The biggest news we heard about coming out of BroadSoft Connections (BroadSoft's annual user conference) in Phoenix last week was the launch of a beta program for BroadCloud, a delivery platform for unified communications services aimed at small and mid-size businesses.
Unlike BroadWorks, a software platform that service providers buy from BroadSoft and integrate into their networks in order to be able to offer IP PBX functionality, "the service provider will just access the BroadSoft cloud for the unified communications services that we're offering," BroadSoft vice president of marketing Leslie Ferry told Enterprise VoIPplanet.
What are the services, specifically?
According to Ferry, BroadSoft's point of departure in selecting the initial service bundle was an Information Week study that identified the UC services most sought after by enterprises for meeting their business objectives. These are Web collaboration, on-demand video conference rooms, IM, and presence. (Actually, the official release also mentions BroadSoft's existing PacketSmart (network assessment and monitoring) and Casabi (family communications management) components.)
Interestingly, the hosted IP telephony component will remain embedded within the networks of BroadSoft's service-provider customers. But the total package will look seamless to end-users.
Service providers will be able to bundle BroadCloud services in whatever configurations seem suited to their marketsusing as few or as many as they likeand to set pricing.
Furthermore, Ferry told VoIPplanet.com, "integration with business applications is another very interesting area." The company has already integrated its voice capabilities with a number of CRM applications, including GoldMine, Sugar CRM, and SalesForce.com. "We also have built open APIs into our Cloud platform that third-party developers can develop against," allowing for extensive customization and app integration.
BroadSoft has more than 425 customers spread across 61 countries, according to Ferry. "We had almost 50 percent of our customers attend BroadSoft Connections 2010," she reported. "We demo'd BroadCloud on the show floor, and interest was tremendous. We also offered to take beta customers, and demand for that was quite high," she said.