8×8 X Series Provides a True Single Platform for Everyone
Debunking the restrictions of a single platform and enabling the future
As momentum builds in 8×8’s X Series campaign, I caught up with Russ Chadinha, Director of Solutions Marketing at 8×8, to find out some of the great things that 8×8 has going on in not just the Unified Comms space, but the collaboration and contact centre spaces too.
8×8’s X Series brings together Unified Comms, collaboration and contact centre areas into a single platform – a much sought requirement for enterprises that struggle to juggle multiple vendors when it comes to communications.
X Series simplifying vendor consolidation
I asked Russ to kick off by explaining what the X series was all about.
“Let’s start by picking on retail, which is just one example of many. They have people in the stores, they’ve got supervisors, district managers, corporate staff, IT Managers and warehouses. They are struggling to identify how to deliver communications across all these diverse roles.
With X Series, we’ve listened to that. Where there is multiple site that have accumulated on-premises technology over time, these types of business are asking how they can now become more agile and move to the cloud”.
A common scenario, I think you’ll agree. We then identified the typical approach to being agile in each department, sector or geographical area as targeting a new business phone system, a new cloud contact centre or a new collaboration app, independently.
What businesses typically end up with is new versions of what that had before.
“For communications, we can now do three things. Let’s have one platform that makes deploying each use case simple. We can satisfy in-store requirements, contact centre requirements and video conferencing requirements in one place. This allows procurement to purchase more efficiently and accurately as well as buying a future proof system. In the future, this same platform can enable SMS capabilities, enhanced analytics or whatever the desired and available technology is”.
How single platform is single platform?
Be it naivety or lack of knowledge communicated from vendors in the industry, requirements are usually something like the following:
- A single platform for communications, collaboration and contact centre
- Integration with existing CRMs or support systems
These two should be one requirement. The requirement here is that they don’t want another single platform, but something that integrates into the single platform they already have.
“We do that out of the box. With Salesforce or Dynamics, we can turn on role based experiences for different solutions. We call this our Dynamic Integration Framework”
“It’s standards-based API so it’s not difficult. It’s also not a typical type of integration.
Through one integration, we can deliver an experience for a support person. With that same integration, we can deliver a unique experience for the sales person.
On top of this, we can unhook users that change roles so they move from Dynamics to Salesforce or something else. This keeps them sustained over time”.
We then moved on to talk about a new introduction to the business communications element of the single platform. Back in May 2018, 8×8 acquired MarianaIQ. As leaders in artificial intelligence, the introduction of such a platform embedded into a UCaaS play was one I wanted to learn more about.
We know AI is a huge buzz word and is in danger of being overhyped. So, the introduction of an AI package into the UCaaS offering seems a sensible way to deliver this functionality to those using or buying a new phone system.
“We now have a platform that has really rich data. By introducing MarianaIQ, we can provide contact centre style speech analytics on the Unified Comms platform. If you have sales people out on the road, we can now take the analytics of your highest performers and use them to coach new or underperforming members of the team.
The second thing that’s important is that we now join up the entire customer experience. We can identify any part of the journey – pre or post sale – where a customer has an issue or a better experience could have been provided.
In the contact centre world, let’s use this example. A call comes in and the agent doesn’t know the answer to that particular customer. We know have the ability to search through chat platforms for the right subject matter expertise.”
“With the MarianaIQ virtual assistant, you can also have the question answered when the subject matter expert isn’t available. Even if the virtual assistant can’t find the answer or connect you to a subject matter expert, it knows to schedule a follow up so the customer doesn’t leave empty handed on any call”
Embedding niches into a single platform
What 8×8 are doing here is identifying niche pockets of AI and automation and embedding them into their ready-made UCaaS platform. Rather than having to bolt on more and more of these niches, Russ explained that it’s “in the DNA of the platform”. This not only reduces the number of vendors a customer has in play but reduces the amount of app switching users and supervisors have to deal with.
The 8×8 play is now revolutionising customer experience and user experience at the same time. It has long been that you buy a contact centre to improve customer experience and introduce a collaboration app to improve user experience. By weaving both, and including all personas, in one platform, you are addressing all issues and desires at the same time.
Going back to the start of this post, where I mentioned the typical approach to being agile usually ends up as new versions of what businesses had before, 8×8 is enabling procurement, IT, contact centre teams and management to come together and buy a single platform that changes the way businesses do business.
Thinking about agility and digital transformation, the biggest blocker (other than cost) us almost always connecting teams together. Buying one solution for one department and completely different solution for another works in some cases – like when the apps provide the same functionality – but when they perform different functions, the business case becomes impossible to interpret.
8×8’s single platform approach, with embedded functionality through apps like MarianaIQ, is sure to be a winner for cross functional businesses looking to refresh every area.
The Power of Single Platform with 8×8
Watch our video interview with 8×8 where they explain the power and benefits of a singular platform covering all communication requirements.