8x8 a Visionary Leader in UCaaS, Says Gartner
January 28, 2013
By Mae Kowalke
, TMCnet Contributor
Unified Communications (News - Alert) provider 8x8 has been named a “visionary leader” in Gartner’s recent magic quadrant list of the top unified communications as a service (UCaaS) providers in North America.
Gartner’s (News - Alert) magic quadrant places leading UCaaS providers into a quadrant of niche to visionary, challenger to leader. 8x8 has been recognized as both a visionary and a leader in the space.
“Gartner analysts evaluate UCaaS service providers based on the breadth, quality and overall maturity of their applications, processes, tools and procedures that enhance individual, group and enterprise communications," Gartner analysts Daniel O'Connell and Bern Elliot wrote in the Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service North America report, as reported in a statement by 8x8. “Ultimately, UCaaS providers are judged on their ability and success in capitalizing on their vision.”
The core 8x8 UCaaS offering it its Virtual Office platform, a product that includes Web conferencing and multiparty videoconferencing, Internet fax and call recording in addition to the expected UC offering of voice, messaging and presence functionality. Services are available across the U.S. , with Canadian service newly commenced and European service scheduled for later this year. According to Gartner, 8x8 supports roughly 250,000 end users and is therefore one of North America’s largest suppliers of UCaaS.
The company shines in the small to medium business (SMB) market, according to Gartner. Its prices are very competitive, and the company is very experienced at automated, low-touch, self-service provisioning. “Most users activate themselves with a limited amount of remote support,” noted the report, “which facilitates shorter 12-month contracts.”
At the same time, 8x8 offers a compelling UCaaS suite that includes VoIP, IM/presence, UM, mobility and conferencing. “The multiparty videoconferencing and Web-conferencing offerings are particularly strong for an SMB solution,” the report added.
Furthermore, the company has a role-based portal that supports self provisioning, moves, adds and changes (MACs), bill paying and individual employee management, which Gartner also signaled as a strength.
Gartner notes that even though 8x8’s bread and butter has traditionally been the SMB market, much of the infrastructure is in place to successfully enter the enterprise market.
“8x8 has traditionally supported its price-sensitive customers over broadband (for example, DSL and broadband),” it continued, but “has only recently been delivering business-grade services over IP MPLS networks with committed SLAs” as part of the company’s strategy to move beyond its core SMB market.
Even more, 8x8 acquired cloud contact center specialist Contactual (News - Alert) near the end of 2011, but the Gartner report states that it won’t be fully integrated until later this year. So while 8x8 dominates the SMB market, it has only recently made headway into the enterprise space. Needless to say, this acquisition will surely come to fruition this year with steadfast results.
"With 85 patents granted and additional applications pending, 8x8 continues to innovate while delivering affordable solutions that minimize customers' upfront CapEx and ongoing OpEx and at the same time greatly enhance the functionality, flexibility and reach of their business communications," noted 8x8 chairman and CEO Bryan Martin (News - Alert) in said statement. "We are honored to have our technology achievements recognized in this report.”
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo