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Premise-based UC Solutions May Be In A Slump, but 8x8 Shows There's Growth In The Cloud

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September 06, 2012

Premise-based UC Solutions May Be In A Slump, but 8x8 Shows There's Growth In The Cloud

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

While the U.S. economy is a mix of bright and dark spots, many analysts are suddenly seeing what’s being called a “mini tech boom.” While no one likes to use the word “boom,” particularly as it pertains to tech (we’ve been there before), it seems clear that the enterprise market is hungry for new solutions that will help them take advantage of modern communications trends. Unified communications is one of these bright spots – particularly hosted services.

UC Strategies’ Blair Pleasant (News - Alert) recently spoke with one of the providers in this space, hosted VoIP company 8X8, Inc. Pleasant notes that the company, which is based in San Jose , has more than 30,000 business customers and over 200,000 seats. The company may be able to pin some of its success on its hosted delivery method.

During a time when many premise-based unified communications vendors are seeing slumps in revenue, 8x8 (News - Alert) posted fiscal year first quarter revenues in June of 2012 of $25.3 million – a 36 percent increase in revenue year-over-year compared to the same quarter last year. During that same quarter, 8x8 contracted with 1,242 net new business customers.

8x8 offers solutions in four main areas: cloud-based voice and UC, cloud video, cloud contact center and information integration. As companies turn to cloud-based solutions to keep costs under control and to pay for only what they need, including features that were perhaps out of their reach with premise-based enterprise systems, many cloud services providers such as 8X8 are seeing increasing demand for their solutions.

Some companies, having seen success with cloud-based contact center solutions, are moving toward cloud-based unified communications for the advantages these solutions can yield. 8x8’s Virtual Office is a cloud-based PBX (News - Alert) with UC capabilities that can be extended to every user of the Virtual Office solution and featuring desirable functionality such as integrated VoIP, chat, presence, visual voice mail, call forwarding controls, a video softphone with dial in/out features and mobile apps that extend the solution’s functionality to personnel on the road or in remote offices.

 The solution is also easy to implement and use, notes Pleasant.

“Contacts can be imported from Outlook, Gmail, Facebook (News - Alert), or Twitter, enabling users to chat through those applications,” she writes. “Every user also gets access to the mobile app, which currently supports IOS and Android (News - Alert), and provides simultaneous ring, and displays the workers' office phone even when placing a call from the mobile app. iPad support was recently released, and video will be added to both IOS and Android devices shortly.”

While once upon a time, enterprise communications were a matter of fitting employees to a rigid, inflexible new solution, today, companies such as 8x8 make it possible to fit the solution to the way employees already communicate.

8x8, Inc. is a Platinum Sponsor of the ITEXPO West 2012 and can be found at booth #801. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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