CXTech Week 20 2021 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 20 2021 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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Covered this week:

Twilio buys Zipwhip for $850M: If you can not beat them, buy them

Zipwhip is the exclusive toll-free messaging services provider used by the carriers. Like Syniverse and Sinch are for most other A2P SMS.

I’ll not go into the politics and poor regulation (<cough> CTIA <cough>), rather check out this Columbia Law Review article. You can see Twilio referenced many times in trying to break this monopoly.

The GSMA has a good paper on this: In 2014-2015, the US big five operators contracted Zipwhip to handle toll-free text. In the GSMA paper is highlights with the introduction of Zipwhip, per-message fees rose by 3x and text providers required to pay to both send and receive toll-free messages.

It also highlights “tens, if not hundreds, of millions of text messages are being blocked each year. In most cases, no warning is given that blocking will occur and wireless subscribers typically do not receive notice that their messages have gone undelivered.” tyntec have also been through the US courts on the A2P issue as they tried to open up the US market with the Iris Wireless acquisition.

Looks like Twilio decided buying was the better option, as the US courts do not appear pro-competition after tyntec’s experience. At $850M, its likely 10X revenues. 800SMS is finally achieving broader adoption after a slow start, see above problems. Given Twilio’s dominant position, it could give the toll-free messaging market the kick it needs, though I’m not sure it will significantly benefit Twilio’s competitors.

TADSummit Asia 2021 Week 3

Here are all the TADSummit Asia presentations from Week 1 and Week 2. Week 3 continues to disrupt programmable communications / telecoms and share insights and experience often tucked under the carpet by the big-corporate events sponsored by the big-corporates whose message is invariably, ‘everything is awesome!’ Remember TADSummit’s no BS policy 🙂

Introducing Cloud APIs for jambonz, Dave Horton.

The demo Dave provides of setting up Jambonz is amazing, just watch the video. In just a few minutes he has a full voice-centric CPaaS operational and running live services. Having helped many companies through this process over the years, this is revolutionary. Please join Dave’s private beta of Cloud APIs for jambonz by contacting him here. You’ll be glad you did.

Pitfalls and potholes of content moderation for chatbots, Elayne Ruane

Elayne provides excellent advice on managing moderation:

  • Thoughtful design is important (legally, morally, commercially…)
  • Protecting the user is #1 – give users recourse and the benefit of the doubt
  • Your chatbot is just ones and zeros but your team are people!

Thank you Elayne for an insightful presentation on Chatbot Moderation. I hope you’ve raised the TADSummit community’s awareness of this critically important and under-discussed topic.

How Not To Build a Chatbot, Muzzamel Mazidee

I love this quote he uses at the end, “One reason a chatbot takes more effort than either self-service or a human agent is that compared to us humans, it’s stupid.” Thank you Mel for one of the best bot implementation guides I’ve ever seen.

Thank you to Michelle Howie and Lauren Demarchi for covering their TADSummit Asia session “Telstra’s Track and Monitor” and Q&A on the TelstraDev blog.

And thank you Sandro Gauci for also covering your TADSummit Asia session “Tools for Offensive RTC security. Introducing SIPVicious PRO and the demo server” on the RTCSec blog.

AT&T follows BT and Verizon

In CXTech Week 18 2021 I covered how BT and Verizon were revising their media plans.

I speculated AT&T could follow the path of a conglomerate. But as John Malone pointed out, “If you are just forming a conglomerate by putting everything in the same bucket, it eliminates your flexibility, you’ve got tax problems, regulatory problems and a lot of problems that these companies operating autonomously don’t have.” So the tax and regulatory problems won out.

BT, Verizon and AT&T’s experiences do not not mean all telcos should walk away from TV, it depends on the country. BT Sport was critical for BT to compete against Sky in the UK. But as Sky changed its go to market, BT Sport was less relevant.

The TV market is currently quite dynamic as PayTV gets squeezed out by streaming media giants (massive back catalogs and proven studios for new content). However, local content and packaging will always have a place and be an opportunity for ISPs, plus some countries have strong local TV protections.

Your product sucks; why can’t I see other people’s cameras?

Nice piece on the need for RTC monitoring from Filipe Leitão.

Babel project is running out of money

Despite being used by millions, the open source Babel JavaScript compiler project is running out of money. The Babel development team is now seeking financial help, particularly from corporate sponsors.

The open source business model is tough, giving stuff away for free is a dubious business model. This CXTech newsletter is an example. Why do I do it? Because of the rampant mis-information across the programmable communications industry from marketeers and ‘analysts’ who are often in the pockets of big corporations.

Anyway, back to the open source business model issue. At TADSummit Asia we have 2 presentations that address this issue:

As I discuss in Sandro’s presentation. Some projects have a big sponsor (sugar-daddy or mommy) like Asterisk with Sangoma. SIPVicious PRO provides one of a number of revenue streams (in addition to training, consulting, and offensive security testing) to help Sandro continue to support the open source SIPVicious and demo server.

It’s simply up to the community to keep him balanced between the OSS and commercial sides of SIPVicious; as we see with many other open source projects that lack a sugar-daddy/mommy. If we’re using open source we really need to support those project, every little helps.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Congratulations to Kristina Markovic for being promoted to Frontend Developer at I&F Lokomotiva. Kristina was a winner at the first TADHack Belgrade in 2019 run by TeleSign.

Sam Machin is now Senior Developer Advocate at FlowForge Inc

Alaaddin Alpay is now Assistant Director, Technology Projects & Business Development – Strategy at Turkcell.

Anders Lundell is now Management Consultant & Agile Coach at Avega Group AB

Mike Ashwell is now Regional Sales Director (Europe) at HCL Technologies

Here’s a nice post from TADSummit Asia 2021 keynote speaker Sammani Kusaladharma on her amazing ongoing journey with Ideamart 🙂

Summer project: UV Monitor

The IEEE Hands On section is always fun to read, and this article, ‘Don’t Get Burned! Track your UV exposure in real-time‘ caught my interest.

I’m planning to keep the kids’ occupied with activities other than staring at a screen all day through the too long summer vacation. Between camp, swim team / swimming pool, social stuff, and classes; we try to squeeze in a couple of projects.

The UV monitor caught our attention. We plan on a couple of sensors, one in direct exposure and one under the umbrella to measure reflected UV exposure (especially at the pool). We’ll use a Raspberry Pi, a couple of UV sensors, and our mobiles to present the data. Will let you know how things go.

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