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July 30, 2008

VoIP Services Provider 8x8 Adds to Packet8 Base with Acquisition of Avtex's iTELConnect Customers

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Senior Editor

VoIP service provider 8x8, Inc., on Wednesday announced an agreement to migrate Avtex’s (News - Alert) iTELConnect subscribers to its own Packet8 platform. The deal adds about 1,500 business customers to 8x8’s (News - Alert) base.
Avtex LLC designs, develops and delivers data, contact center, messaging and business process solutions for companies of all sizes and in many different industries. The company was founded in 1971 and is based in Minneapolis.
The iTelConnect division of Avtex focuses on hosted services including contact center products, PBXs, unified messaging, and business continuity solutions. Its products are marketed in four broad categories: Complete Hosted PBX (News - Alert), Unified Messaging, Voice & Internet, and Customer Solutions. 
8x8, Inc., is a provider of video, voice and mobile communications solutions for both business and residential customers. Its products — which includes hosted IP-PBXs, contact center solutions, virtual trunking, and hosted key systems —  are sold under the Packet8 brand, introduced in 2002. The company, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, focuses on the hosted/managed model to provide its customers with robust communications solutions that require minimal investment and maintenance costs.
The terms of the deal announced Wednesday call on 8x8 to immediately begin migrating Avtex’s hosted PBX and unified messaging subscribers to appropriate Packet8 business solutions (including Virtual Office phone service). The subscribers being transitioned will receive free activation of 8x8 solutions, along with complimentary equipment and discounts on the first month of service.
8x8 will also arrange to have iTELConnect customers’ existing phone numbers ported to the Packet8 service.
Further, as part of the deal, 8x8 will provide Avtex partners and resellers with resources needed to continue supporting former iTELConnect subscribers and to establish new business relationships with customers who can benefit from Packet8 services.
“Our goal is to provide the same exceptional quality of service and support they had been receiving from Avtex and to deliver cost-effective, best in class business communications solutions that contribute to the growth and success of their organizations,” said Hue Rees, vice president of sales and marketing at 8x8, in a statement.
Jay Groenke, managing partner at iTouch Service Group — an Avtex value added reseller (VAR) that recently started offering Packet8 services — commented in the announcement that he is impressed with 8x8’s solutions and how easily they can be deployed in business settings.
“With today's challenging economy, more and more businesses are looking to trim expenses without sacrificing quality and Packet8's innovative IP communications solutions deliver on both fronts,” Groenke said in a statement.
8x8 has had a busy, and successful, year so far. Earlier this month it debuted new hosted key systems services, and earned another new patent (its 73rd so far since the company was founded in 1987). In June, the company expanded its Packet8 Business Voice Solutions portfolio and introduced virtual trunking services.
In May, 8x8 released its fiscal year 2008 (ended March 31) results, reporting a total revenue increase of 16 percent from the previous year, closing at $61.6 million on March 31. As of that date, the company had 11,011 Packet8 business service subscribers, a 57 percent increase over fiscal year 2007.
Prices for 8x8, Inc. (NasdaqCM: EGHT) were unchanged as of mid-morning on Wednesday, selling for $1.08, same as Tuesday closing.
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Mae Kowalke is senior editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is Jim Cossetta, President, CEO, 4What Interactive, Creators of The VoIPTrainer, brought to you by 4What Interactive (News - Alert).



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