BroadSoft Accelerates Innovation to Boost Customer Value and Service Provider Differentiation
Nov 28, 2016
At the 2016 BroadSoft Connections event held the week of November 14th in San Antonio, Texas, BroadSoft once again treated an elite crowd of telecom decision makers, senior executives in service provider networking, IT and marketing, and industry analysts to a fine sampling of technology innovation, stimulating discussions and lavish entertainment. With more than 1,200 attendees and more than 180 global telecom service provider organizations represented at the event, BroadSoft Connections presented ample opportunities for industry networking and learning. The event’s theme was “Let’s Change the Game” and the busy agenda confirmed BroadSoft’s commitment to empower the service provider community with technologies and services that help them differentiate and deliver greater customer value.
Technology Innovation Focus: Mobility, Productivity and Customer Satisfaction
BroadSoft leveraged Connections to launch several new solutions and initiatives. It introduced BroadSoft Business, a new brand and portfolio of BroadSoft’s business applications. BroadSoft’s industry-leading BroadWorks cloud PBX platform is at the foundation of the new Business portfolio, which includes UC-One, CC-One and the newly launched Team-One applications. These advanced functionalities address businesses’ communications, customer care and team messaging and collaboration needs, respectively.
Comprehensive mobile communication and collaboration suite for business
The BroadSoft UC-One suite of IM, presence, conferencing and mobility applications is available both as a cloud service and as a software license for service providers. CC-One, BroadSoft’s omni-channel contact center applications suite and Team-One collaboration suite are available as cloud services that providers can white-label, co-brand or resell standalone or bundle with other services for their end customers. Hub, a contextual intelligence capability, underlines all BroadSoft Business solutions and integrates BroadSoft’s portfolio with third-party software such as Google G Suite, Office 365, Concur, CRM applications (e.g., Salesforce), social media applications (e.g., Twitter) and more. BroadSoft Business also provides bOpen APIs, SDKs and sandbox tools which allow providers to quickly develop custom integrations and applications while abiding by stringent security and reliability requirements.
Team-One is a new application that aims to facilitate more productive team collaboration through enterprise messaging and contextual intelligence. Similar to other team collaboration applications, Team-One enables users to create team spaces wherein they engage in persistent, contextually enhanced conversations. It helps users consolidate and conveniently search and access contacts, as well as related emails, files and even social media interactions. Unlike some other collaboration tools, Team-One natively supports individual productivity features such as personal workspaces, note taking, tagging, voice and video calls, screen and file share, and task management. Team-One features a modern, intuitive interface optimized for mobile devices and Millennial users cherishing simplicity and convenience with their technology tools. Natively and through Hub, Team-One integrates with over 50 third-party applications, which is also differentiated from most other messaging platforms in the market.
BroadSoft also announced enhancements to its UC-One suite that are heavily focused on the mobile experience. The new UC-One Connect client improves the mobile user experience through simplified business messaging and calling. Users can make cellular calls using their business identity, access their corporate directory, and attend My Room meetings. UC-One Connect is included for free with BroadSoft UC-One licenses. It also integrates with Hub, which provides access to contextual intelligence when the user is on his/her mobile phone.
Through Apple’s CallKit, UC-One mobile apps are being further enhanced to provide a more seamless user experience for business calling, identical to the standard mobile calling experience they are already familiar with.
The new UC-One Meet client also provides significant value to mobile users by enabling one-click access to conference calls, whether it is a BroadSoft conferencing service or not. UC-One Meet is harmonized across applications and can be integrated with other BroadSoft UC clients.
BroadSoft also introduced UC One Conference Room which extends the UC-One My Room meeting experience to any room with a flat-screen TV. It arrives bundled with Logitech and Intel hardware, and allows BroadSoft customers to improve team productivity by quickly and easily setting up video conferences without the complexity and large investment required for traditional room systems.
BroadSoft CC-One has been enhanced with chat, text, email and social media capabilities for a complete multi-channel customer experience. It is available in voice-only or multi-channel versions, as well as an integrated option within Salesforce. A key CC-One differentiator is its tight integration with UC-One, which enables better collaboration between contact-center agents and enterprise subject-matter experts. It also integrates with Team-One for rapid team-based problem resolution through fast and convenient knowledge sharing between front and back-office workers. Another key BroadSoft CC-One advantage is the integration with intelligent analytics tools enabling businesses to predict customer behavior and act accordingly.
BroadSoft’s new technology announcements position its business solutions portfolio strongly among competing cloud communications platforms. Today BroadSoft offers a very comprehensive and well-integrated suite of communications and collaboration solutions that address a broad array of customer needs. A particularly important addition to the portfolio is Hub, which allows customers to integrate BroadSoft applications with other commonly used business software for a simplified user experience and greater productivity.
Power, Empowering, Powered by
BroadSoft Connections 2016 demonstrated the vendor’s pervasive presence in service provider organizations around the world. With leading market share in terms of installed users among UCaaS platform vendors, BroadSoft is well-entrenched in over 600 service provider networks across all world regions. Thus, it has tremendous power to leverage various provider experiences to further evolve its portfolio and share best practices with its provider community.
BroadSoft fully recognizes that its main role is to empower its service provider partners. Unlike other technology vendors, it doesn’t compete directly with its provider channel (except in Germany where it has a well-established retail practice). In order to better support service providers of varying backgrounds, sizes and services portfolios, BroadSoft delivers technology both as software and as a service. Widely deployed by many service providers, BroadWorks allows providers to further customize their UCaaS solutions and integrate with their own systems and third-party software.
BroadSoft’s turn-key BroadCloud solution is gaining traction in scenarios including provider expansion (out of region or internationally) or launch of highly differentiated new services such as a hospitality offering. At Connections, BroadSoft launched a third deployment model—a platform as a service (PaaS) offering, which enables greater customization than BroadCloud, but spares providers much of the costs associated with deploying a platform on their own network. This ensures the lowest possible startup costs, quick time to market, and flexibility to offer standalone or bundled solutions. With three deployment models available, BroadSoft partners can pick the options that best suit their needs.
Leveraging the experience gained through 37 projects in 21 countries over the past year, BroadSoft launched the Powered by BroadSoft program. It will allow providers to more extensively leverage BroadSoft’s powerful brand as well as its professional and management services to more successfully launch and operate cloud PBX and UCaaS services. Many providers report struggling with ongoing platform upgrades and infrastructure management which obstructs their focus on sales and customer lifecycle management. The Powered by BroadSoft program aims to empower providers with marketing and sales support to improve customer acquisition, retention, and upselling. It focuses on aligning the service provider marketing efforts with the different phases of the buyer’s journey.
Leveraging a Broad Ecosystem for Faster Innovation and Greater Power
No vendor or provider can go it alone in the increasingly competitive UCaaS space. BroadSoft has partnered with numerous technology developers for communications endpoints, infrastructure and software. At BroadSoft Connections, service providers learned about innovative solutions from leading technology vendors and event sponsors such as AudioCodes, Grandstream, Edgewater, Netxusa, Panasonic, Patton, Polycom, Sonus, Yealink and more. There are also numerous smaller technology developers delivering truly unique and differentiated solutions that offer additional value to BroadSoft service providers and their business customers. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Hardware endpoints still make a difference: Apivio is an innovative communications endpoint vendor offering Android-based desktop media phones (Dexter and Monet series) and VoWLAN devices (Liberty series) that can integrate with BroadSoft call control platforms and applications. Apivio offers pre-packaged applications for the hospitality industry and its phones can run custom software as well. All products are carrier-grade and manufactured in South Korea.
Call recording doesn’t need to be a spontaneous decision: Dubber offers a unique, highly scalable call recording platform that allows providers to store and analyze call data in unprecedented ways. Its newly launched call and communication capture solution notifies users when a call is completed and allows them to save the call recording on their personal dashboard and play it from Dubber’s mobile or web app.
The user experience is key: Kakapo Systems Unity suite of advanced desktop, mobility, contact center agent and supervisor, and receptionist applications nicely complements BroadSoft service provider offerings. Unity Desktop and Mobile feature IM, presence, click to call, visual voice mail, call recording, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics integration. Unity Agent and Supervisor apps provide valuable productivity features (e.g., call controls, call recording) as well as handy analytics tools.
Analytics tools help align communications with broader business goals: Tollring provides data visualization and business intelligence tools that help manage, understand and control a wide array of communications information, resources and assets. The company specializes in business communications analytics, call recording solutions, telecoms expense management and fraud detection. The focus is on delivering the right information at the right time, so businesses can gain greater value from their communications investments.
APIs are all the rage: Zilkr brings a unique flavor to the API economy. It has abstracted the API layer to integrate voice and messaging services with multiple third-party software platforms. Unlike Twilio and other cPaaS providers, Zilkr lets providers bring the phone numbers and telephony services, while it provides universal APIs to easily and inexpensively enhance service provider offerings through integrations that address specific business needs.
Frost & Sullivan research shows that service providers as well as businesses will continue to deploy best-of-breed solutions in multi-vendor environments for greater return on their investment. BroadSoft’s ecosystem is likely to help BroadSoft and its provider partners to position more competitively in this rapidly evolving market. As businesses continually demand new features and capabilities, having a strong partner community is going to empower BroadSoft to deliver innovation faster than its competitors.
BroadSoft is accelerating technology development in response to increasing service provider and customer demands. While it has matured over the years, the company continues to foster an entrepreneurial culture of rapid innovation. In the evolving competitive marketplace, BroadSoft needs to remain on a fast technology development track to address evolving customer needs and withstand intensifying competition. It must adapt to the API economy and focus heavily on integrating with commonly used third-party software to ensure its provider partners and their customers can benefit from a holistic communications and collaboration experience. The company needs to further expand its ecosystem and help promote its technology partners to ensure that service providers can further diversify and expand their UCaaS portfolios. Finally, BroadSoft must leverage its extensive provider relationships to share best practices and thus help its partners become more successful.
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