We start work in Japan officially yesterday, so I would like to wish everyone welcome back and A Happy New Year!

As we start 2020, I would like to share some of my thoughts on what's in store for us for the next one year (at least).

Xoxzo team collage

Our Mission

Our mission for the past decade has been to make communications easier and better for many. This, in essence, will not change, but how the communication can be better and which group of people we will help and serve will.

The fact is, the groups of people that have found us useful and we have worked with have changed over the years, from consumers like foreigners living in Japan to people outside of the country, and from companies that are marketing agencies to companies that are deploying apps.

How we can make communications easier has also evolved. First, it was to make it accessible and affordable for consumers, then it was to make it accessible for companies through simple APIs, and now making it available on different channels such as outgoing or incoming voice or SMS for companies to stay in touch with their customers via our EZSMS and Xoxzo products.

Heading into 2020

As we head into 2020, we will be facing challenges that will require us to adapt and execute.

An immediate one is competition and pricing: We have seen many competitors pop up within the last two years offering crazy pricing commoditizing services like messaging and voice calls. We have been following a strategy of making it easy to integrate to our customers' systems while maintaining a quality service with competitive pricing, but now lacking a strong differentiator, this easy integration method has also proved to allow our customers to move away relatively easily to much cheaper but very similar solutions.

We believe that a race to the bottom lacking innovation and added value doesn't benefit anybody, most of all our customers as quality stagnate. We need to pave a new way forward adding more value through our solutions. More about that below:

Another challenge is staying relevant: With all the new competition accessibility to an easier means of communication has become more and more available. We cannot stick to the previous definition of easier and better communication as being a service to reduce the technical and monetary hurdles allowing bytes to move from point A to point B anymore but move to a new definition of easier and better communication that means clarity and more value. Communications that are clear and bring visible value are easier to receive and better valued.

Finally, we need to improve and strengthen our culture: In the context of our work culture, the 20s will be a decade of remote, async-non-blocking, distributed and freedom.

What we usually did together in the same space-time is now unraveled into different threads, which while has removed shackles from ourselves and allowed more personal freedom to pursue ideals, is creating a challenge to keep these independent threads tied at the right points and still making sense of it all.

To summarize

To our customers, we hope that you stick with us too in 2020, while we go through your pain points, try to understand them better, and offer better ways to make your business strive.

To our team in Xoxzo, it's going to be a rough year ahead (well, when has it never been rough anyway?) but your continuous ability to grow and adapt to new stuff that comes our way has never ceased to surprise and delight me.

And finally to everyone else: Stay connected on Twitter or signup to our mailing list and we'll surprise you with new stuff that we'll roll out in 2020!

Until next time, take it easy and take care!

Iqbal Abdullah

CEO

Iqbal came to Japan in 1997, and graduated from the Engineering faculty of Saga University. After working through companies like Yahoo! Japan and Amazon, Iqbal founded MARIMORE Inc. in 2007 which was the previous version of Xoxzo Inc.