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G Suite Admins Blog > G Suite Business, Unified Communications

Could 8x8 Become a Contender for Mid-Market G-Suite Companies?

apps admin blog post coverIn today's agile environment, it's safe to say that communication is key. Almost every business is looking for the best way to manage their online assets with tools, communication strategies, and flexible cloud-based storage. The rise of new technology has meant that organizations now have access to all kinds of new resources to boost their performance but choosing the right vendor to work with can be the difference between failure and success for many.

Here at Coolhead Tech, we're all about delivering the best Google experience for customers embracing a fully-hosted or hybrid cloud network. Sometimes, that means exploring the opportunities other communications vendors can offer to help better serve cloud customers. I recently had a unique opportunity to speak to some of the people behind 8x8 at the Midsize Enterprise Summit, one of the contenders in the cloud-experience market.

8x8 is a company dedicated to offering exceptional business communications that help to serve customers with flexible, mobile solutions - perfect for those who need teams to work seamlessly together from anywhere, at any time. From hosted cloud-based call centers to business phone services, 8x8 has quickly earned the rank of the top hosted VoIP provider around. In fact, they're trusted by more than a million business users around the world.

Here, we're going to explore what makes 8x8 a powerful communications contender for mid-market G-Suite users.


Introducing 8x8: The Cloud Comms Vendor

8x8 specializes in various areas associated with business comms, including the ever-more-popular concept of "UC". Unified communications features help users to connect quickly with customers and coworkers around the world, improving both their bottom line and productivity. Essentially, they bring all of the different components you use for communication together, from email to video chat, and make sure you can handle them all from the same platform.

8x8's approach to unified communications is the "Virtual Office" service. The virtual office places your communication strategies in the cloud so that you can lower costs and enhance collaboration at the same time. With Virtual Office Pro, you can even launch your own meetings with unlimited opportunities for web conferences featuring HD video for your geographically disconnected customers and employees.

Virtual Office even comes with its own solutions for compliance and security too. For instance, there's a call recording feature built-in to ensure that you're saving the right information for your records. Call recording, when used according to the compliance guidelines of GDPR, can also help to improve the performance of your call center and business employees too. For instance, you can use call recordings to train new staff, and support the growth of new skills.

Combine 8x8's video and voice calling strategies with things like the Google Gmail and calendaring experiences on G Suite, and you've got everything you need for an advanced unified communications strategy.


8x8 and the X-Series for Customer Experience

There's a reason why UC tools, admin strategies, and solutions like G-Suite have become so popular over recent years. While all of these things can help to make a company more efficient and secure, they can also ensure that you have the systems you need in place to provide a state-of-the-art customer service.

After all, today's customers judge companies based on the experience that they can give. If your company is unable to deliver a fantastic experience day after day, then you could miss out on long-term sales, profits, and business loyalty.

Although 72% of businesses claim that customer experience is at the heart of everything they do, few have taken the right steps to construct their communications architecture around client satisfaction. With the tools available from G-Suite to help companies organize their content and provide employees with the right information to support users, brands can provide a more in-depth customer experience. However, G-Suite is only one part of the puzzle, today's mid-market enterprise also needs another aspect of their communication strategy too.

8x8 delivers the "X Series" as their answer to better customer service. This platform combines calls, conferencing, and collaboration solutions to give businesses the support they need to delight their customers. Basically, the X Series works by transforming the customer experience with intelligent and quick collaboration across borders for all midmarket enterprise customers. This means that a call center can easily reach out to a tech specialist with questions for a client and get responses immediately.

Because 8x8 integrates seamlessly with a range of G Suite solutions, it's also possible to integrate these collaboration features, without having to re-train your employees. In other words, they can continue to use the things that they feel comfortable with, like Google Sheets and Gmail, while they access the flexibility of the 8x8 platform.

8x8 launched the X-Series, and many of their other services to provide employees and contact centers with the context they need in today's customer-first marketplace. With the right information at hand, you can avoid asking your customers to repeat the same thing as they move from employee to employee - reducing frustration. The natural third-party integrations with G-Suite, Zendesk, Salesforce, and others simply mean that 8x8 can provide enterprises with a unified space for all their data.

With the X Series platform, you get one workflow engine, a single set of data, and a comprehensive analytics engine that combines all of your team collaboration, meeting, and voice applications into one space. By bringing everything together and breaking down business silos, 8x8 can ensure that every mid-market company is equipped to handle communication both with employees and customers.


The 8x8 Experience Vs Dialpad and RingCentral

Of course, 8x8 isn't the only communications vendor on the market that has started to embrace the power of G-Suite. There are plenty of other organizations, like Dialpad and RingCentral, who are also throwing their own communication suites into the fold.

For instance, Dialpad has made their cloud-based phone system one step better with native G-Suite Integration. Using Dialpad, you can easily collaborate with team members on documents, sheets, slides, and a range of other Google components. One of the main reasons why Dialpad is so deeply infused with Google is that its founders helped to create "Google Voice". Now, they're using their background in technology and cloud computing to redefine the UC world for the future of business.

On the other side of the coin, RingCentral comes with support for Google too. For instance, the RingCentral portfolio allows you to integrate your business phone strategy into cloud applications that you're using on a daily basis with "RingCentral for Google". In fact, RingCentral is even a recommended solution for G-Suite, supported by Google Cloud. With this portfolio, you can make and receive calls using the same screen as you would for your standard G-Suite work apps.

RingCentral also allows users to fax and message people, conduct web meetings, and launch conference calls using a single browser, with options for listening to voicemails and dial numbers in the Gmail calendar too.

Perhaps the thing that makes 8x8 so unique is the fact that it doesn't just offer support for the G-Suite, it also gives customers the opportunity to create the communication strategy that works best for their needs, with plenty of unique integrations. 8x8 allows you to simplify your UC strategy by consolidating all of your apps and workflow strategies into one place. You can even sync contacts from Gmail and the Google Calendar into your virtual office.


The Proof is in the Performance: 8x8 Case Studies

When it comes to choosing a vendor for your G-Suite enabled communication strategy, it's important to know exactly what you're getting into. One of the best ways to do this is to check out case studies and previous reviews given by customers of the vendor you're interested in. 8x8 gives customers plenty of resources to browse through when they're looking for social proof, for instance:

  1. Apigee
  2. McDonald's
  3. Tangent International

Apigee, a company known for developing a platform that facilitates acceleration into business transformation, deployed the 8x8 Virtual Office system across its global offices. Ever since it launched in 2004, Apigee has been building on its impact in the technology and API space, with customers that extend to include Dell, AT&T, eBay, and many more. It's no wonder that this brand needs the agility and flexibility of the cloud to perform at its peak.

With 8x8, Apigee were able to replace their outdated and somewhat cobbled-together hardware-based phone system with a new service for unified communications. After the organization discovered how difficult it was to continue maintaining their hardware solution, they turned to 8x8 for help. According to the head of IT for Apigee Global, Lincoln Heacock, 8x8's virtual PBX solution simplified their strategy and allowed them to seamlessly evolve their company.

In the communications world, finding the right strategy can sometimes be a complex and even expensive journey. If you don't find the right provider, then the costs of communication can quickly skyrocket, leaving you with very little budget left for customer service and innovation. That was a problem that the IT sector of McDonald's faced in 2010 when they discovered just how ineffective their phone services were. According to the company, they were constantly suffering from downtime.

Before they switched to an 8x8 service, McDonald's were often renting outdated Cisco phones and paying expensive per-minute charges for calls. Unfortunately, this wasn't a great way to ensure long-term profits for the fast-food brand. Fortunately, after the organization switched to 8x8, they managed to bring their phone costs down by up to 35% - minimizing the costs of communication.

According to the IT team for McDonald's, the franchise used to have at least one restaurant suffering from phone outages every day. Now, the particular group that 8x8 worked within the Indianapolis region has constant uptime.

Finally, Tangent International is a company that currently operates across 175 countries, with clients and candidates in over 220 locations. These customers include some of the largest technology companies in the world, so it's important for the brand to make sure that they're always meeting with the highest possible standards. Unfortunately, the company's previous phone system strategy lacked the time-saving features the company needed to impress customers and delight shareholders.

The organization wanted a communication strategy that would help them to improve the recruitment process, with features like click to dial and video conferencing. In just one day, an 8x8 engineer managed to turn the communication solution for Tangent International around. The implementation was completely painless, and the whole team only needed a quick brief to get started. With 8x8, Tangent staff can stay up to date on the things that matter, regardless of whether they're in the office or working remotely.


8x8 Offers A Unified Experience with Google

8x8 are one of the many companies in the world today that have begun to accept the fact that communication is no longer just about voice calls and desk phones. The way we connect, both with customers and coworkers, has changed drastically, thanks to the rise of video conferencing, instant messaging, and even collaborative tools.

8x8 provide a comprehensive solution to UC that includes the unique collaborative and workflow features provided by the G-Suite. In fact, the 8x8 organization even use G-Suite themselves in-house, which is a good sign that they're practicing what they preach. While G-Suite might not be the ultimate solution for unified communications, it's an important way for today's organizations to connect with each other, share files, and build strategies for business growth. Whether that means using a web conference or cloud search, organizations need tools that work seamlessly together.

Through an in-depth connection with Google, 8x8 is offering their users the end-to-end support they need for a complete unified communication experience. For instance, with easy integration with Google, Docs, Gmail, and Calendars, collaboration becomes easier than ever. Customers can simply log into their 8x8 dashboard, and they won't have to worry about learning how to use new services to keep their teams up to date.

8x8's integration means that you get a fully consolidated directory where you can connect with all your contacts in one place, access time-saving solutions like click to call, and even instant message or view the presence status of contacts. This means that you spend less time waiting to make important connections, and more time on growing your business.

Additionally, the 8x8 Google Integration also means that your web conferencing and calls are linked to your Google Calendar. Through Virtual Office, you can see the availability of contacts, and schedule meetings that suit everyone on your team. When a meeting has been set, it launches a pop-up alert on an attendee's computer, which they can simply click to join.


8x8 Is Building their Connections with Google

8x8 is a company that's always dedicated itself to the concept of innovation and growth. Part of their path to success seems to be linked intrinsically with Google, and the delivery of new Google services. For instance, the 8x8 brand recently brought new leadership from Google into their cloud communication and customer engagement strategy.

By bringing former product leader from the Google G-Suite, Hunter Middleton, into the mix, 8x8 is giving themselves behind-the-scenes access to the same knowledge and innovation that brought the G-Suite to life. That's sure to be important as the company continues to integrate more deeply with the Google experience. Hunter Middleton recently took on the new role of Global Vice President for Product Management with the brand, leading user experience, strategy, and vision for cloud communications. He'll also be working alongside Meghan Keough - the Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing.

Ultimately, although we can only guess at what 8x8's strategy for success is at this time, it seems that the company is devoting a lot of time and effort to making sure that customers have the collaboration tools they need to enhance their communication strategy. After all, a good communication plan isn't just about connecting with customers, but with your co-workers and staff too.

8x8's integrations with Google simplifies the unified communication experience by bringing web and audio conferencing together with the services that their users are already familiar with - Like Google Calendar and Gmail.


Time to Join A Leader in Cloud Solutions

Ultimately, the solutions you choose to enhance and support your journey to the cloud will depend on your own personal preferences and individual requirements. However, if you're planning to tap into all of the innovations and benefits that the G Suite has to offer, then you might benefit from working with a vendor like 8x8.

Named a Leader in Unified Communications by the Gartner Magic Quadrant, 8x8 is clearly seeing a quick rise to success, with the perfect combination of skilled people, innovative technology, and lucrative visions. Companies like Dialpad and RingCentral might have to watch their back if they're not careful, as it seems clear to us that 8x8 has plenty to offer the mid-market company looking for a G-Suite-enabled communication strategy.

To find out more about Google G-Suite, the Google Cloud, or even integrations with unified communication vendors, reach out to your Google experts here at Coolhead Tech.