After being introduced to the current phone system that is in use at our company, I couldn’t help but immediately compare it to my old Atari game console. With little to no call reporting, visibility, customization, and only a few available lines, it was quite evident that some serious changes needed to be made.
In the past few months preparing and upgrading our current IT infrastructure, I have been carefully researching and talking with several of the top-rated VoIP providers.
For a little background on what VoIP can do:
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems offer many improvements to the outdated traditional landline services that we are all familiar with. By connecting directly to the internet, as opposed to a local phone company, customers can save a lot of money, increase functionality, and provide unparalleled analytics and scalability. Portability, something that many businesses seek (especially those who have traveling employees), is a fundamental part of VoIP systems. By directly plugging your VoIP phone system into the internet, you can get access anywhere you are in the world; this allows customer service employees to work from home, quickly change infrastructure, and have the phone system scale as fast as a company grows. VoIP also supports a wide range of features such as incoming call holds, call transfers, hunts, conference calls, and auto-attendant phone menus.
After narrowing down potential VoIP vendors, we have just signed a contract with 8×8.
What makes 8×8 the right choice for our company? It is pretty simple. 8×8 is known to deliver excellent cloud-based business solutions and will pair perfectly with our CSM (Customer Service Manager), Zendesk.
8×8’s ability to effortlessly integrate with Zendesk was truly what put other VoIP companies to shame. Initially, we were working with Jive and were planning to sign a contract. However, after they failed to be able to get everything to work with Zendesk, they ended up just handing over the API keys and said, “here, you can do it.”
Zendesk has two apps designed to work with 8×8 specifically, 8×8 Contact Center v2 and 8×8 Virtual Office 2.2. After informing us how simple it is to get everything to work seamlessly, the decision to go with 8×8 was clear.
While the price for 8×8 was higher than what Jive quoted, after some negotiation, 8×8 managed to drop their prices, include some of the phones that we would be using for free, and offered to help us with every phase of the process.
For VoIP phones, we will be going with Polycom’s products.
23: Polycom VVX 250PoE Flex’s
1: Polycom IP 6000PoE Flex
1: Polycom IP 5000PoE Flex
With the 8×8 Contract signed, I am now building out their software so it can be ready for our 8×8 onboarding call (I always like to work ahead so many of the steps they ask me to complete are already done, thus freeing up the time to ask specific questions during calls). I have already added our company’s users, schedule, set myself up as the administrator, claimed a few phone numbers, and even played around with the Auto Attendant feature.
Within Zendesk, we will be using the 8×8 Virtual Office 2.2 app, which will allow tickets to be created from phone calls, receive caller ID before answering calls, record calls, as well as be able to view call metrics and data.
In the coming days, I will be diving deep into both 8×8 and Zendesk’s software to ensure that everything goes smoothly. I will be sharing what I have learned as much as possible.
Content and Image: 8×8. (2019).”Voice, Video, Chat, Contact Center. In the Cloud.” Retrieved from https://www.8×8.com/.