BroadSoft - New and Improved

Am pretty sure it was George Carlin who noted how much of an oxymoron "new and improved" is. It's classic American marketing-speak, and is right up there with another of his favorites, "jumbo shrimp". The two words just look dumb together, but they roll off the tongue so easily. Walk down any aisle of any grocery store, and it won't take long to find some product touting how "new and improved" it is. I sure miss George, and he was just as funny (among other things) mocking life as an old guy in his 70's as he was back in the 70's, teaching us how to relax with language and to notice the absurdities of everyday life.

So how do we get from comedy icon to BroadSoft? I dunno. Am definitely not poking fun, but after looking over their new website, that goofy term "new and improved" just popped into my head. But I really do mean it - as Dame Edna would say - in the nicest of ways. Enough comedy, let's talk about BroadSoft.

Am sure many of you got notice about their new website the other day. I really like it, so let's come back to "new and improved". You can't possibly be both at the same time, but the ideas sound great mashed together. However, if you parse the words out, and say new as well as improved, then you have something, and that brings us to BroadSoft.

Let's talk about what's new first. The biggest new is the look and feel of their main website. It's closely tied to the company's overall re-launch, so I guess we're looking at BroadSoft 2.0 here. The quickest way to get a sense of that is to watch an intro video on the home page by Leslie Ferry, their VP of Marketing. Her main message is that much like the way BroadSoft helps its customers become more effective communicators and users of new technologies, so are they now, and this new website will show you how.

The other important new feature is their corporate blog. It's called Broadband Ignite, and will feature regular posts from their key executives. There's nothing new about a corporate blog, and there a lot of caveats that come with this concept, but I do like how they're making this a key part of the new BroadSoft. Time will tell how regularly they post content, as well as the utility of that content, but I applaud the initiative. So far so good, as there's a nice post there from yesterday by CEO Mike Tessler about why the time is right for video - I couldn't agree more. On a personal note I can't complain, as my blog is on their blog roll, and I'll be returning the favor here.

I'm a long-time fan of BroadSoft, and if you've spent time on their previous website, I'm sure you'll agree that's what the biggest improvement is here. There was always a ton of good content there, but I found it too sprawling and not that tightly focused. The new site is much cleaner and crisper. The layout and groupings are more intuitive and it's easier to navigate. I really like how the customers are prominently featured - to me, that's the best way to show how established you've become in the market.

While much of the content is familiar, it's presented in a more interesting way, and organized more cleanly. The graphics are stronger, as are the colors. And keeping with the spirit of 2.0, there are lots of handy references/icons for RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. As it should be, right? After all, their tagline is "Innovation calling", so you might as well use the tools too.

Note to self - I do like the tagline, but it's a bit telco-centric, don't you think? Web 2.0 - and certainly their Xtended community - they're not so much into "calling" as "communicating", right? We only use the telephone to call, everything else is about communicating - text, chat, video, etc. Telephony is still very central to communicating - no doubt - but I think that focus changes a bit as we edge closer to the world of 2.0.

Enough on that - let's focus on news at hand. I'd love to hear what others think about what BroadSoft is doing here. It's both new as well as improved - at least to me. Just don't say it's "new and improved" - unless you're channelling George Carlin really well!