BroadSoft UC-One Hub: Removing Friction for Enterprise Workers
New communications and collaboration hub to give service providers a way to add value to UC suites, better compete against Microsoft Office 365.
Cloud provider BroadSoft earlier this week announced a new initiative, called Project Tempo, through which it intends to help service providers "power the future of work," creating unified user experiences that ratchet up productivity throughout enterprises large and small.
Through Project Tempo, BroadSoft is developing bolt-on enhancements for its UC-One suite of UC and collaboration services that a wide range of service providers offer globally from either the BroadCloud managed services platform or the BroadWorks VoIP application platform, Taher Behbehani, CMO, told me in a phone briefing. The first Project Tempo offering is called UC-One Hub, a cloud-based all-in-one communications and collaboration portal due for beta release in first-quarter 2016, the company announced at its BroadSoft Connections 2015 event.
As the focus within enterprises changes from telephony and unified communications to collaboration and productivity, BroadSoft aims to help solve one big problem it's seen cropping up, Behbehani said. "UC, while it is very powerful, it is not connected to work processes and workflows and other applications that enterprises use. As a result, with the amount of information overload and distractions, productivity is not as high as we would expect and, in fact, is problematic in certain cases."
UC-One Hub features the UC-One Communicator soft client, which lets workers tap into their contacts and make voice and video calls, launch conferencing services, share their desktops, transfer files, and send and receive emails. On top of that, they'll be able to integrate favorite work applications into UC-One Hub, and launch quick actions -- for example, clicking on a meeting alert to launch a conference call, no dialing or entering of PINs required -- from within those apps, said Karim Sadroudine, director of marketing for BroadSoft. In the initial iteration, UC-One Hub will support integrations with apps such as Google Calendar, Gmail, and Drive; Twitter; Redbooth, for project management; and Concur, for expense reporting. Salesforce, Dropbox, and other integrations are on the roadmap, as well, he added.
UC-One Hub also will incorporate what BroadSoft calls "contextual intelligence," as shown in the right-hand column in the screen capture below.
Within that window, users will be able to view all or select cuts of information and communications exchanged among each other. Users can apply filters, asking to see only files exchanged with someone, for example. In that case, UC-One Hub would pull files from wherever they might be -- on Google Drive, in email attachments, within Redbooth, or, eventually, in other cloud services like Dropbox, Sadroudine said. A search function tops it all off, so if the user only wants to see the files related to, say, Project Tempo, he can apply that further refinement of the deliverables. "And all of this is done without ever leaving the UC-One experience," Sadroudine said. And, because it's served up from the cloud, users don't have to worry about updating applications.
The goal with UC-One Hub, Behbehani added, is to remove the friction for enterprise workers. "We want the user experience to be very delightful. We want it to be extremely engaging. We want enterprise workers to have one app to go to -- this is how you start your day, and this is where you end your day."
If this all seems to you like BroadSoft is helping service providers make a big workforce productivity play, you're reading this correctly. Service providers absolutely see Microsoft, with its increasingly communications-rich Office 365 cloud portfolio, as a serious threat, Behbehani said. With Project Tempo, BroadSoft is essentially throwing down the gauntlet on workforce productivity... and giving service providers a weapon in the fight against Microsoft.