Mavenir Analyst Day - Quick Take and Pix

It’s been quite a week - or two, actually. Last week, I drove to - and back - from Florida for a much-needed family visit. A day after that, I was off to Dallas for Mavenir’s analyst day, then to San Francisco for Twilio’s SIGNAL conference. Both events were first-timers for me, and Mavenir was of particular interest since I’m not that strong on wireless, so this was a good way to get caught up.

That said, the event was pretty much under NDA, so I don’t have a narrative to share. There certainly is a good story here, especially to give carriers an alternative to the Tier 1 mobile vendors, and Mavenir is one of those “best kept secrets” kind of players. Over time, my learnings will come out in other ways, so for now, I just have some photos to share.

First, some pix from the event, both during the sessions and the demos. And then, there’s this fantastical “George” poster. Take a close look - “master of magic” - and deep in the heart of Texas - kinda has that travelling medicine show look, and it’s not a stretch to say that sometimes applies to tech companies selling complicated solutions that buyers don’t really understand. But no, not here at Mavenir, right? :-)

The event was held at the hotel - Zaza - and it’s one of the most eclectic hotels I’ve been to. Definitely gotta come back here for fun. All kinds of quirky sculptures, paintings, photos and knick knacks. Check out their shuttle vehicle - soooo Texas. And then, my friendly man at the front desk. This hotel has a cool, retro vibe - really - really slow elevators, and on the desks in our rooms - pencils (not pens), paper clips and staplers - when was the last time you saw or used those? And for the topper, he’s showing off their manual credit card imprinter, which they actually use. Millennials have probably never seen one of these analog relics, but hey, they still work - even if the broadband is slow!

Twilio SIGNAL - Day 2 Thoughts and Pix - OK Go, and do you Believe in Magic?

Can’t remember the last conference that hit the ground running with intensity, passion and creativity - and stayed there end to end. That’s been the vibe here, certainly for the general sessions on both days. It was enough just to keep up taking notes and posting some pix on social, and for now, I’ll be short, just like my Day 1 post. I need to digest and recover from two weeks of steady travel, but my considered thoughts will be coming soon. Until then, some Day 2 pix.

First, there is a really strong vibe here, not just for being socially conscious, but for social justice. For left-leaning liberals, Twilio is your kind of culture - Trump not spoken here. This was best exemplified by Erin Reilly, their VP of Social Impact and GM of Twilio.org. They’re not just talking about this stuff, but they’re doing a lot about it. Check our her “I am a Voter” t-shirt (worn by other Twilio speakers, including Jeff Lawson), and her social experiment with texting to see how many in the audience agree with her - love it. They’re also using their messaging platform to help people in need, especially the disadvantaged, like those subject to racial profiling or immigrants facing deportation. Pretty strong, but inspiring stuff.

On the fun side, SIGNAL did not lack for star power and cutting edge technology. First, Tony Hawk, who sure has inspired a few generations of skateboarders. He’s a legend, but not that recognizeable, so the running joke is that people think he looks like Tony Hawk - check out this tweet that shows what he’s talking about - hah! Then we had the creators of West World, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan - cool. Even cooler, we were treated to an amazing “performance” by OK Go. I would need a whole post to break down all the things they did, but let’s just say, as developers, they mixed technology and music in a really creative manner that involved all of us, and all of our mobile devices. Tough act to follow!

Finally, magic was a big theme at SIGNAL, beginning with a cool demo from a magician who made the mobile phones of two strangers call each other simply by touching their index fingers together. Pretty impressive way to show the power of human connection, and there was more magic to follow. Now, check this out - CEO Jeff Lawson wearing the AR/VR goggles and doing a demo with Magic Leap. In the third photo, he’s doing a virtual chat with Magic Leap’s Rony Abovitz. The two avatars are chatting and interacting in real time, while Jeff and Rony are speaking from different physical locations. Jeff says this is the first time an avatar chat has EVER been done in real time in front of an audience. Aren’t we special, and isn’t that some kind of magic?

Twilio SIGNAL - Day 1 Pix

Been a fast-paced event so far, with a firehose of updates and announcements. For now, I’ll just steer you to some press releases, but will have more to say later after the conference. Namely: Autopilot for develping bots that can be deployed across multiple platforms, Flex contact center platform going GA, and acquiring SendGrid to integrate email into their platform.

Just too much going on, so that will have to wait for a quieter time. Otherwise, here’s a flavor of what I’m seeing so far. Co-founder/CEO Jeff - great energy and a passionate vision. Same from Al Cook annoucing GA for Flex, putting the call center space on notice. And, Rahma Javed from Deliveroo - diversity definitely spoken here! More coming about all these themes, so stay tuned.

Next Stop - San Francisco for Twilio

Following my last blog post, this is “next stop” #2 for the week. I was in Dallas - still am, actually, about to board an early flight to SFO - for Mavenir’s analyst day, and now I’m heading to Twilio’s SIGNAL event in San Francisco. If the flight is on time and my Uber ride goes to plan, I should be there in time for the opening keynote at 10am.

More details are here on the Event Calendar section of my website, and I’ll be happy to be home Friday night. That’s enough excitement for me this week, but I’ll keep writing and posting about the event as time allows.

Next Stop - Dallas for Mavenir

This is “next stop” post #1 for the week. Am at the airport now, flying shortly to Dallas for Mavenir’s Analyst Day event. I’ve had this on the calendar for a while, and it’s my first time attending one of their events. Mobility comes and goes in my coverage, but this will be a good opportunity for a deep dive on the state of 5G and how carriers are embracing the cloud. Even more interesting is how they’re bringing AI to market, and leveraging the cloud for future-forward revenue streams built around RCS and messaging.

More details are here on my Events Calendar, where you’ll also see info about “next stop” #2 right after Mavenir. Watch for another post about that next day or so.