CXTech Week 48 2021 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 48 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:

  • Well done WGTWO! CKH IOD selects Working Group Two for public cloud core network
  • 8X8 buys Fuze for $250M
  • Live keynote sessions for TADSummit EMEA Americas on 7th and 8th Dec
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Well done WGTWO! CKH IOD selects Working Group Two for public cloud core network

CKH Innovations Opportunities Development (CKH IOD) has entered into a contract with Working Group Two to move its core network to the public cloud.

CKH IOD, a telecoms unit and international development hub of CK Hutchison, via a fully managed SaaS by Working Group Two, will deploy its mobile core network on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The agreement means that CKH IOD, and its MVNO, IoT and Private Network customers, can achieve radical simplification, speed up innovation, explore new revenue streams and get to market faster. Well done!

Last week we had a great review of Working Group Two at TADSummit EMEA Americas 2021 with “A multi sided marketplace platform for telco enabled products” by Werner Eriksen.

8X8 buys Fuze for $250M

I had Fuze’s 2020 revenue at about $80M, and I’d predicted a growth of about 30% which puts it over $100M for 2021. So a good multiple for Fuze given its a consolidation move.

Thinking Phone Networks was founded in 2006 as a business VoIP or hosted PBX replacement service for mid-market and enterprise customers, the company expanded its services to provide messaging, presence, video services, collaboration and analytics.

In 2010, Thinking Phone Networks launched one of the first mobile business phone applications on the iOS store, and later released an Android version of the service.

Thinking Phone Networks took its first venture capital in January 2010, a $1.2 million equity financing from Capstone Partners. Following rounds included $16.5 million in October 2012; $10 million in October 2013; and $56.7 million of funding in December 2014, led by Technology Crossover Ventures. In 2016, after raising a new round of $112 million in private financing from Summit Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, the company brought its total fundraising to over $200 million since its founding.

The company grew from 200 employees at the beginning of 2015 to over 700 by the end of the year, investors were pushing for growth. After several acquisitions and a name change, by May 2019, Fuze announced it has raised $484.8 million to date, and the debt was climbing.

I always felt Fuze suffered on timing, too early for the explosion of XaaS, with an integrated platform that once was a source of differentiation, but over the years had limited its ability to compete with born in the cloud or transformed into the cloud competitors that better harnessed open source.

For 8X8 this gives it additional scale and accounts, revenues are currently $500M. 8X8 has better harnessed open source than Fuze, so will likely migrate customers over, if it really is just about the customers, 2.5 seems a little rich.

Live keynote sessions for TADSummit EMEA Americas on 7th and 8th Dec

On the 7th and 8th Dec 3-5PM CET / 9-11 ET we have a chance after 2 years to catch up in real-time. Please make the time in your schedule for no-BS thought-leadership that is well-worth your time.

Through November we’ve had many world class sessions, check them out in the TADSummit agenda.

On 7th Dec we have 2 presentations (reserve you place here or contact me directly):

  1. The Challenges and Opportunities of merging UCaaS and CCaaS. João Camarate, CTO Broadvoice and GoContact. Understand the reality of bringing UCaaS and CCaaS together.
  2. 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. Most telcos have a Radisys media server, now it’s programmable, understand how it can be used to bring video into many use cases.

On 8th Dec we have 3 sessions (reserve you place here or contact me directly):

  1. AWA Keynote, Marten Schoenherr, CEO AWA Network. SMS your way!
  2. Telnyx Keynote, Topic: DDOS, David Casem, CEO Telnyx. Telnyx have been through hell with the recent DDOS attack, let’s all learn from their experience. BTW Sandro did a great session yesterday on the DDoS attacks.
  3. STROLID, VCons: A Proposal for an Open Standard for Conversation Data. Thomas Howe, CTO. Conversation intelligence progress has been slow, we’ve been talking about it for over one decade. Understand how VCons can break through the silos and accelerate programmable communications.

You can sign up on the links provided in the agenda, or just email me for the conference URL, thanks.

We also had some great sessions at TADSummit with week

The worst of enemies – let’s talk about DDoS and RTC

Sandro Gauci, CEO / Senior Penetration Tester / Chief mischief officer at Enable Security

Why are VoIP and WebRTC services so vulnerable to DDoS and what can we do about it?

  • Distinguish between volumetric and application-level DoS
  • Why volumetric/bandwidth saturation is so effective
  • Application-level DoS, appreciate the complexity of the topic
  • Some demos to illustrate the point
  • General recommendations: security testing, apply changes, preparations, repeat

I also wrapped up the final 2 sections of the Programmable Communications Review, with one prediction that came about way too soon, the omicron variant.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Varun Arora is now Entrepreneur In Residence at Mach49. I’ve known Varun since his time at M1, almost 20 years ago!

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