8x8 recently surveyed 400 IT decision-makers about cloud communications topics. In it, respondents shared top concerns prior to and after implementing UCaaS, CCaaS, or an integrated solution. Security, end-user adoption, and implementation costs were among the top concerns. (View the highlights from that survey here.)

Blair Pleasant, a leading advocate of UC&C customers investing in end-user adoption and training programs, recently highlighted her firm’s research finding that “less than half of the companies surveyed have a UC&C adoption program, with only 43% indicating that they have an end-user adoption program and strategy.”

This data got me thinking about the state of professional services in the XCaaS era. Customers want their solutions installed quickly, and they want their employees to use the new tools to get the most value from them. I decided to get an update from Kim Estrada, 8x8 VP of Global Services.

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Kim Estrada, 8x8 VP of Global Services

Tell me about professional services at 8x8 Professional services are customers’ first entry to 8x8. Typically, our teams engage with mid-market and large enterprises, but we offer a wide range of self-service options and training materials to get organizations of any size off to a great start.

Installation and onboarding services are quite popular right now, especially end-user training. In response, we are investing significant time and resources to expand our training portfolio, making resources more readily accessible and easier to use.

Organizations want their implementation deployed quickly, and they often have customized needs such as wallboards and unique screen pop-ups. We partner with customers to ensure their administrators are fully trained and can support their end-users. Over time, we work with them to add business application integrations and additional functionality.

How is the hybrid workplace impacting 8x8 professional services? A user is a user regardless of where they sit, so the user experience should not be any different from home versus the office. The exception being that a remote user connects to the Internet with their own connection. We have free bandwidth-testing tools to evaluate connection quality for cases when a user may need additional services and equipment. From an administrator’s perspective, there isn’t any difference either as you onboard employees via an online portal.

It is still early in the game. As the hybrid workplace evolves, we will be able to identify metrics, processes, and other tools that we can help customers deploy to increase productivity and efficiency.

For us, cloud communications technology isn’t changing as much as business planning and strategy are evolving. Businesses are beginning to imagine the possibilities of what combining UCaaS and CCaaS can do for them. XCaaS’ emergence opens the door for more conversations about how we can convert those possibilities into realities.

What are your thoughts about XCaaS? Many of our customers have a hybrid (UCaaS/CCaaS) solution already, so I feel like we already have a leg up on the competition with our XCaaS (Experience Communications as a Service) vision and 8x8’s eXperience Communications Platform offering. For us, cloud communications technology isn’t changing as much as business planning and strategy are evolving. Businesses are beginning to imagine the possibilities of what combining UCaaS and CCaaS can do for them. XCaaS’ emergence opens the door for more conversations about how we can convert those possibilities into realities.

The retail space is a good example where businesses are creating seamless and real-time communications between contact center representatives and in-store personnel. This allows them to optimize how they provide services that free up salespeople to speak with in-person shoppers rather than being on the phone instead.

XCaaS has the potential to transform other industries too including financial services and healthcare. Any time you have high call volumes where customers need answers, you need a solution to handle those efficiently. Not all of those answers need to come from humans anymore. XCaaS reinforces that we have lots of colors on our palette to solve customer challenges. And that is what we do: use all of the tools at our disposal to help architect the business solution a customer needs.

Do you compete with 8x8 channel partners to deliver services? Our goal is to always have partners fully enabled and supported to deliver 8x8 services like implementation and training. We also work collaboratively with them to ultimately make sure the end customer receives the value they need.

We recently initiated an accreditation program to certify partners who have the skills and expertise to provide 8x8 services. We train them and give them tools to be successful. I am excited that the number of partners going through the accreditation process is growing.

Final Thoughts Cloud communications professional services are increasingly popular because of high-stakes digital transformation projects that come with added pressure to get services implemented quickly and accurately. Companies that invest in these tools want their employees to use them.

XCaaS is blurring the lines between UCaaS and CCaaS opening up new opportunities to rethink how you can use both to boost cross-company collaboration and engage customers better. This change can allow businesses to make communications a competitive advantage, and professional services organizations will be at the forefront of it.


Want to learn more about 8x8’s XCaaS offering?