Newsletter Time Again - September Issue

Just thought I’d share this before the week is out. The current edition of my newsletter - JAA’s Communications and Collaboraiton Review - went out to subscribers yesterday. If you’ve had a chance to check it out yet, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and for everyone else, subscribing is real easy - just go here.

Aside from the regular content recapping highlights from my research and industry activities, is our monthly podcast - Watch This Space. I do these in conversation with long-term colleague, Chris Fine, and this time around, our focus was on robocalling, which has been in the news lately on several fronts. The core issue is what I view as “restoring trust in telephony”, and it has major implications in our space, especially around customer care.

If that piques your interest to listen to our podcast right now, then the sooner you subscribe, the sooner you can do that. Otherwise, I’ll be postiing it publicly in a couple of weeks, where you can find it along with our earlier podcasts in the Podcast Archive on my website.

Also, if you’re new to our podcasts, I’ve recently added real-time transcription (shout-out to Otter.ai), where you have the option to read along if not convenient to listen. What’s really cool here is that by clicking on the transcript page, the words are highlighted in blue, so you can follow along in real time, word-by-word, both reading and listening.

The transcription isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good, and I love doing this to showcase how good AI speech-to-text is getting. I don’t mind you seeing the typos - warts and all - since there will always to be tricky words and phrases that AI doesn’t quite catch - but once corrected, the learning gets hard-wired, and those errors don’t come back again.

Finally - I know, I know - we’ll soon be publishing our podcasts on public platforms like iTunes - it’s very much on the to-do list!

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New Podcast Series with NewVoiceMedia and Vonage for Cloud Contact Center

Cloud is the dominant trend these days in the contact center, so there’s a lot to talk about. As a regular contributor to UK-based Enterprise Management 360, I get involved in various projects, including podcasts. My latest was a 3-part podcast series, where I was in conversation with Vonage CMO Rishi Dave about various trends driving cloud-based contact center, as well as how IT needs to be thinking about embracing all that comes with that.

Our discussion was mainly through the lens of NewVoiceMedia, which forms the basis of Vonage’s contact center offering, but also the broader value proposition that comes from integrating this with the other two big cloud pillars, UCaaS and CPaaS.

Am catching up from being away last week, and all three episodes can be accessed from EM 360’s website now. Here’s the link to Episode 1, and you can follow the links from there for Episodes 2 and 3. We cover a lot of ground, but I think you’ll find it informative. As always, comments and sharing are welcome.

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August Writing Roundup

Aside from attending two industry events in August, it’s summer, and I was on vacation and largely offline for the last week of the month. This made for lighter-than-normal output on the writing front, but there was still a fair bit of activity, especially with some things that were in the works earlier, and found their way to being published in August.

State of the Smart Speaker Market, Part 1, Toolbox.com, Aug. 21

4 UC Benefits that Improve Productivity, Tech Target, Aug. 20

What SMBs Really Want with Collaboration, Toolbox.com, Aug. 20

Owning Customer Engagement, the Twilio Way, No Jitter, Aug. 19

3 Trends in Mobile Collaboration, Toolbox.com, Aug. 16

Adtran Connect - Quick Take and Photos, my blog, Aug. 14

How UC Technology Works and Why You Need it, Tech Target, Aug. 12

My Q&A with Mavenir - Wireless Challenges for Security and Fraud, EM360, Aug. 9

Twilio SIGNAL - My 2 Main Takeaways on No Jitter

I attended my second Twilio SIGNAL event earlier this month in San Francisco, and as good at my first one was, this was even better. Bigger too, but also full of many updates that shows how far and wide their capabilities keep evolving.

For the collaboration space, I focused on two in particular, and they are addressed in my latest No Jitter post, which is running now. The conference also had lots of strong visual elements, and if you didn’t see my earlier post here with some photos, here’s the link. As always, comments and sharing are welcome.

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Twilio SIGNAL 2019 - Quick Take and Pix

Last year was my first SIGNAL event, and impressive as it was, this year’s was bigger and better. Twilio is on a roll for sure (transparency alert - I’m a happy shareholder - but that doesn’t color my take here), and being on home soil, this was a loud and proud gathering in San Francisco. It’s an understatement to say that things are just different here - for better or worse - and if you were going to build a successful business at scale from the bottom-up for today’s digital economy, it would look a lot like Twilio.

As I often do when these events wrap up and I’m about to fly home, I just have time now for some photo highlights while everything is still fresh. There’s lots more to talk about, and over the next few days, I’ll have a more reflective set of takeaways, so check back here soon.

If you believe bigger is better, this was the place to be. The event planning team clearly had a mandate to spend and make sure you couldn’t miss SIGNAL. But in this case, I think Twilio lived up to the buzz.

The seating area for analysts was off to the left, so not great for getting photos during the keynotes. Above, CEO Jeff Lawson bringing vision, energy and passion. This sure sounds like a guy you’d want to work for, esp if you get behind their mantra of “we can’t wait to see you build”. Jessica Popp updating us on Flex, and Christine Roberts talking about Verified by Twilio. I’ll have more to say on both of these soon.

“Papa Vic” - Jeff really nailed the importance of personal relationships talking about his grandfather, and connecting that to Twilio’s vision to create the same at scale with their technology. Erin Reilly, as she did last year, showcased Twilio’s commitment to social good, with great examples of how they bring communications to vulnerable people and make a big difference in their lives. Boost - Jeff giving yet another example of pervasive messaging has become, and clearly, Twilio is on to something here. Final picture - a really good panel session on email - and the risks around spoofing, spam, etc. The acquisition of SendGrid for email was very strategic, and it’s an important part of Twilio’s story.

Sensoneo demo - yet another layer to Twilio - IoT. This was a smart city application, mapping out all the waste bins across San Francisco, and thanks to sensors placed inside all the lids, the sanitation department gets a birds-eye view of which bins are full and need pickup. This helps optimize their routes, and they’ve 30% cost savings as a result - that’s a great use case. Later, a session on blocking robocalls - Twilio has a fix for that now. Then some fun onstage with rapper Macklemore, the performer for the big party last night. The hash #freemacklemore” quickly became a thing, but I think we’ve moved on now. Last shot - yes, it’s what you think. The party was held in a parking garage, retrofitted to an event space. Seemed strange at first, but very cool, and very Twilio. Can’t wait to see what they build for the next SIGNAL!