Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Vonage.
Mark Summerson (MS): Vonage works with many of the most innovative brands around the world to help them build new, personal and compelling customer interactions. With Nexmo, the Vonage API platform, we enable them to integrate consumer communications such as SMS, voice, video and social messaging, such as WhatsApp, into the very apps and services that customers prefer. Increasingly, more traditional enterprises are realizing that investing in Customer Experience is a top priority for them.
With the Nexmo Connect Partner Program, my team’s looks to identify and partner with the brightest technology companies in the CX space, whether they be ISVs, SaaS providers or developers/integrators, to bring their value to add to our platform. By working collaboratively with those partners, together we can help Enterprise organizations to accelerate the implementation of their own innovative customer interactions. Callsign is a great example of this kind of partnership – bringing their knowledge, skills, and technology to deliver authentication services that are directly integrated into our platform.
What is the current definition of Identity Resolution Management?
Ryan Gosling (RG): We define Identity Resolution Management as a Data Management process through which an identity is searched and analyzed between various data sets and databases to match and verify identity.
What is your recent partnership with Callsign all about? How does it benefit from Customer Acquisition?
MS: With Nexmo APIs, Callsign’s real-time, Artificial Intelligence-driven identity and authentication solutions, allow technology providers to reach their customers on their preferred channel of communication (voice, SMS and social chat apps).
Callsign solutions, integrated with Nexmo Messages APIs, help the brands to reduce fraud and improve customer trust while meeting regulatory compliance standards. Enhancing Callsign’s advanced intelligence API, Nexmo enables Callsign to deliver an optimized platform that meets the communications needs of its customers, to help those businesses create an exceptional experience for their customers.
Which prevalent fraud practices does Callsign prepare businesses against? How are these threats denting revenue streams?
RG: Our focus is to ensure we can identify a user and make sure they are who they say they are. This is important to protect against identity theft, account takeover, and payment fraud.
In most fraud cases, businesses refund customers that have been a victim of fraud. Most recently several banks have announced they will refund all fraud cases – this will have an impact on P and L.
For businesses it is important to have an appropriate balance of security controls and simple user experience; Not having the right level of security controls will lead to additional fraud losses, while too much friction in a customer journey can result in customers not using a service – both will impact revenue streams.
How can businesses leverage Vonage Nexmo to transform Marketing, Sales and Customer Service practices?
MS: Callsign has partnered with Vonage through the Nexmo Connect Partner Program, an extensive support system of Nexmo partners and experts that collaborate on building, selling and marketing business technology and communications solutions. Nexmo Connect partners leverage Nexmo APIs to enhance and build upon their own platforms to create unique solutions to meet the needs of their customers.
Businesses wanting to make their own investments into their Customer Experience, but don’t have the resources to build their own solutions, can leverage the Nexmo Connect community to work with Partners who have already developed the applications or services that they need. The Nexmo Connect program delivers value both to the Partners within the program in terms of business development, marketing, sales, etc, as well as to end customers by accelerating their own Digital Transformation.
Tell us more about Vonage Nexmo Connect Partner Program. What are the prerequisites to be a part of this program?
MS: We built Nexmo Connect to meet the needs of enterprises that require complete solutions that can be customized to their unique requirements. With more than 260 partners already, the Nexmo Connect program helps Nexmo partners find new opportunities, strategize to stay ahead of the competition, and ultimately create more compelling customer experiences for businesses.
From its inception, we designed Nexmo Connect to be very different from traditional channel models which are based primarily on a vendor-centric structure, to one where our vision is to be the most partner-friendly CPaaS (communications platform as a service) provider in the industry. This means putting the partner at the center of our focus: building tools, code, documentation, an ecosystem, and a co-marketing/co-selling model that supports them. This puts our partners in a place where they aren’t treated as a channel to market, but a key part of both our go-to-market and product strategies.
We intentionally stayed away from the typical tiered structure and certification processes. Together with our partners, we’d rather invest in collaborating to create powerful new solutions together and getting them in the hands of other partners and end customers.
That applies to all three types of partners that we work with:
- Technology Partners with services including AI, Bots, transcription, and translation
- Application Partners with their own software/SaaS offerings across a huge range of verticals and horizontals, including CallSign
- Integration Partners who are predominantly people-based and design/develop/integrate for the Enterprise customers on a bespoke basis. This typically includes Global SIs, Regional SIs, and Developer/Brand Agencies
We’ve also simplified and gamified how and where we invest our partner marketing dollars, with a super transparent model that allows us to invest in partners at all stages of their journey with us.
What are the biggest challenges you face in CPaaS?
MS: I think the first big challenge the industry encountered was the emergence of the Enterprise as the driver of market growth. With different buyers and different capabilities within their organizations, we had to ensure we addressed both the technology and the enterprise buyers. This first meant doubling down on the platform, the tools and the documentation which continue to make Nexmo the most implementable CPaaS platform in the industry. In parallel to that, we built out the Partner ecosystem to help today’s enterprises to meet their goals and the business outcomes that are most important to them and their businesses. We feel our approach creates more choice, more innovation and a strong value network around our platform.
What is your prediction on the disruptive application of AI-solutions in Identity Resolution and UCaaS?
RG: I will add a lot of value and this is proven across a variety of sectors today including finance, national security & healthcare. The key being AI-solutions’ ability to learn and adapt at a pace which is crucial for today’s businesses.
Thank you, Mark and Ryan, for chatting with us today about your technology and partnership!
Mark serves as Vice President Partners at Nexmo, the Vonage API Platform. Mark joined Vonage in January 2018 with the task of designing, building and leading the Nexmo Connect Partner Program and global partner network.
Prior to Vonage, Mark led North EMEA sales at Vidyo for eight years. Before Vidyo, Mark spent 15 years at BT Group, which included a role as General Manager responsible for global UC product business, generating £250M annual revenue. At BT Group, he also held various sales roles in the UK and Netherlands.
Senior Product Owner at Callsign, responsible for Authentication and Digital Identity strategy. Working closely with Mobile Network Operators, Banks, Government and Police to enhance identity capabilities and protect our customers from the bad guys. Proud to be part of Callsign’s mission – to seamlessly power the identification of every web, mobile and physical interaction.
Previously to Callsign, Ryan managed Mobile Banking Fraud at the UK’s largest online Financial Institution – Lloyds Bank, with responsibility for mobile fraud & loss prevention, as well as the banks mobile authentication strategy. In this role, he was focused on ensuring a frictionless customer journey, while keeping consumers safe and secure online. Prior to that, Ryan spent 4 years in Digital Fraud & Security group and 2 years in Corporate Banking.
Nexmo, the Vonage API Platform, provides tools for voice, messaging and phone verification, allowing developers to embed programmable communications into mobile apps, websites and business systems.
Nexmo enables enterprises to reimagine their digital customer experiences by providing them with the tools they need to easily communicate information to customers in real-time through text messaging, chat, social media and voice.
By using all of the thousands of data points available such as typing or swiping techniques, location, online habits, face recognition, devices, and yes even passwords, we can determine someone is who they say they are; we even know the Monday person can behave differently to the Friday person.
Most of these data points are friction-free for the user, and so we use these to determine that someone’s behaviour is within their normal pattern. Where there is a veering from the norm we then intelligently introduce further tests, avoiding a rules-based approach that can be replicated by the bad guys. We have the lowest false positive rates in the industry and zero breaches thanks to our inbuilt malware detector.
As a result, users can get on with their digital lives whilst businesses improve customer engagement, increase productivity and reduce the risk of fraud.