Last updated on 01/18/2013…

8×8 Inc. and Jive are two of the premier names in SMB VoIP. Both business VoIP providers specialize in unlimited plans packed with features. Neither 8×8 nor Jive Communications are for the uninitiated. Jive Communications has partnered with the biggest names in telecommunications services and hardware, such as Verizon Business, Level 3, and Juniper Networks, and has their own proprietary network. Consequently, Jive provides VoIP services not just to businesses but to educational institutions and government installations. 8×8, which started as a manufacturer of semiconductors in 1987, and later reinvented itself as a business VoIP provider, has over 80 patents of its own. In 2008, 8×8 was second only to Vonage as a standalone VoIP provider, but, amazingly, still continues to grow, and was listed in 2010 by Deloitte as one the fastest growing technology companies. Let’s look at the tale of the tape to see how these two telecommunications heavyweights stack up.

Services Compared 8x8, Inc
Jive Communications
Monthly Cost of Cheapest Service $19.99/mo $21.95/mo (51+USERS)
Number of Employees Suggested Per Pricing Tiers <5, 6-20, 21-50, 51-100, 101-500, 500+ 1-4, 5-9, 10-24- 25-49, 50+
Monthly Price per Extension, Unlimited U.S. & Canada Plans $19.99/mo, (will match competitor quotes) Tier 1: 1-4 users, $29.05/mo
Tier 2: 5-9 users, $25.95/mo
Tier 3: 10-24 users, $23.95/mo
Tier 4: 25-49 users, $22.95/mo
Tier 5: 50+users, $21.95/mo
Metered Plans n/a n/a
Free Mobile App Compatibility iOS, Android Compatible with SIP clients
Call Recording Up to 35 hours (1GB) included, $12.99/GB over 1GB $0.02/min, stored on Amazon A3
Cloud Integration Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Outlook
Conference Bridge/Virtual Conference Up to 20 callers at once, free Unlimited Conference Bridges
Fax Options/Prices Unlimited US/Canada Fax $40/month, $30 fee, $60 fax machine

Metered fax: $16/month, $30 fee, $60 fax machine

Unlimited fax extension: $40/month, $30 fee, fax included in above plan

Metered Fax extension: $15/month, $30 fee, fax included in above plan

Free V-Fax Only
International Calling Plans $79.99/mo, $39.99 fee, Unmetered Per Minute, Per Country
Money Back Guarantee/Free Trial 30 Days, no s/h refund, user responsible for charges incurred n/a
On-Hold Music Yes Yes
Option to have greetings recorded by professional voice actors Yes Yes
Overhead Paging/Intercom (Does not include equipment costs) Third party equipment compatible, $59.99 equipment charge for adapter, $9.99 activation fee, no ongoing fee n/a
Setup Fee $29.99 Free
Softphone $9.99/mo, $9.99 fee, 200 out-of-network minutes/mo $4.95/mo
Switchboard Software for Live Receptionist $19.99/mo, $9.99 fee n/a
Tech Support Hours & Location 8AM-Midnight Eastern, US-Based 24/7
Toll-Free Number $9.99 activation fee plus:
150 minutes/month $4.99
1,500 minutes/month $39.99
5,000 minutes/month $94.99
20,000 minutes/month $359.99
50,000 minutes/month $849.99
$5 + $0.03/min, no setup fee
Voicemail Transcription n/a Included
Virtual Number $9.99/mo, $19.99 fee, $0.029/min if forwarded to PSTN # One included
More Details

Shared Features: Standard Call Features, Advanced Call Hunting, Auto Attendant, Call Analytics, Call Rules, Desktop Integration, Dial-By-Name Directory, virtual Fax, Enhanced Voice Mail, Find Me/Follow Me, Holiday/Custom Scheduling, Intercom, Music, Remote Access, Speed Dial, Virtual Extensions, Web Portal

In terms of price alone, Jive charges a lower rate for larger companies, topping out at $21/mo/user for companies with over 51 users. But, 8×8 will try to match any competitor’s quote. That alone makes 8×8 competitive on price against literally any company. But before you throw in the towel, let’s compare some of the features of each company.

If there’s one area that Jive covers and 8×8 doesn’t, it’s voicemail transcription. Jive offers it as part of their basic service package, and 8×8 doesn’t offer it at all. As you can see in our library and in our videos, voicemail transcription can save you a lot of time, and, as we all know, time is money.

Although it’s an intangible, many of the reviews I have read about Jive compliment them on their audio clarity. Another intangible is network uptime. Both 8×8 and Jive promise 99.99% uptime, and appear to deliver the goods.

8×8 has native mobile apps and softphones, but Jive comes up a little short in that area. Thanks to the magic of SIP, a Jive subscriber can use a SIP client.

8×8 does offer a white glove service. If you are willing to pay for it, you can get a professional installation and on-site activation. Jive does not offer this service.

The Final Bell: Our firsthand experience with 8×8 has shown us that their customer support is gentle and forgiving, even if their terms of service are otherwise forged from iron. Jive and 8×8 both go after established business and private sector institutions, and have the patents and backbone to serve them well. Jive Communications certainly didn’t get to be at the top of the mountain by Search Engine Optimization alone. While Jive is understated but incredibly reliable, 8×8 certainly has more flash and flair. But the service they provide is about equal. This one is another tie.