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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!
Consumers have readily adopted hosted applications for unified communication. We believe a mobile application marketplace is no longer considered a fad, but a must-have platform for providing marketing and services to, not only “on-the-go” individuals, but the majority of consumers. Moving forward from Web 2.0, we believe enterprises have likewise begun to acknowledge the importance of flexibility, speed of innovation, and availability of niche hosted services. From the announcement of Amazon’s App Store, Force.com, and the addition of many others, the “buzz” has been centered on the inevitable adoption of hosted enterprise applications.
CIO.com’s Todd R. Weiss aptly names his new blog “Deciphering Enterprise Apps”. Rather than covering confirmed application adoption trends, Weiss seeks to examine “the successes, the failures, the trials and the experiences” of “installing, configuring, running and maintaining the critical applications that run your enterprises”. The critical question then, it seems to us, is not whether services offer to and use hosted applications for both businesses and consumers, but how best to do so.
As one of the first to offer custom hosted application services through the BroadSoft XtendedTM program, BroadSoft’s customers have leveraged a competitive edge through custom-branded Application Storefronts and in-demand applications through annual programs such as the Xtended Incubator Program.
What have we seen thus far?
- Increased availability of hosted Xtended Marketplace applications, with expectations for significant growth in the portfolio of available applications by mid-2012.
- Continued custom application innovation for customers and end-users through annual developer incentives and a growing base of 4,600+ Xtended developers who continue to contribute new long-tail application services.
- The launch of our first four pilot Marketplace service providers in 2011. Read customer quotes and application descriptions here: http://bit.ly/pM0wC7, http://bit.ly/p4BD1T.
Web applications, such as the Sales Force Connector and the Mobiso Speech Enabled Dialer, have garnered strong interest from the start of Xtended. As one example, our customers have related the success of the Salesforce Connector to its ability to transform CRM usability in communication services. By allowing businesses to quickly access advanced voice and call control features from within their Salesforce.com account, enterprises organize and communicate with internal and external contacts more efficiently. Through the desktop, the Salesforce Connector has allowed enterprise customers to:
- Display an incoming caller’s contact record information
- Find the appropriate user to forward a contact to
- Retrieve call and communication history for key prospects
- And more: see the Sales Force Connector in the Xtended Marketplace
We believe applications such as these continue to drive demand for hosted services offerings.
As enterprises rely more on mobility services, hosted mobile applications, such as the “RemoteOffice” application, quickly begin to pick up the popularity we saw with early web applications. Mobile hosted applications incubated through the Xtended Incubator program in 2011 (for example the iPad Front Office Assistant, iPad Receptionist, and BuzzMe, an iPhone based group notification app) will offer a full-range of advanced hosted communication services to the mobile business and consumer end-customers. BroadSoft is excited to watch hosted applications take full advantage of hosted voice features not available through traditional phone services. You can view an early prototype of a receptionist tablet application here: http://www.youtube.com/broadsoftclips#p/u/31/kec_R54uqfo.
Those involved in the Xtended program from the early stages have benefited from educational and awareness driven initiatives that have generated visibility and demand for both web and mobile hosted applications. Moving forward, we believe the BroadSoft ecosystem will benefit from the expected increase in hosted web and mobile enterprise applications, the entrance of additional BroadSoft hosted marketplaces, and the resulting drive of additional niche applications and services. As hosted enterprise applications continue to replace IT services, BroadSoft will likewise continue to report best-practice trends and innovations in marketplace and application offerings for our service providers and their end customers. Success, however, is constrained by your willingness to become a part of the project. Offering benefits such as hosted store fronts with minimal capex, BroadSoft Xtended ensures service providers can now expand with us without the growing pains. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/xtendedmarketplaceserviceprovider.
Are you always the last to hear office gossip? Always seem to stumble over what-seemed-to-be good ideas in business meetings? Do work associates make jokes about your tie (“it’s just too trendy for them, right?”)? Well, now it’s your chance to be part of the in-crowd with BroadSoft’s Trend Watch 2011 report. Be the first to know what’s hip, what’s fresh, and what the great ideas are before they happen, as the worldwide leader and innovator of IP technology hands you a sneak-peak into what we think the telecommunication “do’s” of 2011 will be.
Do’s (2011) versus Don’t (2010):
- The Connected Consumer vs. The Mobile Consumer
Tablets and smartphones were on everyone’s hot list this holiday season. As we wind our way through 2011, we believe emerging devices will proliferate across the realm of operating systems- offering utilitarian technology benefits in speed and performance as mobile platforms battle. Whether reading an e-book, listening to a family member’s music playlist, or getting directions, we expect trendy consumers will not only seek out these mobile devices –they will find a seamless connection between their connected devices a must-have for 2011.
- Business Applications vs. Consumer Applications
On average, the U.S. downloaded about 3 million of the top 300 apps per day in December. In our view, 2011 will continue to be a year of mobile app craze; however, businesses will quickly become the new consumer. Already one of the fastest growing categories in the App Store, the business app category was up (+186%) in 2010, according to Distimo. We expect to see “in” service providers catching onto the craze by offering value-added applications for every business’s both niche and universal needs, such as: Productivity apps, Communication & Collaboration, CRM, Mobility, Business Process Integration (Act!, Lotus Notes, etc), and more.
- HD Video Conferencing vs. The Traditional IP Deskphone
Did you just click through your in-box as you talked to your business partner over the phone? That’s so 2010! Offering a cost-effective method to add value to your communications experience, we anticipate that truly trendy businesses and consumers will use HD video from the cloud in 2011. Offering an always-on virtual bridge, trend setters connect to business prospects, partners, and peers in HD Video from the cloud — a must for 2011 for the rich communications experience everyone deserves. Apart from this new staple, consumers have also caught wind of the trend and are using the up-and-coming technology to stay in touch with relatives and friends with family center.
2011’s Hit or Miss: UC from the Cloud
If you were on the fence in 2010, you’re already on the “miss” list as the New Year begins. We see hip businesses – large and small –taking advantages of UC services from the cloud in 2011. While even water-cooler dropouts are mostly likely “in” on the productivity and economic benefits of UC, we expect those service providers in-the-know to offer a continuation of UC perks for business offerings this year plus, now, the advantages of the new BroadCloud offerings. These include HD video, web-based collaboration, integrated message & presence features, and VoIP management solutions for the forward-looking service provider who can offer always on, effective communication services.
Don’t be a victim of the trend police this year. Follow the advice in this Trend Watch report and subscribe to this blog roll for continued in-the-know news, opinion, and advice on the latest in communication technology. Have something to add to the list? Disagree with a trend? Let us know below.
At our annual executive users’ conference in October, I talked about three ways the BroadSoft ecosystem can “connect our networks” in order to deliver the superior user experience and communication services being demanded today. In my opinion, our ecosystem needs to:
- Create the largest, innovative developer network
- Share our successes in order to grow awareness of hosted communication solutions
- Connect our networks to deliver ubiquitous high-definition voice and video
Let me share more on how you can drive growth and productive conversation in each of these areas.
Create the largest, innovative developer network
At BroadSoft we have spent the last 18 months investing in the design and development of our Xtended program, which is comprised of three elements: 1) RESTful APIs, 2) a robust developer program & 3) an e-Commerce enabled marketplace. We have committed both time and financial resources to all aspects of this program, enabling our customers to open their networks and mutually benefit from the investments of third party developers.
BroadSoft’s global service provider customers deliver communication services to over half a billion individuals in both their work and personal lives. A uniquely attractive audience to third-party developers, the desire and capabilities to build innovative applications will only increase as our ecosystem encourages this growth. Integration of communication services with additive innovative offerings and web-based applications, such as CRM services, increase the value of our IP-based networks, helping us retain our existing customers and attract new customers. So I am asking the BroadSoft customer base to:
- Open the Xtended APIs on their network
- Customize and launch an Xtended Marketplace and
- Join the community in recruiting new developers and promoting their applications
Everything that is needed to get started has been built and tested. Since BroadSoft Connections, I have personally reached out to several of our service provider customers who appreciate the value of BroadSoft Xtended. They have agreed to lead the charge in this effort – I hope you will join them.
Share our successes in order to grow awareness of hosted communication solutions
Another way we can jointly drive the adoption of hosted communications is by connecting our networks in terms of combined marketing power. By sharing our successes and detailed case studies, we help better define the value enterprises and individuals are experiencing through hosted communications. Through the global communication of such value, we will mutually drive the increased adoption of hosted unified communications, which has reached its highest growth level since 2008 (Dell’Oro Group, 2010).
While the awareness has grown significantly, we have a long way to go. We want every business owner and decision maker to realize they have a choice: to use a hosted service versus tying up people and capital on deploying out-dated enterprise based systems. I personally hear from our customers amazing and motivating success stories that they have helped enterprises succeed in their primary business purpose when they are no longer worried about their communication services. They are entrusting the experts in telecommunications to keep their businesses running.
I am asking all BroadSoft customers to share these success stories. In order to facilitate this openness, we introduced a new Web site, Xcelerate, with the single goal of helping you become more successful in launching and selling hosted UC. There are many great resources available on the site (Marketing Campaign Tools, Sales Battlecards, Demonstration Videos, and much more) and I encourage all BroadSoft customers to use these tools, while also contributing to the group.
Connect our networks to deliver ubiquitous high-definition voice and video
For a number of years, we have talked about the connection of our networks over IP to enable global high-definition voice and video. With the tremendous interest in high definition audio and video, we must connect our individual islands if we are to benefit from this growth. As I travel around the world, the interest level around SIP based video is exploding in both fixed and mobile networks and the time to interconnect is now. There are several companies, such as PCCW Global, focused on enabling this interconnectivity. I encourage everyone to talk with these companies in order to find ways to bridge our islands and take the upmost advantage of this unique opportunity before it passes us by.
The delivery of high-quality, superior communication experience, is our business. We cannot let others erode it. Let’s start by connecting our networks in these three ways. Please let me know what you think by commenting below.
There Is No Better Time to be a Developer!
Everywhere you look, the barriers to revenue for developers are dropping. Free developer sites, free tools, eCommerce ecosystems and willing, yet discriminating, end-users abound. This dramatic change has been brought about by three major drivers:
- Mobility and the new App economy led by Apple
- Web 2.0 and its lasting principles of Web as Platform and the power of user-generated content which has evolved into the social networking revolution
- Cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS), as well as the evolution of accessible, scalable infrastructure.
So, where are the challenges? Application developers face two in particular: access to survival capital as they incubate their ideas and building the right “thing.” These challenges are accentuated in the telecommunications industry with its proprietary APIs, high barriers to entry and lack of direct interaction between end-users and app creators, due to an almost opaque chain of vendors and carriers between them.
We decided to take these problems head on through our Xtended Program. Following on the heels of our BroadSoft Marketplace program that creates a new, frictionless, eCommerce distribution channel for all our developers, we have also announced the Xtended App Incubator (http://developer.broadsoft.com/xai) to motivate developers to start their application ideas and more importantly: build the right “thing. “
The Xtended App Incubator provides seed funding ranging from $3K-$10K for great teams creating great apps that our customers want. Yes, we went out and asked our customers to vote for their most wanted Apps. Developers with the right skills who apply to build a “wanted” app idea are being screened to make sure they are a good fit for developing the app and also understand our terms. Selected developers will be provided with funding immediately to start building the app.
A number of ecosystems currently exist that “talk the talk” about supporting developers and many more that preach “listening to the customer.” With the Xtended App Incubator, BroadSoft acts on both, while laying the foundation for an ecosystem that is more transparent, more symbiotic and we hope ultimately much more adept at addressing the industry challenges we collectively face.