New 8×8 Flex Hardware Program De-risks Cloud Comms Investment
US clients see benefits of 8x8 Flex Hardware Program
Transitioning to a new communications system typically requires a considerable upfront capital investment, an obstacle to many organisations, from bootstrapped startups to those operating legacy inventory which cannot operate the latest unified communications services by design. The new Flex Hardware Program from 8×8 introduces a device-as-a-service model, enabling businesses to access the latest suite of equipment via monthly low-cost leasing payments, instead of advance purchasing.
This flexibility ensures frictionless acquisition and management of devices within the business, including a 7 year warranty, easy upgrades for future-proofing, and no long-term contracts. Managing costs during scaling is always a challenge for fast-growing organizations, and the Flex Hardware Program enables rapid deployment, monitoring, updating and transitioning of equipment, and enabling responsive device management for businesses with fluctuating seasonal requirements to add and remove hardware in the most cost-effective and hassle-free way.
Part of 8×8 Virtual Office Editions
The Flex Hardware Program, which is offered as part of the 8×8 Virtual Office Editions, includes brand-new Poly IP phones – ranging from lobby phones, receptionist units, desktop, and conference devices, including the latest VVX x50 line of VoIP desktop phones. And the 7-year warranty is extensive and impressive in scope, covering liquid, food spill, drop, fall, disaster, fire, accident, neglect, misuse, vandalism, water, power surge, and lightning damage – not bad from entry pricing of $5 per user per month.
We spoke to Russ Chadinha, Director of Solutions Marketing in Product Marketing at 8×8, who creates customer solutions outside of the regular service plan, in response to emerging client needs, and he explained that alongside the integrated softphone applications in their platforms, there was still an ongoing need for physical phones and equipment on desks for many users, and within the collaboration space such as conference rooms.
“But while customers were growing increasingly used to the per-user, per month costs of software as a service, the investment in hardware was much harder to build into the service budget. Lumpy upfront costs meant that users were typically falling behind, in some cases unable to run the latest versions of the software they were subscribed to, because of out-of-date hardware.
“In other sectors such as retail – quite an analogue-oriented environment – they’re only accustomed to physical phones, in varying locations from warehousing to stores to corporate.”
“We wanted them to have the same flexibility and responsiveness to move to the cloud, as our other customers. The warranty and leasing enables them to take a longer-term view with no risk”
The new solution, which is presently operational for US customers only, but that’s going to change: “We’re desperately working to enable the logistics to roll this out for the UK and other regions as soon as possible, following the US pilot”, Chadinha continued
“Distribution and finance solutions vary by country, but we’re working with Poly to ensure consistent models of service, and a sound foundation to roll out internationally – it’s a lot more complex than pushing out a software upgrade! But we’re committed to make it happen as soon as possible”.