Eight companiesall providers of hosted IP voice and data communicationsyesterday announced the formation of the Cloud Communications Alliance, a consortium of industry players that will drive development and adoption of the first nationwide high-definition enterprise voice and data network in the IP 'cloud.'
The Alliance members are, for the most part, regional providers, IPFone president and CEO Jonathan Lieberman told Enterprise VoIPplanet.com, but together, they will comprise a truly nationwide entity. The companies currently represent more than $100 million in combined annual revenue and collectively serve more than 110,000 business endpoints in the United States, according to Lieberman.
"The basic message is that we're trying to get the word out about cloud communications." Lieberman said. "There's been a lot of buzz about cloud computingbut we felt that the cloud communications story wasn't being told, and we wanted to be the ones to tell it."
"This has been a long time in the making, not something we just thought up," Lieberman continues. "The CEOs of the various companies got to know each other through our affiliation with and common platform of BroadSoft.
"Through the years, at the BroadSoft user conference, we began talking about the idea of creating an alliance in which we can share best practices, negotiate collectively with vendors, and possibly even create a brand we can all get behind. So we finally have collectively been able to do that. Today is our announcement, and we're pretty excited about it.
"We've established a certified cloud standard SLA ( def.) that makes all adhere to a quality standard, so that we can assure that the services that we're providing are reliable, redundant, and meeting customers' needs," Lieberman continued.
All the member companies have "five nines" reliability and redundant networks, according to Lieberman; all utilize the BroadSoft platform as their primary delivery engine; all use certified endpoints (from Polycom and Cisco), and "at the end of the day, we're sharing best practices, and we're looking to share some of our back office functions into a unified system that we can provide to the market," he said.
The Alliance members will also cooperate on feature and application developmentthey are already developing plans for enhanced video conferencing capabilitieswill pool their technical support resources and infrastructure, will support disaster recovery, nationwide, and, above all, will form a nationwide peering entity supporting HD (high-definition, or 'wideband') voice.
CCA member and Alteva CEO Bill Bumbernick said, "The Cloud Communications Alliance is not just about voice-over-IP, hosted PBX or unified communications. Were introducing an entirely new way to build, deploy and scale enterprise communications systems that provide HD voice services along with a platform of advanced apps and features that allow businesses to work in ways they never imagined."