As I usually do, here’s a quick first take post about a pretty important conference from some pretty important players. Day 1 of these events is usually a firehose of updates, and a lot of frantic note-taking, photo-taking, tweeting and running around. No time for reflection, but while it’s still happening, I like to get something out for readers to chew on. I’ll have one or two more thoughtful posts coming over the next few days, so watch for those.
While I’m still in the moment, here are some quick first impressions of BroadSoft Connections, followed by a few photos for the vibe here.
Cloud is definitely the story here - that was made clear from the very start, with the message being “how do you accelerate your move to the cloud?”. No surprise here, but for service providers selling either BroadSoft of Cisco to businesses, this is the end game. Yes, they will continue to support premise-based deployments and hybrid models, but that’s not where the growth is.
Speaking of “they”, things certainly started off being about BroadSoft, especially to mark their 20th anniversary - and that’s pretty cool - but as the day went on, it was more and more about Cisco. Again, no surprise, and that’s just how this is going to roll going forward.
Yes, it’s complicated. A lot of time spent by the speakers about how the integration is going, both for the businesses and offerings. The deeper the dives, the more intricate things become, and despite all the talk about wanting to simplify things for customers, this is going to take time. Hopefully not too long, as that could undermine some very good technology here.
We learned more about why Cisco bought BroadSoft, and part of it is validation for how important voice and calling still is for carriers. Yes, it’s all about data these days, but this is still core to their business - and identity - and that’s a big part of what BroadSoft brings to Cisco. Plus, it’s easy to overlook that voice - especially on a large scale - is harder to do than it looks - and that tends to get lost in all the nextgen buzz around messaging, video, mobility, etc.
All that said, as BroadSoft gets folded deeper into Cisco, they clearly do have a strong end-to-end cloud story for carriers. With all the focus on cloud and software, Cisco still sells plenty of hardware - even headphones now - and that makes it a complete solution to make life easier for IT, and more attractive for carriers to sell.
Finally, we were treated to a fun but thought-provoking keynote from Jason Dorsey. His company does a ton of research on demographics, and it was cool to get some glimpses of what defines all of us in the room - Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and yes, us Boomers. Some great takeaways to help carriers understand how this impacts technology buying decisions, and I sure hope they were listening.
Enough for now - Day 2 is starting now. Check back in a few days for my longer analysis and takeaways for Connections. Time for some photos…
Below - BroadSoft…Cisco… BroadSoft - you get the idea - lots of messaging from both. We’re at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, FL. Sure is nice here - not a cloud in the sky, but inside, a very different story.
Below - Mike Tessler… Chuck Robbins… Scott Hoffpauir - back and forth, yet again. And, just to break up the pattern - keynoter Jason Dorsey - more about him later!