BroadSoft sells its software to service providers, which then sell access to the software platform to enterprises. The company says its technology combines voice, video, instant messaging (IM), text, and presence into one package that can be accessed by end users on regular desktop or laptop computers, smartphones, and tablet devices.
BroadTouch has some unique features, noted Leslie Ferry, vice president of marketing for the publicly traded company. "If I'm on my laptop and I wanted to send someone a text message, why do I need to turn and pick up my mobile phone to send that text message? Through the Business Communicator interface, it would be able to send a text message from your laptop," Ferry said.
BroadTouch Business Communicator enters a market that is poised for growth. According to a December 2011 survey of IT decision makers at enterprises in the U.S. and the U.K., conducted by Cohen Research Group and commissioned by BroadSoft, 62% of respondents said they plan to expand their use of unified communications technologies, with the first priority being increased use of video conferencing. Other high-priority technologies, in order of importance, include IM, voice mail, video calling, and group collaboration.
[ Desktop videoconferencing is set to take a key role in the future of collaboration tools. Read more at Desktop Videoconferencing Ready For Wide Use. ]
In addition, 73 percent of respondents say mobile devices will eventually replace traditional office desk phones, with 60 percent expecting that transition to happen within the next five years and 25 percent saying it will take as few as two years.
The Cohen Group study identified mobile network operators (MNOs) as the service providers in the best position to capitalize on the trend toward mobile devices in the enterprise. Among other factors, MNOs continue to upgrade their network infrastructure to transition to 4G speeds from 3G. However, the report also identified technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, and others as potential competitors to MNOs in providing UC services.
"Respondents believe that their mobile service provider could deliver a complete set of integrated unified communications services, but they also cite Microsoft (26%), Google (24%), land line providers (17%), and IBM (9%) as entities that could do so as well," the report states.
Besides supporting a broad array of end-point devices, the BroadTouch Business Communicator supports a wide range of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple’s Mac OS for desktops and iOS for mobile, and Google’s Android for smartphones and tablets.
The BroadTouch offering makes it easier for MNOs to hold onto their enterprise customers by delivering UC to them in one integrated package, said Ferry. "That obviously enables the telecom service provider to provide all of the communication services to their end users versus an end user needing to obtain their services from multiple providers," she said.
The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.