CXTech Week 10 2022 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 10 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:

  • Remembering SIMCON3: 2 years ago this week I made my last trip before the COVID lockdowns
  • IET: GP video calls only offer ‘minimal’ benefits, study finds
  • net2phone Acquires Integra
  • Edgecast bought for $300M. Lessons for CPaaS from CDN providers.
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Remembering SIMCON3: 2 years ago this week I made my last trip before the COVID lockdowns

There was a great mix of presentations at SIMCON3:

  • Tom Hadden sharing the complexity of the US market and how Simwood are building out their US business;
  • Jared Smith on using PJSIP with Simwood;
  • Charles Chance sharing Simwood’s hosted VoIP offer and roadmap;
  • Bruce Clark of Simwood sharing many porting (horror) stories and advice. The UK seems far behind the US on porting, I’m surprised OFCOM has not worked on closing the gap;
  • And many many excellent and fun presentations from Dan Jenkins, Fred Posner, Dave Horton, Daniel-Constantin MierlaGrahame DaviesDavid Duffett, and Neil Brown. You can see the SIMCON3 agenda here.

IET: GP video calls only offer ‘minimal’ benefits, study finds

This study jives with my conversations with healthcare professionals here in the US, video remains niche, messaging, and online web access are more dominant. Current figures show that just 0.5 per cent of GP (General Practitioner, primary healthcare provider) appointments in England are actually being made via video or online.

Academics from the University of Oxford interviewed 121 people, including patients and 55 GPs, to look at the possible benefits of the technology. Some patients were quite positive about the technology, with those living in remote areas in particular praising its convenience.

But doctors found that it was “unsuited” to some of their patients, especially those with mental impairments or the elderly. Many doctors also said that telephone calls were “familiar and dependable” technology that almost everyone knows how to use.

“The relative advantage of video was perceived as minimal for most of the caseload of general practice, since many presenting problems could be sorted adequately and safely by telephone and in-person assessment was considered necessary for the remainder,” the authors of the study wrote.

Meanwhile, the UK’s health secretary Sajid Javid is expected to speak to the Royal College of Physicians where he will announce that patients will be encouraged to contact their GPs via the NHS app instead of calling them. Currently, the health service has a target of getting at least 75 per cent of all adults in England to be using the app by March 2024.

I like using online access to healthcare records. My son recently had some x-rays for a snow sledding ankle injury, a swelling wasn’t going down. The hospital’s app / website enabled me to see the technicians evaluation of the x-ray results within 30 mins of the appointment. His doctor later called me to confirm what we already knew, and recommended we still go to the orthopedist. We decided to wait, and within a couple of days the swelling had gone down as the doctor’s note drove home the point that my son needed to stop run around like a headless chicken for his injured ankle to get better. Having the data, knowing your child, and simply waiting a few days avoided unnecessary expense and wasted time.

net2phone Acquires Integra

net2phone, a communications-as-a-service provider and subsidiary of IDT Corporation, has acquired Integra CCS, a contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) provider operating in the Americas and Europe.

The Integra platform provides contact center and process features, including omnichannel support, social media integrations, chat-bot communications, workflow management, development tools for tailored contact center solutions and numerous third-party software integrations.

This deal is similar to the broadvoice / gocontact deal that targets mid-market enterprise and brings US and international businesses together.

Edgecast bought for $300M. Lessons for CPaaS from CDN providers

Limelight Networks will acquire Edgecast for $300M and rebrand as Edgio. Verizon bought Edgecast for $350M in 2013, shortly before that deal it also bought UpLynk for $75 million, and rolled it into Edgecast. So that’s $425M down to $300M. And before those acquisitions it’s rumored Verizon Digital Media Services (“VDMS”) invested $370 million trying to build out its own CDN platform.

And that’s not all Verizon also acquired Intel’s OnCue Cloud TV Platform for $160M. The list goes on as VDMS tried to build a one-stop shop for content delivery across the internet, IPTV, and CableCos. But I’m keeping the focus on the internet content delivery piece.

Why the drop in the value of Edgecast when the CDN market has a TAM of about $40B? One factor is bundling. Competitors like Cloudflare, Google, and Amazon bundle a range web hosting and delivery services. CDN becomes an incremental capability, pre-integrated with your existing architecture. Google also created CDN Interconnect with partners Akamai, Cloudflare, Fastly, Lumen, Limelight, Stackpath and VDMS. A way to compete against the strength of Amazon’s bundled proposition.

While the analogy is not exact, it’s good enough, the larger programmable communications providers are also bundling a range of enterprise communications services and capabilities across UCaaS, CPaaS, CCaaS, SIP trunking, identity verification, chat commerce, workflow management, customer and network data analytics, and more. Think enterprise communications and workflow architecture. Edgecast shows its possible to survive focusing on a part of the problem, but bundling is necessary for defensible long term growth and valuation.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Lily Madar is now Lead Engineer at the LEGO Group. A regular winner at TADHack as part of team Similarly Geeky. I asked Lily if the other half of team Similarly Geeky, Steve Goodwin, was jealous of her new job, or ecstatic at the employee discount. Lily’s answer was both 🙂

Ben Levy is now Chief Technology Officer at Enghouse Interactive. I’ve known Ben for close to 2 decades, through his company APEX, then Dialogic, and now Enghouse Interactive.

Ricky Gill is now Senior Product Manager at LotusFlare. I’ve known Ricky since his time at Redknee. LotusFlare was founded in 2014, and offers Converged Charging, Unified Product Catalog, Reward/Referrals, and eSIM.

Ron Green is now Senior Account Executive at Subspace

Peter Kacandes is now Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Split, a feature delivery platform for engineering teams, performs A/B testing on features to work out what works best. I’ve known Peter since his time at Adobe, one of the products was on device portals, which later became app stores as Apple and Android tool over the app / content business.

Swaminathan Venkataraman is now Distinguished Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise!

Craig Richards is now COO at 10T Tech Limited. Previously with Boost, and I’ve known Craig since his time at SLA Digital. He attended the first ever TADSummit in Bangkok in 2013, it will be the 10th TADSummit this year!

Andrew Elliott added a role as Mentor at First Round Fast Track.

Marcel TCHOULEGHEU is now Senior Manager, Data Architecture & Integration: Beyond Payments , BankTech , Fintech at MTN South Africa.

Greg Sikora added a role as CIO | Token Engineering | BizDev at Chain4Energy! Greg is a regular at TADSummit, I’ve known him since his time at TMO Poland, and through Telestax and currently OVOO.

Shahbaz Ali is has joined Etisalat as a Specialist Solutions Marketing.

David Anderson is now Lead Software Engineer at Involio.

Eugene Ostapenco is now Full Stack Engineer at GoodLeap LLC and at TechQuarter.

Here’s a nice review of how a 140 year old protection system is still in use from Tom Scott. “Anderson’s Piano” is a set of wires and signals at the Pass of Brander, near Falls of Cruachan in Scotland, that try to detect when there might be a boulder on the track. Sometimes what currently works is good enough 😉

COVID Deaths pass 6 million, but the true figure could be as high as 23 million (source The Economist and reported in the IET’s Engineering and technology Journal).

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