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Cisco Redefines Unified Communications as a Service


November 13, 2018 - 3 Comments

A little over a year ago, I went to a Cisco board meeting. I was presenting a proposal to acquire BroadSoft for a sum of approximately USD $1.9B. In the meeting, Cisco board members combed through the detail of my presentation. As you would expect, they asked a lot of questions, as part of our standard due diligence process:

  • We are the market leader in enterprise telephony and unified communications! Do we need to buy BroadSoft?
  • We could build a cloud solution of our own! Do we need to acquire one?

I knew that the answers to the questions I was being asked were all positive. Yes, we have a commanding share of the on-premises and hosted calling and UC, but the transition to cloud was happening fast. BroadSoft had a comprehensive and scalable cloud PBX solution. It perfectly complemented the hosted solution we already had for large enterprises. We could have built a solution, but what appealed to me were the excellent relationships BroadSoft enjoyed with over 600 of the world’s leading service providers. The BroadSoft leadership team shared our vision for how, together with our partners, we would be able to quickly develop new solutions that would deliver greater value for our customers.

Thankfully, I got the support of the Cisco leadership team to go ahead with the acquisition. Since February, we’ve been working together to figure out how best to integrate the two companies and take our combined solutions to market.

Today, at Cisco BroadSoft Connections in Miami Florida, we have taken a significant step in our journey together. We made our first major cloud calling and UC announcement since the acquisition closed. A new cloud calling option, Cisco BroadCloud Calling, is available in the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan.

Cisco BroadCloud Calling provides full enterprise calling and PBX features from BroadSoft’s industry-leading cloud calling solution. Through the Flex Plan, customers will be able to subscribe for some or all of their users. Webex Teams is included, providing a complete collaboration solution with calling, group messaging, content sharing and creation, and meetings.

The solution supports a wide range of Cisco IP Phones and comes with the Cisco Calling App – a calling soft client for desktop and mobile devices.

Want advanced meetings capabilities with that? The Cisco BroadCloud Flex Plan has you covered:

  • Make use of the full power of the Webex platform by adding Webex Meetings alongside your calling subscription.
  • Want your teams to work together even more effectively? Webex Room systems and our new huddle space devices can be added to your solution.

The result? A comprehensive team unified communications and collaboration solution.

The Cisco BroadCloud Flex Plan will be available from service providers. They will add their own direct inward dialing, PSTN calling, emergency dialing services – and more – in a single consolidated bill.

Cisco BroadCloud Flex Plan is initially available through six service providers in the United States. We will expand to support global locations across 19 countries in 2018, with more coming through 2019 and beyond.

Our partners are excited by this expanded opportunity:

“Orange is delighted to continue to partner with Cisco in the growing mid-market and large enterprise Collaboration market segment. We like the simplicity of the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan subscription model. It allows us to offer one package that includes all the essential communications ingredients needed by these enterprises. Our customers no longer want to deal with the complexity and costs of on-premises technology, and many are ready to move their technology to the cloud. We now have an opportunity to help them through this transition, while providing them with the financial and business advantages of the Cisco leading edge solution set.” Sam Nchinda, VP Orange Business Services.

“We are thrilled to offer the global cloud calling functionality from Cisco BroadCloud along with the industry-recognized Webex Teams and Webex Meetings. This expands our portfolio to accommodate all customers with their transition to the Cloud.” Chris Ludwig, Senior Vice President of Collaboration, NWN.

This is a game-changing announcement for Unified Communications as a Service. We have given Webex Teams an enterprise-grade cloud PBX and made comprehensive team collaboration tools easy to buy as part of a simple user subscription.

We are really excited about this new offer. Our partners love it, and you’ll love it too.

This is the first-phase in our strategy to deliver compelling calling and UC services from the cloud. Learn more about the Cisco BroadCloud Calling solution and read about the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan, and watch this space for more announcements coming in 2019.



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3 Comments

  1. Great news and great video!

  2. Great news! Congratulations to this new Cisco Broadsoft union.

  3. Congratulations to the Cisco-Broadsoft team on the launch of Cisco BroadCloud Calling with integration of WebEx Teams! What resonates with me beyond the solution itself, which is well positioned to address the growing mid-market UCaaS opportunity , is the opening of your blog and the realization that a) Cisco needed to continue to invest, despite a strong leadership position, to meet new evolving market requirements, and b) Overcame the default position of most organizations - to build their own ("not invented here" syndrome). Well done!