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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.

Q: Would you ever sell directly to enterprise? We have more and more of the readers that are trying to build private cloud kind of environments at scale. I know they can never replicate the scale or the capability that a service provider has, but they certainly are in the market to try to do things in a much more efficient and unified way. Is that a market you'd ever target?

A: Not really. Strategically we've decided to focus on service providers. We don't have an enterprise brand. We have a very well known operator brand and service provider brand. It's not really a strategic direction we'd like to follow. One of the things that we're very excited about is that we think this enterprise communications world is moving not only from enterprise to cloud, but from cloud to mobile cloud. This is where our integration and strategic alignment with mobile operators is critical for delivering on the next-generation mobile enterprise solution. We really feel great about the strategic choice we've made. I think selling directly to enterprises would be a distraction.

Q: You've mentioned mobile a number of times, and that's obviously a huge issue for our readers. I think they're getting through the first stage of dealing with mobile in the sense of coming up with the right policies or approaches to BYOD. But in your world, how do you see enterprises really capitalizing on it? What does this hosted UC allow them to do to really take better advantage of mobility?

A: What's really interesting is that most enterprises have considered the enterprise side of it, what we call the PBX functions inside the premise as one complex, and then all of the users running around using mobile phones as a separate challenge. With some feature-interworking through clients, or some bells and whistles they kind of make these things work together sometimes.

What really is the opportunity that is presenting itself is that as mobile operators launch hosted unified communications solutions and all that unified communications capability now exists in their mobile core, now they'll be able to go to enterprises and basically present a fully integrated solution. What does that mean? Every employee gets a single subscription and then you, as an enterprise, can choose -- does that employee need a hard phone? Do they need a mobile? Do they need a soft line? Do they need two hard phones? Do they need a hard phone at their house and their remote office? All of that now changes to really treating this thing as one, one single subscription.

And the really interesting thing here is with that transformation the enterprise customer gets something really important, which is cost savings. They're not buying a PBX extension or a unified communications suite and a mobile phone for their users. They're buying a single subscription and then outfitting that user with devices given their job function. They get this tremendous cost-saving of bringing down the number of subscriptions from two or three to one, and they get the power of equipping every single employee with a unified communications suite, from voice mail to audio conferencing to video conferencing, to instant messaging across the organization, to desktop sharing, a really rich set of capabilities that are now available to you anywhere on any mobile device. The real change is that moving that enterprise logic from the premise to the cloud. The next step that I think is just starting to emerge is moving that into what I call the mobile cloud or mobile core and making mobile the front and center of these solutions. I think there's going to be a dramatic change in the way that enterprises equip their employees to be productive.


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