The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are still affecting the market as organizations look to focus on business continuity for future operations and to fulfill the requirements of a hybrid workforce. Organizations must meet the expectations of the workforce and customers who require digital communication that is straightforward and easily available to provide engagement and sufficient experience in using the technology. Digital communication software allows organizations to facilitate collaboration between the workforce and customers, ensuring that operational challenges are tackled any moment of the day or even in catastrophic events.
8x8 is a business communications software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of 8x8 XCaaS, or Experience Communications as a Service, an integrated voice communications, video, chat, contact center and SMS solution built on one global cloud communication platform to power the communications requirements of all employees globally as they work together to deliver differentiated customer experiences. The cloud-based phone system offers free and unlimited calls to any domestic number, including within the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, as well as unlimited SMS messages and faxes. New users can transfer their original phone number from their previous provider to protect branding. Several features are available to improve the customer calling experience, including Ring Groups, which allows users to distribute calls in a set pattern to balance workloads and handle larger call volumes. Video conferencing allows up to 500 participants to communicate in high-definition video and audio with end-to-end encryption. Conferences can be live streamed to an unlimited audience on YouTube or shared as a YouTube video. Organizations can personalize meetings with a custom URL, logo and background. Participants can meet using their desktop or mobile browser and utilize a live transcription and subtitles service (currently offered in English). In 8x8 Team Chat, users can message anyone in an organization’s global directory privately or in a group. Other platforms such as Skype and Webex can connect to 8x8, allowing teams on different platforms to communicate and share files. Other applications can be integrated on the 8x8 eXperience Communications Platform using APIs like embedding video as a service within other platforms and applications. 8x8 eXperience Communications Platform emphasizes the importance of improving the worker’s and customer’s experience in business communications. By offering a unified communications solution that is secure, reliable and includes several integrations, 8x8 believes that users can stay connected under any circumstances.
Black swan events like the coronavirus pandemic have proven the importance of business continuity. With communications being the foundation of operational readiness, organizations should reevaluate their current software. Cloud communication products should be secure and accessible from mobile devices in emergencies where traditional computers may not be available. Ventana Research asserts that by 2024, two-thirds of organizations will determine unified communications is ineffective to support secure and seamless interactions across devices and people.
To ensure business operations continue for all workers, 8x8 expanded its digital communication offering to provide a cloud contact center software option, which includes the ability to route inbound and outbound interactions, call and screen recording and a virtual agent. Voice over IP phones and accessories are also available to integrate with the software. Digital communication is the backbone of organizations in the modern age of business operations. 8x8’s cloud communication offerings provide options to any size organization that would like to focus on improving business continuity and customer engagement.
8x8 operates in a highly competitive market, bringing together unified communications and collaboration in a digital communication suite but they will need to further expand their offering to support not just chat and messaging but also forums for dialogue both inside and outside of the organization. If your organization is looking for a unified approach to digital phone, conferencing and chat support to simplify the digital experience across your workforce, you should evaluate 8x8’s approach toward modernizing digital communication technology. Ventana Research recommends that every organization include in their evaluation of digital communication solutions the close examination of the digital experience that the vendor offers for all roles and responsibilities.