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Big changes are afoot in the contact center.

In 2017, Avaya filed for Chapter 11 and announced significant progress in restructuring. NICE acquired Workflex solutions to incorporate intraday management within its WFO platform. Serenova acquired Telstrat, another small WFO provider, and Verint announced its intent to acquire EG Solutions. Another change happened two weeks ago when I was at Broadsoft Connections, the company’s annual user event, where the news was delivered that Cisco announced its offer to acquire Broadsoft.

Since Broadsoft provides both unified communications and contact center solutions, I wanted to explore how the combination of Cisco and Broadsoft’s capabilities might mean from the lens of the contact center. Broadsoft’s contact center solution was built on the company’s previous Transera acquisition in 2016. Since then, the company added new capabilities such as journey views through the agent desktop as well as omni-channel routing.

Cisco’s core contact center application capabilities are largely built on a partner-based platform approach. The company provides contact centers with the infrastructure to deploy contact center applications, manage voice conversations, etc. It works with partners whose solutions integrate with Cisco’s to provide capabilities such as workforce management or journey analytics.

Now, with the addition of Broadsoft’s new contact center capabilities (if integrated well), Cisco would enrich the set of applications within its platform that firms can use to better manage customer experiences across all channels. In fact, I had several discussions at Broadsoft Connections that validated the general market perception that this should be Cisco’s biggest priority after the close of the acquisition. One of the questions in almost all these discussions was; “What will Cisco do with the Broadsoft branding?”

It’s too early to answer the question, but given that Broadsoft has strong brand awareness in the UC space, it will be interesting to see how Cisco utilizes both the products and branding of Broadsoft once the acquisition is complete.

Omer Minkara VP & Principal Analyst

Contact Center & Customer Experience Management, Aberdeen Group

Follow: @omerminkara | LinkedIn

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