CenturyLink Bundles SMB Hosted VoIP With Cloud Services

8x8 Upgrades its Virtual Contact Center Offer

Two service updates in our coverage today, with a CenturyLink Managed Office offer and an upgrade by 8x8 to its Virtual Contact Center (VCC) cloud-based call center software offering.

CenturyLink's Managed Office is the company’s first managed services offer designed for the small medium business (SMB) that includes Hosted VoIP and cloud capabilities.  

Among the elements, a managed network and hosted VoIP are included complete with serviced level agreements backed delivered via business-grade Ethernet or other connectivity options based on the customer's choice of speeds. Managed CPE (customer premises equipment) is also offered, with a choice of IP phones, routers, switches and Wi-Fi access points. A selection of hosted apps and cloud-based storage provides software and server maintenance, hosted email and calendar software, collaboration software and data backup services along with security software.    Pricing is based on a per-seat basis, allowing for a monthly price-per-employee user option.

Commenting in a statement, Brian Washburn, Service Director for Global Business Network and IT Services at Current Analysis said, "SMBs face very different challenges from larger businesses; scaled-down enterprise services can't serve these companies effectively. CenturyLink Managed Office has been built from the ground up to deliver a comprehensive package with the levels of service and support that smaller business customers need.”

In other news, 8x8’s latest release added increased mobility and security features to the company’s contact center offering.  The update includes system status optimized for mobile devices, virtual queuing, reporting wizards designed to give supervisors better insight into the work center, contact directories and queue lists that  support “favorites” and recently accessed records, and agent tools for recording and playing audio messages to reduce live agent talk time. 8x8's Virtual Contact Center (VCC) service is available as a single point solution or as part of 8x8's Virtual Office cloud-based telephony and unified communications solutions.

Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst, Customer Contact at Frost & Sullivan commented in a statement saying, "With VCC release 8.0, 8x8 continues to help contact centers provide new levels of service to their customers that can help differentiate their brand in the marketplace while reducing the costs associated with serving customers."

Virtual Contact Center 8.0 is available today and has already been provided free of charge to existing customers of 8x8 Virtual Contact Center services.

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