Business VoIP Featured Article

Tessler Details Plans for BroadSoft, Cisco Product Integrations

April 19, 2018

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Cisco is holding its Collaboration Summit this week in Phoenix. This is the same city in which it announced plans to acquire BroadSoft about six months ago.

Yet Cisco mentioned BroadSoft only once – to note that former BroadSoft leader Michael Tessler was in the audience – during yesterday’s opening keynotes. But then, the Cisco-BroadSoft deal closed only a couple months ago. And a later session yesterday featured Tessler and Tom Puorro, vice president and general manager of unified communications for Cisco’s Technology Group, talking about the plans to bring together the BroadSoft and Cisco solutions.

Tessler, who heads up the Cloud Calling effort at Cisco, said he and his group are focused on the following four priorities:

• Delivering a broad and differentiated portfolio that addresses businesses of all sizes and employs various channels. That will include the former BroadSoft’s communications service provider channel, and Cisco’s distributor and value-added reseller enterprise channel.

• Providing solutions that are easy to sell and buy. The company’s Flex Plan, which was recently enhanced, allows customers to buy something once, and Cisco keeps it current with addition of new feature functionality over time.

• Offering flexible and graceful evolution that allows customers “to jump on our path from wherever they are in the journey,” Tessler said.

• Maintaining a global platform that’s secure and reliable

The current Cisco Cloud Calling portfolio today features a collection of solutions.

• That includes Cisco’s HCS, which Tessler noted is for mid market to large enterprise customers, is offered via a service provider channel, and is co-branded.

• The BroadSoft UC-One solution, meanwhile, can address all segments, supports SMB and mid-market bundled solutions, and is service provider-branded and offered via the service provider channel.

• And Cisco Webex Calling (previously called Spark calling) is a Cisco-branded solution offered by the company’s service provider and VAR channels. It’s for the small to mid market in North America and large/global future.

The plan is to allow any size organization to leverage these solutions, said Tessler. Tessler also said his team is looking at how it can use HCS and align that for single calling strategy.

There are lots of users on HCS, he said, so they want to keep that going. So Tessler and his team are meeting with customers to understand where they’re using HCS.

Cisco also intends to enhance the HCS experience. For example, he said, it is looking at integrating the mobile capabilities found in BroadSoft’s solutions to HCS. Mobile integration and international dialing are two areas in which BroadSoft “really shines,” Tessler said.

The company will continue to support Communications Manager for on-premises deployments. And Cisco Webex Calling will evolve to inherit hosted PBX functions and other things from BroadSoft, he added.

Meanwhile, Cisco will continue to deliver BroadSoft UC-One through service provider partners, he said. Long-term plans call for sunsetting BroadSoft Team-One and replacing it with Webex Teams, which have federation, allowing anyone to join. His group will also “slowly integrate” Cisco conferencing into UC-One.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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