Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
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Sheila McGee-Smith | November 21, 2016 |


The Big Reveal: Powered by BroadSoft

The Big Reveal: Powered by BroadSoft This traditional provider of service provider SMB solutions wants to move upmarket -- and come out from behind the scenes.

This traditional provider of service provider SMB solutions wants to move upmarket -- and come out from behind the scenes.

Over the course of a week in mid-November, leading up to and during BroadSoft's annual partner event, Connections, the company published a series of press releases through which it seeks to expand what the communications community knows about the often-invisible provider of VoIP technology and communicate what its aspirations are for the next few years. CEO Michael Tessler, with the help of CMO Taher Behbehani and the rest of the executive team, has set the ambitious goal of redefining the course of the company from one that provides behind-the-scenes support for small and medium-sized businesses to one that offers branded solutions for enterprise customers.

First, BroadSoft announced that it has deployed 15 million lines of cloud PBX/unified communications -- a number it said is three times greater than closest competitor Cisco can claim and 10 times greater than at RingCentral. Based on internal analysis, with the premises market declining at 5% per year and cloud deployments rising at 20%, the crossover point in terms of new line shipments would be reached in 2020, BroadSoft noted in the release.

It also announced BroadSoft Business, an integrated portfolio of cloud PBX, UC, team collaboration, and contact center applications. While pieces of the portfolio have been available in the past, BroadSoft Business fulfills a 2015 promise to offer a complete, next-generation portfolio of applications, then called Project Tempo.

Additional press releases centered on each of the components of BroadSoft Business.

  • BroadSoft Hub offers contextual information, such as recent files, email, social media engagements, tasks, and IM sessions. Initially available for UC-One, Hub is now available for each of the BroadSoft Business components.
  • CC-One is the contact center component of the portfolio, based on the applications BroadSoft acquired from Transera earlier this year. In an increasingly crowded CCaaS field, CC-One's differentiation is built on its integrated analytics capabilities. A live demo at BroadSoft Connections showed real-time customer sentiment data provided through the agent desktop. As a speaker in two Connections breakout sessions on CC-One, I can attest to the strong interest in this new solution as measured both by full rooms and the level of audience engagement through questions.
  • Team-One is the new name for the collaboration application BroadSoft acquired from Intellinote in May. Team-One is comparable to applications like Cisco's Spark, Unify's Circuit, and Slack. In my opinion, Team-One's differentiation comes when a carrier partner, like Verizon with One Talk, tightly integrates the collaboration applications with both fixed and mobile services. (For more on BroadSoft's mobile UC strategy, see today's post from No Jitter contributor Michael Finneran, "BroadSoft Plots a New Path to Mobile UC.")
  • Verizon's One Talk illustrates the potential of BroadSoft Business. Over 600 service providers in more than 80 countries use BroadSoft to power consumer and business services today. Many of these service providers use the BroadSoft products to address the needs of the small business market, while tapping other solutions -- e.g., from Cisco or others -- to target medium-sized and larger enterprises.

    BroadSoft's goal is to have its carrier customers offer BroadSoft solutions to a larger portion of customers. It developed or acquired UC-One, CC-One, Team-One, and Hub to make the BroadSoft portfolio more appealing to larger businesses. To support service providers in this effort, BroadSoft introduced its "Powered by BroadSoft" marketing program at Connections.

    Similar to Intel's goal with its "Intel Inside" advertising program, BroadSoft is encouraging carriers to reveal the brand behind the technology they use to power business communications solutions. Elements of the Powered by BroadSoft program include: co-branded digital assets, demand generation tools, sales training, and end user training.

    Powered by BroadSoft reminds of the '90s, when telecom vendors like AT&T and Nortel offered similar services to the carriers. Based on conversations I had last week at Connections with several service providers, small and large, reception to the Powered by BroadSoft program is positive. In fact, one Tier One carrier representative--chatting with a BroadSoft VP -- expressed interest in wanting the company to be the first major carrier using the designation.

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