Fast-Growing Startup Unifies Global Employees and Improves Efficiency with 8x8 and Salesforce Integration
Illumio is an innovative startup founded in 2013 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The company recently launched its ground-breaking Adaptive Security Platform (ASP), which delivers traffic visibility and adaptive segmentation within data centers and public clouds.
The concept of the data center has shifted significantly in recent years. Enterprises now run their applications on virtual machines (VMs) and physical servers across private data centers and public or hybrid cloud environments. Perimeter security leaves traffic inside data centers or clouds unsecured, which lets cyberattacks spread once they get past porous perimeters. Network constructs like VLANs, zones, or ACLs on switches are cumbersome and cannot adapt to application changes. The industry also lacks consistent security for public cloud environments, where an enterprise does not own the network.
The Illumio ASP addresses these problems by providing comprehensive, live visibility into application traffic while applying fine-grained policies that are computed dynamically. It secures the 80% of the data center and cloud that is not protected by the perimeter, thereby reducing the enterprise threat attack surface by 99%. It’s also the first—and only—enterprise security platform that provides visibility, control, and nano-segmentation of applications down to individual processes within workloads on any virtual or physical server.
“Traditional security models can’t keep up with today’s network environments,” explains Joseph Doyle, IT manager at Illumio. “What we’ve done is create the first-ever security solution that mirrors the operating model of dynamic data centers by protecting applications, no matter where they run.”
“It was critical for us to integrate CRM into our phone system, and our previous solution couldn’t do that,” says Doyle. “We also needed a phone system that could ‘follow the sun’ and connect our remote employees across countries and time zones.”
Doyle asked trusted IT colleagues and systems integrators for their recommendations on a cloud-based replacement phone system. The service provider with the strongest reputation was 8x8.
8x8: One Provider for Everything
Illumio’s IT department evaluated several aspects of 8x8’s service before making a final selection. In addition to watching product demonstrations, Doyle questioned the 8x8 account team about international scalability for the service and support of remote employees. He also confirmed that 8x8 supports integration with multiple CRM applications, including Salesforce, Illumio’s preferred solution.
“8x8 has all the capabilities our installed phone system lacked,” says Doyle. “We also like the fact that we could have one provider for both our phones and our contact center. That was an unexpected bonus!”
In November 2014 Doyle began rolling out 8x8 Virtual Office and Virtual Contact Center across the Illumio organization. By February 2015, both solutions were fully deployed and scaling seamlessly with the company as it continues its worldwide growth.
Salesforce Integration Increases Agent Efficiency
Before implementing 8x8 Virtual Contact Center, Illumio agents would answer calls live and then hunt down an available engineer before doing a warm transfer to the engineer’s desk phone, cell phone or home phone. Callers appreciated the live answering—the company does not use IVR menus— but this approach could sometimes result in correspondingly longer wait times for callers.
Since Illumio implemented its new 8x8 contact center, the customer experience has only gotten better. The company still uses the answering service to ensure calls are answered live, but now agents simply transfer calls to the 8x8 queue instead of tracking down an available engineer.
“We already provided a great customer experience, but 8x8 has helped us gain efficiency,” explains Joyce Leung, senior manager, support operations, at Illumio. “Our call-handling team can provide a personal touch with live answering, and then quickly get the call to the right place. The 8x8 queue makes them more productive while decreasing the overall hold time for callers.”
Another benefit of Illumio’s Salesforce integration is a streamlined login process for engineers. When engineers sign into Salesforce, the 8x8 console automatically comes up and they can start taking calls., without having to sign in separately to 8x8.
Call Recording and Centralized Management Enhance Contact Center Operations
To ensure customer calls are handled correctly, Illumio uses 8x8 to record all calls. The recordings are stored for 40 days, and can be archived longer if desired.
Centralized management of the worldwide queue has also make things easier for Leung and her Illumio colleagues. Agents currently work out of satellite offices in New York, London, and Singapore, but as Leung notes, there are no geographical restrictions with 8x8.
“Our engineers can log in easily from anywhere. Everybody’s just in the queue, no matter where they’re located. It makes managing the queue much easier for us, particularly when we need to make quick changes.”
Mobile App Makes It Easy to Hire Across Time Zones
Since bringing the Illumio ASP to market, the company has more than doubled its workforce. Sales recruiting is now a top priority, and thanks to 8x8, the recruitment team has the tools to hire top talent worldwide.
“Our hiring managers can interview candidates in other countries and time zones from their own homes using the 8x8 mobile app,” says Doyle. “They don’t have to arrive early or stay late at the office to access the corporate phone system. 8x8 lets them talk anywhere using their iPhones or Android phones, and they really like having that flexibility.”
New Employees Connected on Day One
And once new Illumio hires are brought on board, 8x8 gets them up and running immediately. From Doyle’s perspective, that functionality is critical to the company’s continued growth.
“All I have to do is add a line and send the new employee a phone. They can log in on the day they start with the company, even if they’re working from home or some other remote location. Because of 8x8, we can have a geographically dispersed workforce that doesn’t require much IT support.”
Only 8x8 Complies with Leading Security Standards
Illumio is a security platform provider, so it’s not surprising that the company places a strong emphasis on the security of its own cloud communications. According to Doyle, this is yet another area where 8x8 stands out from other business VoIP providers.
“Security is paramount to us,” says Doyle. “Before choosing a new phone system, we spent a lot of time with the 8x8 security team. It’s critical that our people be able to call securely wherever they are.”
While many business VoIP providers claim they offer secure solutions, 8x8 has actually obtained third-party validation that it meets critical standards for a wide variety of important certifications—a fact that is not lost on Doyle.
“We needed to ensure that 8x8’s tools were up to our standards, and we set the bar high,” he says. “But 8x8 complies with the necessary security and privacy standards—like FISMA, FIPS, PCI-DSS and Safe Harbor—and that was major for us.”
Rock-Solid Call Quality from a Highly Reliable Provider
8x8’s reliability and call quality also stand out for Doyle, especially in comparison with Illumio’s previous cloud-based phone system.
“Before we migrated to 8x8 we frequently had problems with call quality and downtime,” he recalls. “8x8 has been absolutely rock-solid since we completed the rollout. Whenever we have had questions, 8x8 technical support has always been knowledgeable and professional.”
IT manager at Illumio
Nevertheless, Doyle anticipates that 8x8 will continue to be a trusted and reliable provider as Illumio expands both its workforce and its presence around the globe.
“8x8 has always been there for us whenever we’ve had a question or needed advice,” he says. “I don’t expect that to change.”