As one of the leading global providers of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications (UC) solutions for businesses of all sizes, 8x8 is all about helping small, midsized, and enterprise businesses achieve greater productivity and connectivity through seamless solutions. Regardless of industry or business size, 8x8 is trusted by many companies who seek to remove the limits of traditional phone systems and bring effective communications to organizations, loud and clear. But that’s not all that 8x8 offers.
In a conversation with Matt McGinnis, Vice President of Product Marketing at 8x8, he explained what customers should look for in the cloud, what is to come in the future for cloud communications, and what 8x8 is doing to create an outstanding business communications experience through cloud technology.
The Rise of the Cloud
Cloud communications are trending upwards at an accelerated rate. Most businesses and providers didn’t have this technology in their plan for the future; but just last year, the cloud became a serious consideration. What was once considered a technical reach for most businesses is now something totally achievable, with more and more providers and businesses alike deciding to go to the cloud. From phone systems to contact centers, providers like 8x8 are making the cloud affordable and attainable to businesses while simultaneously chipping away at long-standing legacy PBX and contact center vendors.
McGinnis shared a number of factors that businesses should consider when looking for a cloud communication solution provider:
- Mobility - Mobile apps are one of the biggest factors in today’s business communication world. “If you are not giving mobile apps to your customers, then you are shortchanging a business’ capability to be effective,” McGinnis shared.
- Multi-location administration - Businesses require a system that can be accessed and managed from anywhere. They also need a system that can easily scale up or down as their business needs change (company growth, seasonality, etc.)
- Technology - The provider should own and operate its own technology. “You need a provider that is beholden to their own roadmap,” stressed McGinnis.
Common Cloud Concerns, Debunked
According to McGinnis, every five years someone makes a decision to change their business communications system, moving away from legacy PBX systems and seeking a solution that will be mobile and global. Yet some businesses are still wary about the switch to the cloud. For these businesses, McGinnis shared some insights on common business concerns about the cloud:
Security - When compared to the security measures of older legacy equipment (ie. lock and key), the cloud goes above and beyond. Cloud providers maintain strict controls and implement advanced security measures like authentication, encryption, passwords, etc. The cloud goes above and beyond to provide security to the end user. “If your only consideration keeping you from moving to the cloud is security, my advice is to run, don’t walk,” said McGinnis.
Control - Older on-site systems required an administrator panel or management console directly connected to the equipment in order to provide admin access, thus making control restricted and inflexible. But the cloud gives users control from anywhere: a control room, a laptop, and even a mobile device. Through the cloud, you can even get alerts or notifications to monitor activity.
Trust and credibility - McGinnis is a firm believer that trust is earned and not simply given. And cloud communications providers realize this, too, and showcase it through their product line, technologies, product experts, and more.
8x8: Helping Businesses Work Smarter in the Cloud
8x8 is a provider that understands the benefits of cloud technology and aims to bring the versatility and accessibility of the cloud to all businesses that want a reliable, flexible communication solution. Recognized as a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) for five consecutive years, 8x8 is driven to provide quality services and solutions to their customers. Starting with Virtual Office, their flagship solution, 8x8 offers businesses a smarter way to communicate--at a fraction of the cost of traditional PBX systems. It offers a full range of features that were previously available to only larger enterprises and comes in a number of different service plans. Currently, the platform caters to over 47,000 customers worldwide. But the company continues to innovate and expand to keep up with current trends in the voice space.
According to McGinnis, the company is focused on two main enhancements for their current product portfolio:
- First, is a push on expanding upmarket. The midmarket and enterprise businesses now make up half of 8x8's business (55% of total service revenue as reported in their most recent 3rd Quarter Fiscal Year 2017 earnings), proving that 8x8 can meet the needs of all businesses regardless of size.
- Second, is the drive to take their product global. 8x8 currently has the largest global footprint of any cloud provider. They operate out of 12 data centers around the globe to support their customers operating in 114 countries. They also have 27 international carriers, emergency calling services in 21 countries, local phone numbers in 83 countries, and international toll-free numbers in 122 countries.
A Leading Innovator in the Voice Space
Beyond these expansions, 8x8 continues to solidify its position and set itself apart in the voice space with two of its innovative and reliable solutions: Virtual Office and Virtual Contact Center.
Designed to deliver continuous communications, 8x8 Virtual Office is easy to use, manage, and deploy across different devices. In fact, 8x8 stepped up their solution to meet the needs of the mobile market by updating its Virtual Office Mobile app with Apple CallKit integration just last week.
CallKit is an API framework from Apple that allows Virtual Office mobile users on iOS devices to make and receive VoIP calls from the lock screen. McGinnis says, “Now users can use the native dialer within iOS and Android for calls, thus integrating 8x8’s own mobile app OS with a mobile phone. This also complements Bluetooth headsets and wearables, and the smartphone or tablet experience given the improvement of mobile apps, which is one of 8x8’s primary focuses.”
8x8’s Virtual Contact Center solution, meanwhile, aims to improve customer interaction and agent and team performance in contact centers. They recently introduced release 9.4 of their cloud contact center solution which featured improvements in local CRM, improved the Help interface, optimized call quality and routing, and more.
Virtual Contact Center users have a lot of exciting things to look forward to in the coming months. According to McGinnis, 8x8 is currently 6 weeks out from a major launch of a new cloud contact center solution with new innovations and features that will make for better customer interactions for teams of all sizes. It will also be available without the cost or complexity typically associated with traditional legacy contact center systems.
8x8’s Three New Patents
Not one to simply follow trends, 8x8 prides itself on not just owning platform, but also developing and innovating technology that differentiates them from the rest. Barely a month ago, 8x8 was granted three new patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) aimed at improving global enterprise communications and contact center user experience.
Below is the list of 8x8’s newly-issued patents:
- U.S. Patent No. 9,473,452 titled “NAT Traversal in VoIP Communication System”
- U.S. Patent No. 9,479,648 titled “Intelligent Media Relay Selection” and maintain the VoIP call through the media relay server.
- U.S. Patent No. 9,531,879 titled “Networked Contact Center User Interface Approach”
In total, 8x8 has over 128 U.S. patents in addition to a number of international patents. They are proud to be on at the forefront of voice technology, owning and developing their own innovative technology to give their brand a differentiable advantage.
With their comprehensive suite of secure and reliable business communications solutions, 8x8 is paving the way for businesses to easily and seamlessly make the switch to cloud communications. Their dedication to innovation even adds to their appeal even further, as it shows that they are truly out to make today’s business communications tools free from the barriers and burdens of traditional phone systems. For more information on 8x8 and their range of solutions, visit their website.
About 8x8, Inc.
8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT) delivers enterprise cloud communications solutions that are easy to use, manage, and are incredibly feature-rich. Their range of solutions includes virtual business phone systems, cloud contact center, unified communications, and more. Based in San Jose, California, 8x8 is trusted by more than 47,000 businesses in over 100 countries worldwide.