CXTech Week 32 2020 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 32 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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AVCtechnologies Buy Kandy from Ribbon

Kandy acquisition adds a multi-tenant cloud communications platform including Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS), and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) capabilities.

American Virtual Cloud Technologies, Inc. and Ribbon Communications Inc. announced they have entered into a definitive agreement in an all-stock transaction. Under the agreement, AVCtechnologies will issue thirteen million shares of its common stock to Ribbon Communications, a valuation of $113M.

In 2010, GENBAND purchased Nortel Networks’ Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions (CVAS) business. The acquisition quadrupled the size of the company and made GENBAND the market share leader in carrier VoIP. Adding about 1,638 people to its current staff of about 450. Definitely, GENBAND felt very Nortel after that acquisition, e.g. lots of people talking about the good old days. The net price was $182M, $282M offer with $100M on the balance sheet. GENBAND became Ribbon.

The business was and remains more than carrier-focused, their customers include AT&T, City of Los Angeles, IBM, and Etisalat. The carrier CPaaS business struggles, as carriers struggled with engaging customers beyond their internal consultants building solutions for their large enterprise customers. The carrier UCaaS and CCaaS faces significant competition from RingCentral, Talkdesk and regional champions like GoContact (a sponsor of TADSummit EMEA / Americas). As well as some carriers choosing to own the technology, e.g. Verizon buying Bluejeans and Comcast buying Blueface.

AVCtechnologies (AVCT) went public on Nasdaq in July 2017 as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). They bought Computex in April 2020 which gives the current focus of AVCT: UCaaS, Cybersecurity, and IT solutions for over 900 enterprise customers, including 350+ managed service clients. Their mission is to be the single destination partner for the white-glove delivery of reliable and secure managed cloud services, hardware, and software. Note the AVCT leadership team have a long history with AT&T.

From a sales relationship perspective, they’re in a good position, consolidating vendors for the keystone customer AT&T. The challenge is on the product and people side. Which could possibly be solved through an acquisition, for example Intrado recently bought onsip, more on that next.

Intrado Acquires OnSIP

Intrado (previously known as West Corporation) has acquired Junction Networks, Inc. d.b.a. OnSIP, a provider of Unified Communications as a Service (“UCaaS”) and collaboration solutions for small and mid-size (“SMB”) customers. Which is where Intrado plans for OnSIP to remain focused.

Intrado supports emergency call operations, Intercall was/is the world’s largest conferencing service provider (depends what you count), and Televox offers healthcare products and communications support. So OnSIP fills out the CXTech offer.

Back in 2018 they acquired Flowroute (CPaaS / SIP trunking). West Corp bought Intrado (e911) in 2006, and took on its name in 2019.

TTEC Signs Agreement to Acquire VoiceFoundry

TTEC provides Customer Experience as a Service (CXaaS), and announced it will acquire VoiceFoundry, a global partner of Amazon Web Services, creating an end-to-end CX delivery solution for Amazon Connect. VoiceFoundry’s expertise is in artificial intelligence (they mean machine learning) and natural language automation, chatbots, CTI/CRM, enterprise integration, user-experience design, analytics, omnichannel engagement, and workforce optimization.

VoiceFoundry deploys Amazon Connect as well as other AWS services that focus on creating intelligent interactions across all engagement channels. VoiceFoundry helps large enterprise clients improve customer engagement while maximizing the benefits of AWS at scale. The acquisition adds 50+ blue chip companies to TTEC’s global account base, primarily in the public sector, e-commerce, financial services, travel, healthcare, and insurance industries.

Put simply TTEC provides contact center with a wrap of services, and VoiceFoundry is provides conversational interface technology and services. Which includes Amazon Connect. See how marketing fluffs and confuses.

Twilio reports strong overall revenue growth with a small surprise in weakened Enterprise Growth.

Twilio reported net expansion rate was 132% in 2Q, lower than the 143% reported in 1Q, and 141% in the year-ago quarter. According to Bloomberg, the slowing customer expansion growth rate represents a weakening corporate demand.

Meanwhile, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.09 in 2Q beating analysts’ expectations of a loss of $0.09. Revenues jumped 46% to $400.8 million and surpassed Street estimates of $368.2 million. Maintaining the net positive impact of the pandemic on their results.

They also bought a few months ago an IoT company, Electric Imp. Revenues were $3-4M, after raising $44M. Electric Imp have a nice network agnostic, integration, device management, security and scaling platform. Plus a neat network agnostic module for development and transfer to manufacuring.

Its platform is more light-weight and comprehensive than many of the IoT integration platforms from the big vendors, e.g. Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. It will be interesting to see if Twilio uses Electric Imp to simply move beyond SIMs which is a niche of IoT. And is able go head-to-head with the big cloud providers, squeezing them to the enterprise back-end roll. Or if this is simply about moving outside of only providing SIMs.

RingCentral Beat Estimates, with EPS Surprise

RingCentral reported second-quarter 2020 earnings of 24 cents per share, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 20%.

Net revenues of $233.4 million also beat the consensus mark by 5.7% and jumped 29.2% from the year-ago quarter. The results reflect solid demand for RingCentral’s offer through the pandemic.

Software-subscription (92.5% of total revenues) revenues surged 32% year over year to $257 million this quarter.

Annualized Exit Monthly Recurring Subscriptions (ARR) increased 33% year over year to $1.1 billion for this quarter.

OpenSIPS Summit, 7-11 September

GoContact Sponsor TADSummit EMEA / Americas + Preview of the GoContact Keynote

We are pleased to announce GoContact are sponsoring TADSummit EMEA / Americas 2020 in November.  Thanks to their support TADSummit is made possible. Their keynote presentation is: Helping Carriers Win More Enterprise Business in a post-COVID-19 World.

GoContact has, with impressive success, enabled carriers in Portugal and Spain to compete and win in the Contact Center Enterprise space. Carriers NOS in Portugal, Masmovil and Orange in Spain, are now able to win large enterprise accounts with a full range of services: mobile, networking, datacenter, and PBX; all because they achieved a Contact Center win with GoContact’s offer.

GoContact offer what we call a “Secure and Private Contact Center Cloud as a Service” with this carriers have our technology inside their networks and interconnected with their core VoIP stack.

TADHack Popayán / Colombia 2020

Thank you to the amazing Centro de desarrollo tecnológico CreaTIC team based in Popayán, Colombia. They promote and strengthen technology-based entrepreneurship in the department of Cauca. This will be their 4th year leading TADHack Popayán. We’re proud of all they have achieved, it is truly world-class.

Recently ANDRES MACA became a Software Engineer at VeriTran, a TADHack Popayán winner. We reported this in the CXTech Newsletter Week 8 2020.  It’s great to see people who took part in TADHack Popayán achieving career success.

Because of COVID-19 TADHack Popayán / Colombia will run virtual, and will accept remote entires from anyone in Colombia, not just Popayán.

TADHack Popayán is now in its 4th year. You can see all the hacks from 20172018, and 2019 in these playlists, and some of the photos in the picture below. Popayán has produced global winners every year, with impressive hacks that received special commendation from the global sponsors. TADHack Popayán is a great example of how high tech skills and innovative talent are everywhere, not just in the Bay Area.

How Companies Are Meeting the Demands of a Global Pandemic with Conversational AI

At this week’s Enterprise Connect Digital Conference & Expo, Dan Miller, lead analyst and founder of Opus Research, and Sheila McGee-Smith, lead analyst and founder of McGee-Smith Analytics, discussed real-world examples of AI in the contact center.

Among the many topics explored include these spotlighted examples of how three providers introduced a set of solutions to meet customer demands:

  • Interactions Virtual Agent – A new virtual agent, “Eva,” developed to provide accurate routing and automated assistance for collections and promise to pay.
  • Nuance Kindness and Commerce – A package of offerings to support live chat, intelligent assistants, biometrics, and voice-to-messaging, highlighted by new metrics and success indicators for Nuance customers.
  • Verint Self-Service in Financial Services – How government agencies saw tremendous growth in customer call volumes in COVID-19-related questions and a pharmaceutical company that adapted quickly to introduce 25 new topics in natural language support.

Check out Dan’s weblog for more information.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Howard Avner is now Senior Director of Product at Inteliquent

Cristina Moe is now Founder + CEO @ Hearth Homes Co

Danny Stefanic is now CEO at MootUp

Christian Ladstaetter is now Head of Process Automation at A1 Telekom Austria Group

Miguel Santa Cruz is now Senior Director Strategic Sales Europe at Plume Design, Inc

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