UCaaS Round-Up (Tidbits 2443)

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

UCaaS Round-Up (Tidbits 2443)

Nextiva, a Broadsoft powered ITSP, announced at their user conference that it has released a new UC&C or Workplace Comms platform that they created internally named NextOS. Nextiva has 100K SMB customers. It is surprising that they didn't make an SD-WAN announcement, similar to Vonage Biz's SmartWAN or TelePacific's UC-X with SD-WAN options.

When asked if this wasn't just a wrapper around Broadsoft's UC-One or other packages, Nextiva replied, "NextOS was completely imagined and developed in-house."

This follows Broadsoft's own announcements about Hub, Team-One and CC-One. This is BSFT's response to Slack, a real-time messaging and collaboration app now at 4 million users.

"BroadSoft Business includes three core applications: UC-One, Team-One, CC-One, with BroadSoft Hub providing contextual intelligence across the entire platform so users can access the information and apps they need in one place," press release states. "Built into BroadSoft Business are bOpen, bMobile and bSecure capabilities that can enable service providers to deliver carrier-class security and reliability; the openness for businesses to be able to integrate their favorite business apps (CRM, email, calendars, Twitter, etc.); and full mobility to connect advanced unified communication and collaboration (UCC) capabilities to a user`s mobile devices." I'm not certain if this is BroadWorks add-ons or if you can only get this via BroadCloud. The difference being that BroadWorks is run by the VoIP Provider and BroadCloud is the white-label service that Broadsoft operates for the provider.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Elka Popova wrote, ""BroadSoft's share of the global hosted IP telephony and UCC services market is 41 percent, which confirms BroadSoft's market leadership." With 15 million cloud lines, "BroadSoft cloud PBX/UCaaS installed base 3x greater than closest competitor Cisco and 10x greater than RingCentral." The "cloud line" is defined by Popova as "The BroadSoft installed base is hosted IP telephony seats, fully-loaded UCaaS seats and business VoIP lines." Still don't know if they include SIP trunks in that number because 3 million of those would be WIND and XO trunks then. And that woould skew UCaaS/HPBX penetration. It does look impressive in a graph:


Microsoft previewed Teams, which is its answer to Slack. It is currently only available to subscribers of Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans.

Meanwhile Cisco introduced a "flex plan" for Spark that lets businesses choose cloud, on-premises or hybrid services in a single contract. That includes Spark Meetings, which is also a Slack competitor.

Slack is attracting its own ecosystem that allows companies to integrate other functions to Slack beyond comms. Slingr turns Slack into a task manager. Other scripts can turn Slack into a CRM with Slack's user interface. IDEA2 and other companies like the user interface and the open API on which they can add functionality to an app people already like and use on desks and on phones.

Interesting that these folks are rolling out more complex platforms at a time when Verizon is rolling out One Talk which simplifies the whole UCaaS thing for small business. It's my experience that most businesses don't want complicated (hence, Slack!) and most users want simple (think Facetime). Without user adoption, this is wasted expense.

Want another example? Salesforce CRM at $99 per user per month but only a couple of people on the sales team use it actively. There will be managers who don't utilize the dashboard or coach to the activity in the system. Despite how integrated the SF ecosystem can be, it isn't worthwhile unless the users -- your employees -- are using it and benefiting from it! Same goes for any software, especially UCaaS (which is morphing again from Hosted PBX to UCaaS to UC&C and WC&C).

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