8x8 Updates its Contact Center and UC Platform to Fill CX Gaps and Improve Customer Engagement

The most compelling elements of the 8x8 announcement are in customer experience and engagement, areas that are critical to business success today.

UC platform
(Credit: Roman Lacheev / Alamy Stock Photo)

8x8, whose cloud platform combines contact center, business phone, video meetings, team chat, and SMS in a single interface, recently announced several improvements to its offerings. The changes include solutions for cross-organization customer engagement, deeper integration with Microsoft Teams (and Teams Phone) to provide PSTN calling, and bulk messaging for outbound customer engagement.

The company touted these enhancements as fostering better customer engagement in organizations, connecting teams more thoroughly, and building new channels. In the announcement, Hunter Middleton, 8x8's Chief Product Officer, said the company engineered the improvements to bridge gaps between channels and teams.

“By introducing these recent enhancements to our integrated cloud contact center and unified communications platform, which is now expanding beyond the traditional CCaaS and UCaaS definitions also to include 8x8 Engage, we are prioritizing solutions and capabilities that will enable organizations to provide their customers and employees with exceptional communication and collaboration experiences at every step of the customer journey,” he said.

A focus on engagement

Details of the announcement are below:

  • 8x8 Engage: This AI-driven tool facilitates customer engagement across organizations. The company’s goal is to enhance customer experiences and nurture loyalty. 8x8 Engage focuses on customer-facing employees beyond the traditional contact center, equipping them with appropriate tools and capabilities.

  • Customer engagement: Utilizing 8x8’s programmable SMS and WhatsApp capabilities, this tool enhances cross-organizational customer engagement for UC and contact center customers. CX pros can use the tool to execute campaigns using 8x8’s campaign management platform.

  • 8x8 Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams: The company now offers PSTN calling via Microsoft Teams Phone, using Microsoft’s Operator Connect for approved third-party providers.

  • Meeting whiteboards: People in meetings can contribute to a shared whiteboard, participate in brainstorming sessions, and collaborate in real time.

  • The LINE Official Notification Channel for Businesses: Businesses can utilize the LINE Official Notification (LON) channel to send one-way notifications, such as order confirmations and payment reminders, to customers in Thailand and Indonesia.

Further updates to 8x8’s cloud contact center and unified communications platform include:

  • Enhanced analytics: The company upgraded the Calls by DID report so customers can track incoming calls and gain insight into the volume and how agents handled calls.

  • Updates to usability: Improvements include internal caller identification, call details tooltip, and voicemail log details. In addition, users can now toggle the app startup sound on or off.

  • Supervisor enhancements: 8x8 now enables supervisors to personalize their workspace by selecting and organizing visible agents, queue metrics, and tables.

  • Channel routing enhancements: This feature improves message delivery through alternative channels like Viber. The company has also integrated other messaging channels and enabled one-time password messages via WhatsApp and Zalo.

In addition, improvements to the 8x8 CPaaS platform include a WhatsApp Business account, 8x8 voice solutions with intelligent routing, and CleverTap with SMS integration.

Some final thoughts

It’s been a while since I’ve written about 8x8. These enhancements are a welcome addition to the company’s portfolio. The company’s robust partner ecosystem should serve as a good underpinning for many of its announced changes. However, the most compelling elements of the announcement are in customer experience and engagement, areas where 8x8 has been a leader for some time.  

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research.

Read his other Network Computing articles here.

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About the Author(s)

Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst with ZK Research

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. He spent 10 years at Yankee Group and prior to that held a number of corporate IT positions. Kerravala is considered one of the top 10 IT analysts in the world by Apollo Research, which evaluated 3,960 technology analysts and their individual press coverage metrics.

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