BroadSoft Broadens Hosted UC Solutions for SMBs

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2009-03-09

VOIP application specialist BroadSoft, based in Gaithersburg, Md., introduced product enhancements to its BroadWorks VOIP application platform that it says will allow telecommunications service providers to simplify the deployment of hosted business communications solutions and drive unified communications (UC) adoption in the small to medium-size business (SMB) space.

The new device management functionality enables service providers to pre-configure end-user access devices. This capability solves what BroadSoft says is one of the most complex and time-consuming phases of delivering VOIP services - provisioning end devices. Traditionally, providers need to either pre-provision devices before shipment, rely on standalone FTP servers to store files or provision each phone at the customer site, all of which can take considerable time and require technical expertise.

"BroadSoft has eliminated the complex staging and configuration process for service providers. 'Plug-and-play activation' over a secure interface was important to our customers, so we took action," said Broadsoft co-founder and CTO Scott Hoffpauir. "We are committed to not only helping our customers scale their business by simplifying service deployment, but also expediting the delivery of critical business communications solutions to end users."

A recent global study sponsored by Siemens Enterprise Communications and conducted by SIS International Research finds midmarket companies with 100 employees could be losing more than $5,000 per employee per year by not addressing inefficient communication issues, including host business communications services and UC.

The researchers also confirmed that SMBs are increasingly using various communications technologies, including phone, instant messaging and video conferencing, in an effort to increase productivity. However, they found that the proliferation of these technologies has created multiple points of presence for individual employees with which other employees must contend. The resulting fragmentation of the SMB communication fabric can create a barrier to effective communications and collaboration. 

BroadSoft's Device Management offering allows providers to provision analog terminal adapters (ATAs), IP phones, integrated access devices (IADs) and IP PBX equipment.

The company also announced a deal with Polycom to introduce a phone-based login capability for Polycom IP phones. Leveraging BroadSoft's Xtended Services Platform, Polycom developed a "Quick Setup" key that is activated when the phone is powered up. This new key enables users to directly retrieve their phone's configuration files from the BroadWorks platform via a one-time secure phone login. This capability eradicates the need to individually match physical Polycom phones to users.

"Polycom and BroadSoft have a long history of bringing high-quality, user-friendly VOIP solutions to market," said Polycom's vice president of marketing for voice communications solutions Jim Kruger. "Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to do business with Polycom, and BroadSoft's approach to BroadWorks Device Management does just that. We're delighted to deliver intuitive products to market that our joint customers can leverage in their UC environment."

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