In 2021, digital transformation will accelerate at even greater speed than in 2020 as organizations move from band-aid remote work solutions to a new operate from anywhere standard. In its top strategic technology trends report for 2021, Gartner confirms that this new standard is more than just working from home or interacting with customers virtually. A successful operate from anywhere model supports customers and enables employees everywhere: no matter how, when or where they interact and engage. 

So as we kick off 2021, we are excited to share an update on our latest release, which brings enhanced Customer Experience capabilities, improved Microsoft Teams functionality, exciting Video Meetings updates, new compliance features, and expanded integrations and partnerships so that you can Engage, Work, and Manage every interaction between your employees and customers. Key highlights include:

Easy to Engage

8x8’s voice communications and range of customer engagement solutions help organizations optimize every customer and employee touchpoint, exceed customer expectations, and outpace the competition. 

With the Winter Release, 8x8 Contact Center customers are further able to:

  • Make and receive calls with 8x8 Contact Center and Microsoft Teams - 8x8 Contact Center is now included in Microsoft's Connected Contact Center for Microsoft Teams Certification program integrating seamlessly with 8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams’ direct routing capabilities. Contact center agents, knowledge workers and supervisors can make and receive PSTN calls using the native Microsoft Teams app as the preferred endpoint. Learn more about the Top Microsoft Teams Trends in 2021 in this upcoming webinar.
  • Drive customer engagement and sales success - 8x8 Quality Management can now be utilized for both inbound and outbound voice and blended agents. Coaching feedback in 8x8 Quality Analytics provides agents and supervisors a closed-loop workflow for coaching that is done in the contact center. Supervisors can set up workflows that enable agent feedback and acknowledgment along with new reporting to measure the effectiveness and use of coaching and agent feedback acknowledgment.
  • Enhancements to 8x8 Auto Dialer, including expanded monitoring statistics, help customers more effectively monitor, adjust and optimize campaign performance. To maximize call connection rates, expanded Sequential Dialing functionality now supports up to 22 numbers, making it easier to identify, select, and establish the order in which phone numbers will be contacted. High-volume and blended, inbound/outbound sales teams can save time and experience greater productivity with enhanced support of auto-retry for abandoned and non-answered calls, busy tones, and answering machine detection. 
  • Expand workforce management integrations to include Verint Monet and Verint Enterprise - 8x8 and Verint recently announced a partnership, bringing additional cloud workforce management applications integrated with 8x8 Contact Center to mid-market and enterprise businesses worldwide. 

8x8’s APIs and Embeddable apps customers now have access to enhanced capabilities that include:

  • Platform updates - The newly rebranded 8x8 Connect portal provides the central place to instantly send SMS, Chat Apps messages, SMS Surveys and Voice message campaigns, access performance reports and manage your account. It includes new features, including single sign-on, enhanced user permission control and new “webhooks” feature that lets you set up, review, and manage your API webhooks across the different APIs in one, centralized location. 
  • SMS enhancements - 8x8 has partnered with Google to provide Verified SMS through the 8x8 SMS API to improve brand engagement and build customers’ trust. With the new SMS Reporting API, extract up to six months’ worth of SMS logs, credit balance information, and price list through a simple API call. 
  • Expanded Chat Apps - Reach over 52 million monthly active users with the addition of KakaoTalk to our Chat Apps portfolio. Add call-to-action links or quick reply buttons to enhance engagement with your users, with WhatsApp’s new interactive templates. And with the new Chat Apps Reporting API, download up to six months’ worth of Chat Apps message logs in CSV format, without a size limit. 
  • Enterprise Voice - Enjoy easier business logic implementation and improved KPI monitoring with Call Handle and Call Status information added into the Call Masking API callback, or receive end-user feedback through dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) capture, now added to the Voice Messaging API.
  • Jitsi as a Service - Integrate a custom video experience into your apps and services easily on a developer-trusted platform with the launch of Jitsi as a Service. With Jitsi as a Service, you get secure video conferencing desktop sharing, file transfer, and support for your favorite operating systems.

Easy to Work

With the 8x8 Work app, which includes 8x8 Meet for a complete video meetings experience, users can connect and collaborate securely with customers and colleagues from anywhere, using any device. New enhancements such as the following make it easier to work from anywhere:

  • Manage settings directly in Microsoft Teams - View and update 8x8 calling configurations in the Microsoft Teams app with 8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams. This includes the ability to access 8x8 call settings for voicemail, call forwarding, and call queues easily from within your Teams app. Simply use your Microsoft Teams to log into your 8x8 account to customize your settings with minimal IT intervention.
  • Reduce eye strain and fatigue with Dark mode - Now available on the 8x8 Work for Desktop app.
  • Flip calls without losing your connection - Move an active call from one device to another immediately, without any loss of connection. Quick-reply messages allow users to decline incoming calls but stay engaged with colleagues, partners and customers.
  • Better team chat - Enhance your collaboration experience with multimedia messaging (MMS) and multimedia attachment support. Share public room links in team chat to provide easy access to specific chat rooms, and a new search function helps you find past conversations and information even faster across all chats and rooms (Android). 
  • Enhanced moderator controls - Decide who runs video meetings by elevating participants to the moderator role. 8x8 Meet’s new Moderation Control features enable you to designate a single moderator and elevate other participants to the moderator role at any time during the meeting.
  • Ensure the highest level of meeting security - In addition to 8x8’s unparalleled, standards-based  end-to-end encryption, moderators can lock the meeting once it is underway, requiring new participants to request access in a lobby before joining.

Easy to Manage

The integrated 8x8 cloud communications and contact center platform allows organizations with distributed offices and workforce to reduce total cost of ownership and administration resources by providing a single vendor for support and a central management portal to administer the entire solution. Winter Release enhancements include:

  • Compliance support with Nomadic E911 (Preview) - 8x8 makes it easy for customers to comply with Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act, which are US regulations that require company notifications of emergency calls and accurate location information for emergency callers.
  • Manage cost centers - Admins can now customize cost centers based on the company’s locations, sites, and teams to support payment methods and expense allocation. Arrange up to five levels of hierarchy and set up independent and site-based cost centers depending on how the licenses are distributed to the teams.

To learn more, register for our upcoming Winter 2021 Release webinar on February 2, 2021, at 8 am PT / 11 am ET, or check out our product release page and official press release.