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Artificial Intelligence, The Terminator, Post-Humanism, Bionic Limbs, Singularity…As the power of technology continues to surpass human ability in new and rapid ways, our fascination and often fear of machines ask us to question the boundaries of human interaction and the artificial. While predictions and theory vary and even contradict one another, there seems to be a consensus on a need for balance. We see this need often today; whether it is a customer caught in a calling queue or a caller sent to a desktop voicemail over a live mobile human. When it comes to a business’s call center offering, the quest for balance takes front-line.
Service providers must answer the call for an innovative solution to the growing struggle between human response and mechanical communication. As an integral piece of any business’s customer service offering, we believe the move toward hosted call centers offers the flexibility, functionality and visibility required to move end-customers quickly to a live voice without wasting time or resources. Today, service providers leverage hosted communication services to boost human communication through productivity features and on-going application integration, all while minimizing human and environmental risk with automatic maintenance and business continuity.
More and more, we see the end-customer seeking an intuitive call center solution that allows optimal, live customer service while taking advantage of hosted unified communication technology. Micah Solomon, entrepreneur and customer systems innovator, writes for Fast Company on the growing need for live support as organizations place more services in the hands of technology:
Online customers are literally invisible to you (and you to them), so it’s easy to shortchange them emotionally…This lack of visual and tactile presence makes it even more crucial to create a sense of personal, human-to-human connection.
Following such demand, BroadSoft’s own BroadWorks® Call Center application recently released new enhancements allowing service providers the scalability to extend their hosted call center offering into enterprises with higher call volumes and more complex reporting requirements. Taking full advantage of the benefits of a hosted solution, such as low-upfront cost and scalability, the BroadWorks® Call Center application opens new revenue streams from premise-based platforms.
This New Year BroadSoft celebrates over 13 years of a singular focus developing the most advanced communications applications software for IP networks. As BroadSoft continues to develop and deploy a robust set of communication services, our community, and the market at large, prospers from the path of rapid growth and innovation. Stepping foot into another year of change and growth, we would like to share our view of five major changing market dynamics alongside our vision for BroadSoft in 2012.
- #1 – We will innovative and deliver solutions that leverage the growing abundance of mobile broadband.
Quality broadband is a key enabler for real time communication in the cloud. As we rapidly move from a world of scarce to abundant broadband, those in the market have the opportunity to build completely new value propositions surrounding visual communications and collaboration. While such movement will spur emerging industry players, BroadSoft will meet this challenge by continuing our innovative product development. In the New Year, BroadSoft Service providers customers will have the opportunity to leverage the explosive growth of 4G and LTE deployments to fundamentally change the way we communicate.
- #2 – We will introduce new, quick and easy to deploy, cloud services that deliver our unified communications solutions
Cloud services have evolved from simply placing enterprise applications in the cloud to true multi-tenant applications with open APIs. For instance, the highest levels of security and management have allowed enterprises to customize and integrate services into their operating environment. The growing adoption of cloud services by the enterprise has powered a growth in specialty cloud applications and a deprecation of cost in cloud deployments – two trends we expect to see continue through the New Year. BroadSoft has harnessed the power of the cloud to rapidly deploy and innovate our BroadCloud implementations. In 2012, BroadSoft Service providers will leverage value-added solutions resulting from BroadSoft’s continued investment in these applications and their open APIs, as well the integration of BroadSoft’s real time communications services into other applications.
- #3 – We will super-charge our go-to-market program
Go-to-market programs in 2012 will focus on the new end user – the end user who wants to decide how, when, and where to communicate. Individuals now expect a variety of optimized and integrated communications options, and they are focused on simplicity and efficiency. BroadSoft’s go-to-market program, along with continued innovation and offerings in UC services, will focus on how people desire to communicate. Whether the real-time services include new innovations in video calling, chat, collaboration and conferencing, as well as non-real-time services such as email and social networking, 2012 service providers will bring to market and package an optimal experience around the user who expects more than just voice.
- #4 – We will provide an industry leading consumer mobile solution that is scalable, reliable and is easy to operate
Some estimates assume that by 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices. The proliferation of smart devices brings subsequent connections to our global networks and the utilization of operating systems with open application development environments, such as iOS and Android. In such an environment, we believe the most successful services, such as Apple iTunes, Blackberry email and the Skype service, combine an intuitive user experience with powerful cloud applications. BroadSoft Service provider customers in the New Year will capture the power and proliferation of these devices through an intuitive user experience, specifically through leading user interface solutions. By bringing the power of the cloud onto these devices, a focus on the end user will help make each experience personal.
- #5 – We will continue to enhance our unified communications solution with an increased focus on the end user
Why do so many of us have to pick up our phones to send a text message when we are working on our laptops? Why must we use special devices for video calling? Why must we dial into retrieve voice mail? Users in the New Year will not only want, but expect, a unified experience across all of their real-time communication services. As an industry, we have been developing the standards and technology that supports a powerful shift in integrated communication services. So what does this look like?
- Users install applications on their many devices and these devices then register with their cloud communication services.
- These applications ensure a seamless experience across the devices, so that users can establish service from that device.
- The applications provide access to a full range of services including video calling, conferencing, voice mail, text messaging, collaboration, chat and presence.
Service providers in the New Year have the unique opportunity to bring together a rich set of real-time communications services along with the power of social networks, providing a true unified communications experience. Service providers who can take advantage of seamless services will capture this market, while end users will benefit from the freedom to use the right device at the right time for work or pleasure.
To achieve our five objectives, BroadSoft’s community can plan on leveraging our robust set of communication services, including:
In the New Year and beyond, these elements will continue to evolve and provide our community the tools to be successful and deliver even greater value to our customers. Combined with BroadSoft’s leading services, we believe the industry trends support our vision for BroadSoft and sets up the environment for us all to be successful for many years to come. BroadSoft would like to thank you for joining us the past 13 years and we look forward to enjoying a very spectacular New Year with you!