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8×8

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: 8×8 Frontdesk for receptionists

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By EveryCloud

8×8 Frontdesk is a tailored experience that delivers efficiency and productivity for receptionists and operators handling high call volumes. Providing personalised call handling, tailored user experience and a software-based solution means businesses can easily automate a flexible solution that eliminates the need for costly multi-vendor solutions.

Integrating with your wider 8×8 XCaaS integrated communications solution, 8×8 Frontdesk allows you to extend the receptionist role to any user at any time[1] by using the 8×8 Work for Desktop application and without the need for any additional deployment software. Make use of a UI specifically tailored for Receptionists and combine with Presence Sync for Microsoft Teams to allow your 8×8 users to view presence status of all Teams users at any time.

Take a look at this video to see how Frontdesk could enhance the receptionist role within your business.

[1] Users require an X Series X4 licence to be able to take over the receptionist role.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: 8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams

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By EveryCloud

With the number of active users on Microsoft Teams having reached an incredible 145 million as of April 2021, it’s clear that Teams is a popular solution for internal communications.

What if you could enhance that solution? Bring your external communications in to the world of Microsoft Teams. 8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams offers a single cloud platform with advanced telephony and contact centre capabilities, allowing businesses to keep within the familiar Teams UI and smooth the User Experience.

Utilising the 8×8 Contact Centre solutions brings you not only enterprise-grade telephony, but global reach across 15 geographically redundant data centres, pre-built integrations and unparalleled insights, analytics and visibility into all your communications.

Learn more: https://hubs.li/H0-8Hp70

8×8 Named a Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

8×8 has been named by Gartner as a Leader in the 2019 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide.

It’s the eighth year in a row 8×8 has been recognised as a Leader in the report.

“Companies using one technology platform for voice, video collaboration, team messaging and contact centre from a single vendor are realising tremendous business value that goes far beyond the sum of each individual solution,” said Vik Verma, Chief Executive Officer at 8×8, Inc. “We believe that Gartner’s recognition again this year validates our commitment to delivering innovation across the entire 8×8 platform to help organisations enhance customer and employee experiences and accelerate their business growth.”

With over 30 years of R&D innovation, 8×8 delivers communications solutions and enterprise-class APIs for global voice, chat, video, team messaging and contact centre from one cloud platform.

The company says its real-time analytics and intelligence allow businesses to harness actionable insights across interactions and channels so they can delight end-customers and outpace the competition. 8×8 says its solutions help companies transform communications, empower and unify the needs of the global, mobile workforce, and unleash productivity to maximize both employee and customer engagement.

In addition to being named a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, 8×8 has also been positioned as a Challenger in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Centre as a Service, North America for the last four consecutive years.

CONTACT EveryCloud Communications for more information:

www.everycloud.co.uk

Tel: 0800 470 1820

8X8 Wins UC Today 2019 Best Cloud Communications Provider Award

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

8×8 has been named Best Cloud Communications Provider at the UC Today 2019 Awards.

The category recognises organisations that have proven market success and continue to push the boundaries of innovation in this sector. 8×8 was selected as the winner from a group of industry heavyweights.

The UC Awards, hosted by UC Today, is a global event designed to celebrate pioneers and innovators. It brings together the best in unified communications, collaboration, and CX technology, to show who is leading the way in the marketplace.

8×8 says it has shown commitment to driving the future of business communications through its ongoing product development and innovation, delivering communications solutions and enterprise-class APIs for global voice, chat, video, team messaging and contact centre from one cloud platform.

Real-time analytics and intelligence allow businesses to harness actionable insights across interactions and channels so they can exceed end-customer expectations and outpace the competition. 8×8 says its solutions help companies transform communications, empower and unify the needs of the global, mobile workforce, and unleash productivity to maximise both employee and customer engagement.

“We are honoured to receive this award, as together with other recent industry accolades, it further validates our ongoing mission to deliver the only fully-owned, single vendor global technology platform for voice, video collaboration, team messaging, contact centre, and enterprise-class API Software-as-a-Service solutions,” said Vik Verma, Chief Executive Officer at 8×8.

8×8 was recently named a Leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, for the eighth year in a row, and has also been positioned as a Challenger in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, North America for the last four consecutive years.

The company also won the CRN Tech Innovator Award and Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 North American Integrated CCaaS and UCaaS Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award.

CONTACT EveryCloud Communications for more information:

www.everycloud.co.uk

Tel: 0800 470 1820

8X8 acquires Wavecell

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

8×8 has acquired privately-held Wavecell, a Singapore-based global Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) provider, for approximately $125 million in cash and stock.

The acquisition provides 8×8 with an established technology platform and high-growth revenue business to pursue CPaaS globally and represents a natural expansion of 8×8’s cloud business from Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), Contact Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS), and Video into the CPaaS market. 

The acquisition expands 8×8’s presence into the rapidly growing Southeast Asian market, including Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong, with a talented employee base and more than 500 enterprise customers, including Paidy, Tokopedia and Lalamove.

Wavecell also brings an R&D centre in Asia which allows 8×8 to further accelerate growth in product innovation and delivery.

By acquiring Wavecell, 8×8 says it:

  • Increases its addressable market to include CPaaS.
  • Enhances the only fully-owned end-to-end cloud communications platform.
  • Expands its global presence and coverage.

Founded in 2010, Wavecell offers a complete CPaaS solution including a cloud-first API platform with SMS, chat apps, video interaction and voice APIs that enable mission-critical enterprise applications such as Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging, omnichannel customer journeys and multi-factor authentication at scale.

“The market opportunity in CPaaS is growing rapidly, and this acquisition enables us to quickly provide these services to our customers around the world,” said Vik Verma, CEO of 8×8. “8×8 is now the only cloud provider that owns the full, global-scale, cloud-native technology stack offering voice, video, messaging, and contact centre delivered both as pre-packaged applications and as enterprise-class APIs. We’re excited to welcome the Wavecell employees to the 8×8 family. We now have a significant market presence in Asia and expect to continue to expand in the region and globally in order to meet evolving customer requirements.”

“With the acquisition of Wavecell, we can now offer customers enterprise-class APIs, bringing a CPaaS solution to our global communications platform,” said Dejan Deklich, Chief Product Officer of 8×8, Inc. “Customer demand for CPaaS is accelerating and now organisations can easily add real-time communication capabilities that include SMS, chat apps, voice and video to improve the experience for their end-customers. The integration of all the API’s and data into one CPaaS platform gives 8×8 customers unprecedented ability to engage with end users in true omni-channel fashion and understand the full customer journey.”

“We are delighted to become part of 8×8, one of the world’s leading cloud communications platforms. Now is the right time to leverage the global expansion of UCaaS, CCaaS and CPaaS services to better serve our customers’ growing demand for communication services and to continually drive greater innovation,” said Olivier Gerhardt, CEO and Co-Founder of Wavecell.

8×8 inks partnership with EveryCloud in North West

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

8×8 has partnered with EveryCloud, strengthening its reach to customers in the North West of England.

EveryCloud supports clients across all sectors – from global financial services businesses such as BDO, to professional sports organisations such as Everton Football Club.

With this partnership, 8×8 further extends its channel reach in the UK and in particular the fast growing North West contact centre market.

EveryCloud is investing significantly in the North West of England and is working with the government as a formal Northern Powerhouse partner to support the region even further. The partnership will enable EveryCloud to meet the demand for cloud communications solutions in the North West of England and across the UK with 8×8 X Series.

8×8 X Series helps businesses transform their customer and employee experience with one system of engagement across voice, video, collaboration and contact centre and one system of intelligence on one cloud platform.

Christopher Peters, VP of EMEA Channel Sales at 8×8, said: “It’s an exciting time in the North West of England, with businesses growing faster than many other regions in the UK. Our partnership with EveryCloud will mean we’re able to help even more companies communicate faster and smarter, with the insight and flexibility they need to make critical business decisions.As companies grow, they need a comprehensive solution that can quickly scale with them, and X Series is perfectly positioned to support this growth, in the UK and beyond.”

Keith Purves, EveryCloud, said: “Our customers know that we’re always striving to offer them the latest in cloud communications and contact centre technology, and partnering with 8×8 will allow us to do just that. 8×8 X Series enables us to offer an enterprise-grade, scalable solution that helps businesses of any size across contact centre and office communications. Investment into the Northern Powerhouse means growth in the region has never been higher, and 8×8 will be the perfect partner to help us capitalise on this.”

To launch the partnership, 8×8 and EveryCloud are sponsoring the Call North West Awards.

The regional contact centre forum for the North West of England runs the awards. Nominations for the award are now open, enter here  

8×8 integrates with Google’s Contact Centre AI

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

8×8 has announced its integration of 8×8 Content Centre with Google Cloud’s new Contact Centre AI

The Google platform combines multiple AI products to improve the customer service experience, as well as the productivity of contact centres.

“Contact Centre AI empowers enterprises to use AI to augment and improve their contact centres,” said Rajen Sheth, Director of Product Management at Google. 

“Google Cloud’s goal is to make the contact centre experience easy and efficient. By partnering with 8×8, we are able to deliver on that goal, as well as allow enterprises to maintain happy customers with faster call resolution. We look forward to our continued partnership with 8×8 to enhance contact centre capabilities as technology and customer expectations evolve.”

8×8 Contact Centreenables organisations to differentiate their customer experience in real-time with advanced analytics, reporting and predictive dialler.

Contact Centre AI (CCAI) allows enterprises with limited machine learning expertise to deploy AI in their contact centres. Key features of 8×8 Contact Centre integration with CCAI include:

  • 8×8 Virtual Agent – using a combination of 8×8 AI technology and Google CCAI, incoming voice calls on simple and routine questions (such as “what time will the repair technician arrive?” or “is part #7542 in stock?”) can be answered with a virtual, automated agent without the need for a live agent. This call deflection technology increases the efficiency of the call centre, often enabling 24/7 support, while reducing costs. For end customers, the 8×8 Virtual Agent improves the customer experience, increasing first call resolution and reducing call wait times
  • The virtual agent can also hand calls to a live agent, and with the Agent Assist feature, automatically supply the agent with articles and knowledge documents based on the conversation. This reduces call length and enhances the customer experience, ensuring customers don’t have to repeat their requests

“Improving efficiency and reducing call times are some of the most common contact centre pain points. Google AI together with 8×8 Contact Centre enables our customers to leverage the latest AI technologies to enhance the overall experience of their end customers,” said Dejan Deklich, Chief Product Officer at 8×8. 

“As a leader in contact centre and unified communications as a service, we are partnering with Google to put resources behind such an advanced solution. Other vendors in our space are focused on chat, not on a unified approach. Google has the expertise and underlying technology and 8×8 brings telephony and contact centre expertise for a perfectly integrated solution.”

8×8 Contact Centre with Google Contact Centre AI integration capabilities are in testing now.

Impact of bad customer service on retailers revealed

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Nearly six in ten (59%) consumers have stopped shopping with a retailer due to poor customer service in store, on the phone, or online.

That’s according to new data by 8×8, which 2,018 UK adults in October, finding that when asked about the bad service they had received, the most common issue consumers cited (78%) was being ‘passed around the houses’ or having to re-explain their problem multiple times to different people in order to get an answer.

The majority have had to speak to three different people on average, with some saying they spoke to 12 different agents for just one query. Nearly half of customers (49%) also said that staff had been rude to them.

Retailers struggling to join up their internal data is also impacting service levels. Over half (51%) of consumers said they are less likely to shop with a retailer if they can’t talk to the online customer service team about in-store purchases, or go into a physical store to ask about online orders.

95% also said that they found it frustrating when agents didn’t have any information about their previous calls or emails.

When asked what they consider the most important elements of good customer service, having queries resolved quickly is the most important factor for retail customers (48%), followed by getting a human response (47%), and  having one person being able to answer their query first time (44%).

David Rowlands, Director, Customer Success, UK & EMEA, 8×8, said: “For UK retailers, every customer counts and in a tough year for the sector, this has never been more important. Yet if customer service isn’t up to scratch, customers are happy to vote with their feet and shop elsewhere.”

8×8’s  research also revealed the UK’s top eight customer service frustrations:

  1. Being put on hold for a long time (86%)
  2. Automated responses or obviously scripted answers (85%)
  3. Customer service teams not having information about their previous calls or emails (83%)
  4. Customer service teams not caring (82%)
  5. Being told to go to a help section or FAQs instead of being helped on a call (77%)
  6. When I call a company for a specific query, but get asked to visit their website instead (76%)
  7. When staff try to sell them a product while they are still trying to get their problem solved (75%)
  8. Not being given rewards for being a loyal customer (64%)

8×8 confirms general availability of X Series

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Cloud comms specialist 8×8 has announced the general availability of its next-gen intelligent enterprise engagement system for customer and employee interactions, X Series.

The solution is now available in the US and UK, with 8×8 asserting that it will help companies deploy a single cloud solution for voice, video conferencing, contact centre, team messaging and collaboration across mobile and desktop devices.

X Series has already gained early adoption across mid-market and enterprise organisations across retail, healthcare, manufacturing, technology and the public sector, including Brent & Lewisham councils (which share services) and the London Government Association (LGA).

Meghan Keough, VP of Product Marketing at 8×8, said: “This is a combined offering. It is the first time on a cloud platform that you can have an integrated voice, video, collaboration and contact centre capability.

“We’re also very proud of the machine learning capability, as well as the integration framework that we have built out. This helps contact centres move away from a ‘I don’t know phenomenon’, to being able to access real-time data that is most relevant to the customer query.”

Prodromos Sarigianis, Head of Digital Services at Brent, Lewisham & Southwark Councils Shared Service, said: “We always strive to deliver high-quality services to residents to make our boroughs the best places in London to live, work and learn, and we could only do that with a robust communications infrastructure.

“8×8’s X Series meets our business needs and will help us not only improve customer experience for residents but also make it easier for staff to work remotely.”

Senior business leaders holding back on adopting new technology…

800 450 Jack Wynn

New research carried out by 8×8 and the Institute of Directors (IoD) has exposed a rift between attitudes of company directors and IT managers when it comes to embracing new technology.

Comparing the views of mid-level ‘hands-on’ IT managers with senior directors across more than 260 UK businesses, the research found 45 per cent of IT managers say their senior business leaders are holding back technology for reasons of ‘self-preservation’, whereby they are reluctant to embrace new techology that will disrupt their own position within their organisations.

In addition, IT managers were found to be far less optimistic than senior directors when asked if their organisation makes full use of the latest technology, with just 34 per cent believing they do, compared with 49 per cent of C-suite respondents.

Kevin Scott-Cowell, UK managing director at 8×8 said: “We frequently hear anecdotal evidence that IT managers face significant opposition from senior leaders when it comes to adopting new technologies such as cloud communications – this research suggests this is something which is widely felt.”

62 per cent of IT managers say UK businesses are too wary when it comes to adopting new technology, such as cloud communications, and only 56 per cent believe senior members invest sufficient resources to stay up-to-date with the latest technology.

An insufficient budget is also a significant factor felt by IT managers when it comes to new technology implementation (35 per cent), compared to just 20 per cent of senior business leaders.

Scott-Cowell added: “Certainly, many senior leaders fear replacing expensive legacy IT systems that they have invested in. Their reluctance to do so in order to preserve the status quo can be damaging to businesses who are losing out on the many benefits to staff productivity and, ultimately, the potential for business growth.”

To read the full report, click here

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