CXTech Week 47 2021 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 47 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:

  • Ericsson makes a $6.2B bid for Vonage
  • Week 3 of TADSummit
  • TADSummit EMEA Americas the Live Sessions
  • Remembering Holdr
  • Zoom Share Decline, while COVID Infection rates rise?
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Ericsson makes a $6.2B bid for Vonage

Ericsson is trying to buy a telco, Vonage, $300M consumer VoIP / $1B Enterprise VoIP & VAS. People keep claiming the enterprise VoIP is all UC, it is not.

Telcos today resell RingCentral for their large enterprise accounts, and use open source for small and medium sized businesses (SMB). Some mobile operators still sell Ericsson’s mobile PBX, 20+ year old IN VAS (Intelligent Network Value Added Service).

Vonage was growing, just not as fast as Twilio / RingCentral. Rory Read, the current CEO, needed an exit, and Ericsson needed to show it was not asleep at the wheel, as Jana Partners (4% owner of Vonage) did its activist investor stuff.

Sinch would have made more sense as Ericsson are now in competition with their customers for enterprise VoIP. Sinch has achieved impressive consolidation across voice and messaging aggregation, and has moved further into the enterprise workflow stack with email (Pathwire). But I think there was likely some Swedish rivalry going on between Ericsson and Sinch.

The industry chatter tends to be on the technology, CPaaS, UCaaS and CCaaS. However, some of the Vonage acquisitions are from 2016, e.g. Nexmo, and there are few of the original people left. People, process and technology make business success. Not some aged software.

Vonage has integrated all the platforms, as was mentioned at TADSummit EMEA in 2019. https://blog.tadsummit.com/2019/11/20/tadsummit-emea-2019-19th-nov-morning-session/. Also open source has developed, e.g. Jambonz now offers an open source CPaaS. The programmable communications business continues to evolve fast.

CPaaS can be tackled from so many different angles. Ericsson did have its own Parlay Gateway (think prehistoric CPaaS). All the reasons it walked away from selling CPaaS to telcos are still there. The enterprise customer access angle keeps being resurrected, but that’s simply not in Ericsson’s DNA.

This is an exit deal for Jana Partners and Vonage, not for Ericsson or its telco customers.

Week 3 of TADSummit

A short week because of Thanksgiving here in the US. We kicked off the week with “A multi sided marketplace platform for telco enabled products” by Werner Eriksen or Working Group Two.

Followed by Part 2 of the Programmable Communications Review, focused on Landscape, Market Sizing and Growth.

And the final session of the week was a Review of TADHack, with contributions from Surbhi of Symbl.ai and Michael of Telnyx. I’ll add more sponsor sessions as they come in.

TADSummit EMEA Americas the Live Sessions

It’s been now over 2 years since we last met in London for TADSummit 2019. However, we do have 3 Live Sessions for TADSummit EMEA Americas 2021:

1) Workshop. Project Fonos: Voice assistant built for the web. Saturday 27 Nov @ 0900-1200 EST. Yes that’s a Saturday!

Interactive fun-filled workshop runs on Saturday 27 Nov @ 0900-1200 EST. Sign-up here.

Fonoster will conduct a Programmable Voice workshop in collaboration with EICT PUCMM as part of the TADSummit EMEA/Americas(Online) 2021 on 27 Nov @ 0900 EST to spread the knowledge on the use of telematics to solve everyday problems.

2) Keynotes presented on 7th December live session 3PM CET – 5PM CET reserve your place here

The Challenges and Opportunities of merging UCaaS and CCaaS. João Camarate, CTO Broadvoice and GoContact.

How Programmable Digital Engagement Can Evolve Customer Experience Past Voice & Messaging. Adnan Saleem, CTO – Software and Cloud Solutions, Radisys; and Al Balasco, SVP Communications Solutions, Radisys.

3) Keynotes presented on 8th December live session 3PM CET – 5PM CET reserve your place here

AWA Keynote, Marten Schoenherr, CEO AWA Network.

Telnyx Keynote, Topic: DDOS, David Casem, CEO Telnyx.

STROLID Keynote, VCons: A Proposal for an Open Standard for Conversation Data. Thomas Howe, CTO.

Remembering Holdr

Remembering the hack Holdr from TADHack-mini Orlando 2018 by Hunter HenryTravis Konarik, and Matthew Tanner using Avaya.

Not only did the team win a cash prize, the hack helped some of the team win a sweet project later in the year! Call centers are big business, and the labor shortage is causing them new problems as reported by Shai Berger of Fonolo in an earlier TADSummit session.

You too can repeat Holdr’s success at TADHack-mini Orlando at Avaya ENGAGE, 11-12 Dec 2021.

We have additional sponsors SubspaceTelnyxToolwire, and Redhat!

More than $15,000 in cash prizes and other goodies, great food, access to the Avaya ENGAGE Welcome Party at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Beach & Cabana Pool on Sunday (free food, drink and fun). And you can use your learning to grow your business, just like Hunter Henry.

Zoom Share Decline, while COVID Infection rates rise?

In CXTech Week 35 2021 we reported on the happy-sad event of Zoom’s 20% decline as it shared the impact of coming out of the pandemic in its quarterly results.

Yesterday the stock dropped more than 16%, to around $200 a share (from an all time high of $568). Again on similar concerns, however, we’re entering another COVID wave in Europe, and quite likely here in the US.

Austria is similar to the US with regional pockets of COVID-denial, Nazis had to go somewhere after WW2. I show both Austria’s and Vermont’s new infection graphs. VT could be a leading indicator for the US. Check out Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters from Prison, to understand why I’m bringing up Nazis.

In NJ we’ve seen a doubling of new cases over the past month from 1000 to 2000. 2000 daily is the trigger point where we no longer eat in restaurants, I’m getting my booster this coming weekend, and my son shortly after his 12th birthday gets the 12+ vaccine (3 times the strength of the 5-12 year old vaccine). Yet the airports are packed, and a majority of people are behaving like COVID is in the rear view mirror. We have the making of a challenging December through February/March. We’ll likely see Zoom’s stock rise significantly through those months.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Adrian Kelly is now Chief Product Officer at Smartwyre.

Gavin Henry present on SentryPeer at TADSummit last week and is now seeing its first proper hits!

Filipe Leitão’s review of Ericsson buying Vonage. Nice quote, “As for my humble opinion, this looks like a great deal for Vonage’s investors, although I’m not so convinced this is going to be that great for their employees and customers.” Telco have become clique, creating their own ‘5G Digital Transformation Cloud’ belief system; detached from their customers, the latest technologies and processes of programmable communications.

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