Last week the ITEXPO and its constellation of collocated events including IoT, M2M, Software Telco Congress, Telecom Reseller Week and Asterisk World, took place in Miami Beach Convention Center.

Voxbone was represented by our great team, with colleagues coming in from San Francisco and Brussels, Belgium.  Despite (or encouraged by) a blizzard in the Northeastern US, with thousands of cancelled flights, Telecom business people and technologists successfully made the trip for four days of conference sessions, exhibitions as well as nights out on South Beach.

The Conference Program: 

Voxbone contributed to two panels:  “Innovative Mobile Solutions for Global Communications” and “Customer Experience and Telco 2.0”

The Innovative Mobile Solutions for Global Communications panel focused on how competitive service providers can compete in different mobile niche markets. Over-the-top services know no borders (except those of repressive regimes that block them) and while there have been some amazing success stories, many new companies both from the carrier and start-up side are still getting involved today. Some focus on needs of niche markets, for example business travelers who can use Smartphone apps to stay in touch while jetting around the globe and avoiding high roaming and long distance costs.  Telinta’s VP Sales & Marketing Anthony Stiso provided info about their TeliSIM product, which enables mobile voice connectivity based on MVNO roaming agreements in 120 countries via relationships with 600 operators. IDT’s SVP Jonathan Nierenberg shared insights about operating in a competitive global mobile market with their mobile app platform called Boss Revolution .  Both TeliSIM and Boss Revolution can support Voxbone global DIDs in 56 countries.

The Customer Experience and Telco 2.0 panel included moderator Jon Arnold, Rene Sotola, VP Global Communications at IT & Consulting company CGI and myself.  Rene gave rich insights from the perspective of large mobile operators and their strategies to grow in a market at full capacity. I spoke about how Telcos are creating services around hosted customer experience tools such as Cloud Contact Centers and SIP Trunking  to help their business customers deliver best in league customer care.  And also how Voxbone strives to provide a great customer experience for our 850 service provider clients.  One of our approaches has been to provide a full featured portal and API so customers can have as much control over their services as possible.

TMCNet organized a 20 Years of VoIP panel marking this major milestone since the first VoIP commercial product was launched.  It concluded with the naming of TMC’s first “VoIP Hall of Fame” inductees:  Alon Cohen,  co-founder of VocalTec and current CTO of Phone.com, and Jeff Pulver, founder of the VON conference and current chairman of Zula. I’m honored to have known them both for at least 3/4 of that time.  But it is way too early for any South Florida retirement jokes: they are both super busy and full of exciting ideas. Andy Voss, CEO and Founder of Sansay, another leader on the panel,  suggested they meet up in another 20 years to discuss all the things they come up with going forward.  Rich Tehrani, agreed, but quickly quipped back that they’ll have to find someone else to moderate in his place for ITEXPO 2035.

The Expo

The Voxbone stand was busy non-stop. We had the chance to meet so many of our customers, partners and new contacts. Voxbone is known for giving our friends Belgian chocolates (company headquarters is in Brussels)  but this time the marketing team custom designed Voxbone Flip-flops especially for some down-time on Miami Beach. They appeared to be a hit as supplies ran out before the end of the event (just don’t try to run in them).

Here is an interview Dries Plasman and I did with Erik Linask :

Before and After

Speaking of running, the Sunday before the conference was the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon.  A few ITEXPO folks and I participated (prefect cool weather for it!).    Thank you to WCS for the great reception at Juvia (check out the ultra-cool views from the bar on top of perhaps the world’s only “designer” parking garage).  Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO got a fun group together over some of the best pizza in South Florida at Fratelli la Buffala. Lots of good business conversations over dinner, drinks and cafecitos all week.

miami beach view

Conclusions: 

Twenty years is a long time but this industry is still young and continues to positively impact the way people communicate globally. Thanks to TMC for another educational and productive global communications event. Hope to see you all next year at the new venue in Ft. Lauderdale.

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