In a big announcement made last week at the Cloud Computing Expo, eight BroadSoft customers unveiled the Cloud Communications Alliance, a consortium dedicated to bringing unified communications to businesses in a smarter, easier and more strategic manner – because it’s delivered as a hosted "cloud" application.

This consortium is made up of a great group of companies. Alteva, Broadcore, Callis Communications, Consolidated Technologies, IPFone, SimpleSignal, Stage 2 Networks, and Telesphere have all been huge innovators in our space. And this Alliance shows that they’re just as innovative in business models as they are with technology and market offers.

What I like about this is that the Alliance isn’t just talking about hosted voice or hosted PBX – they’re changing the game in lots of different ways:

  • End-to-End High Definition Voice for business-to-business HD (not just intra-company islands);
  • End-to-End availability of video for business-to-business video;
  • Mobile phone integration, including apps like IPFone’s iPhone applications;
  • Nationwide disaster recovery and business continuity; and
  • Business App mashups with Microsoft Office Communicator, Salesforce.com, and much more.

The Alliance has gotten tons of well deserved press on this already (Network World, TMCnet, VoIP Planet, Billing & OSS World and WirelessWeek).  This is great coverage, which brings a lot more visibility to the power and benefits of hosted business communications.

But the real news, I believe, is that what we’re seeing now is an adoption shift, not a development shift.  We’re at the point where the hosted/cloud UC solutions are real, proven and ready – and now the shift we’ll see is about adoption:  more customers becoming aware of and choosing to go with a hosted/cloud option.  I believe that the creation of the Alliance is a huge step forward in accelerating that adoption shift.

So cheers to the Cloud Communications Alliance, which has changed the game yet again.