Eight companies in the hosted IP voice and data communications space are getting together to form the Cloud Communications Alliance (CCA), and organizers say what they're doing will have implications for wireless operators.
The announcement was made at the Cloud Computing Expo held this week in New York. The CCA is a consortium of industry players that want to drive development and adoption of what they dub the first nationwide high-definition enterprise voice and data network in the IP cloud.
It's not to be confused with cloud computing, made famous by the likes of Amazon and Google.
The core technologies that drive cloud communications and cloud computing are similar, but they are two different things, although the lines are blurring ever more, according to Bill Bumbernick, CEO of Alteva, one of the founding CCA members. For example, one of Alteva's customers uses a cloud computing workflow program, but it turned to Alteva to work on an application that ties recorded phone calls into information related to what's store in the computing cloud.
Generally, the new way of approaching communications could change the way wireless carriers offer their solutions, particularly on their way to deploying IMS across networks, Bumbernick says, adding that it won't replace IMS but could be an interim solution.
A challenge in the mobile space has been how to get mobile workers to get rid of their desk phone altogether, and with a cloud solution, "it takes it another step in that direction," making workers less dependent on the desktop handset.
The group says its open API efforts will result in business customers experiencing more flexible and manageable voice and unified communications solutions that will "increase personal and business productivity while reducing costs." Besides Alteva, founding CCA companies include Broadcore, Callis Communications, Consolidated Technologies, IPFone, SimpleSignal, Stage 2 Networks and Telesphere.