x8 is a virtual PBX provider which promises reliability, security, and advanced features. 8×8 attracts users with competitive pricing, clear voice communications, and easy-to-use software.
- The Good
- The Bad
8×8 Business VoIP Features
8×8 Business VoIP Call Management
Easy Setup Process: It takes only a few minutes to setup your 8×8 account online.
Call Queuing: 8×8 lets you queue calls and easily manage incoming calls.
Auto-Attendant: Incoming calls are handled by an auto-attendant/virtual secretary.
Voicemail: Incoming callers can leave a voicemail message if no attendants are available.
Caller ID: Caller ID is available on all 8×8 plans to identify incoming calls.
8×8 Business VoIP Calling
Unlimited Calling: Unlimited calling is available throughout the United States, Canada, UK, and 7 other countries.
Unlimited International Calling: Unlimited international calling comes standard on 8×8 plans and includes calls to Spain, France, the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Italy.
Global Extension Plan: 35 more international locations are available through the Global Extension upgrade offer.
On-Hold Music: Callers can listen to on-hold music while waiting for an available representative.
Use Existing Number: You can add an existing number to your 8×8 plan.
Toll Free Numbers: 8×8 lets you pick local, toll-free, and international numbers with area codes available from locations across the United States.
Mobile Support: 8×8 offers apps for iOS and Android; users can control all call management features over mobile devices.
Other Features of 8×8 Business VoIP
Redundant Architecture: 8×8 promises 100% uptime with its redundant architecture, which includes uninterrupted failsafe backups when a server fails.
Web Conferencing: Hold conference calls with up to 15 people; 50 participant conference calls available on upgraded plans.
Free Telephone With Every Extension: When you add an extension to your plan, you also receive a free telephone for your office.
Unlimited Calling within US, Canada
8 International Locations
One Free Phone Per Extension
The Good About 8×8 Business VoIP
Unlimited Inbound and Outbound Calling to Many Countries
8×8 plans include unlimited calling to a number of countries. Unlike other virtual PBX providers, that list of countries doesn’t only include the United States, Canada, and American overseas territories. It includes all three of those regions along with countries like the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, and Ireland. Meanwhile, if you need a longer list of countries, then you’ll appreciate the next listed advantage, which is the Global Extension plan.
Comprehensive International Dialing Package
8×8 also includes an international calling package called the ‘Global Extension’ plan. In addition to covering the same countries as the basic plans – like the United States, Canada, France, and the UK – the international calling plan includes 35 additional nations which should cover all your dialing needs. With over 40 countries covered in total, the Global Extension plan offers good value to businesses which regularly communicate with overseas contacts.
Basic Call Waiting System
8×8 includes call waiting and caller ID. There are a small number of included features like on-hold music and on-hold messages. You can also setup call ring groups which can handle excess calls. However, as we’ll mention in ‘The Bad’ section below, the call waiting features tend to be limited. Beyond basic queuing functionality, there are some things missing from 8×8.
One Free Phone Per Extension
With 8×8, you receive one free telephone per extension. Of course, you may never need to use that telephone because you can manage all 8×8 communications over your computer or mobile devices. Having a physical telephone is still a valuable benefit – especially since many other virtual PBX providers charge exorbitant extra fees for this luxury.
15 User Conference Calls
Basic plans come with the ability to hold conference calls with up to 15 participants. However, you can add up to 50 participants to a single conference call by upgrading your plan. If your business routinely holds calls with many employees and departments, then conference calling functionality is easy to appreciate.
Redundant Network and ‘Zero Downtime’
8×8, like many PBX services, has built a redundant network. That redundant network cycles your service to other geographic servers across the country should anything fail. Ultimately, that means that customer’s calls will continue to arrive even when a server crashes on the network. Zero downtime is a lofty goal for any business to set. However, most virtual PBX services guarantee upwards of 99.9% uptime, so it’s not impossible to experience 0% downtime every month. With multiple redundancy systems in place, you’re unlikely to ever experience noticeable downtime with 8×8.
Full Mobile Support
8×8 is fully on-board with mobile devices and has released mobile apps for iPhone and Android. Users can use the app to make video calls to other mobile users. More importantly, you can avoid expensive minute rates and setup your cell phone to call contacts over the internet instead of your usual cell network.
Keep Your Existing Telephone Number
Some virtual PBX providers let you keep an existing number, while others force you to choose a new one. Conveniently, 8×8 lets you keep your old number, which is important if your company has existed for years and has already scattered its business cards far and wide. The last thing you want to do is confuse customers or clients.
Integration for Other Tech Clients and Software
In general, 8×8 gets along well with other software programs and services. Those services include SalesForce and SugarCRM – two of the most popular customer relationship management programs available today. 8×8 also integrates with Outlook and lets you sync Outlook contacts across your network.
Extensive Call Data Available for an Extra Price
The most basic 8×8 plan costs $19.99 per month. However, there are plenty of extra options available for purchase. One of those options is the ability to view extensive incoming call data, including traffic, extension reports, statistics, and more. Businesses that deal with high volumes of customers or clients may find this extra service beneficial. Even if you do not pay the extra monthly fee, 8×8 offers excellent administrative features via its web console.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
If you change your mind within 30 days of purchasing 8×8, then the company guarantees your money back.
Excellent Online Interface
8×8 offers a great online interface. Even if you’re a tech newbie, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding your way around the 8×8 platform. All the call management features you could ever need are easily accessible from the online interface and you can totally customize your PBX system to suit your needs.
Virtual PBX systems already save businesses a considerable amount of money over traditional PBX systems. However, as far as pricing goes, 8×8 can trim your costs even further. 8×8 offers competitive pricing plans for all different levels of businesses.
The Bad About 8×8 Business VoIP
Limited Advanced Call Queuing Options
Like most virtual PBX providers, 8×8 offers call waiting and on-hold music. However, beyond that, call queuing options are limited. When the system is overloaded and no representatives are available, the system simply stacks the calls until an employee is available. There isn’t an option to notify callers about wait times or keep them busy during the queue. For businesses with active call centers or tech support lines, this can be an issue. Automatic distribution call queues are not available with 8×8.
No 24/7 Tech Support with Live Agents
You can access tech support any time of the day or night at the 8×8 website. The 8×8 website features comprehensive FAQs and knowledge bases which explain the intricacies of the 8×8 service. If you need further assistance, then you can contact live agents over toll-free telephone and online live chat. Unfortunately, these live agents are only available during regular business hours and, unlike many of 8×8’s competitors, you cannot speak with a live agent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our Verdict On 8×8 Business VoIP
8×8 is a competitively priced virtual PBX system that includes all of the major features required by PBX users – like call queuing, auto-attendant, on-hold music, and extension management. It also includes many features that are not offered by more expensive competitors, like unlimited calling to countries outside of North America and international dialing via the Global Extension plan. These are awesome deals for businesses which do a lot of work with overseas businesses.
There aren’t many areas where 8×8 is lacking. Call queuing is basic but effective, although there are some missing features – there are no automatic distribution call queues, for example. Another minor complaint is that tech support with live agents is available during standard business hours instead of being available 24/7.
If you can get past those minor issues, then there’s a lot to like about 8×8 – including international dialing and flawless integration with Outlook, Salesforce, and SugarCRM. As one of the top virtual PBX providers in the industry today, 8×8 could be the perfect option for your business.
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