Cloud Comms Summit Washington – Day 2 – Morning Session

Day two of our Cloud Comms Summit started bright and early with breakfast at 8:00am, though your lovely event team was at the venue from 6:30am so please be kind to them. 

The first talk of the day was from Bill Kelly, Chief of Philanthropy at Tuesday’s Children. This charity partner for the event provides a lifetime of healing for those whose lives have been forever changed by terrorism or traumatic loss. He spoke to us about the work that his charity does to support the children that lost parents during September 11th, providing events, family support network, and long-term mentorship. As the children of 9/11 grew up, the charity looked for more children to help and saw that there was a need for support for the children and Families of Fallen military service personnel. They need more volunteers and mentors to work with these children so step up if you are interested!

Then our own Matt Townend broke the ground with his Keynote, talking about how to avoid being the ‘Dodo’ of the telecoms industry and fall prey to new predators because they haven’t evolved to match the changing times. We also looked at Cavell’s latest research as well as some of the research the CCA conducted before the event, bringing vital data and to the service providers in the audience including the growth of mobility and the importance of the remote worker.

After Matt, we turned to Cisco to hear Scott Hoffpauir, VP of Cloud Calling tell us what his top 10 opportunities for the Service Provider are. He started his talk by speaking to the evolution of the industry and the acceleration in the cloud calling space, including how contact centres are transitioning to the cloud. Like Matt, Scott highlighted the importance of mobility, and the need for employees to have the same capabilities regardless of where they are working. Tied to this is the trend for full collaboration platforms and suites that allow people to connect, and for service providers how these systems need to be easy to manage, provide great telemetry, have good uniform APIs for integration and good customer support (with costs kept low by the system working in a straightforward way).

Next we saw Matt again, this time hosting a panel on best practices in serving different market segments. For this panel we heard from Alan Rihm, CEO at Coredial, Armen Martirosyan, Co-founder & CEO at BluIP, Dean Manzoori, CTO at UniVoiP, and Jim Murphy, CEO at Broadvoice. This panel covered how to learn the different types of businesses that you need to sell to and segment your targets, across the various sizes from SMB all the way up to enterprise-level.

After a healthy dose of coffee sponsored by TeleDynamics, we turned to another Cavell hosted panel, as Dominic Black guided our panellist through the topic of team collaboration. This panel saw Curtis Peterson, SVP Operations at RingCentral, Tony Lopresti, Director Product Management at Cisco, Nikolay Muravlyannikov, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, and Steve Dietz, Director of Product Management at Fuze.  The panellists began by agreeing that the focus of team collaborations needs to be on making employees more efficient and enabling them to communicate more productively. Curtis from RingCentral made an interesting point, that when new employees are thinking about collaboration they think first of smartphones and apps, rather than video conferencing. Steve Dietz from Fuze also talked about integration and the technology stack and how important it is to enable those integrations to allow for the systems people need to work in the way people actually use them.

We then moved on to our third panel of the day “Does a Service Provider need to build or manage its own platform?”, Brian Beutler, CEO at Alianza, Patrick Sullivan, Co-founder at 2600hz, Anand Buch, Co-founder & CEO at Netsapiens, John Tucket, VP of UC Products at Metaswitch, Alan Foy, Group CEO at Starblue, and Sam Hoffpauir, Senior Director of Engineering at Cisco. Sadly, I had to step out at this point, so there wasn’t a chance for me to get the hot takes from this talk.

After an industry vision Fireside chat with Alan Foy, CEO at StarBlue discussing how the ecosystem has fundamentally changed and that we can expect to see innovative and new business models with a drastic change in how systems are built for interoperability.

We then turned to our last panel before lunch on “CCaaS opportunity for Service Providers”, with Michelle Burrows, CMO at Serenova, Tom Milligan, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Talkdesk, Janice Rapp, VP of Product Marketing for Contact Center at 8×8, Darren Smith, SVP Solutions Engineering at Vonage, Jim Kaiser, CEO at J-Curve Technologies and Tedd Phipps, Director of Product Management at Cisco. Janice raised a very interesting point, about the difficulties of connecting to humans through large diverse customer service platforms. For example, trying to get someone on the phone via Amazon support.

Time to break for lunch and thanks to our sponsor CoreDial for the tasty spread! We will be back after lunch the separate tracks on Product Innovation, Go-to-Market Strategy, and SD-WAN. I’ll be at the SD-WAN track so expect some updates from there, before we come back into the main auditorium for the last few panels of the day!

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