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VoIP's BroadSoft, IBM to Help CSPs with Telephony Offerings

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February 18, 2009

VoIP's BroadSoft, IBM to Help CSPs with Telephony Offerings

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

Diversifying its portfolio in an area of technology that experts say will grow under broadband deployment initiatives contained in the recently passed economic stimulus bill, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based VoIP application company launched a new product for communications service providers.

Officials at BroadSoft Inc. say they’re joining IBM in unveiling a standards-based application infrastructure designed to hasten the creation of new Web 2.0-based services.
Specifically, BroadSoft (News - Alert) says that through its so-called “Xtended” program, CSPs will no longer need to rely on proprietary vendor solutions and custom systems integration to develop integrated voice applications. Now, company officials say, they can use cost-saving services that extend the value of their telephony offering into mainstream business and consumer applications.
According to David Walters, director of business development at BroadSoft, it’s critical in this competitive landscape that providers make themselves unique through the integration of rich multimedia and Web 2.0-oriented services.
“Voice is a powerful capability that creates endless opportunities for service innovation, but has historically been closed to mainstream developers and difficult to rapidly integrate into carrier-grade services,” Walters said. “BroadSoft and IBM (News - Alert) are giving providers the agility they need to meet new customer demands and to quickly develop and deploy advanced, revenue-generating communications solutions that are most important to their customers.”
The companies’ timing is good. Yesterday, as TMCnet reported, President Barack Obama signed into law a $787 billion economic stimulus package that includes about $7.2 billion in broadband deployment initiatives – efforts that could bring BroadSoft’s Xtended program to even more businesses.
In fact, according to one expert – Craig Settles, president and founder of Oakland-based – BroadSoft’s main area of focus, VoIP, will see wider use once the stimulus package’s funds are deployed.
Backed by broadband networks, hospitals and businesses, especially, will view VoIP as easier to install and manage than traditional PBX (News - Alert) networks, and will be cheaper overall for general use, according to Settles.
“Broadband networks that incorporate WiMAX (News - Alert) or other wireless access will likely result in a lot of VoIP usage,” Settles told TMCnet in an interview. “If you have fiber providing 20, 30 or more megabits per second of backhaul for the wireless component, using VoIP makes all the sense in the world.”
BroadSoft and IBM are old colleagues in the telecommunications space. Five years ago, the companies forged what they call “a common mission” to help CSPs harness the power of Web 2.0 and new user experiences for their customers. BroadSoft and IBM also share a strong customer base. Now, more than 1,000 CSPs worldwide rely on IBM middleware to run their businesses and the world’s 10 largest CSPs have implemented an IBM SOA solution.
Officials from both companies said today that their technology provides an IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert)-ready application infrastructure, which allows for simplified integration of rich voice applications with Web 2.0, social networking and business process applications.
“The platform offers interfaces that enable providers to extend innovative new services to fixed and mobile end points across both legacy and next-generation networks,” company officials say. “The solution integrates BroadSoft’s VoIP application platform, BroadWorks, and its Xtended Web Services with IBM WebSphere and IBM Rational using IBM’s Service Provider Delivery Framework 3.0.”

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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