As the world’s leading cloud business communication platform, Cisco BroadWorks supports over 26 million users, from micro enterprises to multinational corporations, in over 80 countries. Our over 450 Service Provider (SP) partners pioneered the cloud calling market ̶ relying on BroadWorks to deliver the mission-critical quality, reliability, security, and local support that enterprises demand. At Cisco, we continue to invest in this joint leadership to create new opportunities for our SP partners and customers.
Last week, we made BroadWorks Release 24 Generally Available. It introduces many significant enhancements, most of which are also available for previous releases and benefit our entire Service Provider and end-user communities.
Starting with BroadWorks R24, and compatible back to R22, BroadWorks components will move to a continuous release-independent software update model, with significant benefits for our SP partners and customers:
Agility and responsiveness: The latest functionality and security updates are always delivered as soon as available or needed. Version updates are delivered for each server at the optimal time and as frequently as needed without affecting other components.
Simplified operation – no more patching and regression testing: Updates and fixes are delivered to each server independently. New versions for each server are fully tested and compatible with all other servers and versions present in the field. This simplifies integration with the SP deployment pipeline, reduces upgrade effort and complexity, and eliminates potential problems and unnecessary troubleshooting.
Application Delivery Platform (ADP): To streamline the software delivery process, we are introducing the ADP as a dedicated software delivery platform, replacing the Xtended Services Platform (XSP) and Profile Server (PS) with a single delivery mechanism for all BroadWorks applications. The ADP consolidates and simplifies the management of updates and is itself release independent ̶ providing maximum flexibility and robustness for continuous and timely updates.
Software update automation: To further support and effectively manage software updates, we are introducing support for RedHat Ansible playbooks – an industry-leading software deployment toolset. The Ansible playbooks orchestrate and automate software version management for the BroadWorks servers, consistent with best practices and quality assurance guidelines.
Security and quality are always top of mind for our customers, and therefore an overriding priority and area of differentiation for Cisco and our SP partners. The recent massive shift to remote work has highlighted the need to guarantee both security and grade of service on a true end-to-end basis – independent of location and underlying networks. While we continually deliver security updates and quality enhancements, BroadWorks R24 includes two notable additions:
Real-time caller identity authentication: Unlike files and other static information, real-time caller identity authentication across heterogeneous networks remains a technical and regulatory challenge. BroadWorks R24 introduces support for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) STIR-SHAKEN standards. Broad implementation of these standards will help prevent fraud via caller identify spoofing and illegal robo-calling.
Network Function Management (NFM) analytics: BroadWorks R24 introduces new collection and analysis of NFM performance and capacity. The data is synthesized into actionable metrics utilized to determine the health of the BroadWorks deployment, enabling accurate and timely operational response.
Our SP partners often deploy or support multiple Cisco calling products. BroadWorks R24 introduces two key integrations, delivering functionality and operational synergy across our calling portfolio:
Mobility Integration for Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS): BroadWorks is well known for its support of industry-leading mobile network integration and mobile user experience capabilities. SP partners that also deploy HCS can now extend the BroadWorks mobile capabilities to their HCS platform and end users, providing enhanced mobility support across all Cisco calling platforms.
Zero-touch Onboarding for Cisco MPP Phones: Cisco’s MPP phones can now be configured automatically using a single activation code, leading to significant simplification, cost reduction and enhanced administrator experience. The activation code authenticates the user’s credentials, retrieves their directory and service configuration information, and fully configures the phone for each individual end user. Click here for more information on Cisco MPP Phones.
BroadWorks remains one of Cisco’s key strategic cloud calling platforms, both for Service Providers and Cisco’s own cloud solutions, and we continue to invest aggressively to maintain our cloud calling leadership. With the accelerating move to cloud calling and full collaboration, expect to see a steady stream of service, operation and commercial innovation. Stay tuned!