Wherever there is an exchange of culture, great things always arise.
So what better place than that huge cultural crossroads called Miami to frame Connections, one of the largest Cloud-based UC industry events in the world?
(Besides, since Imagicle has just opened a branch office in Fort Lauderdale, the location has given us an excuse to meet with our colleagues overseas. There’s no way we would have missed it!)
But let’s see what happened in this week dedicated to strengthening the links with some of the world’s most successful service providers and discovering new trends for the UC world.
First of all, we’ve been pleased to notice that a year after the almost $2 billion acquisition of BroadSoft as part of a larger project – making Cloud services available also to Small/Medium businesses, BroadSoft’s traditional customer base – Cisco main keyword has not changed: collaboration.
As reported by Tom Puorro(Vice President and General Manager of Unified Communications Technology Group),“Cisco is serious about Cloud Calling, and Broadsoft portfolio is core to Cisco Collaboration strategy which is based on the commitment with the Service Provider channel”.
Indeed, it’s true that the concept of collaboration itself is evolving, and Cloud-based UC software companies like Broadsoft,“born in the Cloud”, are the most suitable to meet the new needs of the workforce to connect from anywhere, on all devices, for full access to content and people.
As we discussed in one of our previous posts, the competition doesn’t have a definitive winner yet, and much still depends on the specific needs of each company. It’s true that the merged strength of Broadsoft and Cisco calling portfolios supports the businesses’ trend to move away from premises-based PBX in favor of cloud alternatives, but it’s also true that the core business of Cisco remains the On-Premise market, and so it will be for many years to come.
According to Gartner, we’ll reach the crossover in 2020, when the UC as a service(UCaaS) market will be worth more than 23 billion dollars with a 4-year CAGR of 15%. It must be specified that, even then, the On-Premise model will remain the standard, however covering nearly half of the UC market.
In this scenario, the Mid-Market represents a huge opportunity, with 127 Million of Premise users base, a current Cloud calling penetration of 9% and an estimated 5-year CAGR of 25%. The needs of this market cover both calling capabilities and advanced UC tools requiring smooth migration and hybrid solution.
Supporting every kind of deployment options – SaaS platforms such as BroadWorks, HCS(both Dedicated Instances or Shared Architecture) and native Cloud solution as Cisco BroadCloud – the Service Providers have now a full stack application portfolio to accelerate the business by leveraging the Cisco Flex Plan, which will soon include the Broadsoft frameworks.
Webex Teams’ next step: Broadsoft UC-One.
Reduction of IT footprint, always up-to-date services, apps integration, and integrated team collaboration are just some of the reasons that make cloud UC a key priority of an increasing number of companies’ digital transformation strategies, including Cisco’s.
Formerly known as Cisco Spark, Webex Teams became the leading platform for Cisco’s approach to UC solutions, and, thanks to the integration with Webex Meetings, is now available as a single pane for continuous teamwork with video meetings, group messaging, file sharing and whiteboarding.
Broadsoft UC-One, the innovative suite of communications and collaboration apps that leverages the Cisco BroadCloud and Cisco BroadWorks calling platforms, will be integrated with Webex Meetings collaboration tool, allowing people to have a streamlined and simplified user experience and collaborate with colleagues anywhere at any time, always taking their office with them.
By further integrating the meetings service of Webex with UC-One, Cisco shall allow the potential white-labeling of Webex by service providers, enabling them to brand the UC-One app with their colors and log.
My feeling is that this could be Cisco’s first step in combining and integrating its business-communications applications – Webex Teams, UC-One, and Jabber – offering similar features to all three apps, i.e., persistent spaces, file sharing and search features.
Cisco and Broadsoft: the winning combination both On-Premise and on Cloud.
Thanks to Broasoft acquisition, Cisco is now able to support all segments of the market, ensuring reliable communications for remote and mobile employees without raising costs and complexity:
from small business, requiring a simple purchasing model, with bundled and mobile business at the best price;
to mid-market organizations which need both Cloud calling(typically required by small business) and Cloud Collaboration like enterprises;
up to large enterprises, offering a higher degree of on-demand flexibility together with multisite and remote support.
The purpose of Cisco for the next few years seems to be promoting flexible and cost-effective migration to the cloud, helping business to make the transition and migrate at its pace while leveraging their existing investments.
Cloud or On-Prem? We are ready for everything.
Automation, usability, convenience. This is and has always been Imagicle’s proposition, regardless of the platform on which our solutions run. Which, in fact, is perfectly in line with the intent expressed by Cisco during the event, namely the desire to build“ubiquitous solutions for small, midmarket and enterprise“.
For nine years we have taken part in Cisco’s digital transformation path, reaching important milestones: today we are one of the Cisco Preferred Solution Partners, and five of our solutions are available on the Cisco Global Price List.
Over time, Imagicle ApplicationSuite has quickly become the perfect fit for Cisco HCS Dedicated Instances and Shared Architecture, allowing a single integration and standardized deployment also through the integration with Kurmi Software. Meanwhile, a growing base of Service Providers counts on it for their UCaaS, taking their customer to the cloud and granting them a unique customer experience.
Broadsoft recent acquisition is a new piece of this path with Cisco – one we’re excited to walk together. Some of our apps have been operating on Broadsoft platforms for years now, and Imagicle Call Recording has already obtained official Broadsoft certification. Meanwhile, we’ve started using the experience we gained on HCS to improve the user management through advanced directories and LDAP module.
In short, this year’s event confirmed the usefulness and necessity of our current work:
an exclusive Attendant Console almost ready for BroadWorks, enriched with features specifically designed to improve the user experience(even more fundamental since the Broadsoft“thick client” will be dropped off starting from the next platform release – version 23);
flexible work tools, such as a Digital Fax functioning on BroadWorks for both incoming and outgoing faxes, filling some gaps in the native capabilities;
enriched reporting tools to get all the information needed;
on-demand and always-on call recording features directly integrated with UC-One Communicator;
Moreover, thanks to Imagicle Hotel Services available on Cisco GPL, we enable Cisco HCS and other Cisco UC platforms to be adopted in the hospitality market by providing all the missing features and complete integration with 100+ of PMS’s. Since Jazz Fusion is outside of Cisco’s strategic focus for the BroadSoft portfolio integration, and Cisco decided to sell technology, staff, and operations of BroadSoft Hospitality, Service Providers can take immediate advantage of Imagicle experience and apps with Cisco platforms addressing the needs of the hospitality market.
Finally, service providers(sorry, but as a Biz Dev Manager of Service Provider I have a tendency to keep them in mind) can benefit from the contact with just one vendor by reducing the impact on the required technical skills, and can interact with a single partner able to find a solution suitable for any platform.
Well, here we are. These are the main news that came out during this intense Floridian week.
We leave Miami with a clear idea: to keep our feet on the ground, but look very carefully towards the clouds.