At UC EXPO 2017, I was lucky enough to engage in a range of conversations with experts from the UC space. Not only did I have a chance to listen to presentations from some of the biggest companies in the industry, but I was also fortunate enough to sit down with some of the leaders in the biggest organisations in today’s market.
To discuss the changing nature of BroadCloud, and what it could mean for BroadSoft partners, I sat down with Andy Bannister, Head of BroadCloud Sales UK at BroadSoft for a chat about the latest developments in the company, and the industry on a whole.
What is BroadCloud?
So, before we got into the gritty details surrounding new BroadSoft developments, I was keen to get Andy’s insight into what BroadCloud actually is. In simple terms, BroadCloud is a fully-managed and scalable carrier-class cloud software-as-a-service infrastructure that allows channel partners to quickly and effectively deploy BroadSoft cloud communications solutions.
Today, BroadCloud is available in two different flavours. The first is the original BroadCloud option, known as “BroadCloud Carrier”. “BroadCloud Carrier is the PBX, traditional white-label hosted solutions designed for VARs (value added resellers) to take the solutions to market.”
The biggest benefit of BroadCloud Carrier, is that BroadSoft host the BroadWorks systems and cloud infrastructure for their partners, making the entire solution simpler when it comes to delivering services to end-users.
However, this option is a one-size-fits-all development. This is something that BroadSoft feel have suited most of their customers. However, the new Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering is a new flavour of BroadCloud, designed to give channel partners more freedom with their BroadCloud platform .
Introducing BroadCloud PaaS
BroadCloud PaaS arrived because traditional service providers were having various challenges updating, innovating, and maintaining their current solutions. Service providers are constantly facing problems with time-to-market issues and budget scarcity. In an attempt to transfer over to an OPEX model, it’s important for companies to consider cloud-based, turnkey platforms that offer more flexibility at their core.
The BroadCloud PaaS solution helps traditional service providers to remain up-to-date. The delivery platform adds a managed cloud infrastructure to the BroadWorks system, while giving partners a chance to fully customise their solutions for their own unique requirements. Moreover BroadSoft is spending a lot of money on R&D to innovate and add new cutting edge features. BroadCloud PaaS makes it easy for service providers to quickly access this work and add new capabilities to their offer and stay competitive.
“With Platform as a Service, we do all the heavy lifting, but we also offer API access. That means instead of having pre-prescribed carriers, service providers can choose to access three or four different connections. They could pick their own SIP trunks, analytics, recording solutions, IT stacks, and more.”
Basically, the development of the PaaS BroadCloud delivery platform offers benefits by opening the doors to the platform and allowing partners to bolt on whatever they need. BroadSoft manage the platform, and they even provide a PaaS toolkit to their service providers. In BroadCloud carrier, you’d need to phone a support centre if you had a problem. However, with PaaS, you have a toolkit that you can use to go in and look at problems with APIs and connections.
BroadCloud and Building a Solution that Works for You
BroadSoft have always been a company with a strong focus on their partner experience. Cost-effectively, their PaaS solution could be very appealing to companies of all shapes and sizes. It allows you to create your own environment, in a marketplace where solutions such as this haven’t been available until now. The platform is still multi-tenanted, but it’s up to you to decide how you want to organise your users.
With the PaaS solution, you have your own BroadWorks service, and you can basically change as much or as little as you like about the platform. According to Andy, “In any pre-prescribed service from BroadWorks, a partner has made decisions about the things they want, such as language packs.”
“The difference with the PaaS offering, is that you’ll have the ability to tweak or change whatever you want.”
“It’s platform as a service, but not entirely as you might expect it. When someone signs up with BroadCloud, they essentially become a full BroadSoft service provider. They can create their own catalogues, their own pricing solutions and more. With PaaS, that partner can become completely self-sufficient. With other models, you’re frequently sending spreadsheets back to make orders and more. The PaaS offering is giving partners everything they need to thrive.”
Providing another Option
At the end of the day, the BroadCloud PaaS solution is all about offering resellers another option. Thanks to BroadSoft, there’s a platform available now that can remove much of the costs of ownership, and deliver flexibility in the form of connecting apps that couldn’t connect before. The PaaS for channel partners is another option that offers carrier-class communications to end-users.
BroadCloud comes with everything you might expect from a similar solution, including mobile convergence, apps, and collaboration – all offered on an OPEX charge, so you can reduce your budget, “without having to worry about keeping the lights on.”
BroadCloud have already begun to see interest in the UK. They’re giving their customers options, and satisfying more of the market, rather than just appealing to the people with the largest budgets.