Strengthening its foray into software, a domain mostly dominated by its arch rivals, the networking giant Cisco has announced its plan to acquire BroadSoft, a US-based provider of unified communications software and services for $1.9 billion. This is the seventh acquisition announced so far this year by Cisco, which earlier this month said it had reached its 200th acquisition.
The acquisition which is expected to close during the first quarter of calendar year 2018 will will give Cisco an edge in creating portfolio of cloud-based collaboration tools to target the unified communication as a service (UCaaS) market. Specially telecom firms which can provide integrated mobile, video, voice and other forms of electronic communications to their small and medium-size business customers on top of Cisco UCaaS services.
BroadSoft is one of the leader in cloud PBX, unified communications, team collaboration and contact center solutions. Its cloud business applications and platforms are available through more than 450 service providers in 80 countries. The vendor currently has over 19 million business subscribers.
Cisco deepens software bet
Some of the top telcos like AT&T and Verizon integrate BroadSoft's platform to provide their own solutions and services. For example, Verizon's One Talk and AT&T's Collaborate leverage BroadSoft's multitenant platform, BroadWorks. Cisco said in a statement that it will combine BroadSoft's open interface and standards-based cloud voice and contact center solutions delivered through service provider partners with Cisco meetings, hardware and services portfolio.
According to experts, with BroadSoft, Cisco will be able to embed Spark in a wider market and cast a larger net through BroadSoft entrenched customers as they work with SMEs and SMBs. Among BroadSoft's services are applications for cloud PBX (private branch exchange), unified communications, team collaboration, contact centers, and business app integration. Its flagship products include BroadWorks, an application platform hosted on-premises by service providers, and BroadCloud, its cloud-based platform for service providers "looking for an accelerated time-to-market with business ready services."
According to recent data from the analyst firm Gartner, on-premises-based telephony system shipments decreased by 5.2 percent in 2017, while cloud-based telephony licenses grew by 17.9 percent. The firm predicts that cloud-based telephony shipments will pass those for on-premises-based systems by 2020. Until the acquisition closes next year, Cisco and BroadSoft will continue to operate as separate organizations. Afterward, BroadSoft's employees are expected to join Cisco's Unified Communications Technology Group, said Cisco.