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BroadSoft CEO: Here's why communications is moving to the cloud

Matt Rosoff, CITEworld | April 19, 2013
You might not know BroadSoft if you're not in the telecommunications space. But if you use a hosted unified communications service from a provider like Verizon, Swisscom, or any of about 500 other telcos around the world, you may be a BroadSoft customer without realizing it.

The full interview follows:

John Gallant: What is the BroadSoft mission and how do you deliver on that mission?

Michael Tessler: At BroadSoft, we are delivering unified communications solutions to service providers around the world and enabling them to deliver unified communications as a service, really a new category of capability. Instead of enterprises looking to purchase software and servers and do all that integration on their own, we're enabling the service providers to come to market with a full unified communications solution that enterprises can consume on a per month, per seat basis -- very much like the transformation that took place with CRM and companies like We allow the service providers to brand, using their own branding. We become a kind of BroadSoft Inside, inside the carrier's networks, and allow them to build their own brand with these unified communications solutions. That's one of the reasons why enterprise customers may not know us as a brand name, but would see us as powering services that they might purchase from their operators, whether those are fixed operators, mobile operators around the world.

Today we power a little over 500 operators around the world, and of those operators we power about 20 of the top 25 by revenue size. We're certainly well penetrated in the service provider marketplace globally.

Q: There isn't always a consistent definition of what unified communications is. In your view, what are the key components of that? What do you have to deliver to make a great UC solution?

A: The functional elements would be things like the old, what we call PBX functions, unified messaging, audio conferencing capability, desktop sharing collaboration, instant messaging and call centers or group capabilities, the front-office capabilities, the ability to interact on lots of devices -- mobile and fixed devices. Those are the functional elements that make up what we would consider the unified communications suite.

One of the most important things that we focus on is really making sure that the end users can actually effectively use all those capabilities, so a huge focus on user experience, with that user experience crossing over from handsets to desktops, whether it's Windows or Mac, to tablets to mobile phones, all the various operating systems, and really being able to make sure that all those experiences allow the end user to take advantage of this unified communications capability. What does that mean? It allows me to be more productive internally, allows me to be more effective in getting a group of employees together to collaborate. We can start dialoguing on instant messaging at present, and promote through conference and video. We can share documents. The way I love to think about unified communications is really using all these tools to be making sure that the employees will end up being more productive, both internally and also externally, with partners, customers. That's really the drive for this.


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