We sat down recently with executives from 8x8 to talk about their growth as a Unified Communications provider and about the overall industry trend toward replacing traditional PSTN voice service and infrastructure with VoIP. The discussion comes on the heels of a solid fiscal year for the company, which saw total revenues for fiscal 2014 increase by 24% over fiscal 2013; 8x8’s fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.
We opened our conversations with 8x8 CTO Bryan Martin, asking him how 8x8 approaches the challenges of being a pure-play IP voice service provider - and in particular how 8x8 offers interconnection to so many TDM networks with its own SIP-controlled infrastructure. His company’s solution is to use gateway providers such as Inteliquent and others. Martin believes these gateway providers will continue to play an important interconnection role as businesses and service providers make their transition to SIP-based signaling.
When we asked how he was meeting the challenge of other VoIP providers (especially the cable companies) he pointed out that many of these were focused on providing VoIP as an add-on to a broadband bundle that may have a limited footprint. He continued to say that as an “over the top” provider, 8x8 is very adept at offering business services to employees and locations that are widely distributed, regardless of who is supplying the broadband connection.
We also asked Martin what advice he would give traditional service providers who are replacing their traditional PSTN infrastructure with an all-IP network. His advice, “We’re a plug and play OTT and we know that networking is hard…it’s complicated. We’ve build things around our service to help solve networking issues. Carriers need to focus on the end user experience.”
We next turned our conversation to talk with 8x8 CEO Vikran Verma, asking what was the growth engine behind his company’s successful results. He noted that his company’s “sweet spot” was the mid market, serving organizations with 50 to thousands of employees. 8x8 saw 47% growth in new mid-market revenues for its last reported quarter, and Verma is optimistic that this market will continue to provide opportunities. 8x8 is also capitalizing on the adoption of VoIP by contact centers—40% of its subscribers bundle 8x8’s contact center solution along with 8x8’s hosted VoIP products.