Insider Report May 2023
The Most Important Enterprise Communications News
The dominant story of enterprise comms continues to be AI. Actually, it’s the dominant story of tech in general. AI is hardly new, but this new generation of generative AI has serious disruption potential. Well, some will be disrupted, and some (UcaaS and CCaaS) providers are going to get a boost.
Microsoft is positioned to be a big winner — on many levels. It finally has a cudgel to hit Google with, and more importantly, it finally has an answer to what comes after Windows. While Satya Nadella has been praised over the years for shifting the company’s focus away from Windows, the encore hasn’t been clear. Microsoft missed mobile, it lost the browser wars, its desktop suite has never had more alternatives, and Azure has been playing catch-up for a decade. Google, AWS, and Meta were all missed opportunities.
The encore appears to be AI and MS365, or more specifically, Copilot and Teams. I am writing this newsletter on an Apple Mac in Chrome using Google Docs. A decade ago, it would have been Word on a Windows PC. I still have Microsoft products, and I use them as needed, and that’s the problem: Every Microsoft app is evaluated on its own merits. The power of the suite has been eroding for decades.
That story is changing with M365 and Copilot. Well, Copilot still hasn’t really arrived, but it’s getting close, and the demos are impressive. Copilot will leverage all conversations (messaging, email, PSTN, and meetings), contacts, customers, documents, and some third-party applications, and Microsoft Graph. Suddenly, the suite is back, bigger and badder than ever before. The power of Microsoft’s bundled licensing is becoming a powerful bundle.
Teams is the new Windows. The business chat app is just a disguise; Teams is actually Microsoft’s cloud operating system. It touches all of M365 — every app, every service. Teams is the new Bell in enterprise communications. Teams dominance is going to get bigger. Unlike Bell, Microsoft isn’t regulated. Interop is on Microsoft’s terms and subject to its whims.
Competitors had a fighting chance when they were competing in product battles, but can individual products take on M365 plus Copilot battle? It’s too early tell, and Copilot hasn’t even arrived. Generative AI is a game-changer, but the dust is far from settled.
Copilot has a Big Brother aspect that has yet to be accepted (it’s been rejected before). The competitors may have to rethink a bit, but they aren’t capitulating. In the near term, enterprise comms vendors need to have at least one of the following strategies: Where they fit in a Teams world and how to appeal to those that reject the MS Cloud.
The latter is interesting. AWS, Google, Salesforce and others have a history of catering to those that reject Microsoft. AI is also changing the competitive landscape. For example, Grammarly has its own version of Copilot, that works with non Microsoft apps including Slack, Docs, and Gmail. Salesforce intends to fight fire-with-fire and struck its own agreement with OpenAI. There’s only one thing for certain: the next few years will be all about conversations.
Economy: The economy is even more uncertain than usual while everything remains down (except Nvidia). The self-imposed debt crisis in the US isn’t helping. I notice that many of the public enterprise communications companies are reporting double-digit growth. Wall Street is enamored with anything related to generative AI.
Amazon Bedrock: The generative AI battle is largely Microsoft (and OpenAI) vs. Google. A grand fight that Amazon wants to join. The provider introduced a cloud service called Bedrock that is optimized to aid developers. Bedrock will leverage its own first-party language model called Titan, models from startups (AI21 and Google-backed Anthropic), and a model for turning text into images from startup Stability AI. Clients will be able to customize Titan models with their own data that remains safe from Bedrock training data.
Hotdesking: New solutions from Crestron and Logi. (See NoJitter Post).
Crestron Desking: Likely the killer app of the hybrid office. In May, both Logitech and Crestron announced new hotdesking solutions. They join Cisco, Microsoft, and Zoom in extending their meeting room solutions to desk scheduling, but there are many more options for customers to consider.
I live the work-everywhere life, and this is largely accomplished with my Batpack. It has everything I need, including my laptop, a second display, headphones, a power adapter, and Advil. The problem is, my Batpack is heavy. It’s a great motivator to just stay at home. I have yet to see a hotdesk solution with an integrated desk drawer or locker. Browser-based apps or VDI solutions also pre-empt the need for hotdesking at the desktop level, which relegates hotdesking to space reservations, management, and analytics.
Logi Desking: The comms industry loves to talk about hybrid work. It’s a good topic, but most of the solutions are about WFH, and are often the same products sold before hybrid work (online meetings, softphones, etc.). One of the more interesting new solutions is hotdesking — reinvented/updated from its telephony past, hotdesking is more about receiving a desk than provisioning a phone. Cisco, Microsoft, and Zoom were quick with impressive solutions.
Logi introduces a new solution with two parts: the Dock Flex and new desk booking software. The Logi Dock Flex is a built-for-purpose USB-C docking station with an 8-inch touchscreen that allows users to reserve rooms and monitor desk availability via Zoom Workspace, Microsoft Teams, or Logitech’s desk booking software.
The Dock Flex has USB ports (C and A), and a GB ethernet port. It can support two 4K monitors and provide up to with 100W of power to a laptop. The touch-screen can join meetings and display calendars, photographs, and away messages. Its price is $699. The desk booking software will be a freemium model with a high-mark price expected at $49 per desk. In addition to desk booking, it supports analytics, advanced user management, and office maps. Expected availability for the Logi Dock Flex is this fall. The free version of the desk booking software is available now.
Meetings and Messaging
Webex Air-Gapped: A cloud conundrum is how to benefit from cloud-delivered services without the dangerous internet. The Feds came up with the perfect solution: an “air-gapped” cloud? In the data-center days, the idea was to build a fortress that could not be penetrated. Real walls, alarms, moats, etc. With clouds, air becomes the defensive weapon. Hackers can’t get past air.
So air-gapped clouds have no internet. It’s the new FedRAMP, and Cisco built an air-gapped version of Webex for National Security and Defense. The air-gap rules were built for public cloud providers — a FedRAMP of their own. Air-gapping is about to get popular, but it’s much harder than it sounds.
Slack Canvas Arrives: Slack began rolling out its new GDocs-like feature. It’s called Slack Canvas and was announced last year. Every channel now has a canvas — a searchable space that contains channel information. Slack Canvas is a cure for Slack’s success. In the old days, people liked Slack over email because it was less noisy. So, all that email clutter — updates, documents, unnecessary reply-alls, and various forms of workflows — moved to Slack. To make sense of all the noise, Slack announced Canvas last September; then Stewart and Bret left, and Marc changed his mind about remote work. Nine months later: Ta-da! Canvas is here, and it’s great. As I covered last fall, Slack Canvas likely justified Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack. It’s the first significant enhancement since the acquisition and probably the last.
SFDC GPT: Salesforce went all in with generative AI by announcing plans to inject LLM AI into its platforms, including Einstein GPT, Slack GPT, and Sales Cloud GPT. Salesforce developed no-data-storage and no-data-training agreements with LLM entities like OpenAI so that if any data were to leave and go to any of the third-party LLMs, it could not be stored or commingled with other data sources for the purposes of training. The benefits include the usual: summarization, workflow automation, auto-generation of emails and messages, and transcription and conversational analysis in multiple languages. Everyone needs at least one GPT.
Google Meet: Google Meet finally supports 1080p video calls! It’s remarkable how much Google improved its video game during the pandemic, though it took until now to get 1080p support. While they’ve certainly been a laggard, I have to say most people probably didn’t notice. 1080p or classic HD is now supported for some customers.
Some? Well, you have to be a paying customer on the Web client — not the app. Of course, it also requires the user to have an HD webcam. The offering is a gap-filler, not a competitive advantage, as 1080p is broadly supported by most meetings vendors.
Project Starline Update: Google is still working on its Project Starline 3D video solution and shared updates at its IO conference. The last time Google gave us an update was in October 2022. I wrote about it and other emerging 3D solutions here.
The new Starline is a lot like Google itself in a couple of ways. For one, Project Starline is smaller today than it was last year. The system has been downsized from a booth/room to a big TV. In another similarity, the new Starline relies more on AI tricks than built-for-purpose cameras and sensors. Google has deployed Project Starline under an early-access program with Salesforce, T-Mobile, and WeWork.
The evolution makes perfect sense, and AI will continue to improve the video meeting experience. It has already improved the audio as well as power features such as intelligent pan, zoom, and camera selection. 3D effects are a reasonable next thing. Logitech’s Project Ghost offers an interesting take on telepresence. The Logitech version is not 3D, but the Pepper’s ghost illusion is commonly implemented with a cone reflector for 3D effects.
WhatsApp Cuckold Mode: An interesting new feature from WhatsApp came out called “Chat Lock.” It allows users to designate some chat conversations as super private. All messages already have E2EE, but that doesn’t protect messages if your spouse can access your phone. Those affair chats require extra protection.
These new Chat Locked messages are hidden, can require a separate password to access (coming), and should they arrive at an inappropriate time, their notifications don’t reveal much. It’s an interesting new feature and possibly represents some jabs between Zuck and Musk, as they are both now in the direct-messaging business. It’s a logical feature for enterprise messaging apps, too, but please add E2EE first.
Twitter DM E2EE: How did Twitter survive without Musk all these years? Twitter recently introduced E2EE direct messaging. This is a standard feature in WhatsApp, Messenger, and Signal. I like that Twitter wants to support this — if there’s anything we’ve learned from Musk, it’s that a new owner can change old rules.
The problem is that Musk and Twitter haven’t actually delivered E2EE on direct messages yet, despite the claim. Or more accurately, from Musk himself, “Try it, but don’t trust it.” The solution is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks, Twitter confessed in a blog post. Another security researcher posted that the improvements in DM security are modest, so users should use other apps if they want true E2EE. Twitter suggested that its approach was audited but then retracted that as it was discovered that Twitter never hired the auditing firm mentioned.
Crestron #ModernWorkSummit: Crestron expanded a regional Masters certification event with a provocative, two-day customer event about the future of work. It explored some interesting concepts about the future of the office, with an emphasis on flexible, collaborative, audiovisual spaces (and building controls). There wasn’t much debate about hybrid work as the new norm (sorry, Elon).
It really is surprising how primitive offices are. Consider ubiquitous badge readers. My first job with a badge-reading security system was at IBM in 1989. Meanwhile, the US Customs and Border Protection folks have managed to implement facial recognition systems as part of Global Entry. That’s national entry without a swipe, conversation, or passport review.
At the event, Crestron announced four major products. Three wireless solutions: mic pods and hubs that use DECT for versatile spaces, AirPlay dongles for wireless content-sharing, and two separate hotdesking solutions, covered above. Crestron also introduced its first Android-powered collaboration bar for medium-to-large Teams/Zoom rooms. The Video Collaboration Bar 70 has four cameras, a mic array, and large speakers. See more in this TalkingPointz video on the Collab Bar 70.
Webex Japan: The Japanese Information System Security Management and Assessment Program (ISMAP) certified the Webex Suite for government offices. This registration is valued by many Japanese organizations concerned about cloud-communication security and privacy.
ISMAP evaluates cloud services to determine whether they meet the security requirements of the Japanese government. It includes numerous audits of over 1,000 requirements to determine if international standards such as ISO and NIST are implemented properly. This evaluation includes encryption, malware protection, log acquisition, and monitoring.
Pexip FedRAMP: Pexip received FedRAMP certification, making it the first Teams Cloud Video Interop (CVI) provider to do so. Federal employees can securely join Microsoft Teams calls using CVI from standards-based video conferencing systems in meeting rooms in addition to their personal devices. Agencies can also use Pexip to manage existing video infrastructure investments and host mission-critical meetings.
Dialpad LLM: Dialpad’s Ai-Powered Customer Intelligence Platform spans its CCaaS, sales enablement, and UCaaS services. The company has been betting large on AI with internal investments and acquisitions — so large that it has rebadged its AI as an LLM. Dialpad is now promising monthly enhancements for a year. Near-term goals include an Ai Recap and Ai QA Scorecards.
It’s no surprise that a UC/CC provider is positioning everything around AI and LLMs right now. What is unique is that Dialpad is doing so with its own acquired/developed AI. Dialpad claims TalkIQ has over 6B minutes of transcription, which it believes qualifies it as an LLM. “We're not paying another company on a per-minute basis,” said CEO Craig Walker.
It’s an interesting bet. On the one hand, Dialpad should have a cost advantage as it’s insourcing this critical capability; on the other hand, it may have an innovation disadvantage compared to the even larger LLMs. For example, ChatGPT 3.5 was able to pass the bar exam with scores in the bottom 10%. A few months later, ChatGPT 4 passed the bar with scores in the top 10%. It raises the question of how large is large in large language models? Dialpad news was spotted on the NASDAQ sign in Times Square, a hint that an IPO may be approaching.
Verint: Verint announced advanced capabilities for its Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) that enables faster design and deployments. Verint IVA is part of the Verint Customer Engagement Platform. It uses its own Da Vinci AI.
Genesys EX: Genesys has made its employee experience solution a standalone product. The “Leader” is a laggard.
Three Makes a Party: UJET, Google, and Alvaria: UJET announced a partnership with Alvaria and Google Cloud that enables enterprise contact centers to integrate and leverage Alvaria’s outbound and WEM capabilities through Google Cloud. The solutions together are intended to create increased lifetime value, reduced agent turnover, and seamless, personalized customer interactions.
IntelePeer GPT: IntelePeer announced that SmartAgent now uses ChatGPT and will eventually support other generative AI technologies. The solution offers call and messaging transcriptions across channels, automated customer inquiries, and human escalation.
Contact Lens for Connect: Contact Lens for Amazon Connect announced the general availability of evaluation forms for agent performance. CC managers can create evaluation forms that can be automatically scored by Contact Lens’ machine-learning-powered conversational analytics and view aggregated performance results. Other upgrades to Contact Lens include conversational analytics to improve agent performance and agent performance metrics to identify coaching opportunities.
Connect Contacts: Amazon Connect managers can now configure an agent’s routing profile to receive contacts from multiple channels at the same time. For example, an agent currently handling a chat could be offered a voice call from a high-priority queue when other agents aren’t available. Contact center managers can also choose which channels cannot be interrupted. There is no additional charge beyond standard usage pricing.
Lifesize and Enghouse: We haven’t heard much from Lifesize in a while. The video company expanded into CCaaS with its acquisition of Serenova in 2020. Last year, founder and CEO Craig Malloy left the company. Enghouse moved in soon after Lifesize filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 17. Enghouse now owns its technology and brands (Lifesize, Kaptivo, ProScheduler, Serenova, and Telstrat).
It’s an efficient garage-sale acquisition for Enghouse. The company has a penchant for acquiring distressed assets. Crunchbase lists over 40 acquisitions, primarily in enterprise communications. Enghouse buys cheap and maintains products with little development. Enghouse introduced CX Suite earlier this year, its own CCaaS, which contains very few acquired technologies.
Serenova was at least once a reasonable CCaaS solution. It could have been a logical acquisition for a number of companies, including Avaya or Microsoft. There are many struggling CCaaS providers out there, as well as many companies that I expect want to expand into CCaaS.
Lifesize lived a few lives. Overall, it was a good company that offered some impressive video services and video hardware. Founder CEO Malloy had two runs at the helm. While I can’t say I ever understood the merger with Serenova, the options for both companies were limited.
Zoom and Anthropic: Zoom announced a partnership and investment with Anthropic. Zoom will invest in Anthropic, and the two will work together to better integrate AI into Zoom’s solutions. First up is integrating Claude, Anthropic’s virtual assistant, into the Zoom Contact Center platform. This is in addition to the Solvvy-powered virtual assistant (Zoom acquired Solvvy last year). Generative AI is providing a reinvention window in CCaaS.
Sprinklr Analyst Event: Sprinklr hosted an analyst event. It was the first major introduction to Sprinklr for most of the six contact center analysts that attended. CCaaS is going through a major transformation being fueled by digital channels, AI, and the convergence with WEM and UCaaS. The providers are mostly focused on AI and have largely ignored what has been a barrier to entry: call routing and distribution.
The result is that a number of providers are entering the CCaaS space. Sprinklr has over $700M in revenue and some marquee enterprise clients. Its services span several areas, and analyst firms have recognized Sprinklr for content marketing and its social suite. The company is working to establish itself as a leader in a new category it calls Unified Customer Experience (CXM). It has extended its strong social suite, which includes a bevy of digital channels to support inbound and outbound voice services. The company appears to have the tech, clients, and opportunity to expand into CCaaS, but it isn’t particularly effective (yet) at articulating its story. Short Interview with CEO Ragy Thomas.
Five9 Analyst Event: Five9 hosted its first analyst event since 2019. Not much has changed. The company events are still in wine country (the Douro Valley in Portugal this time; last time, Napa), and the company used its analyst event to introduce its new CEO. Mike Burkland reclaimed the title last fall and has been hiding from analysts since. Interview with CEO Mike Burkland.
The Five9 story can be summarized as “joyful and global, high-touch self-service.” “Bring joy to customer service” is its new mission, and I like it. It’s up there with NICE’s goal of frictionless and Zoom delivering happiness. These are simple to understand, yet aspirational (empathy in CX?). Five9 put a lot of emphasis on both its professional services and programs to get channel partners to be equally effective. The goal of these high-touch services is to introduce more automation — something that, as of recently, has the potential to reduce costs AND increase CSAT. Hosting the event at a European Five9 office communicated global expansion.
I was concerned about whether CCaaS had enough going on to hold CTO Rosenberg’s interest. It probably didn’t, but then along came generative AI and LLMs. Suddenly, Rosenberg is in the right place at the right time. He (and I) see significant disruption potential that will bolster some providers. Rosenberg has Wonka-like dreams of where this tech is going, and we’re going to need a bigger glass elevator.
UJET-Google Team: UJET unveiled an integration with Microsoft Teams that enables agents to collaborate seamlessly with internal experts. Agents can effortlessly reach out to experts via Microsoft Teams. Key features include directory and presence sync, carrier-grade voice using Direct Routing, and support of groups within Teams.
RingCentral and Vodafone: Vodafone Business and RingCentral unveiled Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral in Italy and Portugal, with more European markets planned. The solution brings together RingCentral’s messaging and video capabilities with native Vodafone mobility. This is a “UCaaS Mobility 3.0” solution, similar to Teams Mobile and Webex Go. It uses the UCaaS number as the native number on the mobile device. The offer is not unlike the AT&T Office@Hand offer in the US.
Unlike the Microsoft and Cisco offers, RingCentral’s approach is partner-first. The Vodafone and AT&T offers are different from (arguably superior to) RingCentral Office, which remains a UCaaS Mobility 2.0 solution. The Vodafone offer has a customized architecture for each market. This approach gives its wireless partners a differentiated (and branded) UCaaS solution. More wireless partners are expected.
GoTo Refresh: GoTo announced dozens of new features across its Resolve, Rescue, and Connect portfolio. Innovations include an integration with Google Translate, ChatGPT, the launch of a redesigned softphone experience and more. GoTo Connect added over 25 new administrative APIs. GoTo Resolve enhanced its IT helpdesk through a ticketing portal, and more.
RCS: Google announced at its IO conference that it now has 800k users using RCS. That’s impressive, and I’ve now had a few unexpected RCS interactions. RCS support is built into Android Messaging, so what was assumed to be SMS suddenly has read receipts and typing indicators.
RCS is easy to poke fun at, but it’s essentially a new version of SMS. It’s intended to be an upgrade to SMS, and it also returns messaging to an SP service. It retains compatibility with SMS, so an RCS message will look like an SMS on an iPhone.
Apple won’t support RCS on iPhones because iMessage contributes to iPhone sales. It makes sense that Apple doesn’t support RCS (it’s classic anti-competitive behavior), but I don’t understand why Apple customers are so anti-RCS. Many of them seem angered by RCS, but RCS does not interfere with or diminish the iMessage experience.
The RCS/SMS issue is an opportunity for UCaaS OTT apps. Many UCaaS providers support SMS today. It seems like RCS could make it on an iPhone via an OTT UCaaS app, unless it’s outright prohibited by App Store rules. A UCaaS app that supports RCS would either add RCS support on iPhones or bring more attention to Apple’s anti-competitive behavior.
UNIVERGE Archive: NEC expanded its UNIVERGE BLUE UCaaS suite with Archive, a solution to retain and search business information. It identifies and retrieves interactions from users across different channels and modalities. While most organizations are good at archiving email, few have a comprehensive solution to retain information across numerous channels. The service comes from NEC’s cloud-partner Intermedia and is also offered as Intermedia Unite Archiving. It can assist organizations with compliance obligations as well as streamline the search for content. Key benefits of the solution include automated data capture, quick contextual search, unlimited capacity, and off-site storage.
Alianza for Microsoft Teams: For decades, enterprise comms has been a zero-sum business. If the customer selects Solution A, then they did not select Solution B. Of course, this wasn’t true back in the days of the Bell monopoly. Back then, vendors (reluctantly) partnered with Bell.
Those days are back. Microsoft’s explosive growth during the pandemic creates a similar situation. Just about every comms vendor has a Teams angle, including Cisco and Zoom. The reality is the same for service providers that create their own brands. Alianza launched a Teams integration aimed at SPs that addresses the complexities and hidden costs of working with the beast. Interop with Teams is not accomplished through standards but through perseverance. Highlights of the Alianza offer include automation for provisioning, data synchronization, and E2EE (signaling and media), all without any CapEx.
RingCentral Overlay: RingCentral launched an Overlay service aimed at SPs with a voice-only offer. The service adds messaging and video to an SP’s voice offer. Overlay also includes Microsoft Teams integration, third-party integrations, push-to-talk, AI capabilities, webinars, and more. It allows SPs to retain their investment in voice and will likely be particularly attractive to mobile carriers. RC Overlay can also supplement legacy voice solutions.
RingCentral Teams: RingCentral for Microsoft Teams 2.0 offers a tighter merger of its cloud PBX into Microsoft Teams without requiring a second application. The provider leads with its five-nines availability (“over 19 quarters of secure, compliant 99.999% uptime”) within Teams. Additional benefits to users include voicemail transcription, call recording, bidirectional presence sync, unified contact search, and the option to couple with RingCentral CCaaS.
Zoom India: Zoom received licensing from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India, to offer Zoom Phone to businesses operating in India. Zoom Phone strengthens the Zoom UCaaS offer.
Networking and APIs:
Vonage 2FA: Vonage announced that Verify V2 is now available. It offers more powerful two-factor authentication capabilities for developers and businesses, including new channels for authentication, such as WhatsApp. Verify V2 allows developers to control how one-time passcodes are delivered. Also, event and summary callbacks have been added, and webhooks can be configured from the customer dashboard.
Vonage WhatsApp Pay: Vonage announced it now supports WhatsApp payments on its messaging app in Singapore. This makes its conversational commerce solution, powered by Jumper.ai, more comprehensive for shopping. Vonage Conversational Commerce enables brands to create omnichannel buying experiences across popular messaging, social, and web platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Instagram, Twitter, SMS, LINE, Google Business Messages, brand websites, and more.
Zoom and Workvivo: Zoom acquired Workvivo. My post on this here. The enterprise social network has been a hard puzzle to solve, but the problem and solution are clearer post-pandemic and hybrid work adds an additional dimension. It fits Zoom’s goal of being a desktop centric solution.
Founded in 2017, Workvivo provides engagement solutions for internal communications. Workvivo experienced triple-digit growth in the last three years and is used by large and small brands, including Liberty Mutual, Lululemon, Ryanair, Madison Square Garden, and Wynn Resorts.
Bose: You Win Some and Transom Some: Bose announced the sale of the Bose Professional Division to Transom Capital Group (“Transom”), a private equity firm. Transom assumes ownership of the Bose Professional commercial installation and conferencing businesses. Bose will retain its portable PA systems as part of its core consumer product business.
Nextiva and Simplify360: Nextiva announced its acquisition of customer service provider Simplify360. Good for them. I haven’t heard from Nextiva in a while, and I’ve never heard of Simplify360. The press release describes Simplify360 as an AI-powered customer service solution that supports multiple channels, including email, live chat, social media, online reviews, and e-commerce. It lists customers such as Amazon, Honda, HP, Nestle, HDFC, Hyundai, Canon, and Xiaomi.
I can’t find much on Simplfy360 on third-party websites. The company is based in India and seems to have most of its customers in the APAC region. The portfolio overlaps with Nextiva a bit, but that’s the cost of consolidation. Nextiva stated that the merger will add social media, reputation management, live chat, and helpdesk CRM to its offerings.
OpenAI raised more funds and picked up more investors — VC firms, including Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, and K2 Global. TechCrunch estimates they put in $300M at a valuation of $27B–$29B. This is separate from Microsoft’s estimated investment of $10B.
Vonage appointed Vikram Khandpur as SVP, CPaaS Products and Developer Experience. Khandpur will report to Savinay Berry, EVP of Product and Engineering. Khandpur will drive the strategic direction for Vonage’s portfolio of communications APIs (voice, video, SMS, chat, messaging, verification, and more), including product development and go-to-market processes.
Intermedia appointed Gagan Pabla as EVP of Operations, previously VP of Cloud Operations at RingCentral and Director of Operations at Cisco Webex. Cresta named Ping Wu as its new CEO. Wu joined Cresta in 2021 as VP of Engineering and Product, and most recently served as Interim CEO. He co-founded Google’s Contact Center AI Solution in 2017 and also co-founded Google Cloud AI Platform products, such as Vertex AI and AutoML products in 2018. Crestron announced the promotion of John Clancy to Chief Sales Officer, reporting directly to Crestron’s CEO. Genesys named Larry Shurtz as its Chief Sales Officer. Shurtz was at Confluent for two years, but almost 10 years at Salesforce before that. Tony Bates became Genesys CEO in 2019. Like him, most of his hires have come from outside the CCaaS sector. About half of the leadership team at Genesys have been there less than three years. Following the growth investment from Axiom Equity in 2022, Akixi has named John Christian as its VP of Marketing. Christian has prior experience with Microsoft and Metaswitch.
President Biden has nominated Anna Gomez to serve as a Democratic commissioner for the FCC. Since Ajit Pai resigned at the end of Trump’s term, the FCC has been deadlocked with two right and two left commissioners. Biden first nominated Gigi Sohn, but her vocal plan to restore net neutrality didn’t sit well with big telecom.
Gomez is currently an advisor for the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy. She previously served as deputy administrator for the NTIA and held various roles at the FCC for over 12 years. In the spirit of gridlock, Biden also renominated two commissioners (one left and one right) for an additional five-year term.
- Is there really a march from the public cloud back on-prem? It is becoming clear that the cloud bills are big and getting bigger, and maybe we should look for ways to lessen that budgetary impact.
- When did mass layoffs become so normal? A brief history of engineered job insecurity in America.
- Google Messages encrypted RCS group chats have started rolling out to everyone One of the many criticisms against RCS was the lack of E2EE. Will adding it matter?
- Crooks’ Mistaken Bet on Encrypted Phones Drug syndicates and other criminal groups bought into the idea that a new kind of phone network couldn’t be infiltrated by cops. They were wrong — big time.
- ChatGPT can now find you a house ChatGPT and Zillow. Just because an integration is possible does not mean it should be done.
- Google Rolls Out Passkeys to (Eventually) Kill Passwords The future of info security is “something borrowed, a biometric, and something blue.”
- Why Employees Hate Hot-Desking The shared workspace trend is growing, but researchers say many companies are doing it wrong.
- Hyundai will pay $200 million after a TikTok challenge exposed a huge security flaw A weakness can be amplified quickly on social media — and end up costing millions.
June 2023 is exceptionally busy.
- Two Cisco events: Cisco Live and a separate analyst event.*
- NICE Interactions*
- Verint User Conference*
- Avaya User Group and Analyst event*
- Genesys Interactions and Analyst Event (same time as Avaya — most analysts attending Avaya).
- InfoComm Orlando*
Other Recent Stuff
- Hotdesking on NoJitter
- Digital Customer Service Lags on NoJitter
- Avaya Emerges from Chapter 11 on NoJitter
- Logitech Pepper’s Ghost on NoJitter
- Enghouse CX Suite on NoJitter
- Getting the Message on Webex Connect With Jay Patel
- How Webex Fixed An Interview
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2023 Insider Reports