CounterPath and BroadSoft have introduced Bria for BroadWorks, a new version of CounterPath’s enterprise-grade Bria Professional softphone, designed (as the name implies) to integrate seamlessly with BroadSoft’s BroadWorks VoIP application platform.
Todd Carothers, CounterPath’s vice president of product management, says the idea behind the new offering was simply to expand beyond the basic interoperability that the two solutions already offer. “When you take their server alone and you take our client alone, they’ll work together—but if you can do some level of integration, you’ll have a much stronger solution,” he says.
Within the Bria softphone, Carothers says, CounterPath expanded the codec support, added the ability to record video, and added support for WebDAV (def.) and XCAP address book storage. “Also, on the IM and presence side, we support XMPP and SIP SIMPLE—so we’re able to support a variety of different IM and presence capabilities out there today,” he says.
And for BroadSoft’s larger enterprise and carrier customers, Carothers says, Bria for BroadWorks supports extensive branding and customization. “CounterPath is able to do white label branding, a custom GUI, a different hard coding of parameters for customers—so we can get very specific on implementations, and their carrier customers will all have different types of requirements,” he says.
Bria for BroadWorks also supports a number of different Web applications (via the BroadSoft Xtended program), all accessible within tabs in the client itself, including a centrally managed Address Book and a searchable Contact Directory with click-to-call functionality—as well as a Service Management widget, which provides control of BroadSoft’s BroadWorks Anywhere fixed/mobile convergence functionality. “You don’t have to go to another Web page or to another administration tool on your PC—you can do it all from within the Bria for BroadWorks product,” Carothers says.
A Call History tab also provides access to the call history not only of the softphone itself, but also of any other devices the user might link to the account. “So maybe you make a call from your home office on a hard phone, and you get to your office—away from your home office—and you realize that you forgot the number,” Carothers says. “You could simply go back to that call log and search, and call right from there, and even add them to your address book.”
The client also integrates with BroadWorks’ Busy Lamp Field (BLF) services to enable extensive monitoring of members within a given workgroup. “Let’s say you’re a manager of a call center—you could see everyone within that workgroup who’s logged in, who’s on a call, if it’s an incoming call or an outgoing call, and you could see who the remote party is if caller ID is supported,” Carothers says.
And this range of features, Carothers says, is just the beginning. “BroadWorks has a developer program, so developers can develop SIP extensions and other types of applications—Web-based or SIP-based—that would plug into this platform… and that we could easily integrate into the Bria for BroadWorks product,” he says.
Looking forward, Carothers says CounterPath will continue to add features to Bria for BroadWorks—and will also seek to develop similar partnerships with a wide range of other companies. The point, he says, is that while basic interoperability is possible without this kind of partnership, “if you work just a little bit together and focus on some of the feature sets… it becomes a much more powerful solution—and that’s what we’ve done.”