SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Brent Kelly
Brent Kelly is president and principal analyst at KelCor, Inc., where he provides strategy and counsel to key client types...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Brent Kelly | October 25, 2017 |

 
   

Reflections on BroadSoft Connections

Reflections on BroadSoft Connections In news beyond the pending acquisition, BroadSoft has made significant portfolio enhancements.

In news beyond the pending acquisition, BroadSoft has made significant portfolio enhancements.

Cisco's intent to acquire BroadSoft had been on everyone's tongue this week at BroadSoft's annual partner conference in Phoenix (and much covered on No Jitter). But, that's not the only news of the week. BroadSoft also has made major product enhancements, some of which I'll discuss in this article (I'm steering clear of its CC-One enhancements, leaving that discussion to my contact center industry colleagues).

Like Microsoft and Cisco, BroadSoft offers a UC client -- UC-One -- and a team collaboration client --Team-One. Also like the messaging from its competitors, BroadSoft's marketing message is that some users will prefer the UC client and some will need and want the team collaboration client. Personally, I'm not convinced the dual-client solution is in the user's best interest for any of these offers. What I really like about BroadSoft's approach, however, is the focus on integrating components of these two products together. For example, a UC-One user invited to a Team-One workspace as a guest can be a fully functional member of the team. The workspace shows up in the UC-One interface and looks like it would if the person were using the Team-One interface.

Similarly, Team-One users can see presence status of UC-One users, and vice versa, and they can call others in their organization or dial out to the PSTN from within the Team-One client experience.

Both solutions allow third parties to participate in meetings, and Team-One enables third-party team workspace participation without requiring a login or the need to sign up for a free or paid account.

UC-One also offers a number of interesting built-in features. For example, it includes a compelling SMS capability that allows users to send SMS messages that show up on the other end as being from their work numbers. Likewise, inbound SMS messages to the work phone number show up in the UC-One interface.

In addition, BroadSoft demoed a capability that automatically puts a mobile device on Do Not Disturb mode when a service worker places the device face down. The idea being, of course, that messages and calls do not disturb a worker while on task.

BroadSoft Business experience strategy

New Meetings Capability
A common "Meet" capability underlies both UC-One and Team-One, allowing users of either tool to participate in HD video, wideband audio, and screen sharing sessions regardless of which client a person happens to use. I like this level of interoperability between a traditional UC interface and a team collaboration interface. Furthermore, external participants can easily connect via WebRTC.

Hub Integration and Hub AI
BroadSoft Hub is a mechanism for integrating third-party information or services into UC-One and Team-One. Examples include Outlook email and calendar, Google email and calendar, Salesforce, Twitter, and other external solutions. Demos I saw featured two types of integration. One type of integration provided the ability to view information within the UC-One or Team-One interfaces. For example, you can see your emails and/or your calendar from within these apps so you don't need to context shift to an email client or webpage if you just need to read or view these items.

Even more powerful is that Hub surfaces information related to a team or a conversation. For example, when you're viewing a team workspace, Hub will surface all the documents, email messages, and relevant content associated with the participants in this workspace. (By the way, Team-One market messaging doesn't disparage email, it embraces it as a useful teaming capability.) Users can fine-tune what they see by focusing in on the communications they have had with the entire team or with a subset of team members. For example, a team lead may have interactions with smaller groups within a team, or even with individuals, and the interface allows surfacing information sorted at this level of granularity. BroadSoft claims this search capability is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and is context sensitive, so we'll be looking to understand how this really works.

BroadSoft unveiled a new Hub capability, branded Hub AI. Hub AI is an intelligent assistant trained with a communications-related lexicon that understands natural language (spoken speech). If you're speaking to your Hub AI assistant on a mobile device, you'd be able to schedule team meetings, resolve schedule conflicts, and place calls via UC-One. Hub AI currently supports 25 other capabilities but BroadSoft hasn't yet published a list of these. The product is in use within BroadSoft Labs, and will soon roll out for BroadSoft's own internal use before going external to friendly alpha testers.

As an aside, the level of in-house developed AI technology in the Hub assistant is substantial. For the "easy stuff" -- speech to text and text to speech -- the company relies on Google and Amazon functionality via APIs. However, for understanding the "intent" of the words spoken, BroadSoft Labs has developed an extensible representation model that customers will be able to use themselves. I believe the ability for enterprises or partners to add additional "intents" specific to their own business processes and data integrations will prove to be an extremely valuable capability.

Click to continue to Page 2: Powered by BroadSoft, and more





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.