Provider of the Month: 8x8, Inc.

8x8, Inc. has been a leader in telecommunications innovation for over 25 years. Headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, 8x8 is a leader in cloud-based communication.

8x8 began as a company that made multimedia semiconductors, and embedded firmware and software. A multimedia semiconductor is a micro processing chip. Theses chips are considered to be the foundation for most modern electronics like radios, phones, computers and other various types of electronic devices.

With a strong foundation in technological research, 8x8 began to work on a hosted VoIP phone service with particular emphasis on their video communications solution.

In 2002, 8x8, Inc. began providing residential VoIP services, and shortly after began offering its business VoIP services. In a short time 8x8, Inc. became the second largest standalone VoIP service provider in the industry.

According to media relations officer Joan Citelli, their rapid growth is due to the fact that 8x8, Inc. develops and uses their own internal technology. By developing their technology in-house, they bypass many of the issues associated with using a third party data center.

In 2007, 8x8 Virtual Office was ranked the best hosted phone VoIP service in the US for small and medium-sized businesses, according to telecom research firm AMI Partners. According to the 8x8, Inc. website, in 2012, market research firm Frost & Sullivan, “Declared 8x8—with market share of 7.8 percent—the ‘clear leader’ of hosted IP telephony.”

Because the technology is proprietary to 8x8, Inc. and is backed by 85 US patents, 8x8 can provide services or software updates to their customers in a more efficient manner. They also have the ability to accommodate custom feature requests, according to Citelli.  

8x8, Inc. Services

8x8, Inc. is focused on providing telecommunication excellence for small to medium-sized enterprises by offering the following services:

  • Hosted VoIP phone services with many lots of features.
  • Hosted contact centers to manage and route customer calls to agents to promote greater productivity.
  • Unified communications to connect your employees for greater collaboration and making your business processes more efficient.

Video Conferencing

8x8, Inc. is a leader in video conferencing technology with their 8x8 Virtual Room solution.  This technology allows remote offices, smartphone users or tablet users to take part in the collaboration process in real-time.

A recent article in PC World claims that 8x8’s Virtual Room delivers the “smoothest” video and provides the most economical choice for a small to mid-sized company’s video conferencing needs. Citelli attributes the reliability of their Virtual Room to the networks built in redundant systems.

Because Virtual Room’s cloud based technology has eliminated the need to purchase expensive in-house video conferencing equipment and infrastructure, small companies with limited budgets can incorporate video conferencing with 8x8.  

Focus on the Future

According to Citelli, 8x8, Inc. recently launched their Virtual Mobile Office 4.0. Citelli believes enhancement in mobile apps and mobile accessibility will be the most important area for development for most VoIP providers.  

With Virtual Office Mobile 4.0, employees can be as productive on the move as if they were in a centralized brick and mortar office.  Virtual Mobile Office offers full business phone functionality on your smartphone or tablet device with features like:

  • Visual Voicemail: Allows you to see a list of your messages and enables you to mark, listen to, or delete them.
  • Video Calling: Enables you to call and video chat with coworkers or other 8x8 users on many platforms like smartphones, tablets, or office computers.
  • Presence and Chat: Allows you to set your online status (busy, available, offline) and allows you to see the status of coworkers.  

Virtual Office Mobile is included free with your 8x8 Virtual Office Extensions, and can be downloaded from most app stores.

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