There continues to be more and more applications of Web 2.0 tools and approaches emerging for the enterprise as the possibilities are getting sorted out. Last week, I spoke with Francis Hopkins, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at BroadSoft and Mike Lauricella, Director of BroadSoft Xtended. BroadSoft is one of largest providers of VoIP software to telecommunication companies. BroadSoft is one of the leaders in the migration from legacy telecom networks to IP-based communications through their VoIP application platform, BroadWorks. To date, nearly 300 telecom, cable and broadband providers in 56 countries make use of BroadSoft’s technology to deliver voice and video calling to businesses and consumers. BroadSoft’s participation is often behind the scenes and they traditionally have sold their services to large companies.
Now they are introducing a new set of services through the BroadSoft Xtended initiative that brings together the carrier-grade BroadWorks voice applications with Web 2.0 applications through mashups. They are also opening up application creation to third party developers through the BroadSoft Xtended Developers Program, another smart move. The developers can then sell the applications to the enterprise. Enterprise IT can also develop their own applications. This new Web 2.0 initiative will help to integrate communications services and business applications. It will also bring BroadSoft’s name further into the marketplace. They are now targeting the long tail of the market by making these applications available directly to consumers and not going through their traditional customers and channel, the large telecoms.
Salesforce.com and ACT! are among the companies launching product taking advantage of this BroadSoft Xtended VoIP integration with their applications. With salesforce.com the new application allows users to click–to-dial from within salesforce.com, transfer calls, and automatically record call times/dates so less manual work is required. Other partner mashup applications to be announced include: IBM with Lotus Notes; Microsoft and Outlook integration; Simulscribe (voice to email transcription); and Facebook click-to-dial. The Facebook click-to-dial widget allows you to place a Click 2 Message button on your Facebook profile. A friend can then contact you by inputting their phone number. This is open for use by anyone with a US phone number. Many of the other applications are free to the 6,000,000 people making calls on a BroadWorks switch.
William Stofega and Elisabeth Rainge of IDC wrote about the salesforce.com integration, saying “with the ever-increasing number of enterprises adopting IP-based communication systems, the opportunity to integrate business and communications applications represents a revolutionary step in creating a ‘frictionless’ business process.” (see their paper, BroadSoft and Salesforce.com Team Up to Mash Up). This is what many of the mashup efforts are targeting. This move represents another important component to the enterprise 2.0 transformation.