Cloud comms firm 8x8 makes UK channel play

American unified comms outfit 8x8 Inc launches services to the UK and buys Bucks-based Voicenet Solutions

Silicon Valley-based cloud UC and collaboration provider 8x8 has expanded into the UK market with the acquisition and rebranding of local player Voicenet Solutions.

8x8 delivers a number of UC services to SME, midmarket and distributed enterprise customers including cloud business phone service to both in-office and mobile devices, virtual meetings, call centre software and VDI through its own proprietary unified SaaS platform. It is also one of the largest Polycom resellers in the US.

With a number of analyst credits from the likes of Gartner, Frost & Sullivan and Infonetics under its belt, 8x8 decided to take its first steps outside the US and Canada after prompting from midmarket customers keen to maintain services to branch offices in the UK, Huw Rees, 8x8 SVP of business development, told MicroScope. Acquiring to do so was a logical step, he added.

“We had a previous arrangement with Voicenet who resold our contact centre app, they have similar DNA and similar operations, and we think they can really help us take marketshare in the UK,” said Rees.

The firm demonstrated its Virtual Office and Virtual Contact Centre products to potential partners in London last week, and Rees claimed the firm’s “wide breadth of integrated products – coupled with our reputation for delivering it in a highly reliable, highly available way – is pretty much unmatched in the market place.”

8x8 CEO Kevin Scott-Cowell added: “From a channel partner perspective, there are maybe some who could cobble together similar solutions from different vendors, but that is costly and difficult to integrate.”

Barry Anns, group MD at Berks-based 8x8 reseller du Pré, said the firm’s formal expansion into the UK was good news for him.

“We care passionately about our customers’ needs. 8x8's proven cloud-based unified communication and collaboration services will put 8x8 Solutions and its partners in a position to deliver a market leading service with the flexibility to match future expectations,” he said. 

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