Ovum recently attended the BroadSoft Connections 2011 conference in Phoenix, which focused primarily on providers of services related to the BroadSoft platform. BroadSoft has been promoting the development and availability of its ecosystem and partner programs for the past few years. On this occasion it presented many more service options, including hosted, cloud, and mobility alternatives.
The conference emphasized the wide variety of mobility and video options, and many ecosystem partners were available to underline BroadSoft’s ability to deliver these services today. Many of BroadSoft’s product and service goals for the year centered on mobility, smart devices, UC, and seamless integration.
There was very little mention of basic voice services, and instead the event focused on the functionality extensions and multimodal communications that enterprise customers are starting to adopt. We were presented with the fuller set of UC features and broader range of options for carriers – and ultimately their enterprise customers – available within the BroadSoft ecosystem.
This stands in sharp contrast to 2010, when BroadSoft focused exclusively on its PacketSmart offering, and reflects both the overall maturation of the market and a multimodal approach that includes many channels of communications beyond voice.
There are many different approaches to mobility in the enterprise space, all of which aim to meet the requirements of a variety of enterprises and employee work styles. Smart devices allow mobile access to enterprise applications and mobile broadband, but mobility is still primarily about the extension of voice and messaging to mobile and field workers.
Given the multifaceted nature of enterprise mobility, it was interesting to see the large variety of mobile integration solutions at the event. Sessions on IMS and LTE services further validated the need to take business voice beyond traditional landline-based solutions.
This trend will add to device proliferation within enterprises, and IT departments will have to support the many new devices that will use corporate voice, wireless, and video infrastructures. Many enterprises are looking to use their corporate network to avoid roaming charges, leverage their WLAN network, and eventually get to single-number service for their employees.