BroadSoft, Nextiva, and RingCentral: The Conference Recap
By Jim Lundy
(Aragon Research) – BroadSoft, Nextiva, and RingCentral all held their annual Partner and Customer Conferences last week. I attended all three and all were designed to entice current partners and Customers to embrace their future. Each firm is on a different flight path in their quest to win the enterprise. This blog post summarizes some of the key findings from each of the events.
BroadSoft: Great Event; Muted Reaction to Cisco
The BroadSoft Connections event was well executed and well attended, more from a partner perspective than end users. The reason is that BroadSoft is mainly sold by its Carrier OEMs and via Partners. Many of the partners who exhibited at the conference are End Point providers, so there were numerous demos on new phones, which all looked pretty similar.
Of course, the buzz at the event shifted to whispers once news of the evening faded away and Cisco put out its press release at 6 am Monday morning. All of the conversations at the event were focused on what happens next with BroadSoft. The big message conveyed was that there would be zero change to BroadSoft’s Partner approach. This is good news for Cisco, as it needs a Cloud Voice Service that can natively integrate with Third Party Phones (without bridges or gateways). We do think that BroadSoft Team-One can live on with carrier partners—but for end users we expect Cisco Spark to be the main story.
Nextiva NextCon: The Rise of NextOS
Nextiva held its second annual conference and we have to say, they had a large turnout for a firm their size. In addition to a solid turnout, Nextiva had some solid keynotes (including one from your truly) and a cool interview with Polycom CEO Mary McDowell,
The big story at NextCon was NextOS, its new set of Applications that build on its foundational UCaaS offering (which is powered by BroadSoft). NextOS will include:
- Nextiva ServiceCRM
- Nextiva Chat
- Nextiva Surveys
- Nextiva Analytics
The demos for NextOS were solid and we look forward to analyzing NextOS more when it ships in 2018. Nextiva is doing a lot more than just reselling UCaaS Phone Services. Its event and the enthusiasm of its employees and partners makes Nextiva one to watch.
RingCentral ConnectCentral: Innovation and Buzz
Not to be outdone, RingCentral held its annual customer conference ConnectCentral in San Francisco. Keynote Speaker Sal Khan of Khan Academy talked about how people of all ages are learning Math via Video Learning, and Peter Guber 0f Mandalay Bay Entertainment and the current owner of the San Francisco Warriors, gave a great closing keynote about what it takes to hire great leaders and empower them.
RingCentral is also innovating. It showed off its growing Connect Platform ecosystem, which supports a large number of third party apps. It also showed some of the most robust Post Call analytics for IT Operations that we have seen. Others, such as Microsoft, need to have third party tools (such as IR) to show the level of detail of what happened to a call (i.e. where did a call breakdown?). It also introduced a new AI-focused Chatbot and Voice Analytics frameworks from partners including:
- Kore.AI: A chatbot partner that integrates with several chat platforms and now includes RingCentral Glip.
- Gong.io: Gong is a Content Analytics offering that focuses on analyzing Voice calls, particularly in Sales environments.
As the recap shows, demand for Voice and applications such as Mobile Collaboration continues to grow. Look for our upcoming Aragon Research Reports on Web and Video Conferencing and Mobile Collaboration later this quarter.