A group of eight companies specializing in hosted IP communications services have formed a consortium to co-develop a nationwide enterprise voice and data network in the IP cloud.

With such a network, the members of the new Cloud Communications Alliance will offer business customers voice and unified communications services that should reduce costs.

Cloud Communications Alliance (CCA) members are Alteva, Broadcore, Callis Communications, Consolidated Technologies, IPFone, SimpleSignal, Stage 2 Networks and Telesphere. They collectively serve more than 110,000 business customers in the United States, the CCA said.

With the Cloud Computing Expo in New York City this week, the subject is getting a lot of media play. The New York Times has an article that discusses how companies with enormous data centers, such as Google, AT&T and Microsoft, have been offering their resources to smaller companies, such as app developers, but are now targeting larger enterprise customers. As an example, the article cites Netflix’s arrangement to make use of Amazon’s network for all of its Web-based streaming.

The new CCA is in the same position of evangelizing the use of cloud computing for enterprise customers.

CCA member and Alteva CEO Bill Bumbernick said: “The Cloud Communications Alliance is not just about voice over IP, hosted PBX or unified communications. We’re 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.”

The group is touting several advantages, including nationwide peering, convergent end devices and a common support infrastructure.

All eight CCA founding companies use an industry-leading software platform provided by BroadSoft to provide enterprises and consumers with a range of cloud-based, or hosted, IP multimedia communications, such as hosted-IP private branch exchanges, video calling, unified communications, collaboration, and converged mobile and fixed-line services.

“We view the organization of the Cloud Communications Alliance as an important milestone in the development of the cloud-based communications category that we have long envisioned,” said BroadSoft CEO Mike Tessler. “We know this exciting group of service providers well, and we are confident their commitment to evangelizing cloud-based communications services will help drive customer adoption and broad-scale investment into this next generation of communications.”

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