Cisco buys major UCaaS player, BroadSoft for $1.9 Billion

Broadsoft provides cloud based unified communications (UCaaS) solution including cloud PBX & team collaboration. It also provides cloud based contact centre (CCaaS) solution. These are the three areas Cisco has been focussing a lot in last couple of years. Cisco has struggled to make a mark in UCaaS segment. This acquisition helps Cisco in this segment significantly. Although it raises many pertinent questions as well.

What happens to Spark? Most important of all! Cisco Spark directly competes with the (UC) product portfolio of Broadsoft. These two products, certainly, don’t complement each other. It’d be interesting to observe the way Cisco positions these two (or only one) in the market.

How would the hybrid story fly? Cisco customers have significant investment in on-premises infrastructure. It’d be interesting to see optionalities to integrate Broadsoft system with on-premises infrastructure. Enterprise grade customers find it easier to first setup a hybrid environment before moving to purely a cloud solution.

Conflict with channel partners? As per Gartner's recent report BroadCloud and BroadWorks offerings compete against one another, leading to channel (partner) conflicts. If that was not enough, now, the two products would compete against Cisco's HCS & Spark. It'd be another interesting area for Cisco to manage.

How would Cisco position the UC products from BroadSoft? Will Cisco be able to fold the BroadSoft UC products into Cisco collaboration suite? Will they migrate the best features of UCaaS products offered by Broadsoft to Spark? Or, they will keep them as different solutions for different size of enterprises?

Unified Communications market is experiencing an interesting churn at the moment. Evolution of this domain is happening in multiple dimensions. Development like this acquisition has significant impact on UC market… only time will reveal the scale and intensity.

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