8x8 Introduces Communications Cloud

8x8 today launched Communications Cloud, which combines unified communications, team collaboration interoperability, contact center, and real-time analytics in a single, open platform.

The company also today launched Script8, a dynamic communications flow and routing engine that provides communications control, data source integration, and intelligent routing. It also announced its acquisition of LeChat, maker of the Sameroom interoperability platform for cross-team messaging and collaboration; a host of new integrations; and several open application programming interfaces (APIs).

Key tenets of the 8x8 Communications Cloud include open cloud and platform; integrated and interoperable communications capabilities aligned with business applications; intelligent real-time analytics; global availability; and ease of use and deployment. In addition, 8x8 enables enterprises to seamlessly connect across clouds, embed and customize communications into business workflows, and share data with other applications.

The 8x8 Communications Cloud includes out-of-the-box integrations with dozens of enterprise applications, including Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Oracle Sales Cloud, Hubspot, Zoho, Bond, Bullhorn, Jobscience, TargetRecruit, Zendesk, Freshdesk, and ConnectWise.

"The 8x8 Communications Cloud marks the beginning of a new era for our industry where all communications, team collaboration, contact center and analytics are unified in a single, open platform that integrates across all clouds and applications used by lines of business," said Vik Verma, CEO of 8x8, in a statement. "This convergence of two healthy and thriving markets-communications and collaboration-is going to change the way employees, customers, and partners use and consume communications intelligence, making them better informed, more productive, and more effective than ever before. The days of a fragmented communications landscape are numbered."

The 8x8 Communications Cloud offers a number of open APIs that allow customers and partners to expose rich communications data to their existing enterprise applications. These new open APIs for customers and partners include the following:

  • Communication microservices: APIs for direct access to messaging and chat, meetings, IVR/auto attendant, SMS, and fax;
  • Analytics and data extraction: APIs to discover the hidden value of analytics data; and
  • Provisioning and service management: Automated provisioning for Active Directory integration and a new administration portal with intuitive design for custom and bulk configuration.

The LeChat acquisition further strengthens 8x8's cloud communications capabilities, enabling collaboration across disparate team messaging solutions. Currently, Sameroom integrates with more than two dozen messaging and team collaboration apps, including Slack, Microsoft's Skype, and HipChat.

"The acquisition of Sameroom marks an important milestone for 8x8 as a company and the cloud communications market as a whole. We're ushering in the era of the first true and open communications cloud, complete with cross-cloud integration, interoperability, and real-time analytics," Verma said. "With Sameroom, our customers will enable their internal teams and external partners to collaborate across different team messaging apps of their choice, creating an open, more seamless communications and collaboration environment that is fully compliant with corporate policy. This new technology is the key to delivering messaging capabilities to all of 8x8's services."

"Team collaboration has long been the internal approach of choice for technical teams. But as these tools started to spread across the enterprise, the lack of cross-team and cross-platform interoperability resulted in two fundamental problems: noncompliance and fragmentation," said Andrei Soroker, co-founder of Sameroom, in a statement. "8x8 understands that true unified communications and collaboration requires a new and open approach to team collaboration, which is why Sameroom was acquired. With this move, Sameroom will now be able to help more companies enable team collaboration as the technology becomes core to the 8x8 Communications Cloud."

With this acquisition, Sameroom customers will soon be able to leverage embedded enterprise communications features from 8x8 and start online meetings, audio calls, and video conferencing from within their team collaboration service.

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Posted July 20, 2017