Subscribers will enjoy impressive connectivity between themselves and their customers alongside the ability to easily uncover areas for improvement in communication, keeping growth on a steady trend upwards for small and medium-sized businesses.
If you’re looking to set up 8×8 you will find that configuration is very simple and straightforward. All you need to do is sign up with the service and wait for 8×8 to ship over your handsets. This is optional as you can always use the 8×8 softphones either through your mobile device or PC.
When you receive the handsets, you will also get an instructional email which is standard for all new customers and will provide you with all the information you need to log in as well as basic manuals explaining the service and the headsets also.
Within the email, you will be asked to schedule a call with one of the technical service representatives so that they can walk you through the system as well as answer any possible questions you may have. This phone call typically lasts around thirty minutes to an hour.
Setting up the VoIP phones is incredibly simple and can be completed in two ways. The first involves you entering the MAC address and other details whilst the other includes you entering an activation code which you can type into the phone directly as soon as you connect it to the network. Either solution is very user-friendly, but we found the second option to be a little bit simpler.
As soon as your handsets have been activated you are ready to manage the features found in the Configuration Manager portal. There you can allocate particular phone numbers as well as extensions to every handset and manage advanced features including call recording options.
It should be noted that every user will have their own unique extension as well as a dedicated phone number. From there they can access that line from their desk, smartphone app or desktop app meaning they can make and receive calls, conduct meetings online, video conference or check voicemails.
This is all you need to do to get your 8×8 up and running, but that is by no means the end of the road when it comes to advanced options, so it might be an idea to look into those to get the most out of this service.
If you’re looking for enterprise services there are an additional four packages that you can choose from, the specifications of which can be found on their site.
Ease of Use
One of the best things about 8×8 is that it doesn’t require any special equipment or additional wiring because it runs on a data connection. All you really have to do is correctly configure your routers and make sure you have the appropriate bandwidth to manage the volume of calls you expect to have.
Another positive element when it comes to simplicity of this product is that you aren’t responsible for system maintenance which means you don’t need to have a dedicated IT team as 8×8 will take care of it all for you.
Everyone knows how damaging it can be to a business to change contact details, as old numbers and emails are always floating around the internet. This can end in customers losing interest when trying to contact you using old information.
8×8 is a system that will allow you to bring over your current phone number and won’t charge you for it. It will take around eight days for a local number to be transferred over and around five weeks for those toll-free numbers, but if you can wait that long it will be well worth it.
The system can be controlled online so that administrators are able to assign telephone numbers to certain employees and create ring groups. Additionally, employees are also able to log in and oversee their various phone features remotely. This includes checking out the company directory, messaging other users as well as finding out which of their co-workers are busy and which aren’t.
One of the biggest pluses when it comes to the 8×8 VoIP system is the fact that it has a 99.999% uptime service and 15 data centers around the world. The high uptime percentage means that 8×8 will only ever be down for a few minutes during the year.
Making life all the more simple is the fact that there are apps available for iOS and Android devices where employees are able to make calls as well as collaborate in online meetings and even view faxes online.
There are many options when it comes to 8×8 features which make this service stand out. Firstly let’s look at the list to make things a little easier.
- International calling
- Mobile apps
- Auto attendants
- Voice to email notifications
- SMS texting
- Online call management
- Conference bridge
- Music on hold
- Call recording
- Internet faxing
- Web video conferencing
- Instant messaging
- Power key service
- Four line appearance
- Call queuing
- Additional ring groups
- Overhead paging
- Virtual attendant
The cheapest package comes with unlimited calls to 14 countries and as you might imagine as you look at pricier packages, that number of countries grows. You are also able to host both audio and video conference calls with up to 100 people.
There is no denying that these features leave little to be desired, and you know it’s a fantastic service when a company giant like McDonald’s is singing your praises. These guys made the switch to 8×8 and claim to have a 35% lower bill in comparison to their last supplier. Additionally, their downtime has also drastically reduced. You can’t really argue with that.
When running a business you always need to look to the future as you obviously want your company to do well and expand within its industry. Traditional solutions need additional phone lines as well as locations and wiring which is very expensive to put in motion, especially if you’re in a hurry.
This is why a cloud-based VoIP system is one of the best options, moving your call center into the cloud. When you do this you will find many benefits including cost reduction, integration of operations, improvements in sales as well as in support capabilities.
Some time ago, 8×8 recognized the need for this and managed to revolutionize the way business communications are handled.
“Branch Office is a perfect example of how the cloud technology inherent in the 8×8 Virtual Office communications solution can be put to work to support an organization’s strategic business processes and goals,” said 8×8 CEO Vik Verma. “In this instance, rapid deployment and scalability, characteristics many of our midmarket and distributed enterprise customers choose us for, is easily achieved using our cloud-based service delivery model which also carries the added bonus of requiring very little oversight on the part of an organization’s internal IT staff.”
There are various packages that you can choose from, some of which we will explore further here. Small and medium business owners are able to choose from four 8×8 packages.
The first comes with a price tag of $28 per month per person and allows you unlimited calling with fourteen countries including: United States, Canada, Australia*, France*, Germany*, Italy*, Ireland*, Netherlands*, New Zealand*, Puerto Rico, Spain*, Sweden*, Switzerland*, United Kingdom. The countries symbolized with a star do not include mobile or special numbers.
You also get mobile and desktop apps, voicemail, click-to-dial, 1GB of media storage business SMS as well as one-on-one team messaging, call recording, unlimited internet faxing and 8×8 Analytics essentials. There is music on hold options, phone number extensions and G Suite, Office 365 / Outlook, NetSuite, Salesforce and Zendesk Integrations.
The second option will set you back $38 per employee a month and will offer you all the benefits of the first package, but will give you 5GB worth of media storage and additional countries that you can contact, making up 32 countries in total. The added locations include Belgium, Brazil*, China, Denmark, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg*, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Poland*, Portugal*, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, and Taiwan*.
X Series X5 will provide you with all the features mentioned in the first two plans but will allow you unlimited calling within 47 countries. On top of the ones previously mentioned, you can also call Argentina*, Chile, Cyprus*, Dominican Rep, Finland, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan*, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey*.
This package deal will grant you 10GB of media storage as well as Barge-Monitor-Whisper, queued and web callback, interactive voice response, contact center, service quality, supervisor analytics and 2,000 minutes of predictive dialer services. This has a $60 price tag per month per employee.
The last and most expensive option for small and medium businesses is X Series X6 which is priced at $115 per month for each user. As well as being able to call within the 47 countries we mentioned earlier you also have 4,000 minutes within 47 countries to use at your will.
You should note, that the small print on the website states that the “4,000 minutes per concurrent contact center seat (local and international, inbound and outbound, within 47 country zone). The total minutes included are the pooled total of all agents. If a customer exceeds the total usage pool allowed in any given month, extra minutes will incur standard usage rates. Toll calls and special numbers are not included in the allowed usage.”
The media storage remains the same as the X Series X5 pack, but there are added benefits to this package including 8×8 Expert Connect, customer service analytics as well as post-call surveys.
This VoIP service has one of the best customer support systems in place that we have seen thus far. No matter whether you call the support number or email as a small business or a large enterprise, your calls will swiftly be answered. Customer service representatives are incredibly friendly and extremely helpful.
This is one of the few service providers that offer 24-hour support, whether you reach them by email, phone or their online chat service. It should be noted that whilst there is round-the-clock customer support available, you might reach them at an irregular hour, so you cannot expect complete support immediately, depending on what it is you need assistance with.
On the 8×8 website, you will also find a number of different resources which might help you get back on track. These include video tutorials, whitepapers, datasheets, webinars, and infographics. There are also online forums where you can contact the 8×8 community to get answers to your questions.
There are many advantages of using a cloud-based communications service, particularly one like 8×8. With so many features included in all of their packages, there really is no way you can go wrong. One of the best things we like about 8×8 is that setup is so simple, but at the same time very well thought out. The added bonus of speaking to one of the IT representatives before you attempt your initial installation is also something to write home about.
The great thing is that 8×8 doesn’t discriminate and only work with large, medium or small services, but caters to each option no matter their size. You can make calls all over the world and save money as well as data at the same time. The fact that each package has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices doesn’t hurt either.
A scalable product that ensures quality and speed no matter where you place your call is important for businesses looking to impress their customers. You can integrate 8×8 with numerous office products and have customer service assistance available any time, day or night.
It is no surprise then, that 8×8 won the Best Communications Provider at the Call and Contact Centre Expo Awards as well as holding the Gartner Magic Quadrant top spot for six years in a row. The top quality of this telecommunications service sets the bar for its competition and would be a shame not to try out.