CXTech Week 48 2023 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 48 2023 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:

  • Call for Sponsors and Partners, TADHack Open 2024, 23/24 March, weekend before EC24
  • Podcast 12: TADSummit Innovators, Paul Sweeney, Webio
  • Podcast 13: Truth in Telecoms, Dirty Cop Suckers
  • RTC Security Newsletter Nov 2023
  • ClearlyIP Acquires of EPlatform from Voneto
  • OneCenter wins at TADHack
  • FCC Issues Stern Warning to Gateway Providers Suspected of Aiding Illegal Traffic
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Call for Sponsors and Partners, TADHack Open 2024, 23/24 March, weekend before EC24

TADHack is the largest global hackathon focused on programmable communications / telecoms since 2014. Consistency and credibility are key to TADHack’s continued success and large following. In addition to our no-BS approach, we stand up for developers and innovators, check out the TADSummit Podcast, and Alan Quayle’s blog.

This credibility is unmatched, see all the TADHacks over the Years. There are thousands of hacks, we’ve helped tens of new companies be formed, and helped hundreds if not thousands of people achieve more in their careers. Marketing events do not have credibility with developers.

If you claim to be in programmable comms / telecoms, that is use the acronyms / terms: CPaaS, CPaaSAI, CPaaS enabler, SMS aggregator, telecom / comms API, programmable UCaaS / CCaaS / IVR / Cloud Comms. And you do not have TADHacks, you have a credibility gap! The only company that gets a pass is Twilio, I’ve been asking them since 2014 (starting with James Parton, who I’ve known since his time at O2/Bluevia) to be a part of TADHack.

TADHack’s YouTube channel has 130k views and 3500 hours of viewing with some pitches viewed 3-4k times. On LinkedIn we have 6k+ followers and average 50k impressions per week, the TADHack email list is 10k (active), the CXTech newsletter has 2-5k weekly views. We use TADSummit to drive awareness across the industry for all of TADHack, some TADSummit Podcast episodes achieve 10k+ views on 100k impressions. We continue to build engagement and reach across developers and the industry because TADHack is credible, not marketing spin.

There is no other event that delivers the developer, industry, and enterprise reach and credibility. The separate yet related TADHack / TADSummit brands and Alan Quayle’s long-established credibility, bring new blood into the telecoms / communications industry and help everyone involved in the events.

Podcast 12: TADSummit Innovators, Paul Sweeney, Webio

We open with a quick preview of what’s coming in Friday’s Truth in Telecoms (see next article): Twilio’s activists, Tata latest and UIB, then Johnny and I go one on one on the bookclubs, such as the Monopoly Economics Forum AKA MEF! Sorry I mean the Mobile Entertainment Forum, oops, I mean Mobile Ecosystem Forum.

Given the focus on CPaaSAI, Johnny is really excited to listen and learn from Paul who has been heralding the importance of conversations in communications for as long as I’ve known him, almost 20 years. Here is Paul’s presentation from TADSummit, his slides and my review are here.

Paul provides an inspirational review of how how Webio has changed how conversations around debt are managed to deliver better results for everyone. Webio are making the world better.

Their purpose built solution protects consumer and business privacy, nothing need go to Amazon Q or Google Dialog Flow. That is a broader theme we’re going to raise on the threats Amazon, Azure and Google present to both businesses who give away their data and the CPaaSAI industry. Amazon Connect, Amazon Q, and the partnerships they have in place will disrupt the CCaaS industry.

This is a broad discussion across the emergence of conversation intelligence, its ethics, applications, and the likely longer term impact. I think of it as automated listening, and I couldn’t miss out mentioning vCon, PDF for conversations. This is a long session but provides a great review of Webio, its space, and where their businesses is going.

Podcast 13: Truth in Telecoms, Dirty Cop Suckers

Podcast Directory

Lots of news this week. The big one is Silvio Kutic (CEO of Infobip) joining the SMS spam discussion with “Text spamming is out of control. Here’s how to stop it.” Johnny discovered his favorite word of the day, bippers, the collective noun of Infobip employee.

Twilio has another infection of activist shareholders, though smaller this time. While Wall Street appears to be playing games in talking Twilio up and down.

Tata has had a tough time in the news with the TCS judgement, and Tata Communications is not disputing any of Bill Peters claims in its response, including the frame-up job. This led Johnny to use a phrase I’d not heard before, Dirty Cop Suckers! I did clarify to make sure of the words used.

We didn’t get into a tussle on the book clubs, though Johnny was in a pugnacious mood. He wants to wait another week to see if they’ll join the discussion and support the truth we bring to telecoms.

As Johnny advised, check out this week’s TADSummit Innovators Podcast with Paul Sweeney of Webio. Paul provides an inspirational review of how how Webio has changed how conversations around debt are managed to deliver better results for everyone. Webio are making the world better.

RTC Security Newsletter Nov 2023

Some of the topics cover this month include:

Asterisk fixed a Poisoned Pipeline Execution in their Github repository

The vulnerability described does not affect the Asterisk PBX server itself but rather the Github Actions configuration. Before the fix, when Github users submitted a pull request, the tests done by the Github workflow CI would be run automatically. This gave (malicious) Github users the ability to execute custom commands in that particular workflow, which had access to a number of sensitive environment variables.

Scattered Spider and teleconferencing systems

US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published an advisory about a cybercriminal group called Scattered Spider that has been targeting large companies and IT help desks.

Memory Tagging Extensions available in Pixel 8 handsets

New Pixels having the ability to use ARM’s Memory Tagging Extensions (MTE) to detect memory corruption exploitation. This is a brand new feature that would need to be enabled on test handsets and still is not supported on normal devices.

This feature greatly benefits the overall security of the Android devices. The author emphasizes this point, especially for WebRTC code and media or image file parsing libraries. These libraries are written in unsafe C/C++ and have in the past had various exploitable vulnerabilities.

Lots of other news, well done Sandro keep up the great work!

ClearlyIP Acquires of EPlatform from Voneto

EPlatform, a is PBX system from Voneto. This broadens ClearlyIP’s product portfolio. EPlatform provides contact center features and advanced analytics for businesses of all sizes. It also adds the partners and customers of Voneto and its subsidiary Semperon to the ClearlyIP family.

OneCenter wins at TADHack

Onecenter is thrilled to announce our victory at Tadhack for the second time!

Participating in this hackathon has been a game-changer for us, significantly contributing to the development of our MVP. We extend our heartfelt thanks to TADHack, Alan Quayle, and partners at Africa’s Talking for this incredible opportunity.

This win is a testament to our team’s dedication and innovative spirit. We’re more committed than ever to revolutionizing customer service with AI.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in AI technology.

FCC Issues Stern Warning to Gateway Providers Suspected of Aiding Illegal Traffic

These warnings, issued on November 27, 2023, come as the result of the providers’ implication in a substantial number of traceback requests received from USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group (ITG). Shedding light on apparently illegal traffic facilitated by these gateways for overseas partners, these requests have thrust the providers into the unforgiving spotlight of regulatory attention. The gravity of the situation is further underscored by notices from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), explicitly alerting each provider to their association with such illicit activities.

Notable companies caught in this dragnet include:  

These companies have been starkly reminded of their legal obligations under the FCC’s stringent rules. In particular, “All gateway providers must take reasonable and effective steps to ensure that any foreign originating provider or foreign intermediate provider from which it directly receives traffic is not using the gateway provider to carry or process a high volume of illegal traffic onto the U.S. network.” These steps include implementing stringent vetting processes for foreign partners, continuous monitoring to detect irregular traffic patterns, collaboration with industry traceback groups, adoption of call authentication protocols, and swift response to regulatory alerts.

Noncompliance can lead to a multitude of serious repercussions ranging from a blocking order, which significantly impedes a company’s operational capabilities, to more enduring consequences such as monetary fines and legal ramifications. And perhaps most critically, a long-term and often irreversible consequence of nonadherence is the damage inflicted on a company’s reputation.

Just ask One Eye, LLC—a cautionary tale etched in the annals of FCC enforcement.

In May 2023, One Eye LLC faced enforcement action by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, marking the first-ever RoboBlocking order issued against a company—a precedent that shouldn’t be ignored. The Bureau ordered voice service providers to block and cease accepting traffic from One Eye LLC, an international gateway provider. This case serves as a grave reminder of the importance of regulatory compliance, transparency, accountability, and proactive risk management, but will it be enough of a deterrent for other gateway providers?  

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Daniela Puzzo has left Fonolo, and has joined Avidbots Corp. as VP Marketing. I’ve known Daniele throughout her time in Fonolo.

Pablo Rubio is now Business Unit / Sales Director in Teliko Solutions. I’ve known Pablo since his time in Sixbel.

Jit Sihota is now Account Director of London Tech Week. Who I’ve known since his time at Informa.

Kevin Evans is now Sr Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft.

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