On this provider spotlight, we are featuring 8×8, Inc., a cloud communications solution provider based out of San Jose, California.
Here’s our Q&A with 8×8’s Corporate Envangelist, Erik Archer:
by 8×8 as a company?
Erik Archer: Well actually, believe it or not, we’re just about 30 years old. In Silicon Valley terms that’s a pretty long time. And we actually hold the patent on the “hosted PBX”. So long transition from a semi-conductor company and now we are the leader in cloud communication.
Erik: 8×8 is the only cloud provider that offers a full suite of communication and collaboration tools, so everything from your raw voice, to your unified communication, collaboration, multi-point video, and contact center, so we are really the one stop shop.
Erik: Historically, in the last 10 years or so, we’ve really seen the small market adopt and we still compete very strongly in that market because we have some tools sets that really help small businesses, so that’s still a big play for us because of the expanded product set, integrated platforms and of some of our international and global reach initiative.
We really start to see mid-market and enterprise customers come in on a point-to-point solution, it can be very competitive, but an area where it’s very hard to compete with 8×8 is where a company truly needs the full set of services and they want it in the cloud and they want the security and they want to be able to combine a lot of remote offices with all this different kind of technology, we are pretty unstoppable in that case.
Erik: So there are some details I can’t go into, but we are the only one that will offer a business services agreement so that for the medical industry to maintain HIPAA compliance for example. We are also FISMA, HITECH Omnibus, SSAE 16, PCI/CPNI compliant. Security is something that’s important to the enterprise and that’s something 8×8 has spent the last several years doubling down on to make what we think is probably the most secure cloud based communication solution on the market today.
Erik: That’s kind of two questions, and again when we look at the smaller and medium businesses, so sub 50 employees, its a very light touch model that will work with online webinars, screen sharing, usually several hours of training, done remotely and then of course we will continue support through dedicated account management, and of course first tier and second tier support centers and that sort of serves for the majority of the small business and medium business customers.
We unveiled something we call ‘Elite Touch’, which is a 5-point support system for mid-market and enterprise and that’s a much more involved process. System design, network assessment, network deployment, training and of course ongoing support and professional services, so custom development as well.
Erik: I’ve been here a long time, and this is one of the features that came out and is very exciting and hard to keep up with. It does a lot of stuff but there is 2 killer points.
- I think businesses of any size will appreciate the real time and historical data and wallboards and it really lets you view and manage key metrics of your business. So for example we’ve already had a customer that realized that a lot of their calls, 30% of their calls, were coming in from 2pm-6pm, when their customers where finished with their work day and so just by looking at these wallboards and statistics they were able to say “we need to staff more later in the afternoon”, which were counterintuitive but again the dashboards just show that in real time you can run reports.
- The other thing that’s really a game changer and goes with our security and commitment to quality, is the quality management tools that are included in that. So that will let you see the overall quality of your calls, the status of devices all around the world, its got a Google maps view, you can see what’s online or what’s offline. It lets you know that 8×8 is the only voice provider that will provide a service level agreement on voice quality, on a guaranteed voice quality level. So this tool not only lets you see that but lets you keep us honest because you can actually see if the voice quality is matching the SLA.
Erik: I mean, not really, I think everything is kind of transparent, we don’t have a lot of secrets and I think that’s one of the things people like. What you see is what you get, and we are pretty happy that we have a lot to see so that’s something 8×8 is very proud of.