDs. All including setup, training and licenses. The speed of this change has been dramatic.

Many people occasionally WFH or remotely, so that change is not that great. Whole contact centers of 10s to 1000s of people are converting in days. Once such a change was thought to take months of planning, now its days, that is upheaval!

Summer Olympic Games Postponed to 2021

The decision was finally made; and they did consider options such as: no stadium audience, and just the athletes / organizers present

This follows from my discussion in last week’s CXTech newsletter. Event planning for 2020 is more or less through the window unless its primarily online, with the option of an in-person component for those who have already had the virus, or are willing to take the risk.

The ICL paper I referenced has been criticized for being overly negative on the WHO numbers used. However, the timeline stands though the mortality numbers are too high; also the human issues and vaccine availability are still valid.

Sponsors need something definite to sponsor. Hoping things may get better, when the models show we’ll likely be in some form of containment is not viable. Sponsors do not sponsor hope. That’s the thinking behind the approach we’re taking for TADHack Global and TADSummit EMEA, focused on online with the option of hybrid.

Learning from History the Summer of 1918

It’s important to understand history. Here’s an example of why some form of social distancing will remain in place until the vaccine is available.

In the summer of 1918 the flu was thought to be on the retreat. The Fourth Liberty Loan Drive parade kicked off on September 28. Some 200,000 people attended in Philadelphia, cheering as the line of marchers stretched for two miles.

Within 72 hours of the parade every bed in Philadelphia’s 31 hospitals was filled. In the week ending October 5, some 2,600 people in Philadelphia had died from the flu or its complications. A week later, that number rose to more than 4,500. This is an example of why some restrictions will remain in place.

We’re being told a time span of couple of weeks or 6 weeks or a couple of months; this is being done to make the current situation more tolerable.

We’ve entered a new normal, this situation is going to be a long haul into 2021. Some restrictions are lessened to spur economic activity, then when the cases rise (assuming adequate testing) or hospital load increase, we’ll see restrictions again increased. A social distancing dance to the vaccine in 2021.

We’ve Published the Welcome Videos for TADHack Orlando 2020 ONLINE

Thanks to Intelepeer, Simwood, VoIP Innovations, and Asterisk for your videos. Hacks are welcome from around the world, especially Orlando 🙂 Start anytime, deadline to submit your pitch video is 1PM ET (NYC time) on Sunday 29th March. Watch out! Daylight Saving Time starts on the Sunday 29th March for the US.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Thank you to Diane Court, CoFounder & Partner at Neoware Studios for promoting TADHack Orlando across the Orlando developer community.

Well done, Elisja van Niekerk, Senior Project Manager at MTN South Africa for the COVID-19 focused Coding Mamas virtual Hackathon.

The Mamas communicated their virtual hackathon at 10am on the 21st of March 2020 via social media and everyone met via zoom for the first time at 1pm. Project scope was communicated, by 2pm we had a design, and tasks was assigned to individuals.

Using a bit of data science, web and app development we were able to create a page that provides information about the nearest Covid-19 testing centers and provide a dashboard with useful information about Covid-19 stats in South Africa.

Well done to Adrian Grindrod who is now Head Of Engineering at Seccl.

Faraz Hoodbhoy is now Director Palo Alto Foundry at AT&T.

Paul Sonnier, founder of the 70,000-member Digital Health group, is now Innovation Leader at PA Consulting.

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