Cisco Buys BroadSoft, Now What?
Cisco yesterday announced its intent to acquire BroadSoft for approximately $1.9 billion in a bid to accelerate its cloud communications efforts. The deal instantly makes Cisco the market leader in the UCaaS space, as BroadSoft's BroadWorks and BroadCloud offerings are used by the majority of service providers delivering UCaaS.
Cisco's move raises some interesting questions, and potentially creates some market disruptions. Cisco had been in the middle of its own cloud transformation, based on Spark, its team collaboration application. Spark, fully hosted by Cisco, is available as a SaaS offering providing team messaging, meeting, and UC functionality, including the ability to leverage Cisco's hybrid services to integrate it with existing on-premises or hosted deployments of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) or Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS).
In addition, Cisco HCS partners are able to build contact center solutions based on HCS. Over the last year Cisco has built out the telephony and video offerings to turn Spark into a robust UCaaS offering. Now, with the acquisition of BroadSoft, Cisco adds two new platforms, with lots of overlapping features, to its portfolio.
BroadSoft's white-labeled BroadCloud and packaged BroadWorks software offerings deliver a similar set of features compared with what's currently offered by Cisco. It includes unified communications, meetings, team messaging, and contact center. The primary difference is in terms of focus. BroadSoft sells its wares to service providers who use it to deliver their own UCaaS offerings, whereas Cisco sells direct to enterprises, or enables service provider partners to build custom hosted solutions via HCS.
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