CXTech Week 49 2020 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 49 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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Sinch AB raises about $390M on new share issue of 3,187,736 shares

Also Softbank bought a 10% stake for $690M, that’s a total raise of >$1B!

Sinch has been on an M&A spree this year including Wavy and SDI. MessageBird which also recently raised a boatload of cash like Infobip ($200M), CXTech Week 41. Infobip recently acquired OpenMarket (Week 46).

The number of tier 2 SMS aggregators is getting smaller. Perhaps this cash will be used to move into higher growth segments like identity management?


I’ve recommended the Digits to Dollars weblog before. This piece is excellent and shows Apple’s customer experience obsession is transforming the consumer electronics market. To compete in phones, companies need their own silicon, else risk being marginalized to low price.

Vodafone are now reselling RingCentral

The deal is though Vodafone Business, so its likely targeting mid-market and above. It further squeezes out the traditional telecoms providers from services in Vodafone. However, the SMB market will likely continue with the mobile PBX offers for the time being. Check out Jesus Cruz Manjavacas (PLAY Poland) TADSummit presentation for an example.

Summary of TADSummit EMEA Americas Week 4 (23-26th Nov) + 30th Nov

I skipped the Week 48 newsletter because of the Thanksgiving holiday, so here’s some weekend viewing / reading from TADSummit EMEA Americas Week 4:

And on the 30th Nov, the last 3 excellent presentations were:

You can see all the presentations given in ‘That’s a wrap for TADSummit EMEA Americas 2020‘.

A Slice of TADSummit: Cloud and Serverless

In this series of weblogs, A Slice of TADSummit, we review some of the important themes from TADSummit EMEA Americas 2020. This slice focuses on Cloud and Serverless.

Adventures in Real-Time Communications in the Cloud, Manuel Pombo, GoContact

Manuel gives a masterclass on moving RTC workloads into the cloud. 

Serverless and RTC Panel Discussion, Tim Panton, João Camarate Silva, Simon Woodhead, Jason Berryman, Sebastian Schumann, and Marten Schoenherr. 

This is a weighty piece of work, but definitive, especially in combination with the other presentations in this ‘slice of TADSummit.’ Each panelist kicked off a quick 5 (or so) min intro to their views on the topic. You can review them in this Serverless Opinions weblog.  It’s a great resource, and well-worth your time.

Cloud Native Function for 5G success, Grzegorz Sikora, OVOO

OVOO’s focus is the migration of telco apps to cloud native. They bring deep open source expertise.  Jesus Cruz Manjavacas, VAS Development Expert at PLAY mentioned this expertise in his presentation on Programmable Telecoms inside a Telco.

The importance of cloud-native core services in a Telco World
Carsten Bock, Managing Director CTO, ng-voice GmbH

The two deployment examples Carsten reviews of scaling voice and HSS (Home Subscriber Server) are very interesting. Highlighting the importance of DevOps, the challenges with voice, and making the case for why you need to scale each interface of a HSS independently (micro-services). Which is all backed up by ng-voices extensive IMS core deployment experiences.

SFDC buys Slack, ho hum.

Slack got bought for $28B on $234M quarterly revenue. Its positioned as helping SFDC compete against Microsoft on collaboration.

A little bit of history, SFDC lost out to Microsoft for Linkedin in 2016 for $26B. But apart from Linkedin being a bit crap on Safari and Chrome, the impact has been about the same as when they bought Skype. “So what?” And remember in 2012 Microsoft acquired Yammer. So buying a messaging app, sorry platform, has a mixed history.

Slack hasn’t focused on enterprise collaboration, rather monetizing messaging for development groups extremely well, and building out an impressive ecosystem thanks to its integrations and API around all relevant workflows.

All my Slack groups are development related, while across my other messaging apps (sorry platforms) it’s more of a mix. Open source communications standard Matrix / Element is getting closer in user experience, though there’s still a gap. That gap can be insignificant for some use cases, e.g. collaboration during TADHack Global. Others include Mio, a sponsor of TADSummit Americas 2019.

The overlap between SFDC customers and Slack customers while significant from a named account perspective, is not that great from the primary users within those named accounts.

CRM + messaging is not new, ottspott was first presented at TADSummit in 2015 by Luis Borges Quina of Apidaze (now Sangoma), other examples of such integrations include Troops.

Slack will not deliver a magic key to SFDC wrt enterprise collaboration. The Slack team has done amazingly well, I’m truly astounded at how they’ve monetized messaging. However, this acquisition will likely go the same way we’ve seen many other messaging app (sorry platform) acquisitions.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Ted Franz is now Global Business Development Lead – Kandy at American Virtual Cloud Technologies. I’ve known Ted since Telestax.

Marzban Cooper is now Senior Advisor, Private Sector & Startup Ecosystem Development (PROMET) at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. I’ve known Marzban since he founded Notegraphy.

James Kenny is now Strategic Client Partner at Streetbees. I’ve known him since his BEA/Oracle days.

Alon Bar is now Product Marketing, Threat Prevention at Check Point Software Technologies. He was with Amdocs for 18+ years.

Christof Fromm is now Senior Partner Business Manager Modern Work & Security at Microsoft. I’ve known Christof since he headed up innovation for e-plus.

Andrew Byrne is now VP & GM | Ivanti | Extended Product Group “EPG” at Ivanti. I got to know Andrew back in OpenWave / Synchronoss.

Laura Merling is now Digital Transformation Officer – Customer Experience, Automotive at Google. I’ve known Laura since her time at Mashery, then through Nokia, AT&T, and Ford.

Denis Robert is now International sales director CDN at Orange

Ajit Pai is leaving the FCC on January 20. History will be the judge of his tenure…

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