BroadSoft Launches BroadCloud, a UC Platform in the Cloud

The hosted unified communications platform offers business-critical applications including messaging, mobile integration, Web collaboration and video conferencing.

BroadSoft unveiled its cloud-based unified communications offering for telecommunications service providers that includes messaging, mobile integration, Web collaboration and video conferencing.

Dubbed BroadCloud, the hosted infrastructure will feature a full line of unified communications services that can be custom-branded for customers, BroadSoft said on Oct. 25.

When evaluating unified communications packages and services, IT managers are looking for specific services, including unified messaging, instant messaging, presence, hosted contact center, mobile integration, Web collaboration, video conferencing and integration with third-party business software, said BroadSoft.

"Rather than following the market and attempting to dictate which services should comprise a UC offering, we have focused our product development efforts on the services enterprises say they want," said Michael Tessler, CEO of BroadSoft.

The BroadCloud Instant Messaging and Presence capability offers a complete corporate instant messaging and presence platform. Both the user's desk phone and mobile phone status are integrated into the platform, providing the most up-to-date presence information available.

BroadCloud Video is a "high-definition, always-on, meet-me" video conferencing service, according to BroadSoft, and supports a wide selection of third-party room, desktop and soft-client video-enabled devices. Glowpoint's "Open Video" and Telepresence interExchange Network (TEN) platforms are integrated within BroadCloud to facilitate video communications outside of the enterprise, BroadSoft said.

The BroadCloud Web Collaboration suite offers several Web-based collaboration tools to improve communication and team-building. The tools include screen sharing, a document library, chat, audio and video support, and a white board to write notes and sketch ideas. BroadSoft said these tools are accessible from a wide range of mobile devices, not just a desktop.

BroadCloud will also include BroadSoft's PacketSmart and Casabi SAAS (software-as-a-service) products, said the company in a statement.

The BroadCloud PacketSmart service provides network assessment and monitoring. IT managers can examine network traffic, find bottlenecks, identify issues and generally ensure the network is healthy to deliver the "highest" quality of experience to the user, the company said.

A customer-focused solution, BroadCloud Casabi handles personalization. This SAAS offering supports sending group SMS messages, personalized tools and content, and organizes multiple users into groups. The service is based on the technology from Casabi, which BroadCloud acquired earlier this month.

"With the addition of our BroadCloud hosted platform, we are offering a service delivery model that accelerates time-to-market for our service provider customers, enables them to brand and customize a UC solution, and allows them to quickly capitalize on the growing demand of these communications services," said Tessler.

Fixed-line, mobile and cable service providers can extend their communication services to include any or all of these services, the company said.

BroadCloud is a service delivery method that complements BroadSoft's existing BroadWorks platform, software delivered via servers embedded in the service provider network, said Leslie Ferry, vice president of marketing at BroadSoft. BroadWorks delivers all PBX features, and BroadCloud services work with a variety of SIP-based phones, including Polycom, Cisco, Aastara and Grandstream, said Ferry in an e-mail to eWEEK.

The foundation of BroadSoft's software-as-a-service business, BroadCloud will feature Xtended, an online marketplace distribution platform, for service providers to offer a custom-branded unified communications service.

"Another compelling capability of our BroadCloud platform is the ability for carriers to leverage the growing acceptance and adoption of app stores," added Ferry. "We are enabling our service provider customers to complement their existing distribution channels for Unified Communication services with an online marketplace, which is a growing, preferred purchase option by end-users and offers higher service margins."

Customers can access, purchase and start their services within the Marketplace to speed up deployment, BroadSoft said.