BroadSoft UC-One Hub bolsters cloud-based communications

Enterprise applications are central in BroadSoft's new UC-One Hub cloud-based communications tool.

Cloud-based unified communications software company BroadSoft is releasing a new interface that rolls multiple UC applications into one place. The software builds on the company's current offering, called UC-One, and will help keep telecom companies that sell the product to businesses competitive in the changing IT environment.

Last week, Phoenix-based BroadSoft announced the first product stemming from an initiative, dubbed Project Tempo. The software, called UC-One Hub, will be available in beta in early 2016.

Telecoms, such as Verizon and Comcast Corp., sell BroadSoft's cloud-based communications platform as part of their services. Such services are what a growing number of businesses are using to replace expensive on-premise hardware that come with hefty maintenance costs, according to analysts.

Project Tempo will let individuals and teams communicate through one screen that provides access to collaboration, cloud applications and contextual intelligence. Through UC-One Hub, workers can access messaging, company directories and applications.

Enterprises are looking for products like UC-One, according to analysts. A 2014 Nemertes Research benchmark study showed that about 63% of companies had at least one cloud-based communications app. Each app had a separate interface, and 1 in 3 was cloud-based email or calendars.

Boosting worker productivity

UC-One Hub is a single desktop interface that includes voice and video calling, email and chat.  It also has data feeds from Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media, as well as collaboration features and context histories. The latter lets workers review past communications with a specific customer, partner or associate.

Having so much in one interface increases worker productivity by eliminating the need to switch screens to launch another application, said Elka Popova, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, based in San Antonio, Texas. "This is a continued evolution of increasing value."

The integration of all UC tools isn't new, but it's finally becoming widespread. In fact, many companies are now looking for UC capabilities within third-party business applications, according to Irwin Lazar, an analyst at the Monkena, Ill.-based Nemertes Research.

"It's becoming something that companies are looking at and is being pushed by vendors," Lazar said.

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