CXTech Week 25 2024 News and Analysis

The purpose of this CXTech Week 25 2024 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:

  • Podcast 75: TADSummit Innovators, Holly Depies, The SMS Queen
  • Is Axiata Reframing Telecom History at DTW24?
  • People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Podcast 75: TADSummit Innovators, Holly Depies, The SMS Queen

Holly Depies is also known as The SMS Queen, because that’s what her customers have crowned her. She’s often the largest individual account for aggregators. The SMS Queen brings expertise and carrier options to help Contact Centers, BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing), and digital marketing teams adapt to today’s delivery and compliance challenges.

Her clients cover voice, leadgen, and marketing. She continues to use Zipwhip, while other CSPs (Campaign Service Providers) believe it has closed down. Her preference is 10DLC than short codes or toll free SMS. Often only 5-10 numbers are required. Her experience and relationships enable Holly to get SMS campaigns working for personal finance or loan quotes. Her motto is, ‘let the traffic do the talking,’ in demonstrating the lack of spam.

The reality faced by many brands and CSPs (Campaign Service Provider) is they take the blame, while there are many more malignant sources of spam and robocalling.

Between Johnny and Holly there’s a heated discussion on the impact of Google and Apple as they shoehorn into the messaging business. Holly is strident that the spam whose purpose is to harm must be stopped as a matter of urgency.

The current situation in the A2P SMS business is rather chaotic, and her edge comes from understanding both sides, aggregators and brands. Carriers are now making money from businesses with A2P SMS, but lack the understanding of what those customers need.

Given the dispersed fragmented nature of A2P SMS in the US, it’s like a stack of 100 sheets of fine paper, all trying to take a toll. Carriers must KYC (Know Your Customer) beyond the telephone number and monthly charge, but as an A2P brand with multi-channel requirements.

Johnny’s view is Apple and Google can simply extend their existing enterprise relationships to deliver on the multi-channel communications needs. Holly sees the existing ecosystem is already multi-channel and must rationalize the current complex mess.

I’m on the fence about this. Carriers should be able to deliver a multi-channel A2P solution, with an identity based solution, not the current TCR (The Campaign Registry) farce, and flush out all the ‘friends of’ deals. As a simple example, is Zipwhip closed down or not? Holly and several other people think it continues to operate. The frustration and inconvenience businesses have been put through this year, for something as mature as A2P SMS shows the industry is not in a healthy state.

We’ll be continuing this discussion at TADSummit, 22-23 Oct, NYC (location coming soon).

Is Axiata Reframing Telecom History at DTW24?

I’m referring to the Axiata presentation given at DTW24.

As the saying goes, “History is written by the winners” which is often attributed to Winston Churchill, but it’s one of those statements whose origin is much more complex. Rather, Winston Churchill was the latest to bring the phrase to general public attention.

But its not actually true, take for example the history of the American Civil War, even today it’s being changed. And in the Axiata presentation, their history is being reframed to justify a global standards based approach. Let me explain.

There were 2 groups involved in Axiata’s work on APIs. I’m grossly simplifying:

WSO2.Telco was OneAPI based, and struggled. Ideamart thrived as it was focused on small businesses and developers with easy to use templates (web pages) and APIs. It transformed Sri Lanka into a leading country-wide innovation ecosystem. The focus was local, and making things easy.

These details are skipped over for the story line presented, the establishment message is: API standards (Camara) and global APIs. Which is the antithesis of Ideamart’s success.

If a business needs global solutions, AWS, Azure, Google provide solutions with lots of partners, including telco partners for the different regions. Ideamart shows how a telco can build success, even with all the politics and complexity thrown at it form the large vendors. I’d like to send props to:

The establishment are not presenting reality, they are spinning a story to meet their sponsors’ demands.

Check out these 2 articles from CXTech Week 24 2024 News and Analysis on yet more establishment spin:

  • Enough navel-gazing – telcos need to focus on their customers’ needs; and
  • Remember the Brexit marketing of ‘Get Brexit done!” Well Network APIs have adopted it, “Get Network APIs done!”
  • Also check out the other articles, you’ll find them uplifting.

After internet access; voice calling and text messaging are the next 2 popular services customers pay for.

But what about SMS Spam and robocalling? Shouldn’t the industry get voice calling and SMS polished up as a matter of urgency? Customers are paying for them, and people are dying from the scams running over them.

Telcos need to urgently stop wishful thinking / chasing butterflies, and get focused on local matters that are impacting their customers’ health.

In a discussion today, a friend made a point on the level of BS in telecoms, “Partially, I think its because it’s become somewhat of a backwater, stagnant place. So everyone in it tries to react by respinning the same old cloth into something new.” Brutal, but for a $2T industry, there is some truth to that.

I’ll restate this point yet again, NaaS (Network as a Service) exists. Mobile network APIs should look there to augmenting existing use cases. The industry is pushing a broken strategy. Remember, your establishment’s orders, “get Network APIs done!” <sigh>

Check out the interesting discussion on this post on Linkedin.

People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff

Petra Haddad has joined Accenture as Strategy Director for Innovation in the S&C team (Strategy & Consulting). I’ve known Petra through her time at Orange.

Ulf Beyschlag is now Business Development for aiRstructures. I’ve known Ulf for 20 years, since his time at Metasolv.

Peter Mollins has joined Nooks as vice president of marketing. I’ve known Peter since his time at Knowledge Tree.

John Trembley is now Chief Marketing Officer at CorSource. I’ve known John since TimesTen, a supplier to my startup Teltier, over twenty years ago!

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