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8x8 Review by WhichVoIP.com

8x8 was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Jose, California. It went IPO in 1997 and has been a publicly traded company ever since. Today 8x8 services over 50,000 customers and boasts more than 1 million business users worldwide with their Unified Communications platform and is a leading brand name in VoIP communications.

Frost and Sullivan awarded them the 2018 Competitive Strategy Innovations and Leadership award. They were named a Leader in the 2019 Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant (8th year in a row), as well as 2018 Magic Guadrant for CCaaS for North America.

The Good

Unlike some providers that use third party technology to run their cloud service, 8x8 uses their own in-house platform and has many patents for their system. Their platform can support everyone from a small business up to the enterprise and government level.

8x8 has data centers in California and Virginia and this helps ensure optimal uptime for their customers.

The current Hosted VoIP solutions (UCaaS - Unified Communications as a Service) includes an Express plan aimed at small businesses and their X series of plans providing options for small business to enterprise level companies (whether 1 employee or 1,000). It is these services that this review will be focused on. They also provide a Contact Center solution (CCaaS - Contact Center as a Service).

Let's start with the Express plan which is their newest option aimed at the single office market. Priced at just $12 per user per month it includes unlimited calling in the US and Canada. It also includes the basic call handling features as well as voicemail, audio and video conferencing, business SMS and texting, one-on-one and group chat, mobile/desktop Apps, and G Suite and Office 365 integrations. A 30-day free trial is available for the Express plan so it is a good place to start if you are considering their service.

The X Series plans aimed at the SMB market include the X2, the X4 and the X6. If you have less than 100 users the pricing is set at $25 for the X2, $45 for the X4 and $110 for the X6. This is per user per month pricing. The X2 plan includes all of the Express plan features plus includes unlimited calling within 14 countries, an advanced auto attendant feature, advanced call handling features, voicemail transcription, CRM integrations, call recording feature (1GB storage), unlimited Internet fax service, and cross-platform team messaging. The X series plans also include NetSuite, Salesforce, Zendesk and many more integrations, plus 8X8 service and implementation support.

The X4 plan builds on the X2 plan with the addition of unlimited calling in 47 countries, barge-monitor-whisper, Operator switchboard, analytics and call quality reporting, and an increase to 10GB storage for the call recording feature. The X6 adds further technology features such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), queued and web callback, post call survey, and contact center reporting and analytics, along with 4,000 contact center calling minutes. The X series plans include compliance and certifications with GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO27001. If you have a business in the medical area then HIPAA certified partners are often required.

You can still find some of the Virtual Office plans on their website, which were the plan names before the X Series were introduced. The "Classic" ones include the Unlimited Extension plan, the Metered Extension plan and the Global Plus Extension plan. The newer Virtual Office editions appear to be part of the X Series now. The X2, priced at $25 per user per month has a similar feature set to the one described above. It does not include call recording but does have a 1GB media storage feature.

The X5 Virtual Office plan is $35 per user per month. It includes 32 countries in the calling plan, 5GB of media storage, as well as call recording. The X8 edition includes the same as X5 but with 47 countries included in the calling plan and the addition of some contact center features and minutes, and some analytics features.

For those that want more professional sounding auto attendant, voicemail greeting, messages on hold, or music on hold recordings are in luck as 8X8 have an audio production store you can visit online.

8x8 also offer a wide selection of equipment to buy, including Polycom, Cisco and Yealink IP phones (corded/cordless), conference phones, video phones, softphones, phone/fax adapters and accessories (headsets, webcams, routers, firewalls). Buying hardware up front can be expensive so they have introduced a Flex Hardware Program where you can basically choose phones and pay monthly for them.

An extensive support and knowledge base area is available on their website. They also have a Training area that provides free online training and courses for instruction on how to best use their platforms. A Resources section can be accessed which includes whitepapers, data sheets, infographics, case studies, webinars, videos and useful tools. If you cannot find the information you need then you can contact technical support by creating a case, using web chat, or calling their toll free support line (24/7).

The Bad

If you are considering the Express plan just be aware that live assisted technical support is not included.

Be aware that if you get hardware through their Flex plan then you will be responsible for the remaining financial cost of the phones if you cancel your services.

Also be aware that if you exceed your call recording storage you will get charged an additional $5.99 per GB you use.

Most providers that have "unlimited" calling plans set a reasonable usage upper limit of monthly minutes (typically in the 3,000 to 5,000 minute range). The reasonable Busines Use policy notes a limitation of three times (3X) the average monthly usage of all customers of that service plan.

The Bottom Line

  • Express Plan: $12 per user per month. A very low cost option for the single office with a 30-day free trial available. Note that live assisted supported is not included.
  • X-Series Plans: Pricing is per user per month, $25 for X2, $45 for X4, and $110 for X6. The X2 plan will be sufficient for most small businesses.
  • Virtual Office: Older plans still available, starting at $25 per user per month.
  • IP Phones: Mainly Cisco, Polycom and Yealink phones supported. Flex plan for phone payment available.
  • Extensive support and knowledge base information online, as well as 24/7 live assisted support.

Overall Thoughts

8x8 are a long established service provider in the hosted VoIP industry with a large customer base. They have received awards from Frost and Sullivan, and Gartner in recent years. With their 30 day free trial it's a great option to consider for your small to medium business phone system needs.

A solid feature set along with their history make them worth considering for sure. Get the best pricing by submitting a quote request through WhichVoIP. Alternatively visit them directly by clicking on their logo to the right.

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