XO Communications Launches Cloud-Based Communications Service

Features of the Enterprise Cloud Communications platform include HD voice and video capabilities.

XO Communications announced the launch of Enterprise Cloud Communications, a scalable, enterprise-grade IP communications service designed to allow businesses to accelerate the deployment of IP and unified communications. The platform integrates a range of IP telephony features, local and long-distance calling, enterprise-wide high-definition voice and video, network services and IP phone sets in a communications as a service, per-user pricing model.

Features of Enterprise Cloud Communications include IP telephony and unified communications applications, free local and site-to-site calling within the enterprise, long-distance calling plans, enterprise-wide HD voice and HD video, choices of IP phone sets from Cisco and Polycom, a Web portal for managing service for each location and employees' Quality of Service monitoring, MPLS IP-VPN network services, Robust Service Level Agreements for all services and business-continuity capabilities.

"Enterprise Cloud Communications represents the next evolution of our award-winning IP communications portfolio, which today supports 30,000 business customers and more than one million end-users," said Mike Toplisek, chief marketing officer for business services at XO. "This solution is ideal for midmarket businesses and larger enterprises with distributed operations by helping them solve important business issues of controlling costs, improving employee productivity and increasing their competitiveness in the market."

The platform offers businesses a range of potential cost, operational and performance benefits, including eliminating capital investments in PBX infrastructure, freeing up IT resources and capital, the ability to deploy new productivity-enhancing collaboration and communications technologies and managing the upgrades and maintenance costs typically associated with handling IP communications.

"Today, businesses with multiple locations of varying sizes typically have a wide range of different telephony infrastructures that not only inhibit efficient and seamless communications, but also the integration of telephony infrastructures with applications that enable unified communications," said Tom Hobika, vice president of solutions engineering at XO. "Our innovative, cloud-based enterprise IP communications platform will help businesses contain and reduce capital expenditures at a time when budgets are tight, while giving them the ability to introduce new productivity-enhancing communications capabilities that future-proof their networks and corresponding investments."

Other benefits include providing business-grade HD call quality across the enterprise-wide area network, delivering IP-PBX functionality using the XO nationwide network, technology from BroadSoft and IP phones from Cisco and Polycom for a unified solution of HD voice and video and IP telephony applications through the cloud, and managing the service through a Web portal to handle day-to-day administrative tasks, such as reconfiguring users' phones, setting up phones for new employees and managing name and number displays.

Elka Popova, program director of unified communications and collaboration at research firm Frost & Sullivan, said cloud-based communications are rapidly gaining traction as businesses look to adopt IP telephony and unified communications in a flexible and cost-effective way.

"With a long track record of delivering business VOIP [voice over IP] services, XO is now expanding its portfolio to include a feature-rich, hosted IP PBX solution that enables customers to fully outsource their communications infrastructure from a trusted partner, Popova said. "The Enterprise Cloud Communications solution can help distributed organizations save costs through a common architecture and enhance employee productivity through advanced communications and collaboration applications delivered across geographically dispersed locations."