The recent news of Polycom’s (Nasdaq: PLCM) partnership with Juniper (NYSE: JNPR)—which GigaOm suggests is in response to Cisco’s acquisition of Tandberg—got me thinking of the playing together in the sandbox analogy. Making room for everyone to play well in the same space is more important than ever with the rapid advancements in communications technologies. It’s all about making sure that customers – businesses and consumers – have access to the networks and devices that best suit their needs and that the different technologies can be integrated easily.

I believe that this partnership, along with a slew of others recently announced (see here), will foster greater flexibility and more options for businesses and consumers.

That is why BroadSoft has established partnerships with Tandberg, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) to name a few.  And this week we announced an extension of our partnership with Polycom to provide an integrated voice and video solution. This new offering builds upon our long-term relationship with Polycom and brings video and voice together for businesses in a way that has not been readily available before. More often than not, video and voice live in separate silos at businesses, making it difficult for employees to leverage these tools simultaneously for the next generation of telepresence. Through our new solution, V2Connect, we bring video and voice together in one infrastructure so workers can take advantage of these tools easily and seamlessly and businesses – including SMBs –can potentially save money and increase productivity.

At the core of all these partnerships is Unified Communications, enabling employees to communicate through various channels, at any time, from any location and in an integrated, streamlined way. For example, through our collaboration with Polycom, businesses have access to unified voice and video solutions delivered as a hosted service. Our integrated UC solution with Microsoft facilitates integrated voice, presence, instant messaging and web conferencing as a hosted solution, so that employees can work virtually, from any location and at any time.

Moving forward, we expect to see rapid expansion in the hosted UC market. As more businesses shift to a hosted model, the need for plug and play technologies will likely increase.