8x8, a San Jose California-based provider of flexible cloud-based communications solutions, recently announced that it acquired LeChat, Inc., the parent company and creator of Sameroom, an interoperability platform that provides cross-team messaging and collaboration to enterprises.
Announced at the beginning of March, the acquisition gives 8x8 a unique position in the team collaboration market because the provider can now easily connect teams and users regardless of the platform they use. Sameroom offers interoperability between more than two dozen disparate communication services and messaging solutions today’s modern, mobile workforce use. Financial details of the transaction have not been released.
Breaking Down Communication Silos
As organizations become more mobile and seek greater efficiency for their teams, the need for effective team collaboration tools has soared. In fact, the 2016 Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker shows that the team collaboration market will continue to grow even more, with messaging tools quickly outpacing other popular apps. A 2016 Markets and Markets report also shares the same forecast, with the cloud collaboration market size forecasted to grow from USD 23.39 Billion in 2016 to USD 42.57 Billion by 2021. However, the popularity and growth of team collaboration tools have also created new challenges for enterprises. At the top of that list is fragmented communications, where select service providers and programs do not allow for cross-platform functionality or integration.
In a release, 8x8 said that “most solutions place users in communications silos because they are not designed to interoperate with each other.” The lack of interoperability between today’s messaging and collaboration solutions can cause unwarranted consequences, including fragmented or siloed information, the inability to collaborate and work with external users, and even violations of corporate data governance policies. These problems are what Sameroom seeks to address.
Vik Verma, the CEO of 8x8, had this to say about the company’s latest acquisition:
“The acquisition of Sameroom marks an important milestone for 8x8 as a company and the cloud communications market as a whole. We’re ushering in the era of the first true and open communications cloud, complete with cross-cloud integration, interoperability, and real-time analytics.” “With Sameroom, our customers will enable their internal teams and external partners to collaborate across different team messaging apps of their choice, creating an open, more seamless communications and collaboration environment that is fully compliant with corporate policy. This new technology is the key to delivering messaging capabilities to all of 8x8’s services, he added.
Andrei Soroker, Co-founder of Sameroom, also believes that the platform is a natural fit for 8x8’s broader portfolio and vision, saying:
“8x8 understands that true unified communications and collaboration requires a new and open approach to team collaboration, which is why Sameroom was acquired. With this move, Sameroom will now be able to help more companies enable team collaboration as the technology becomes core to the 8x8 Communications Cloud.”
Strengthening Team Collaboration with Sameroom
In a blog post, Soroker describes Sameroom as “sort of a mediator, a silent observer of the cyclonic tug of war of a battalion of Goliaths and an army of Davids, all yearning to be the user interface of your work.” Indeed, this makes the acquisition of Sameroom a wise, strategic move for 8x8. While competitors in the same market continue to roll out one collaboration platform after another without much focus on letting their messaging and collaboration apps talk to one another, 8x8 opted to take the alternative path and target one of the loopholes in team collaboration today: the inability for users to communicate and collaborate with contacts using different platforms from different vendors.
Allowing collaboration tools to talk to one another via Sameroom instead of creating new messaging solutions (and, in essence, creating a new communication sil) no doubt “catapults 8x8 into an industry-unique position in the team collaboration market.”
Here’s how Sameroom (now a part of the 8x8 family) enables users to stay truly connected regardless of the platform:
|1. Users can stay "home"
||Sameroom helps solve fragmented communications and noncompliance by letting users stay in their "home" team collaboration app.
|2. Users have “rooms” to connect with contacts
||In order to start collaborating with contacts on the same or different platforms, users simply have to connect with other users' "rooms".
|3. Users receive messages and files to the connected rooms in real time
||Sameroom simply relays the files and messages to users' rooms in real time.
Today, more than 200 organizations (including leading universities, e-commerce stores, car sharing services, professional sports leagues and more) utilize Sameroom to enable seamless communication between their internal and external team collaboration channels. It currently offers integrations with leading messaging and team collaboration apps including Slack, Skype, HipChat, Campfire, Fleep, GroupMe, and more.
Apart from the seamless interoperability that existing Sameroom customers enjoy, these customers will soon be able to “leverage embedded enterprise communications features from 8x8, such as starting online meetings, audio calls and video conferencing, from within their team collaboration service of choice,” the company said.
For additional information on 8x8 and their latest acquisition, please visit their website.
8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT) is a leading innovator in the enterprise cloud communications space. They deliver solutions that are easy to use, manage, and are incredibly feature-rich. Based in San Jose, California, 8x8’s comprehensive suite of products include virtual business phone systems, cloud contact center, unified communications, and more.