BT Wholesale Partners Broadsoft for Hosted Comms Offering

BT and BroadSoft have announced a five-year agreement, which will allow BT to leverage BroadSoft’s BroadCloud Hosted Unified Communications platform. As part of the agreement, BT Wholesale will become a preferred BroadSoft distributor in the UK to communications providers looking to provide Hosted IP Centrex Services to the indirect channel.

BroadSoft’s technology provides a Hosted IP Centrex platform that will be the foundation of BT Wholesale’s Hosted Communications Services (HCS) portfolio. It allows BT Wholesale to offer communications providers a white label Hosted IP Centrex service, underpinned by Unified Communications applications and PBX features.

Businesses supplied by BT Wholesale’s communications provider customers will benefit by extending their core telephony services, to include applications and features such as high-definition voice; conferencing; smart call handling; instant messaging; presence; cloud call recording; CRM Integration and web collaboration tools such as white board sharing. All of these features and applications will be accessible from one common platform and across multiple fixed and mobile communication devices.

By working with BT Wholesale, communications providers can offer their business customers a Hosted IP Centrex solution which comes complete with telephone numbers; configured IP Phones; headsets; broadband; internet access and Ethernet connectivity. BT Wholesale also provides SIP Trunking, Inbound Services and Hosted Contact Centres as part of its Hosted Communications Services portfolio.

Marc Timmermans, Director Portfolio Development, BT Wholesale said: “Today’s announcement sees BT investing further in its Hosted IP Centrex offering as we see significant opportunities for growth in this market. This new agreement is strategically important to both parties so we are delighted to extend our relationship with BroadSoft to support our existing product and invest in taking this to the next level.

“Hosted Communications Services is a key pillar in BT Wholesale’s strategy and is at the heart of our plans to rapidly expand our indirect channel business. By working with us, communications providers can offer their business customers a complete communications service, whether it be Hosted IP Centrex, SIP Trunking, Contact Centres or Inbound Services, all run, managed and owned by BT.”

Michael Tessler, Chief Executive Officer, BroadSoft (pictured) said: “We are very excited BT Wholesale has selected our BroadCloud platform to power the strategic expansion of its hosted unified communications service. Enterprises throughout the UK are seeking these new communications services to enhance their employee productivity, such as audio, video and web conferencing, instant messaging and presence, and more to ensure their business operates efficiently.”

BT Wholesale has already begun enhancing its existing Hosted IP Centrex service, which includes significant investment in a seamlessly integrated ordering and administration portal, which will be available later this year. This will sit alongside its new Business Portal which will have a brand new look and feel. This portal will be fully branded with the communications provider’s identity and will allow their business customers to manage and configure their own service online, in real-time.

BT Wholesale and BroadSoft will now jointly market and sell the Hosted IP Centrex service, with BroadSoft supporting a number of UK roadshows and events hosted by BT Wholesale throughout 2014.

Comms Business Editor Ian Hunter says that BT Wholesale is late to the party and has a lot of catching up to do in terms of being just one of a number of Broadsoft platform based suppliers in the UK.

"The key to success for any Broadsoft supplier is differentiation as essentially the core service for each operator is exactly the same - that's the fundamental premise behind their offering. Where other operators have secured success is not only in their longevity in the market but by developing their own third party applications that are exclusive to themselves. For example, it will be interesting to see how BT manage SIP trunk security compared to say Broadsoft platform operators such as VanillaIP who also have their own in house developed UBOSS management system and contact centre applications.

Overall the hosted telephony market should however welcome BT to the party as their marketing muscle and brand name will add considerable weight to the overall hosted telephony application proposition for users and that will help grow the market."