Welcome and Programmable Communications Review

Slides and Videos


Landscape, Market Sizing and Growth

Trends and Strategy

2020 and 2021 Review


Programmable Communications Review

Alan Quayle, independent consultant, founder TADSummit & TADHack

  • Welcome to TADSummit EMEA Americas – how it works.
  • Landscape, Market Sizing, and Growth
  • Trends and Strategy
  • 2021 Review: prolonged pandemic, impressive valuations, and crazy consolidation


I’ve divided this session into 4 videos. I’ll release them through TADSummit.


The Welcome thanks the sponsors, AWA NetworkAutomat BerlinSTROLIDRadisysGoContactBroadvoice and Telnyx; highlights we’re in our 9th year, the first event taking place in Bangkok, 2013, focused on programmable communications.

Then introduce some of the fun we have planned over the coming month, including live sessions on 7th and 8th Dec, see the agenda for the details. We are hoping to run TADSummit 2022 in Aveiro, Portugal in the middle of November. That is dependent on a new COVID variant NOT emerging.

Landscape, Market Sizing, and Growth

In 2021 across the main programmable communication categories, total revenue is $75B+:

  • UCaaS ($33B), 5%
  • CCaaS ($18B), 20%
  • CPaaS ($11B), 36%
  • Business Messaging ($6B), 30%
  • Identity verification ($4B with TAM of $25B – $55B as its all about customer experience), 60%+
  • Automation tech ($6B with TAM of $30B), 60%+

Twilio (and many others) do programmable communications: that is CPaaS (think atomic APIs), business messaging (SMS, IP, email), aggregation, authentication, SIP trunking, CCaaS, automation tech, IoT, and much more…

Doing telecoms/communications in a web way is changing the market now and into the future, programmable communications is on a different trajectory to telcos.

Trends and Strategy

  • SMS and voice will remain in rude health
  • Social messaging is necessary, but it only part of the answer
  • Recognize it’s a smartphone (voice, camera, browser, messaging)
  • Wholesale consolidation will continue and margins will be squeezed (in the medium to long term)
  • Applications are necessary for margin growth
  • Application focus will move into conversations, insight, and customer experience (customers get to what they want faster)

None of the above is new, I’ve been highlighting these points for quite a few years. However, migration has been slow. In part because understanding conversations is hard, and there’s a lack of interoperability. The keynote from Thomas Howe, VCons: A Proposal for an Open Standard for Conversation Data, is going to address this.

2020 and 2021 Review

The M&A activity of the passed 2 years is amazing, yet new companies keep popping up. There’s consolidation, but often corporations are buying too soon (acquihire), and need to buy another company in the same category (e.g. Tropo then IMIMobile with Cisco).

Looking into 2022 and 2023:

  • Long hard slog through 2022/2023 for many developing countries
    • Given high % of unvaccinated in those countries, significant chance of another potent variant appearing. (Omicron happened sooner than I expected!)
  • COVID is now endemic in the human population, through 2022 3 days in / 2 days remote, limited claw-back on ‘aaS communications, its here to stay
    • Legacy systems are EOL onto ‘aaS
  • Through 2022/2023
    • Cost benefits become clear from ‘aaS after emergency mode of JFDI in 2020, and ‘it’s here to stay’ in 2021
    • 2022 / 2023 new phase of cost competition, satisficing, and better experiences