The purpose of this CXTech Week 3 2022 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:
- What Can the Metaverse Learn From Second Life?
- SPAC Deal Sets Up TeleSign for Major Growth and Twilio buys Boku
- WhatsApp is enabling in-app support
- Netflix’s Price Hike and Netflix misses subscriber forecast
- Nokia details the point of 6G
- Announcing the WebRTC.ventures Training Program – Learn WebRTC and join our team!
- Sprinklr Enters CCaaS
- People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
Another excellent article from IEEE Spectrum, an interview with Second Life’s chief architect Philip Rosedale. He’s a leading expert confirming VR headsets are a bit crap for most applications, and Facebook trying to own the Metaverse should be raising alarm bells. I will certainly not be using any Metaverse associated with Facebook.
In Singapore, only 56% of survey respondents feel positive about the Metaverse, and many feel uncertain about the metaverse, despite expressing some form of interest. The Singaporean government is “closely studying” the characteristics and risks of blockchain, decentralized finance, NFTs, and the metaverse, according to Josephine Teo, the country’s minister for communications and information.
Spectrum: It’s funny to hear the tone in which you’re talking about this, because you’ve always been a booster of VR technology. Has something changed in the way you’re thinking about it?
Rosedale: I feel as good as ever about the experience that people have in a place like Second Life. But I think after working on VR headsets, in particular, for the last five or six years with High Fidelity, we discovered how difficult it is to actually try to try to make that final jump to getting everybody using this stuff.
And then I think the second thing is, I’m really concerned that (and I said this all along with Second Life too, so my tone hasn’t changed on this) any single-company, advertising-based, attention-based strategy for building virtual spaces would potentially be extremely damaging to people. I have become much more concerned than I was before. I think that we just didn’t think about all the things that could go wrong 20 years ago. But now with the benefit of hindsight it’s more obvious what we need to be concerned about.
We covered TeleSign’s SPAC plans in CXTech Week 51 2021. The deal values TeleSign at $1.3 billion and will supply it with up to $487 million in capital to fund its continued growth. With the plan to increase revenue from just under $400 million this year to $1.1 billion by 2026.
Twilio bought 2FA company Authy in 2015. A competitor to TeleSign at the time. However the market has moved on and companies like TeleSign and Prove dominate the identity authentication space. In 2017 Boku (mobile payments) bought Danal (identity verification, a TeleSign competitor). Its interesting the acquisition is positioned as mobile identity, while Boku’s revenues ($66M in 2021) are dominated by mobile payments. I would have thought a purer play like Prove would make more sense, but likely the multiple was too rich compared to a listed company.
Mentioned only for the fact WhatsApp is used as a customer communications channel by many brands. Only now is it using itself for customer support.
I think this is one of those situations where your start with the good news ($15 bump in stock price) then follow with the bad ($100 drop in price), for investors that is.
Netflix raised prices on its plans in North America by $1-$2 on Jan. 14 — basic plans will be $9.99 and the next tier will be $15.49. Investors were happy, its ARPU is good, see below. The price rise was a bit of a surprise given the increased competition from HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, Disney+, and Amazon Prime TV. And the usual calls came from the TV ad-industry for Netflix to consider a lower cost ad-supported tier of service.
As long as they do not include adverts in the core service I have no problem. I abhor adverts when I watch TV. Intrusive, time-wasting, annoying, mood-destroying hangover from when we had little choice in content consumption.
The impact of the increased competition was confirmed during its earnings update, Netflix said it expects to add just 2.5 million new customers by the end of Q1 2022, although that will still take the company to 224.3 million subscribers.
You can imagine the internal discussion that took place, marketing asks Bell Labs to show our 6G vision and leadership. The Labs starts talking about all the cool transmission and antenna tech they’re working on. Marketing throws up over all the useless geeky crap that no one cares about.
After much grumbling a pretty video and a list of ideas based on fashionable concepts are produced.
“Nokia Bell Labs expects AI/ML will go from an enhancement to a foundation by taking a clean slate approach, allowing it to determine the most suitable interaction between two endpoints.” Really? Being able to predict my next swipe or tap that fires off a range of calls and services. 6G’s main service will be internet access, that is connecting my mobile device to the mobile carrier’s internet exchange point. There is a role for carriers wrt services, the good old PSTN ones will still be there, but the vast majority will run over the internet and increasingly optimized versions like Subspace.
“6G networks will be designed to provide trusted services on a zero-trust infrastructure ” this can be done today, yet carriers do not. For identity verification they rely on companies like TeleSign, Prove, and now Twilio (buying Boku) to do that. It’s nothing to do with the transport network, and everything to do the the data contained in BSS.
Have you experimented with building WebRTC apps and wished that you could get in on one of the hottest development paths out there in 2022? Now is your chance to get free expert training on WebRTC and to join our team of WebRTC development experts!
Sprinklr, a unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform, announced the launch of Sprinklr Modern Care Voice. Built on Sprinklr’s unified CXM platform, Modern Care Voice marks Sprinklr’s entry into the Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) market with a voice offering informed by insights from modern channels, a radically different solution to legacy call center technology.
Spinklr listens to what people are saying online about a brand, and uses that to support agents, and better target online advertising and sales. Now it’s adding voice. Its an interesting move that shows CCaaS has become a feature to other industries – e.g. online sales, marketing, and customer care.
People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
Marina Percevic is now Senior Marketing Manager at Mitto.
Mariia Iakovenko is now Pre-Sales at Innotech, previously with Voximplant.
Richard Bristol is now Chief Technology Officer (CTO) & Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Omnee.
Michael Lauricella is now Head Of Partnerships at SoundHound Inc. I’ve known Michael since his time at Broadsoft.
Ingrid Ødegaard is now for VP Product at indyRIOT. I’ve known Ingrid since her time at appear.in. Appear.in became Whereby, which was bought by Videonor in 2017, with the company rebranding to Whereby (I think).
Mateusz Michniowski is now Business Development Manager at Unima 2000 Systemy Teleinformatyczne S.A. I’ve known Mateusz since his time at Apifonica / Dzinga.
Anjana Malindra Fredricks is now Associate Engineer at Altria Consulting (Pvt) Ltd! He was a TADHack winner in 2020.
Gareth Maclachlan is now Senior Vice President, Integration & Transformation at Trellix. I’ve known Gareth since his time at Adaptive Mobile, which was bought by ENEA last year.
Scott Morrison is now CTO, Hybrid Cloud at NetApp. I’ve known Scott since his time at Layer 7 Technologies (API Management, a competitor to Apigee, bought by CA).
Dunston Almeida is now Founder and CEO at triValence. I’ve known Dunston since his time at Global Crossing.
Eugene Ostapenco is now Full Stack Engineer at Vita Mojo.