BroadSoft is one of those companies who make products many of us use, but don't realize. Their primary market is selling IP telephony platforms to service providers to deliver residential and business hosted VOIP offerings. In seeking to provide new ways for service providers to leverage their investments in BroadSoft products, and to provide a way to differentiate themselves beyond just selling voice, BroadSoft has created a new initiative called Xtended that opens Web 2.0 interfaces on their call control platforms.
The initiative is interesting in that BroadSoft is taking an open approach by also building a marketplace where developers and end users can share applications. The idea being to sort of mimic the Facebook phenomena of providing an open platform to enable independent developers to easily create applications (in fact one of the first applications in the marketplace is a unified messaging client for Facebook users).
The challenge for now is that most applications require the support of the hosted service provider, and billing / revenue models remain to be developed. But still, the idea of a telephony provider opening up their call control platforms to third party application development demonstrates how long we've come from the age of TDM.
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