Broadsoft Connections Miami wrapup
By Trefor Davies and Bart Coelmont
Big vendor events such as Broadsoft Connections are truly worth attending. Not necessarily for the content – at American events everything is “awesome”, “great” or “the next best thing since Alexander Graham Bell invented the wheel”. It is also worth considering that the better than 5 star luxury of the Diplomat Beach Resort venue is not to be ignored. No for Netaxis it is all about the quality of the people we meet at such events, both existing and future customers.
It may be noted from this previous post that we were in Miami to pitch our LOKI replacement strategy based on our API Orchestrator APIO. There are roughly 60 Broadsoft customers using this portal, all of who need to find an alternative since the announcement of its discontinuation in 2019.
Our booth had interested parties stacked up waiting to talk to us. It was like the holding path at London Heathrow Airport on a Friday evening (other major air transport hubs are available – what’s yours?). We gave so many demos that Bart, our fantastic product manager, didn’t have the time to enjoy the weather or even unpack his swimming shorts. In Florida! Bummer! At Netaxis, we understand our priorities 🙂
Another reason excitement factor, was the fact that this was the first Connections since the Cisco acquisition. Although the show was still named ‘Broadsoft Connections’ Cisco was omni-present. The welcome gift was Cisco branded, Webex marketing was everywhere, the Broadsoft executives now have a Cisco title and even some of the keynotes were presented by Cisco-native speakers. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins even showed up, albeit by video.
Broadsoft and the Broadsoft brand are slowly being integrated into Cisco. No commitments were made regarding a Connections 2019 but it seems likely that there will be an event in one form or another due to its popularity amongst service providers globally.
Perhaps the most important question for Broadsoft users now is what comes next?
- Cisco maintain that nothing dramatically will change on the short term. There are no plans to abandon the Broadsoft service provider channel approach.
- Broadsoft products have traditionally through their Service Provider channel partners thrived in the SMB market segment while Cisco is large Enterprise focused, either directly or through value added distributors and integrators. The plan is to dominate the entire market with the first item on the to do list being a plan for the midmarket. They plan to attract medium to large size enterprises to their UC in the cloud offering.
- Webex is coming. In a future post we will look more closely deeper at both product portfolios, investigate the overlap between both and try to understand how convergence might be achieved. It seems clear that when it comes to online meetings and collaboration Webex meetings (classic Webex) and Webex Teams (former Cisco Spark) will be their dominant play.
- When we say Webex and Spark we are talking Spark Boards and other smart cameras. Cisco has a portfolio of meeting room oriented devices for which there are big plans in 2019.
- Last but not least Cisco want to sell more IP Phones. Historically Cisco phones have been tightly coupled to Cisco calling platforms such as HCS and UCM, using their proprietary SKINNY signalling protocol. Netaxis customers all use Panasonic, Yealink, Polycom or SNOM phones with no Cisco in sight. Enter the Cisco Multi Platform Phones (MPP). These phones look the same as the competition and are tightly integrated with the Broadsoft device management platform. Phones are clearly a low hanging fruit that Cisco are keen to exploit. A strategy that may not go down well with some of the handset vendors that have invested considerable capital in the Broadsoft relationship.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for our thoughts on Cisco product roadmaps.
PS featured image is of the pool party at Broadsoft Connections 2018. You will note that Bart is nowhere to be seen as he was still doing demos to all the customers who preferred to stay indoors and sort their LOKI replacement strategy.