Unified Communications Companies: Which Should You Choose?
In previous decades, businesses turned to many vendors and providers to get the tools they needed to communicate with vendors and customers.
Innovations such as email and teleconferencing involved even more vendors. Getting these various vendors to play nice with one another was frequently a challenge, one that was not always successful. This was especially true when attempting to introduce new communications strategies using outdated hardware or proprietary software.
Thankfully, those circumstances are a thing of the past. These days, more and more companies are thinking twice about using multiple vendors. Instead, they are turning to unified communications solutions, which are provided by a single vendor and carry voice, email and various mobile-enabled communication tools.
There are many excellent unified communications companies. Among them are providers of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) systems that allow customers to employ 21st-century communications technology reliably. In the UCaaS and CCaaS space, 8x8 stands out from the competition.
The Increasing Role of Unified Communication for Business
Businesses of all sizes use different communications tools and devices, including:
- Mobile phones
- Instant messaging
- Web conferencing
Sourcing these various services from different vendors raises many challenges. One of the most difficult is software and hardware incompatibility. Unified communications solutions largely reduce or eliminate incompatibility issues. They integrate many communications tools into a single interwoven interface.
How Do Unified Communications Systems Work?
With unified communications systems, you can provide your customers with a single phone number that can be configured to ring on your office landline or your mobile device, making communications easier for both you and your customers. This means you are no longer tied to your desk.
Unified communications systems simplify your business life in other areas as well. You don’t have to rely on one service for messages, another for email and still another for landline service.
Challenges to Implementing a Unified Communications System
The initial investment required to put in place a unified communications solution can be a major hurdle, even for large companies. In a survey of companies with more than 5,000 employees, 73% cited upfront costs as the reason for not implementing a unified communications system.
Connectivity issues represent another concern. Specifically, many businesses use older equipment that may not be compatible with unified communication systems. Others face compatibility issues. In both cases, companies try and fail to use unified communications systems simply because their outdated equipment and software cannot handle the load.
The challenge for UCaaS and CCaaS providers is to emphasize the advantages of their services while recognizing the hurdles faced by potential customers. 8x8 has consistently established itself as one of the best UCaaS and CCaaS providers in the market today. Our unified communications systems are cost-efficient and work well in any business environment, including company-owned hardware.
Many companies are now implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) environment. This approach saves money and lets employees use equipment that they’re comfortable with. Our unified communications systems work well in a BYOD environment, too.
8x8 Named a Gartner UCaaS Worldwide Magic Quadrant Leader for 2019
For eight years in a row now, Gartner has recognized 8x8 as a leader in the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) space. The latest Gartner report, “2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide Report,” compares leading UCaaS providers head to head. Gartner uses an objective assessment, which includes both advantages and challenges.
Additionally, Gartner has recently named 8x8 as a challenger in the 2019 Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, North America. 8x8 has been awarded this CCaaS distinction for the past four years. Gartner noted the fact that 8x8 offers both UCaaS and CCaaS services as significant advantages.
In its 2019 report, Gartner cited several factors that contributed to its decision to include 8x8 in the magic quadrant of UCaaS providers:
- Broad geographic reach
- High customer service ratings
The report also praised 8x8's commitment to investing in R&D to increase its capacity and capabilities, as well as 8x8’s targeted R&D efforts to be on trend with what customers are seeking today instead of playing catch-up with trends from past years.
Financial stability was another major strong point for 8x8 in the Gartner report. After all, investing in a UCaaS or CCaaS system can represent a major upfront financial outlay. No company wants to start over with a new vendor every few years. Besides being expensive, changing vendors frequently disrupts the main functions of a business.
8x8 has been in business for more than 30 years and has more than 1 million customers worldwide. Many of our customers have been with us for years or even decades. With 8x8, companies can be confident in the knowledge that we will be there to fulfill their needs and troubleshoot their issues today, tomorrow and into the future.
Why Choose 8x8 as a Unified Communications Provider
The X-Series suite of services from 8x8 provides both UCaaS and CCaaS capabilities. Specifically, X-Series offers the following services:
- Single sign-on
- Shared presence and directories
- Extension-to-extension dialing
- Team collaboration
A Proven UCaaS Solution
8x8 has been a proven performer in the unified communications space for more than a decade. With a platform that carries both UCaaS and CCaaS capabilities, customers need only contract with a single vendor. This not only means added convenience but also bottom-line savings due to increased efficiency in operations.
The combined suite of services also expands the potential reach for 8x8 to businesses like law firms, financial companies and medical providers.
Cost-Efficient Packages and Scalability
8x8 has packages and configurations to fit businesses of all sizes, from startups to major corporations. When your company is ready for expanded communications capabilities, 8x8 can provide the additional features you need.
Consistency and Reliability
Communication lies at the core of many businesses. 8x8 UCaaS systems are fully redundant. Our robust network is more than capable of handling high-quality voice, data and media streaming. Our systems also include backup resources that can be brought online in real time. This drastically reduces downtime.
Whether you’re typing an email on a mobile device or conducting a webinar on a desktop or laptop computer, you can rely on 8x8.
Administration and Analytics
Our user-friendly administrative portal allows users to keep track of who is accessing the network at any given time—and where they’re located. This makes it possible to monitor the health of the network in a proactive manner. You can locate potential issues before they develop into major communications problems.
Integration with Existing Business Tools
8x8 UCaaS services also integrate seamlessly with your company’s existing customer relationship management and collaboration tools. Our unified communications systems work with major vendors, such as those listed below:
- Google G Suite
- Microsoft Office 365
Training and Onboarding
Even the most state-of-the-art UCaaS system is of little use if no one understands its basic capabilities, let alone its advanced features. 8x8 Academy includes onboarding materials to allow your staff and other users to get comfortable with how the system works.
Recorded sessions inform your employees of the various functions of our UCaaS and CCaaS systems, individually and in tandem with one another. Available live sessions let employees get answers to operational and technical questions in real time from subject matter experts.
Security and Regulatory Compliance
Businesses of all sizes deal with various security and regulatory challenges. Corporations, nonprofit establishments and even municipalities have been hit with crippling and costly ransomware attacks.
At the same time, companies face an array of tough regulatory requirements, such as:
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
- CPNI (Customer Proprietary Network Information)
- FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act)
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
- ISO 9001 (international standard for quality management)
These and other regulations place tough privacy and security demands on companies and organizations, especially those in the financial, healthcare, legal, government and retail sectors.
8x8’s UCaaS and CCaaS systems shield your company’s communications from unauthorized access. At the same time, we keep you in compliance with all applicable regulations.
8x8 Is the Right Choice for Your UCaaS and CCaaS Needs
Every aspect of your operations should be as productive as possible, especially communications. With 8x8's X-Series, you get the unified communications tools your company needs from an industry leader. No need to contact multiple vendors because we can devise a scalable, future-proof and budget-friendly solution that builds on your company’s existing communications framework.
Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Unified Communications platform, your business gets the unified messaging it needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.