BroadSoft is a premier company in the unified communications market, with contact center and collaboration solutions. At its recent customer event, the company announced that it had entered into an agreement to be acquired by Cisco for approximately $2 billionn. In this video conversation with CXOTalk’s Michael Krigsman, BroadSoft’s Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, Taher Behbehani, summarizes key themes and explains why user experience and customer experience are so important.

Taher Behbehani is an entrepreneur and investor in firms driving digital disruption. As CDMO at BroadSoft, he is responsible for the company's digital and marketing efforts.

Transcript

Michael Krigsman: I’m Michael Krigsman, Industry Analyst and the Host of CXOTalk. We’re here at BroadSoft Connections, 2017, and I’m speaking with Taher Behbehani who is the Chief Digital & Marketing Officer of BroadSoft. Taher, how are you?

Taher Behbehani: Good, thank you. Nice to see you!

Michael Krigsman: Tell us about the key themes at this event!

Taher Behbehani: Absolutely! The key theme of the Events Connections 2017, is “Re-think innovation.” We need to really re-think how we innovate, not across just technology, but also our processes. How we take products to market, how much time it takes, how we manage to change the customer experience throughout that process. So, basically the idea is that we have all the technology we need.Let’s actually look at the innovative processes that we have to spend effort and energy on in taking products to the market.

Michael Krigsman: So, why is user experience, customer experience, so important today?

Taher Behbehani: Well, look, in any industry nowadays, everything around us, customer experience is the key differentiation factor. If you are using an application or device or a system in your work, you need to be looking forward to using it. Otherwise, frankly, you’ll ignore it. And our customers tell us. Our service providers tell us. And we want to make sure we create an experience that’s very close to, or better than, some of the consumer experience you get.

Michael Krigsman: So, what are the implications of this, as they’re developing new products and new services?

Taher Behbehani: Right. So, our philosophy is open-platform: APIs, SDKs — interfaces that you can connect to the devices, to a platform, then develop applications and services around ti. So, that by default, means that the developers that we have, whether they’re software or ecosystem, they need to also adjust and improve the experience by connecting to our platform, which we call, by the way, BroadSoft Business. And, the third part of it is whatever we do together, whatever we develop together, we need to make sure that the new experiences and the improvements or additions or enhancements — whatever you want to call them — they’re actually driven to market, presented to the marketplace much faster. That the cycles of innovation, the time to market, which is the main message, is actually much shorter for us as well.

Michael Krigsman: And this is all being driven by consumer expectations?

Taher Behbehani: Well, you know I think what we do is, is we compare ourselves and we benchmark against the best in-class consumer experience. The consumer side now spills over very much into the business side because we are the same people. We just happen to work part of the day.

Michael Krigsman: Where does mobility fit??

Taher Behbehani: Massively. Mobility is everything. I mean, I think that, that the discussion that people have usually about “mobile-first” frankly is no longer actually even should be used. It’s a cliché. I mean everybody is mobile. So, there is no mobile-first, -second, or -third. It’s just mobile. We call it unified communications.

Michael Krigsman: Now, on the enterprise side, what are some of the technology, as well as the organizational or process challenges and opportunities that they need to think about??

Taher Behbehani: The implications are actually quite severe because we’re being hard on ourselves and somewhat controversial. And that’s because our service-provider partners tell us to do so. We’re telling people, “Listen, this is taking too long.” Relying on existing systems which are very convoluted and require a lot of time to wire and re-wire and take a long time to create, to take our innovation into the marketplace is not acceptable. So, we’re saying, “We gotta change.” We gotta change the OSS, the provisioning, the onboarding, all of the billing systems and somehow make it much more streamline.

Michael Krigsman:

Michael Krigsman: I’m Michael Krigsman, Industry Analyst and the Host of CXOTalk. We’re here at BroadSoft Connections, 2017, and I’m speaking with Taher Behbehani who is the Chief Digital & Marketing Officer of BroadSoft. Taher, how are you?

Taher Behbehani: Good, thank you. Nice to see you!

Michael Krigsman: Tell us about the key themes at this event!

Taher Behbehani: Absolutely! The key theme of the Events Connections 2017, is “Re-think innovation.” We need to really re-think how we innovate, not across just technology, but also our processes. How we take products to market, how much time it takes, how we manage to change the customer experience throughout that process. So, basically the idea is that we have all the technology we need.Let’s actually look at the innovative processes that we have to spend effort and energy on in taking products to the market.

Michael Krigsman: So, why is user experience, customer experience, so important today?

Taher Behbehani: Well, look, in any industry nowadays, everything around us, customer experience is the key differentiation factor. If you are using an application or device or a system in your work, you need to be looking forward to using it. Otherwise, frankly, you’ll ignore it. And our customers tell us. Our service providers tell us. And we want to make sure we create an experience that’s very close to, or better than, some of the consumer experience you get.

Michael Krigsman: So, what are the implications of this, as they’re developing new products and new services?

Taher Behbehani: Right. So, our philosophy is open-platform: APIs, SDKs — interfaces that you can connect to the devices, to a platform, then develop applications and services around ti. So, that by default, means that the developers that we have, whether they’re software or ecosystem, they need to also adjust and improve the experience by connecting to our platform, which we call, by the way, BroadSoft Business. And, the third part of it is whatever we do together, whatever we develop together, we need to make sure that the new experiences and the improvements or additions or enhancements — whatever you want to call them — they’re actually driven to market, presented to the marketplace much faster. That the cycles of innovation, the time to market, which is the main message, is actually much shorter for us as well.

Michael Krigsman: And this is all being driven by consumer expectations?

Taher Behbehani: Well, you know I think what we do is, is we compare ourselves and we benchmark against the best in-class consumer experience. The consumer side now spills over very much into the business side because we are the same people. We just happen to work part of the day.

Michael Krigsman: Where does mobility fit??

Taher Behbehani: Massively. Mobility is everything. I mean, I think that, that the discussion that people have usually about “mobile-first” frankly is no longer actually even should be used. It’s a cliché. I mean everybody is mobile. So, there is no mobile-first, -second, or -third. It’s just mobile. We call it unified communications.

Michael Krigsman: Now, on the enterprise side, what are some of the technology, as well as the organizational or process challenges and opportunities that they need to think about??

Taher Behbehani: The implications are actually quite severe because we’re being hard on ourselves and somewhat controversial. And that’s because our service-provider partners tell us to do so. We’re telling people, “Listen, this is taking too long.” Relying on existing systems which are very convoluted and require a lot of time to wire and re-wire and take a long time to create, to take our innovation into the marketplace is not acceptable. So, we’re saying, “We gotta change.” We gotta change the OSS, the provisioning, the onboarding, all of the billing systems and somehow make it much more streamline.

Michael Krigsman: Simplifying!

Taher Behbehani: Simplifying! And, in fact, exactly right. What we have done on our side, in partnership with many of the service providers, we develop a platform, a system, which we call [BroadCloud] Channel Support System (CSS) that has all of that. So, if you are a partner of us and you deploy CSS, you can then roll out systems faster and services and then the enterprise! The CIO can also access it and make sure they provision within their own organization more easily.

Michael Krigsman: Where is this technology going during the next few years?

Taher Behbehani: I think that we are just at the beginning. As I said, unified and communications — interesting term. I think we are just at the beginning. We… you see a glimpse of the future. You see products such as Hub or RUC-01 or BroadSoft Business Platforms that integrate different experiences, tying to the workflow of a business and essentially have intelligence now built into it to be able to use data and my behavior — my sort of contextual data — to make my life easier at work. So, I think you’ll see a great deal of change across all of this and I think there will be, frankly, a tipping point sometime down the road by combining these correctly and putting it together so that everybody will say, “Well I can’t live without this stuff… I gotta have it”.  And, I think we’ll probably get there in the next 3-5 years.

Michael Krigsman: Okay! Taher Behbehani, thank you so much!

Taher Behbehani: Thank you! Appreciate it.