BroadSoft is introducing a unified communications platform designed to reduce complexity and make it easier for service providers to offer new UC solutions more quickly to their customers.
BroadSoft’s UC One platform gives service providers a single platform from which to design and introduce communications offerings to end users of all kinds, from small businesses to larger enterprises, according to company officials.
The introduction of UC One comes at a time when service providers are looking to leverage the rapidly growing numbers of communications technologies—not only voice, but also video, text and various other collaboration tools—that businesses are looking to leverage. A hurdle for many service providers has been the complexity involved in offering these various solutions in a more integrated fashion rather than having them housed in disparate silos, according to BroadSoft CEO Michael Tessler.
"While enterprises have stated a clear desire for service providers to extend their core offering beyond voice, many providers have been challenged by the complexity of trying to pull together multiple communications services into a single, market-ready offering," Tessler said in a statement. "With UC One, service providers can deliver revenue-generating UC services from a single platform, in turn reimagining how end users can interact and communicate across all devices and networks—from anywhere and at any time."
BroadSoft officials noted a survey from Infonetics Research about enterprises and their UC plans in which respondents said that the top hurdle to deploying unified communications technologies was complexity, not cost. That situation was heightened by a service provider situation that is fragmented and the fact that the various aspects of UC are still segmented into silos, according to company officials.
At the same time, 71 percent of respondents said mobile device integration is very important. This is becoming more important, given such industry trends as the increase in mobile computing, remote workers and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives. The rise of smartphones and tablets has given workers even greater flexibility to work away from the office, and employees are pushing to be able to use their own mobile devices for work.
The BYOD movement means greater productivity from workers, but it also carries with it security concerns, with businesses seeing a growing number of privately owned smartphones and tablets looking to access the corporate network and data. Still, the trend is such that businesses are being forced to address the issue, with many executives doing so reluctantly, according to Cisco Systems.
For service providers, the challenge is to architect solutions that businesses can easily leverage to deal with the various devices employees are using. According to BroadSoft officials, a key part of UC One is that it integrates with various mobile networks, from 2G to 3G to 4G, and users can get to all of their UC services from multiple devices, including traditional desk phones and laptops to smartphones and tablets.
In addition, service providers can now give enterprises their UC solutions—from voice, video and online collaboration to instant messaging and presence—on a single interface that can be used on any mobile device, according to BroadSoft officials.
They also noted that the UC One platform leverages BroadSoft’s Xtended technology that enables BroadSoft’s communications products to interoperate and integrate with third-party solutions, devices and systems. This will enable service providers to better customize their solutions for customers.
Through the BroadSoft platform, service providers also can offer enterprises packaged communications solutions that are geared toward the specific needs of particular customer segments.