What makes 8x8 one of the best phone systems for small businesses is that it is hosted in the cloud and easy to use, it has an assortment of valuable features, is affordably priced, and it provides excellent customer support. 8x8 also offers contact center services and supports business with multiple sites. This is an excellent phone system that is well suited for small businesses, especially those looking for a VoIP phone system that includes all of the bells and whistles they could want.
Pricing and Terms
8x8 offers three service plans that differ in the included features and prices. All of the plans include unlimited calling, text messaging, instant messaging, voicemail, single sign-on, integration with Salesforce, Zendesk and NetSuite CRM. The X2 Edition is the cheapest at $25 per user, per month. This plan has a 14 country unlimited calling zone, 1 GB of media storage, and audio and video conferencing for up to five participants at a time. The X5 Edition, $35 per user, per month, includes a 32 country unlimited calling zone, 5 GB of media storage, audio and video conferencing for up to 25 participants, call recording, and an operator switchboard. The most expensive plan is the X8 Edition, which is $55 per user, per month. It includes a 48 country unlimited calling zone, 10 GB of media storage, audio and video conferencing for up to 50 participants, call recording, an operator switchboard, supervisor and call quality analytics as well as several contact center tools.
Customers sign at least a 12-month contract. However, fees are paid monthly and not annually.
8x8 has an impressive set of features. It offers all of the calling features and tools small businesses find most valuable.
- Calling features include automated attendants, music on-hold, directory assistance, ring groups, call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID blocking, voicemail, voicemail-to-email, and conference calling.
- Collaboration tools include instant messaging, a presence feature that show employees who's available and who is busy, and the ability to host online meetings.
- The 8x8 system integrates with a number of programs many small businesses are already using, including Microsoft Outlook and Salesforce among others. These integrations allow employees to call contacts directly from those programs.
- The system has a mobile app that allows employees to tap into their business phone lines from their smartphones. With the app, which is available on iOS and Android devices, employees can make and receive calls, chat with other employees, check their voicemail, see the status of co-workers, join and collaborate in online meetings, and view online faxes.
Ease of Use
8x8 is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system that doesn't require any special equipment or wiring.
- Since the system runs on a data connection, all businesses have to do to use 8x8 is properly configure their routers and make sure they have the necessary bandwidth to handle the volume of calls they expect. With that, it's as simple as plugging phones into an Ethernet port to start making and receiving calls. 8x8 handles all of the maintenance and upgrades.
- The entire system is controlled via an online portal. Those in charge can log in to the portal, which 8x8 refers to as the Configuration Manager, to assign employee telephone numbers and extensions, set up the automated attendant, and create ring groups.
- To ensure businesses get up and running smoothly, 8x8 provides one free hour of training from a technical installation specialist. More hands-on and on-site training is available at an extra cost.
- 8x8 has a complete conference calling service built into its’s phone system. With the conference bridge feature, which comes included for no extra charge, each employee has the ability to hold their own conference call with up to 15 callers. If your company is looking to host conference calls with more callers than this phone system provides for, you will need to use a conference calling service. These services allow for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of callers on each call. You can find more information on these services on our conference call services best pick page.
- Contact center services are also available via 8x8. Features in its contact center plans include skills-based call routing, interactive voice response, queued callback, call recording, real-time monitoring and historical reporting.
- 8x8 has a 99.999% uptime, which is the highest uptime we discovered during our research of cloud-hosted business phone systems. The uptime data means the system is only down for just a few minutes each year.
- For businesses with multiple locations, 8x8 offers a branch office feature that lets system administrators segment employee extensions based on their work locations. In addition, each location has its own unique employee directory, IVR script and presence management.
- 8x8 provides some of the best support we encountered during our research of business phone systems. We contacted the company multiple times posing as a small business owner interested in phone systems. All of our calls were immediately answered, and the representatives we spoke with were extremely helpful. They answered all of our questions thoroughly and left us with a clear understanding of what the system offered and how it worked.
- Customer support is available via telephone, email, chat and online cases on a 24/7/365 basis. The company does offer follow-the-sun support for critical issues.
- While 8x8 offers round-the-clock support, there are times when the representative you are speaking with is located in another country.
- 8x8 recently changed its service plan offerings and raised some prices. Previously, the cheapest plan was only $19.99 per user, per month. 8x8 is an excellent phone system for small businesses. It is cloud-based and doesn't require you to install any special equipment to get it up and running. The system is completely managed online and offers a wealth of valuable features, tools, and integrations. The system is available in multiple service plans at various price points that allow businesses with varying budgets they opportunity to use the service. Additionally, it offers robust contact center services for businesses needing those types of tools.
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