The platform’s goal: according to a recent interview with Victor Belfor, Global VP of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, is to develop more lucrative partner incentives like recurring revenue. Additionally, there are other advantages, he contends, including enhanced customer experiences for those leveraging contact center technology.
In addition to this, the platform now boasts over 20 fresh and tightly integrated tools that focus on boosting CX (customer experience) by adding artificial intelligence to various customer experiences.
With over 45 partners available via the 8×8 ecosystem, Cognigy, Avoira, Awaken, Balto, Converse360, Cresta, Engage Hub, LogicDialog, PromptVoice, Roboyo, Skybox Communications, and Syndeo are all now members of the technology partner team – hoping to do some damage on the customer experience and user experience front; so to speak.
All this, Belfor notes, for businesses of all sizes, without requiring complex, custom development or ‘superfluous’ overhead costs, which he adds – are usually reserved for the enterprises. And with AI, of course, there is usually the idea of ease of use/automation – front of mind.
As 8×8 has industry-leading conversational and generative AI automation capabilities, there is sure to be no shortage of this concept in full effect.
It’s All About the Experience, Says 8×8
While everything today seems to be about experience, 8×8 shared with me that this portal is much more than that – it is about facilitating breaking down barriers. The experience, built on what 8×8 deems XCaaS or (eXperience Communications as a Service), an open architecture platform, lets organizations surface data across (a variety of) apps and interfaces.
This: (all but) ensures; conversational context gets maintained during any handoffs between the 8×8 XCaaS platform and the partner integration – the company notes. In addition to designing and implementing custom solutions, leveraging handpicked and vetted technologies, Belfor said this nixes the need for expensive custom development that lead to excessive overhead costs.
And that can get expensive; according to DreamFactory may cost as much as $20,000 for the most basic API. For partners, the benefits are also clear, as collaboration on joint go-to-market strategies, including promotional support, sales enablement, shared field engagements, and lead sharing are all possibilities via the updated portal.
Belfor notes that discovering and addressing unknown customer use cases and having a wider reach for partners in the program to a wide array of 8×8 customers means tapping into additional revenue opportunities – hinting at partners doing potentially well if they know how to leverage said ecosystem.
Richard Brown, Director at converse360, told GetVoIP News; that “Self-service is no longer just the step before speaking with a live agent, but rather can now offer customers engaging dynamic and personalized experiences. And that means that.
Furthermore, according to Hunter Middleton, Chief Product Officer at 8×8, Inc:
“A one-size-fits-all approach no longer works.”
Instead, Middleton adds, that organizations expect technology solutions and providers should innovate, adapt and evolve to meet their current and future business and customer needs. This: Belfor notes, is the overarching goal of the program.
Carefully Curated, Catering to Mid-Market
And Belfor added, in our recent sit-down, that a portal is only one aspect of the 8×8 Technology Partner Ecosystem, further noting: “We work closely with innovative technology partners, especially in the AI space, and embracing these partnerships, not as a “necessary evil” like so many of our competitors but as an integral part of the value we can provide to our customers.”
He contends that by extending integrated solutions, which are curated based on what he calls “our ideal use cases,” the firm develops solutions that not only meet the individual needs of a particular business but enable access to many technologies and solutions that are traditionally out of reach for all but the largest of enterprises.
It comes down to having “carefully curated” each partner that delivers access to state-of-the-art innovative technologies to 8×8 customers.
“An example of this is the recently announced 8×8 Intelligent Customer Assistant, which utilizes Cognigy’s leading conversational AI technology to deeply infuse 8×8 Contact Center, and the entire 8×8 XCaaS platform, with deep AI/ML, natural language understanding models, and performance capabilities.”
Belfor added; that meeting the needs of mid-market companies can pose challenges for many CCaaS providers. And these organizations face similar difficulties as large enterprises, meaning they often lack the IT resources required to integrate a comprehensive set of best-of-breed solutions.
Hence, this is one of the immediate reasons 8×8 developed its ecosystem specifically tailored for these kinds of companies.
“Through our carefully curated selection of seamlessly integrated products from industry-leading partners: customers can assemble, rather than build, solutions from a wide range of offerings without needing enterprise-grade design and development resources.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, 8×8 has released a slew of features to its XCaaS platform, essentially; an integrated cloud contact center and unified communications platform that includes a cloud contact center, business phone, video meetings, team chat, and SMS capabilities in a single-vendor solution.
8×8 XCaaS: is, therefore, resilient, secure, and of course, compliant with various regulations like GDPR.
AI FTW, Says 8×8
Acting as an app store – the 8×8 partner ecosystem is robust: and an app store that includes integrations that enable fairly advanced capabilities, such as integrations with the likes of Google Workspace and Hubspot.
The platforms focused on AI are ones like Engage Hub, which lets users develop a conversational AI-powered agent which leverages the platform’s native Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine, which further consists of deep real-time integrations.
There is also Assist-Me: which enables companies to automate web-based self-service, phone, or via social channels.
All these experiences, 8×8 (hopes): will change the face of customer experiences for its platform users; and make the process easier for users. That is, of course, the hope, and on the partner front, more benefits meet the eye. As 8×8 continues to lead the market in many respects, there seems to be no limit to what it will do for customers and for the sake of enhancing the experience they have.
Adding advanced AI capabilities only makes sense for them in the grander scheme of things. Stay tuned as we cover the latest industry news and headlines in the UCC space here on GetVoIP News.