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Advancements in Small Business Phone Technology Help Companies Cope With Holiday Stress

Dec 11, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), provider of 8x8 Virtual Office and Packet8 (http://www.packet8.net) broadband business, residential, video and mobile communications services, reports that companies employing hosted business phone technologies are not only reducing their monthly telecom costs but are also creating a framework for reducing holiday stress -- for themselves, their employees and their customers.

"The holiday season puts customer-facing companies to the test, regardless of the economic climate," says 8x8, Inc. Chairman & CEO Bryan R. Martin. "Outsourcing your business phone service to a hosted provider like 8x8 means that our California-based service professionals will take care of your phone service for you, including all administration, moves, adds and changes, so you can concentrate on running your business," continues Martin.

"I love my Packet8 Virtual Office because of their speed of answering my phone call," says Louie Ruiz of AllWallMirrors.com in Caldwell, Idaho. "I have never been on hold longer than three minutes while calling into Support. This has been huge because it affords me more time to help my customers which in turn brings me more sales. I also love the fact that technical support does not appear to be outsourced; all personnel have been courteous, efficient, and thorough."

8x8's Martin notes, "With the stress of long lines, worsening traffic and their own end-of-year financial concerns, the customers of small businesses have even less tolerance for long hold times or navigation of patchy phone systems. Internet-based telecommunications solutions like 8x8's Virtual Office are enabling small businesses to appease impatient customers by cutting queue times and improving the customer calling experience without having to augment staff or pay for pricey PBX (private branch exchange) systems traditionally afforded by larger companies."

"Our customers expect to speak with a live person," says John Pape of St. Louis, Missouri-based Watlow, a company that designs and manufactures electric heaters, controllers and temperature sensors. "With this (8x8 Virtual Office) system, we can support our customers and each other as a team with follow-me forwarding or easily customizable auto-attendant options. The Virtual Office system increases our ability to stay connected with our customers and win business."

Richard Sanford of Home Video Studio in Clermont, Florida states, "8x8's service gives my business that professional edge that large companies have even though my company is a small home based business."

Business owners and their staff are also facing tense times themselves as they seek to balance work, home and the holidays amidst a questionable economy. From one business day to the next, the ability to quickly change phone settings and call routing rules on the fly, while compensating for the addition of temporary staff, vacations, and flexible holiday scheduling, is keeping both clients and employees happier during the holiday rush.

David Lauri of Miami Valley Fair Housing Center notes, "Our staff people can work from home yet still be connected via their regular office phone numbers. Clients don't have to know staff people's home phone number or cell phone number or even that they're at home."

Besides a fixed monthly rate for local and long-distance calling and a dramatically lower out-of-the-box start-up cost as compared to traditional PBX systems, 8x8 is providing small businesses with "must have" features like auto attendants, conference bridge, voicemail to email notification, music on hold and ring groups, further increasing productivity and quickening the pace at which businesses can close a deal, respond to a customer, or communicate with staff.

Says Shawn Wiser, Co-founder and Director of Operations for Maryland-based digital display business US Techdisplay, "I can send my voicemails to my inbox. I am a small business and this allows me to work away from my office, and get more done with my time. Time is money!"

"Finding a product that cuts your overhead and increases productivity is a tall order these days," says Martin. "Many companies are buying into the idea of Internet telephony, saving sanity in addition to money and time. In a time when most of us are crossing off the 'nice, but not necessary' from our lists, Internet telephony is one of the few new services that every small business should be adding."

8x8's End-of-Year Cost Reduction Program

Through the end of the year, 8x8 is reducing monthly service charges for its Virtual Office Business Phone Service by 50% for new subscribers. Normally priced at $49.99 per month/extension, 8x8's Virtual Office business phone services, an all inclusive Internet-based telecommunications solution which combines unlimited local and long distance calling with advanced PBX features, is now available to companies who subscribe by December 31, 2008 for a monthly fee of $24.99/extension or a one-time annual fee of $250/extension for the first year of service. New customers must purchase 8x8's new Internet protocol (IP) phones and agree to keep service for a minimum of one year in order to be eligible for the promotion.

About 8x8, Inc.

8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT) offers voice, video and mobile communications solutions for business and residential customers. These solutions leverage existing broadband Internet connections and cellular networks to deliver advanced features and digital quality phone service at a fraction of the cost of legacy, copper wire alternatives. Businesses of any size, configuration or geographic location can benefit from the cost, performance and operational advantages of VoIP technology by selecting the solution that best fits their needs, whether it's the Virtual Office Hosted iPBX phone system, Complete Contact Center, Virtual Trunking IP dial tone solution, Hosted Key System service or Microsoft Response Point/8x8 small business phone system. All 8x8 communications solutions carry little or no upfront investment, no maintenance or upgrade fees and no change in user behavior. For additional company information, visit 8x8's web site at http://www.8x8.com.

SOURCE 8x8, Inc.
12/11/2008
/CONTACT: Joan Citelli of 8x8, Inc., +1-408-687-4320,
href="mailto:jcitelli@8x8.com">jcitelli@8x8.com
/
/Web site: http://www.8x8.com
http://www.packet8.net /
(EGHT)
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