02 Jul 8×8 Pitstop: Your Complete Guide to 8×8
8×8 is one of the most popular brands in the UCaaS and CCaaS landscape.
Known for offering a huge range of cloud-based services for communication, collaboration, and customer experience, 8×8 has a growing presence across the globe. The company started life as an American VoIP provider. Today, 8×8 still offers Voice over IP products, alongside a host of cloud-based collaboration tools, CCaaS, and more.
Today, we’re going to explore some of the most exciting features of 8×8’s product portfolio, as well as the key things that makes this company stand out from the crowd.
The History of 8×8
8×8 started life in 1987, founded by Dr Y.W. Sing and Dr Chi-Shin Wang. The two men, previously working for Weitek, created a company named “Integrated Information Technology Inc, which would form the foundation for 8×8 in the 1990s.
Far from the UCaaS and CCaaS pioneer it is today, IIT started as a chip designing company. The team created coprocessors and microprocessors alongside chips for graphics acceleration. Later, the company changed its name to 8×8 and began producing videoconferencing tools.
Today, 8×8’s full portfolio of products includes business phone technology, video conferencing, team chat, contact centre solutions, phones and accessories, integrations, APIs, and business services.
- Launch date: 1997
- CEO: David Sipes
- Trading name: EGHT
- Headquarters: Campbell, California
- Website: 8×8.com
- Employees: 1,497 (2019)
- Revenue: $296.5 million (2018)
Major Moments in the 8×8 Timeline
The 8×8 brand officially went public in the NASDAQ market during 1997, under the symbol EGHT. In 1999, the business purchased two companies, U|Force and Odisei, to expand its server and network VoIP offerings. By 2000, the company relaunched itself entirely as a VoIP provider, with a new name: Netergy networks.
In 2001, the name switched back to 8×8, and the company began trading on the SmallCap market during 2002.
2003 marked the launch of the first videoconferencing service from 8×8 and acquired 200,000 of a start-up named SunRocket’s customers after the brand’s liquidation. In May 2010, 8×8 purchased Central Host, a hosting company based in California. By 2011, the company also announced the acquisition of Colorado-based company Zerigo, responsible for cloud services.
One of the most significant purchases for 8×8 was in 2011, when it purchased Contactual, a company offering hosted contact centre technology. In 2013, 8×8 also acquired Voicenet, to unlock more cloud services technology.
During 2015, 8×8 completed the purchase of UK-based DXI Ltd to expand its position as a cloud-based contact centre vendor. The purchase was followed by the acquisition of Quality Software Corp and two affiliated companies soon after.
In 2018, 8×8 purchased open-source video and chat tool, Jitsi, from Atlassian, and then purchased Wavecell in 2019, a CPaaS platform which supported 8×8’s transition into APIs.
Over the years, Gartner has listed 8×8 as a magic quadrant leader for UCaaS and CCaaS several times. 8×8 has also received 128 patents for semiconductors, video processing algorithms, computer tools, communication technology, video, and security solutions.
8×8 UCaaS Offerings
The current UC offering from 8×8 is the flexible X Series.
Part of the 8×8 Open Communications platform which combines contact centre, chat, video, voice, analytics, and APIs, the UCaaS solution provides a flexible entry into cloud communications. One of the things making 8×8 so unique is its modular approach to communication tools.
8×8 all-in-one communications has dozens of features to offer, from built-in conference and video calling services for collaboration, to caller ID, company directories, extension dialling, and music on hold. You can create custom automated attendants, and access integrations with a host of popular software programs such as Microsoft Teams, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Freshdesk.
The business phone environment within the X Series is where users will find all of their standard cloud UC solutions for call management. Ideal for the remote and hybrid workforce, the solution from 8×8 is available as a single app which users can access on their smartphone, or desktop. Core productivity and enterprise grade PBX solutions combine with easy administration and provisioning.
- Unlimited calling and fax
- Custom multi-level auto attendant
- Call recording
- Visual voicemail
- Music on hold
- Local number porting
- Overhead paging
- Call management and monitoring
- Call queues
- Caller ID, blocking, and Do not Disturb
- Call forwarding, waiting, parking and transfer
- Role-based access controls
- User provisioning over the cloud
- Emergency services
- Directory support
- Collaboration and team chat
- Work apps for workforce management
- In-depth analytics
Companies can choose to purchase business phone technology on their own or connect their offering with various other modules in the 8×8 X Series ecosystem. The full selection of features comes with a single administrative environment for system management, user setup, and provisioning.
Alongside business calling tools, the UCaaS experience from 8×8 also comes with a host of team collaboration tools to keep employees connected and efficient in the modern environment. There’s a full real-time messaging system available for employees who need to stay connected in the remote and hybrid environment. The universal app can also integrate with other popular platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
With the collaboration system, your users are automatically added to the directory from your company’s existing information. Users can also launch video and voice calls directly from a chat thread, improving opportunities for more face-to-face interactions. The combination of collaboration and UC features helps companies from all backgrounds to work together in a secure and flexible environment.
8×8 CCaaS Offering
The CCaaS solution from 8×8 is also available as part of the all-in-one communications package and X Series environment. The 8×8 CCaaS environment is a complete contact centre solution in the cloud designed to improve agent and employee experience in a flexible environment.
Companies can unlock a host of powerful features from intelligent coaching and collaboration tools to AI-powered self-service for CX, and productivity tools for agent management. Omnichannel routing keeps companies connected to their clients on the channels which suit them.
Like the UCaaS offering from 8×8, the CCaaS solution is highly adaptable and modular. You can build your own experience with the features that suit you and add in further functionality like analytics and call management.
8×8 CCaaS gives agents access to a comprehensive dashboard where they can access all the tools they need for omnichannel customer service. This platform is particularly useful for the age of hybrid and remote work, as it allows companies to send timely feedback to their employees to guide their decision-making. There’s also access to built-in collaboration tools so that teams can work more closely together.
- Automatic omnichannel routing
- Digital channels like chat, video, and social media
- Intelligent IVR and virtual assistant for self-service
- Workforce engagement management tools
- Quality management with metric tracking
- Customer surveys and feedback loops
- Call and screen recording
- Contact centre analytics with automated notifications
- Customer experience analytics
- IVR journey maps
- Speech analytics and sentiment insights
- Native CRM access or integrations with leading CRMs
- Payment processing with PCI DSS Level 1 compliance
Access to intelligent tools like automatic routing which sends customers to the agent best suited to handle their problems ensures that companies can deliver the best possible outcomes for their clients. At the same time, AI-powered virtual assistants and self-service options reduce the amount of pressure placed on current agents by allowing customers to solve problems themselves.
For outbound contact centres, 8×8 also supports a range of features to boost your chances of sales, including integrations with your CRM and sales technology, and a predictive dialler. The fully integrated predictive dialling system maximises connectivity rates automatically to improve your revenue opportunities. Carrier call blocking and answer machine protection is included as standard.
To keep teams as efficient as possible, 8×8 also enhances the customer service experience with workforce management and quality management tools. Adaptive quality management empowers agents to deliver better experiences, while reducing the risk to your company’s reputation. Workforce management tools help business leaders to forecast call volume across channels for better staffing and agent utilisation.
8×8 is a comprehensive cloud communications provider offering UCaaS, CCaaS, collaboration, analytics, and CPaaS. Part of what makes the company so compelling is its flexibility. 8×8 takes a modular approach to selling communication solutions with the X Series.
The X Series environment supports companies in purchasing only the tools they need, and nothing more. You can also add extra functionality as often as you like. If you buy your hardware (such as IP phones) from 8×8, they’ll come preconfigured from the vendor. 8×8 also provides technical installation support to assist X Series users in setting their environment up to begin with.
Other major differentiators of 8×8 include:
Security and Compliance:
8×8 is compliant with many leading standards, including HIPAA for healthcare companies, and FISMA. The company also supports CPNI standards, ISO 27001, CSA (Cloud security Alliance) standards, the Privacy Shield Framework, and The framework for ICT Products Services and Processes. GDPR compliance is built into the technology from the ground up, along with NIST 800-52 and Cyber Essentials Plus standards. For transactions, 8×8 is PCI-DSS compliant.
Security is offered through secure coding practices according to OWASP and CWE, consumer proprietary network information protection, fraud detection, encryption, and secure endpoint provisioning.
The 8×8 environment offers access to all of the communication tools you need in one environment, from contact centre and collaboration tools, to APIs, video conferencing, business phone, and analytics. This makes it much easier to manage all of your tools in one place.
8×8 systems also integrate with a host of other valuable tools like Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, and more, so you can connect more of your technology in the same backend environment. This simplifies the working experience for today’s employees.
8×8’s platform supports insightful reporting throughout your communications environment, access to analytics and quality monitoring, and AI-driven insights. You can easily bring various points of data together throughout your company and use them to make better decisions.
Reliability is key for 8×8 customers. Cloud-based communication solutions from the 8×8 team are delivered through top-tier, mirrored, secure, and fully redundant data centres. The geographically
diverse data centres are SSAE 16 audited, and available around the globe. 8×8 supports users in more than 40 countries, with replacements for traditional PSTN lines, and local dialling.
For greater reliability 8×8 also works with leading call carriers around the world to ensure the highest quality of audio and video content at all times.
You can design the ultimate experience for your needs at a price point that suits you, without having to invest in unnecessary packages. Once your phones and systems are up and running, everything is available through an online portal, giving administrators more freedom to manage security and privacy. You can set up automated attendants directly from the portal, as well as uploading pre-recorded messages and greetings.
8×8 are committed to constantly improving their standards and features by rolling out all kinds of exciting new technology. The company innovates with things like artificial intelligence and sentiment analysis to help brands better understand their clients. 8×8 has no problem exploring the cutting edge of the technology space for communication and customer service.
How is 8×8 Placed?
8×8 has been a Leader in the UCaaS Magic Quadrant for Gartner for 9 years in a row. One of the most reputable companies recommended by the Gartner Magic Quadrant, 8×8 is constantly commended for its completeness of vision and ability to execute.
The company is also placed currently as a Challenger in the Magic Quadrant for CCaaS. Although 8×8’s CCaaS position might be a little lower than its UCaaS offering right now, the company is quickly gaining a lot of attention around the globe.
The 8×8 name also appears frequently in analytical reports around the globe, including the Forrester Wave for UCaaS providers in 2019.
8×8 was named by the Partners Choice award as the overall top supplier by Intelisys. The company is also a Gold Winner for the Golden Bridge Awards as Company of the Year for 2019. The 8×8 brand even won the UC Today best cloud communications provider award for 2019.