Am back now from the Ribbon Communications conference in Los Angeles, and definitely glad I went. For me, there were both good answers and new questions, and I'm going to explore those in a separate post that will run next week on the BCStrategies portal. For now, I'll just share a few high-level impressions, along with some photos to give you a feel for what was on tap there.
First is the changing of the guard, with Fritz Hobbs taking on the CEO role, and David Walsh taking on a more focused role as Founder of Kandy. Fritz Hobbs is unknown to pretty much everyone I spoke with, and clearly he's a finance guy, not a tech guy. He said very little on stage, so it's hard to tell how he's going run things, but it's safe to say he'll be focused on keeping shareholders and investors happy. David's entrepreneurial and visionary style seems likely to be applied to Kandy rather than the entire organization, so it's also hard to tell what his overall impact is going to be now.
Speaking of Kandy, that was clearly the focus of the conference, and we didn't hear much about the core products that drive revenues and get the attention of analyst houses that track market share and build forecasts. This was also the case at last year's conference, but with the newly-formed Ribbon being a public company, I was surprised about that. We heard even less about how Kandy is actually doing - lots of use cases, customer success stories and touting of CPaaS and UCaaS capabilities, but no metrics. David Walsh made it clear that it's too early for that so let's just move on.
I really liked the clear focus on how Kandy is a great way to leverage the cloud so service providers can be more competitive, not just against other carriers, but the disruptors like Amazon and Twilio. It's debateable how much of a threat those players really are, but they're definitely in the mix, and service providers really do need an innovation engine to bring new services to market, and that's exactly Kandy's MO. Sound like another platform provider serving the carrier market? I'll have more to say about that in my BCStrategies post. And with that, let's shift from text to images with a few photos from the event - and to follow further, check out the twitter feed, #RBBNP18.