The future of the Cisco-BroadSoft family in the Asia-Pacific market - Some quick thoughts post the announcement
Oct 31, 2017
Right before the kick-off of BroadSoft Connections 2017 on 23 Oct, Cisco officially released the announcement on acquiring BroadSoft at US$1.9 Billion in cash, which undoubtedly became the spotlight for the entire event. The acquisition is expected to be closed in early 2018. The BroadSoft team will be part of the Cisco Collaboration team after the completion. Rowan Trollope, SVP/GM Application Group, Cisco, attended the event and stressed the bright future for both service providers and customers. Here are a few thoughts on the changes the Asia Pacific market is expected to experience in the future.
First and formost, unlike other regions, in Asia Pacific, the acquisition may not help Cisco extend the relationships with tier 2 service providers. BroadSoft is mainly working with tier 1 local service providers across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, in which Cisco has developed a more scaled channel network across all countries. Therefore, upon the completion of the acquisition, we expect Cisco is going to introduce BroadSoft solutions, both Cloud PBX and BroadSoft Cloud, to more service providers and also system integrators, which eventually will increase the installed base of BroadSoft platforms. A few promising countries include Japan, China, Indonesia, and India.
Secondly, with the prospective channel expansion above, Cisco will finally make a successful soft-landing in the SMB market and mid-market, the sectors Cisco has been targeting for a few years but has not really got there yet. With the enhancement of features and functionalities, especially the integration with workflows, there are immediate growth opportunities for cloud PBX and UC-One, and the group of below 500 users is likely to be the sweet spot. Team-One may need more efforts on localization before the adoption takes off. This is primarily because embedded team collaboration features powered by consumer social networking are wide-spreading in the Asian market.
Thirdly, same as other regions, it is expected to increase the complexity of product portfolio and packages, which might pose challenges for resellers to figure out the right solutions bundles for their customers, not to mention the overlapping of product features and capabilities. It might also lead to a loss of open SIP phone endpoints manufacturers including Polycom, Yealink, Grandstream and other local brands with competitive offerings.
Last but not least, countries like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea could see more immediate changes on the above-mentioned aspects, while China, India and other SEA countries are expected to take off with breakthrough implementations across local service providers in two to three years.
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