8x8 Picks Up Another Enterprise UCaaS Win
This contract with NetSuite, which has 4,500 employees, may signal that the UCaaS market isn't really just for small companies.
8x8 announced today that NetSuite, a provider of cloud-based financial and ERP services, selected 8x8 as its global UC-as-a-service, or UCaaS, partner.
NetSuite has already converted about 50% of its 4,500 employees across nine locations in three countries to 8x8's UCaaS platform. The rollout could increase to employees in up to 12 countries in 2016, according to the press statement.
My three initial thoughts about this announcement pertain to 8x8, the UCaaS industry, and the proof-of-concept (PoC) process.
- 8x8 - This is another big win for 8x8, which just less than two weeks ago announced a 2,500-location agreement with Regus, a global workspace provider. While Regus turned to 8x8 for applications like Virtual Office and Switchboard Pro, NetSuite was drawn to the company's Elite Touch on-boarding program, which provides a phased approach of verification and coordination to services, training, and support during large cutovers. NetSuite validated this program by converting seven sites to 8x8 in six weeks. NetSuite also turned to 8x8 for its ability to provide a single solution globally, geo-routing capabilities to tap into local data centers worldwide, and full-featured desktop and mobile applications, according to the release. 8x8 will replace two premises-based UC vendors at NetSuite.
- UCaaS - The win may indicate that the UCaaS market is undergoing a transition. To date, UCaaS has mostly attracted small and medium-sized businesses. As Gartner wrote in its recent UCaaS report, SMB accounts "increasingly opt for UCaaS" while midsize enterprises "favor traditional premises-based deployments." Meanwhile, Gartner said, UCaaS adoption among large enterprises is more the "exception rather than the rule." However, many analysts have been predicting larger enterprise customers will soon begin moving to UCaaS -- or enterprise communications as a service (ECaaS) -- and perhaps that time has come.
- PoC - Prior to awarding contracts to 8x8, Regus and NetSuite each conducted lengthy, multi-site PoCs. This approach is understated as a significant advantage for UCaaS providers because multi-site pilots are not practical for premises-based evaluations. A PoC significantly reduces the risk of a major switch-out by decreasing or significantly eliminating technical surprises, feature disparities, and adoption concerns.
8x8 continues its move up-market, demonstrating a global footprint of its ECaaS solution, and growing enterprise roster.
These wins are more significant than just two more customers discovering UCaaS. If it can continue its momentum, 8x8 will break away from the pack of providers (or perhaps it already has).
The company is still known for UCaaS, but is emerging as a leader in ECaaS. 8x8 recently completed several technical acquisitions, holds 100+ patents, and has been growing in continental Europe and Australia. As NetSuite CIO Doug Brown noted in the release, 8x8 offered the highest levels of uptime and could also meet NetSuite's security requirements.
Dave Michels is a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.Follow Dave Michels on Twitter and Google+!
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