Cloud-based provider of contact center technology 8x8 Inc. has launched a complete customer experience tool, 8x8 Contact Center. As a contact-center-as-a-service tool, the 8x8 Contact Center is a stand-alone product delivering CX capabilities and features on a single unified platform.
The 8x8 Contact Center includes automatic call distribution, interactive voice response (IVR), omnichannel engagement, outbound dialing, customer journey analytics, quality management, speech analytics, post-call surveys and FAQ knowledgebase.
8x8 Contact Center includes a bank of minutes for each agent and enables customers to use their own private branch exchange or 8x8's unified-communications-as-a-service offering. Built-in CRM integrations in the platform supports a single sign-on and centralized administration.
Typically, contact centers -- and 8x8's preceding contact center product line -- must operate on third-party platforms such as Salesforce or Avaya, but the 8x8 Contact Center eliminates the need for a foundational vendor. According to 8x8, the cloud-based contact center as a service (CCaaS) platform is directed at customers and organizations that feel restricted by aging infrastructure.
By enabling users to buy the CCaaS offering without committing to the vendor's unified communications as a service (UCaaS) bundle, 8x8 is meeting more customer needs, according to Gartner Vice President Drew Kraus.
"The 8x8 customer is given more options for what contact center functionality they want to add," Kraus said. "More offerings will fit well with different customers, and they might return later for 8x8's UCaaS offering."
CCaaS is growing in popularity as legacy contact center platforms remain in siloes and lacking in collaboration. CCaaS is usually a good fit for newer companies, but may get complicated when attempting to integrate with a legacy tech stack.
In addition to its stand-alone CCaaS offering, 8x8 also announced new add-on capabilities to its product lineup:
- 8x8 Intelligent IVR brings AI self-service capabilities and, with speech recognition and natural language processing, improves depth and visibility of IVR usage.
- 8x8 Customer Journey Analytics brings customer journey insight with a simplified UI that eliminates manual analysis.
- 8x8 Expert Finder enhances collaboration to quickly find subject matter experts to answer difficult questions faster and expedite time to resolution. 8x8 Expert Finder works across more than 24 third-party messaging platforms -- like Slack, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex -- to enable access to the entire organization's knowledgebase.
In 2018, Gartner listed 8x8 as a challenger in its Magic Quadrant for CCaaS. The introduction of the 8x8 Contact Center and new contact center capabilities might give the vendor a leg up to join leaders in the field, such as Nice InContact, Five9 and Genesys.
"CCaaS is evolving rapidly, and 8x8 is putting in effort to not only improve their capabilities, but close the gap with [vendors] that are leading in functionality," Kraus said. "8x8 is definitely keeping pace with the innovation in the industry."