CXTech Week 50 2023 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 50 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:

  • TADSummit Podcast 17: Truth in Telecoms, Top 10 Predictions for Cloud Communications in 2024 from Alan Quayle and Tim Mclain of Commio
  • Build or Buy: Choosing Between Custom AI and Providers like OpenAI
  • The FCC’s Big Knee Jerk Reaction in December
  • TADHack Open 2024, 23/24 March, weekend before EC24
  • Vonage (Ericsson) and Twilio breach anti-scam rules
  • As a CTO there are two key traits that will set you apart
  • Twilio hires Qatalyst to fight the Activist Investor Infection
  • The 4 Stages of a Man’s Life
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

TADSummit Podcast 17: Truth in Telecoms, Top 10 Predictions for Cloud Communications in 2024 from Alan Quayle and Tim Mclain of Commio

Johnny introduces why these predictions matter and are worth your time. He also gives a preview of the next Truth in Telecoms planned for Monday 18th Dec. Lots of activity from the FCC further stifling legal A2P SMS, Twilio’s arming up to fight its infection of activist investors, and lots more..

I don’t normally do predictions as they’re: generally statements of the obvious, or woefully optimistic predictions, or framed with weasel-words so no matter what happens it can be claimed to be at least partially correct. However, Tim from Commio is a nice guy, he asked if I would put some predictions together, so I had a go.

Overall 2024 will be a noisy year of change in Programmable Comms / CPaaSAI / UCCaaS / xCxaaSxx, or whatever is your preferred label for this market. Blame analysts for the poor label by focusing on a technology than a market segment, and Wall Street for looking for an easy handle to use for a quite diverse set of businesses.

In this post you can read more details about the predictions covering:

  • Messaging Monopolies, see this post describing them. I also predicted the FCC’s knee-jerk reaction.
  • Rich Communication Suite given Apple’s announcement
  • CAMARA, GSMA’s OneAPI 2.0
  • CPaaSAI, what Wall Street now calls the category Twilio is in.
  • Passkeys, 2FA SMS are on the decline
  • IPMessaging, A2P SMS is becoming too hard and expensive
  • vCon the PDF for conferences now an IETF work group
  • Large Language Models, yes you can
  • No Code, after ChatGPT everyone expects it
  • IoT, finally becomes dev centric

Build or Buy: Choosing Between Custom AI and Providers like OpenAI

Ameed Jamous from Telecomsxchange ran a webinar on one of the most pivotal decisions in the AI landscape: whether to build a custom AI solution or to utilize established providers like OpenAI.

In this session, we discussed the pros and cons of developing in-house AI technologies versus leveraging the expertise of renowned AI providers. Our focus was on:

  1. Understanding the Landscape: We’ll start by exploring the current state of AI technology, highlighting the advancements and capabilities of platforms like OpenAI.
  2. Custom AI Development: Delve into what it takes to build an AI solution from scratch. We’ll cover the necessary resources, expertise, time, and investment needed, along with the potential for tailored solutions.
  3. Ready-Made AI Solutions: Analyze the benefits and limitations of opting for established AI providers. How do companies like OpenAI streamline AI integration, and what are the trade-offs in terms of customization and control?
  4. Decision Factors: Discuss key factors influencing the build vs. buy decision, including business size, industry, specific use cases, cost implications, and long-term scalability.
  5. Case Studies & Insights: Learn from real-world examples where companies have successfully built their AI or chosen a provider like OpenAI. We’ll share insights and lessons learned.
  6. Interactive Q&A: Engage with industry peers and our expert panel in a lively Q&A session. Bring your questions and scenarios for discussion.

Whether you’re a tech entrepreneur, a business leader, or an AI enthusiast, this event will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions in your AI journey.

We unravel the complexities and guide you through the strategic decision of building or buying AI solutions in today’s fast-evolving technological world.

This is an insightful discussion, I learned about several new projects. And the discussion veered onto funding for open source projects, with some interesting ideas we’ll definitely explore at TADSummit.

The FCC’s Big Knee Jerk Reaction in December

As predicted in the Top 10 Trends for 2024, see above, the FCC implemented a number of quite surprising rulings, a reaction to the continued spamming of America.

In reviewing the rulings, see below, the Gods of the Messaging Monopolies (Carriers) must want the innovators removed and just a few large corporations they can control, and hence keep the spam gravy train running. Remember the God’s use dreams (lobbyists) to frame this situation to their advantage.

As a UCaaS/ CPaaS / CCaaS provider in America I would feel set-up. I will point out that the TADSummit Podcast and my weblog, we’ve been pointing this out for a while. When you’re looking to allocate marketing dollars in 2024, know TADSummit is fighting for you, rather than letting the industry get away with comforting lies. We defend and promote our supporters throughout the year.

There’s lots of other secretive money earners such as AIT (Artificially Inflated Traffic). Once those revenues are reported it makes it hard to jump of that gravy train. But more on that and other scams in the new year.


Combating Robotext Sources: The new rules allow the FCC to “red flag” certain numbers, requiring mobile carriers to block texts from those numbers. The rules also codify that Do-Not-Call list protections apply to text messaging, making it illegal for marketing texts to be sent to numbers on the registry. And the order encourages providers to make email-to-text messages an opt-in service, which would limit the effectiveness of a major source of unwanted and illegal text messages.

This ruling shocked me, it’s such a knee-jerk. It’s the Do Not Call (DNC) list, not the Do Not Text list (DNT). I have many businesses I happily receive alerts, but I do not want calling me. WIll this require a refresh of all the consent requests?

The cost of accessing the DNC Registry is: free for the first 5 area codes (no change) $78 for each additional area code for the year (up from $75) $39 for a single area code for half-a-year (up from $38). Likely >$20k for many CSPs.

There is supposed to be a 6 month window for adoption, so hopefully the industry can resolve this silliness. My guess is over the holidays, reflection and common sense will prevail. The current TCR model is broken, we must move onto identity. So anyone looking at replacing the TCR (its inevitable in my opinion) focus on identity based solutions not processes from George Orwell’s 1984.

You can imagine all the TCPA lawyers are dancing on their desks given this ruling. Anticipating a massive windfall in 2024/2025.

This ruling also closes a loophole through which unscrupulous robocallers and robotexters
inundate consumers with unwanted and illegal robocalls and robotexts. The new rules make it
unequivocally clear that comparison shopping websites and lead generators must obtain
consumer consent to receive robocalls and robotexts one seller at a time.

Which is good, however, the innovators have additional workload to ensure compliance and no recognition of how thin their margins have become given the price rises and additional workloads. The rulings are putting the squeeze on all the programmable comms providers. The requirements on the new ruling are is something the carriers should be doing, not everyone in the middle. Especially when not account is made on the size of the business impacted.


This warning focuses on the risks and obligations relating to SIM swapping and port-out scams. Back in 2019 I learned about the scale of the problem globally from Telesign, sponsors of TADSummit and TADHack. Check out their resources. The category is identity fraud, with SIM swapping and port-out being just two of many methods.

However, a broad set of solutions are required to protect customers’ identity. It’s a game of whack-a-mole, and here in the US we need to look abroad to learn. What we see reported here in the US, has been happening in Asia for longer. Perhaps then American consumers will realize how much they are overpaying for their telecom services?

TADHack Open 2024, 23/24 March, weekend before EC24

We have two sponsors confirmed for TADHack Open, 23-24 March, there’s still time to join the fun and support innovation in programmable communications / telecoms. Or if you prefer more specific technology acronyms, UCaaS, CCaaS, CPaaSAI, etc.

Where are your TADHacks?

Vonage (Ericsson) and Twilio breach anti-scam rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken action against two telcos who allowed their customers to send SMS with text-based sender IDs (i.e. shortened business names), without making sufficient checks that they weren’t being used to perpetrate scams.

Vonage Business Inc (Ericsson) and Twilio Inc have been formally directed to comply with the Reducing Scam Calls and Scam SMs Code after ACMA audits and investigations found both companies in breach of Australia’s anti-scam rules.

The ACMA found Vonage allowed more than 11,780 non-compliant SMS to be sent, which included 3,387 scam texts impersonating businesses including Commonwealth Bank, ApplePay and Australia Post.

As a CTO there are two key traits that will set you apart

Another great post from João Camarate.

The 2 skills are Communications and Hiring (hiring is always something I’ve struggled with). In his discussion, Joao frankly shares his experiences.

“I’ve mentored Startups with teams of 3 and teams of 100 and they all suffered from the same problem – Bad hiring decisions, bad keeping decisions and worst team growth decisions. I’m to blame of exactly the same thing multiple times over my career.”

João Camarate

The trick I use on hiring is to have the broader team, not just those working directly with them, chat with the potential new team member. Advise each what I hope they can assess. Then get everyone together into a review. I usually discover I’ve focused on a couple of things and missed so much more, the broader team sets me straight and is usually way more accurate than I. Hiring is hard.

Twilio hires Qatalyst to fight the Activist Investor Infection (Infestor)

Hopefully this will stop any more layoffs impacting Twilio’s future. But also should make for some legal entertainment in the war of works and likely other legal shenanigans between Legion Partners / Anson Funds and Qatalyst

The 4 Stages of a Man’s Life

1.You believe in SANTA 🎅🏼
2.You don’t believe in Santa
3.You Are Santa ✌🏻

Thank you Johnny!

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

James Kelly leaves Google. James worked in my group at BT Labs. It was so long ago he doesn’t even mention it in his bio 😉

Pasindu De Silva has joined Axiata Digital Labs as an Associate Tech Lead – Systems & Solutions .

Bornman Du Toit is now MTN Group Product Owner Consumer Portal. I’ve known Bornman for over 12 years.

Enrico Ribaldone is now Sales Director at Openwave Messaging. He hasn’t changed positions, just Synchronoss has sold off some of its businesses so Openwave now exists again.

Patrícia Candeias is now Strategy and Business Development at Fundação Altice Portugal.

 John Triano is now EVP of Sales and Business Development at Remend

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