UC Insights 2018: Powering the Partner Community for 2018 with BroadSoft
We talk to Taher Behbehani as he shares BroadSoft's insights for the future of UC
BroadSoft is an innovator in the technology and communications space. Their aim over recent years has been to develop and enhance their portfolio in a way that empowers customers to take advantage of a truly unified communications platform, complete with everything from workstream tools, to best-in-class conferencing.
As we move into 2018, BroadSoft is one of the many UC vendors with plenty to look forward to in the year ahead. The CDMO for BroadSoft, Taher Behbehani, sat down with me to provide some thoughts, insights, and tips for our UC Insights series.
What Has Been Significant for BroadSoft in 2017?
It’s safe to say that 2017 has been a year of disruption and transformation for companies in the Unified Communications industry. New technologies like AI and IoT have entered the market, while vendors around the world continue to consolidate to provide their channel partners and customers with the ultimate end-to-end solution. I asked Taher which changes he considered to be most significant for BroadSoft over the last year.
“I think perhaps the biggest thing is the migration to the cloud. We’ve been talking about this move for a while now, but now we’re starting to see the changes occurring in a very tangible and real way. I think this is going to be an astronomical evolution of the marketplace, and it’s also something that’s likely to continue dominating the minds of CIOs for any enterprise, across all industries.”
In terms of what BroadSoft has to offer their service providers, the brand is currently focusing on the true power of Unified Communications as a driver for revenue and growth.
“If we look at the market, top-line revenue for the industry is incredibly significant. Our message right now is that Unified Communications is officially here, it’s ready, and the demand is there. What channel partners need is the ability to take solutions to market, and that’s what we’re focusing on at BroadSoft.”
How Are You Empowering Partners and Customers?
One of the ways that BroadSoft has really differentiated itself in the marketplace during 2017, is by developing a new channel partner programme known as “Powered by BroadSoft”. I asked Taher to explain how this solution is giving the brand the strength it needs to really empower its customers.
“Today, the technology in the UC market is becoming simpler, but selling that technology has grown to be more difficult. Many channel partners are used to selling devices and data plans, but in the years ahead they’re going to need to shift to start selling solutions that really help businesses by tying into the workflow and adding additional value – it’s a whole mindset that needs to be changed”
According to Taher, the relationship between partners and service providers has changed with the growth of cloud solutions. It’s now more important than ever for partners to make sure that their customers are having a great user experience, and that they have access to the latest technology out there.
“We decided that we needed to help our partners and channel. We created a plan that involved assistance for selling to end-users, onboarding end-users, and improving end-user adoption. Over the last year and a half, we’ve been focusing more on that “selling” part, and moving forward, we’ll be looking more at the onboarding part of things, and how we can get people to access the strategies from BroadSoft that they need.”
The “Powered by BroadSoft” strategy isn’t just a good idea either – the company has already seen results, for instance Taher told me that:
“We’ve noticed that the partners that engage with us throughout the selling process decrease their time to market by up to 35%, and increase sales revenue by up to 31%.”
What Challenges and Opportunities Do You Predict for 2018?
While BroadSoft appears to have a solid plan in place for moving into 2018, it’s worth noting that there’s both challenges and opportunities that any UC company will need to face as we enter the new year. I asked Taher what he’s predicting for 2018.
“I think one of the challenges is our own industry. Now that we’re going through this massive transition into the cloud, we need to adapt our own organisations and emphasis around traditional options for selling solutions and products that realign with the needs of customers. This is hard because changing the momentum of legacy environments requires a lot of determination and effort.”
Taher also noted that increasing competition could be another challenge. “We have a lot of players in the market, and traditional vendors who are likely to start coming up with new solutions. This creates a competitive landscape for everyone to get involved with. There’s also a lot of disruptive players out there who might come and change the market in terms of pricing and solutions too.”
When it comes to opportunities in 2018, Taher believes that partners and service providers have noticed that they need to move their marketing expense from:
“the heavy-handed B2C side, into the B2B space. I think there’s a mindfulness within larger organisations that legacy systems may need to be realigned and replaced, and this is helping to drive adoption.”
For BroadSoft, adoption of value-added UC applications seems to be growing, and that’s a positive thing for the industry.
What is BroadSoft Doing to Address Privacy and Security?
One of the most common concerns to emerge in the UC space for 2018, has been centred around options for privacy and security in the marketplace. With GDPR just around the corner and an increase in regulations impacting the way people do business, many brands are rethinking their strategies. I asked Taher what BroadSoft have been doing to prepare for the new year.
“We have a chief security officer inside our company for every region who specialises in looking at issues regarding security, the localisation of data, and the ability to provide best-in-class protection with our services. Managing security and privacy is a top-of-mind concern for us today. Because we have cloud presence in many different countries, we’ve been strategising around how we can adhere to regional requirements, while keeping our competitive edge.”
Taher finished our conversation by saying that the way BroadSoft works with channels and partners has been critical to their success, and they’ve been cautious about streamlining the way they go to market over the last year.
“We’re taking our products to market in a powerful way, and that’s something that everyone needs to think about right now.”