Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BroadSoft Connections - Day 2

Day 2 zoomed by, and I'm going to hit the high points with photos and some brief commentary. Things started with Show Me The Apps, which was a great showcase for how Web 2.0 style apps are being developed and integrated into the BroadWorks platform. Most of these were oriented to consumers and targeted at hot spaces such as Google Apps or the iPhone. This stuff sure is fun and sexy, but I'm not so sure carriers will make money there. Others like Tom Howe (the mashup competition winner)focus on business applications that solve specific problems and have identifiable value for subscribers. That's where I think carriers will want to look a bit more closely.

Regardless, I think this is a great direction for BroadSoft, and it shows the power and value of an open platform that can give any type of carrier a competitive advantage serving either business or residential subscribers. And that, of course, may be what really makes this work. As our home and work lives become increasingly blurred, carriers are going to need offerings that cater to our overall communications needs - not one thing for home and another for work.

After this session, I spent time at the Solutions Showcase, getting hands-on demos from both BroadSoft partners, and their own offerings. Otherwise, the day was taken up with meetings, and oh, blogging!

I should also add that I was briefed in advance on an announcement that BroadSoft released Tuesday morning about a partnership with Microsoft for an integrated hosted SMB Unified Communications solution. It's an interesting item in that it allows for a completely hosted offering with BroadWorks providing the hosted softswitch/UC solution, integrated with Microsoft's HMC offering - Hosted Messaging and Collaboration. The idea here is that this should be very attractive to SMBs who lack the infrastructure and/or resources to manage these pieces themselves. It gives them lots of flexibility in terms of scaling the services up or down, and adding features that will work seamlessly with their everyday Microsoft business applications.

So, here are some photos from both days, starting with Day 2...

Show Me The Apps






Now for some Day 1 photos....


Showing us how the Xtend platform can be used to build community - right in our midst...


Very slick video before the opening keynotes - fast-paced and highly visual - getting you in the mood for the new world of apps and their Xtend platform experience...


Mike Tessler (very tricky lighting - apologies for the poor photo - best I could get). Lots of good messages from Mike, with the driving theme for carriers being the need to open up your networks and see the value of what the Web developer community can bring.


Dr. James Canton (again, apologies for the poor photo quality). Interesting speaker - futurist - great look into how the mobile web will evolve and change not just communications, but the essence of business itself. Good food for thought about how important collaboration is in this new world, and how there is a great opportunity here for carriers to "lead their customers into the future".


Walt Mossberg - boy, what a treat. He talked mostly about how important the iPhone and Android are to the future of communications, and I couldn't agree with him more. I especially liked his take on the iPhone really being a mobile PC - the phone is just incidental. I've been of that view from Day 1 and as I don't hear many people talking this way about the iPhone, it was great to hear validation from someone like Mr. Mossberg. Plus, he's an avid Red Sox fan, so he's way up there on my list!


Solutions Showcase, including the 24 Hour Communications Experience. This was a guided tour walking us through how BroadWorks applications can touch our lives at every stage of our waking/working/walking day. I thought it was a great way to make all of this very real for carriers, who I believe need to see this big picture and how they are no longer in the business of just selling phone services.




Thanks, Tom...


Finally - what a great view - wish you were here...


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