The purpose of this CXTech Week 22 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:
- Sinch Raises another $1.1B from Softbank and Temasek
- Signalwire Raises $30M Series B
- Phew! That’s a Wrap for TADSummit Asia 2021
- CSG buys Tango Telecom
- People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
Sinch has raised another $1.1B. At the end of 2020 it raised a similar amount, as reported in CXTech Week 49 2020, and then bought Inteliquent. Moving it from wholesale SMS aggregation to voice as well in the US market.
The positioning in the article is wrong, Twilio is a customer of Sinch, less so a competitor. For example, Inteliquent/Sinch did not promote their fax API until Twilio EOL their fax API. I wrote about the misunderstanding in the press / analysts / commentators with this Simple Programmable Communications Model.
Sinch, when Twilio is not in the room, positions them as a competitor, as its multiple is far larger than wholesale aggregators. Sinch does not engage developers like Twilio, Nexmo (Vonage), Intelepeer, Bandwidth, Symbl.ai, etc. Sinch has never sponsored TADHack, unlike Nexmo (Vonage), Intelepeer, Bandwidth, Symbl.ai, etc. Maybe as the programmable communications market matures and consolidates Sinch will become a competitor of Twilio’s, today they are a supplier.
On what they will buy with this war chest: Mitto? (may be a little expensive given the multiple the market will place on their dominantly wholesale aggregation business), Messagebird? (too expensive and too much spin, they are not the European version of Twilio), Unifonic/Cequens to build out their Middle East footprint, thinQ for LCR (unlikely given Inteliquent purchase), Telnyx (unlikely as moves them into direct competition with Twilio), Voximplant, BICS, Clickatell, or one of the Asian aggregators in India or China. There’s lots to choose from as reviewed in my TADSummit Asia 2021 presentation: Programmable Communications Review.
Signalwire Raises $30M Series B
Series B round will be focused on the creation of the next generation of unified cloud communications tools. Led by Prosperity7 Ventures, and joined by Storm Ventures, Samsung NEXT, Jerry Yang (AME Cloud Ventures), and Dean Drako (Barracuda Networks), the round brings SignalWire’s total funding to $41.6 million to date.
Interestingly, in the press VentureBeat article, it initially focuses on their messaging offer, rather than the voice and video offers. There’s more and more competition in this space, Dave Horton announced his Cloud APIs for jambonz at TADSummit Asia 2021 last month.
Twilio has charged for incoming and outgoing SMS for years, and it has not stopped the vast majority of developers and enterprises using their APIs. If you google SMS API, Twilio is top, and at your favorite developer sites where you copy code, it’s usually built using Twilio.
Ease of use and not expensive seems to be the winning formula, pricing is not that disruptive. Note, if you have big volumes, then pricing will be negotiated; and if you’re an Amazon / Google / Facebook, you have the people to work with the SMS / Voice aggregators directly like Sinch, tyntec, Mitto, Level 3 (Lumen), BICS, etc. rather than Twilio.
Thank you to everyone who took part in TADSummit Asia 2021. The thought-leadership event in programmable communications, founded in 2013. The agenda enables you to see all the presentation videos, slides, outlines, reviews, and Q&A from the event.
Last year’s TADSummit Asia 2020 also ran through the pandemic, and was easier. This year we had several presenters come down with COVID in early May, fortunately they recovered by the end of the month and presented. Towards the end of May several locations went back into second or third lockdowns, which impacted presenters’ plans. But despite this everyone gave world-class presentations. Disappointingly, this year there were no sponsors for TADSummit Asia, well there was the sponsor of last resort, me.
We have TADSummit EMEA Americas 2021 coming up on 10-11 November. We’re hoping to run it both online and in-person in Aveiro Portugal at GoContact’s HQ. We’ll make a final decision in early October on the in-person part. But regardless it is happening, so if you want to sponsor or present, please contact me. TADSummit continues to be the definitive guide to the programmable communications / telecoms industry. We have a policy of no BS!
TADHack Global will be running both in-person and online on the 25-26 September, the weekend before Enterprise Connect 2021, with a session on Monday 27th afternoon of EC21 for the TADHack winners from around the world to give their winning pitches. If you want to sponsor TADHack Global, please contact me. It’s the largest hackathon focused on programmable communications since 2014.
Tango Telecom has been around since 1999, and in 2003 focused on real-time data charging, that is the PCRF (Policy Control and Resource Function). I helped Camiant break into the mobile market from its cable origins, they were sold to Cisco in 2011
The focus of PCRF is now on detecting silent roams and making offers to sign up to roaming data, or in emerging markets to offer free Facebook access with a data package, or anything fashionably related to IoT or 5G.
CSG and Tango Telecom have partnered for about a decade. CSG is a BSS provider, and as network functions are just software, the fit makes sense. I remember in 2008 when Camiant were explaining their custom hardware configuration requirements for their platform, and even back then I pointed out this needs to run on generic servers. Today it is just software running on generic hardware (generally private cloud).
People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
BIG news, Elisja van Niekerk is moving on from MTN to an exciting new opportunity and country! Though we’ll miss her leadership of TADHack South Africa, the rest of the MTN team will continue to support us.
Congratulations to Shafraz Rahim on leaving Google and moving to Amazon.
Rajive Kumar is now Architect at ACCELaero – Information Systems Associates FZE. We’ve known eachother since he started at hSenid Mobile in 2014.
Darryl Weaver is now Customer Reliability Engineer at Weaveworks. We got to know each other at TADHack back in 2014, when we were fighting internet problems to get a Canonical demo working.
Brian Reid is now Vice President of Sales at Gotransverse. I’ve known Brian for over a decade, since his time in Oracle.
John Carl Triano is now Senior Vice President of Business Development at Plum Voice. Through the time I’ve known him he’s been with 8X8, then Inference Solutions, then Five9 through the acquisition of Inference.
Sezin Mizrakli Avalin is now Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Teleperformance. I’ve known since 2014 during her time in Turkcell, and was going to keynote at TADSummit 2014 in Istanbul.
Pedro Llamas Flores is now for Account Cloud Engineers Leader, Southern Europe at Oracle.
Frederik Bijlsma is now Senior Director CEMEA VMware Tanzu at VMware. I’ve known Frederik since his time at Telestax.
Andrew Nicholson is now Head of Product at IPCortex (Rob Pickering’s company he recently sold) from Aculab.
Greg Casey is now Sales Director at Interxion. I’ve known him for over a decade, since Dial2do, an in-call assistant.
Nicolas Calderon Gonzalez is additionally Profesor Adjunto Diplomado at Universidad del Norte.
Scott Snyder is now Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at EVERSANA.
Peter Berry is now Regional Direct Sales Director EME at VONQ.
Zoe Scheiber is now Senior Associate at KPMG.