CXTech Week 36 2021 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 36 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:

  • Amazon quietly building live audio business
  • OpenSIPS Summit, 6-10 September, Days 1-3
  • Claim your $150 in Symbl.ai Credits NOW!
  • Singapore based Toku Raises USD 5 Million Series A
  • Zoom App Fund invests in 12 Companies
  • Twilio Stock Could Double by 2025

Amazon quietly building live audio business

Amazon is investing in a new live audio feature that’s similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify’s new live audio platform.

Live audio as a way to bolster the content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Live audio services exploded during the pandemic, and have seen big investments.

  • Clubhouse said Sunday that users create over 700,000 live audio rooms each day, up from 300,000 in May.
  • Spotify earlier this year acquired Betty Labs, an app developer, and a live audio app developed by Betty Labs called Locker Room. It has since launched Greenroom, a live social audio app focused on talk, music and sports, and has launched a livestream feature for concerts.
  • Twitter this week rolled out ticketed live audio events for its Spaces feature.
  • Facebook earlier this year launched a slew of audio products, including a live audio app that could rival Clubhouse called Live Audio Rooms.
  • Discord this year launched Stage Channel, a feature for audio-only chat rooms.

We’re in an experimentation phase with live audio events, I see a number of people using them, mostly those that like the sound of their own voice. Personally, I find the content concentration too weak to retain my interest, even at 2X listening of the recording. But that’s just me. Its likely to migrate into a feature on many existing social and content platforms, rather than its own category. Hence Amazon’s interest.

OpenSIPS Summit, 6-10 September, Days 1-3

Day 1 with timecodes:

  • 00:00-01:00 Bogdan Andrei-Iancu – Key Notes – OpenSIPS 3.2
  • 01:00-02:00 Razvan Crainea – RTP relaying and failover using media re-anchoring in OpenSIPS 3.2
  • 02:00-03:00 Flavio Goncalves – SIP Routing by Time and Timezone

Day 2 with timecodes:

  • 00:00-01:00 Alan Quayle – Key Notes – Open Source Telecom Survey 2021 Results & Discussion
  • 01:00-02:00 Liviu Chircu – First Steps with Kubernetes and OpenSIPS
  • 02:00-02:30 Norman Brandinger – How OpenSIPS solved a tricky SIPREC problem
  • 02:30-03:00 Sandro Gauci – The OpenSIPS security audit

Day 3 with timecodes:

  • 00:00-01:00 Maksym Sobolyev – OpenSIPIt – Bringing InterOp Testing to the Heart of the Community
  • 01:00-02:00 Jonathan Abrams – Tackling big Telco data volumes with ClickHouse, an open-source column-store database
  • 02:00-03:00 William King – Global RTC in a Post-COVID World

Claim your $150 in Symbl.ai Credits NOW!

Click on the title to claim you $150 in credits.

Symbl.ai is a Conversation Intelligence (CI) platform for developers. What is Conversation Intelligence? Simply put, AI that enables applications to contextually comprehend natural human conversations… not only understanding the spoken words, but also the context of entire conversations.

Curious about integrating AI into your app or just want to see what Symbl.ai does? TADHack registrants who sign up (use the CTA below) for a developer account by October 8, 2021 will automatically receive $150 in credits to access all of our AI capabilities:

  • Real-time transcription (speech-to-text)
  • Contextual insights: questions, follow ups, action items, and more
  • Out of the box intelligence: topic modeling, sentiment analysis, comprehensive action items, summarization and more
  • Programmable trackers: user intents, keyword spotting, behavior tracking and more
  • Conversation analytics

Singapore based Toku Raises USD 5 Million Series A

Delivery Hero-backed DX Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors including Tembusu Partners and Neptune Invest Asia. The Singapore-based company will use the funding to enhance its product capabilities and coverage, so it can further simplify digital transformation for the region’s businesses.

Toku initially positioned as a CPaaS. However, with the consolidating market and entrenched positions of Vonage (Nexmo legacy), TeleSign, Sinch, and Twilio; it was hard to compete. Instead they’ve focused on the plumbing (SIP trunking) to get cloud communication services like Microsoft Teams running for Asian businesses. Again there is competition, but local knowledge and enterprise specific configurations make it harder for the global players to win on volume.

Zoom App Fund invests in 12 Companies

The Zoom Apps Fund has completed its first batch of investments in Zoom’s developer ecosystem. These efforts are part of a $100 million global venture fund conceived to support Zoom Apps and partners building apps and integrations on the Zoom Developer Platform.

Collaboration & Productivity

  • Docket – Docket is the meeting productivity platform designed to make meetings better before they start, while they’re happening, and long after they’re over.
  • Fathom – Fathom is a free app for business professionals that records, transcribes, and highlights the key moments from your Zoom calls so you can focus on the conversation instead of taking notes.
  • Hive – Made in New York, Hive is the world’s first community-built project management and collaboration platform helping teams of all sizes move faster and work better together.
  • Polly – Polly is an instant engagement app built for modern work teams. Through fun, real-time, interactive questions, teams that use Polly see a 10x increase in engagement over traditional surveys.
  • Spinach – Spinach is reimagining remote meetings and workflows, enabling distributed teams to be more effective than they were at the office. Spinach’s first release helps teams run better daily stand-ups.
  • Warmly – Warmly is the free business card for Zoom. Share more about yourself with auto-generated virtual backgrounds. Plus, see instant information and unique details about everyone else you’re meeting with.
  • WorkPatterns – WorkPatterns simplifies people management. Managers use WorkPatterns to collaborate, run 1-on-1 and group meetings, exchange feedback, set goals, and measure progress over time. 

Community & Charity

  • Pledge – Pledge empowers people, companies, and nonprofits to seamlessly fundraise via Zoom, livestream, text, e-commerce, and the web to raise funds for 2M+ verified nonprofits globally. 

DE&I & PeopleOps

  • BrightHire – BrightHire’s interview intelligence platform helps the world’s fastest-growing teams capture interviews and make fast, effective, equitable hiring decisions based on substance, not subjectivity.
  • Canvas – Canvas is the No. 1 diversity recruitment platform (DRP). With Canvas’ diversity data, analytics, and sourcing tools, companies can hire diverse teams with confidence, and easily set, track, and hit DE&I goals.

Gaming & Entertainment

  • Bright – Bright is a live video conversation platform that offers inspiring and entertaining learning experiences from hundreds of today’s most intriguing and talented leaders with more added every week.
  • Quicksave Interactive – Quicksave Interactive develops HTML5 games and game development tools for the new social market.

Twilio Stock Could Double by 2025

The long term analysis is fair, though I was expecting the outlook to show some flattening like we saw with Zoom. I did like the Market Sizing, as it jives with my analysis of the programmable communications market.

The Account Security segment will be larger as it has a broader impact on customer experience as well. The TADSummit Americas 2019 keynote by Pierre Demarche, then VP Product and Marketing from TeleSign, gave some hints on that.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Karen Rohrkemper is now Senior Vice President Project Delivery, Design & Construction at Crown Castle. I’ve known Karen since she was a Sr Manager – Wireless Data Products at Cincinnati Bell Wireless.

Vasco Elvas is now IoT Solutions Architect at KDDI EUROPE LIMITED

Adam Sillitoe is now Senior Sales Development Representative at Workspot

Brian Glover is now Senior Product Designer at NOCD. I’ve known Brian since his time at Shango.

Alaaddin Alpay is now Assistant Director – Strategy – Business Development at Turkcell.

Jaime Casero is now Tech Lead at Mavenir. Here’s his hack from TADHack Global 2014, https://youtu.be/NECVtxadGgE, Real Time Quiz.

Cristian Gómez is now Backend Developer Junior I at Merqueo. He was a TADHack winner several years running.

Nathan McCourt is now Principal Product Manager at Oracle.

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