Last Fall BroadSoft announced a slick new concept called Project Tempo. It was a collection of APIs that made the BroadSoft UC experience much more useful. What many people don’t realize that that APIs are actually more useful than clients. For example, BroadSoft Project Tempo was able to create some useful views in Google Drive that can’t be created from drive.google.com.
Project Tempo was the API response to emerging messaging platforms like Slack. The problem was the demo of project Tempo always included messaging, so naturally people thought messaging was included in Project Tempo. To be fair, Project Tempo was presented as a strategy, and UC Hub was presented as the first deliverable. Intellinote appears to be the groundwork for the second deliverable.
The messaging in those demos were either UC One, Hangouts or something else. I’ve been in multiple meetings with smart people that just could not grok that Tempo didn’t have messaging. “Yes I get it, but where are the messages stored?” It wasn’t just the demo either – the vision presented at the launch of Temp was all about a new way to work and collaborate – similar to other workstream messaging solutions.
It is hard to say which is more important in Slack – the messaging or the APIs, but it is clear which gets adopted first. Same with Cisco Spark and Unify Circuit – messaging comes first then comes APIs. Think of Project Tempo as the egg in a world where everyone agrees chickens come first. There’s really no rule about chicken or egg – just an expectation. Though in hindsight it probably would have been better to keep Tempo under wraps until it was a complete thought. To my understanding Tempo is still in beta.
That all became moot today because BroadSoft announced it acquired Reston, Virginia-based Intellinote. An enterprise workstream messaging application built for a mobile and millennial workforce.
I’ve been on the workstream messaging soapbox for well over a year now. I believe that there is nothing more important to UC (esp UCaaS) than workstream messaging. Too much to cover for this post, but this is an unstoppable shift in how we communicate. UC without workstream messaging is doomed.
I give props to Unify for being the first UC company to get this (and then convincing me). Then came Cisco, Acano, Interactive Intelligence, RingCentral, Fuze, Mitel, Avaya (kinda), and now BroadSoft. That’s not to say these are all alike. I’ve been using Cisco Spark and Unify Circuit a lot, and although they are similar they have philosophical differences (separate post coming). I have no opinion on Intellinote – never heard of it. My assumption is BroadSoft searched high and low for the right fit and just coincidentally found it across the street. The next steps are as (or more) important – the integration and commercial model.
BroadSoft has plenty of experience with acquisitions so I’m not too concerned about integration, but I have doubts they will get the commercial part right. That’s because it’s a hard problem with lots of moving parts including freemium, privacy, search, data sovereignty, localization, and more – all further complicated by a global network of providers with objectives that often conflict with BroadSoft’s goals. But that’s tomorrow.
Today, congratulations are in order for both BroadSoft and Intellinote. It’s an exciting move that proves BroadSoft is on top of the shifts occurring in an industry it largely created. It’s their second acquisition this year (that I know of). Transera is also very interesting 1) because of the rising importance of UCaaS and Contact Center as a combined offer and 2) because of it’s unique API approach to contact centers.