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Leading Resort Management Company Prepares for Boost in American Tourism With 8x8 Virtual Office Communications Solution

Oct 08, 2009

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct 8, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 which was passed by the U.S. Senate in early September aims to quickly revitalize vacation travel to the United States. It is projected to yield millions of new visitors, $4 billion in new economic stimulus, and $320 million in new federal tax revenue. But Sam Schorr, managing director of KeysCaribbean Resorts in the Florida Keys, is already preparing for the boom by enhancing his telecommunications capabilities with the 8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq:EGHT) Virtual Office VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone solution.

KeysCaribbean Resorts (www.KeysCaribbean.com), an established vacation rental management company, maintains a portfolio of over 100 resort villas from Key West to Key Largo. With extensive experience leading start up resort management companies, as well as repositioning and opening luxury resort properties in unique destinations throughout the United States, Schorr knew that by streamlining KeysCaribbean's communications with the 8x8 Virtual Office phone solution, the company would save money and leave a big impression on resort owners and visitors alike.

"When our visitors think 'vacation,' they think of sand, sun and getting away from it all," says Schorr. "What they don't think of -- and what they shouldn't have to worry about -- is all the behind the scenes work that makes a good vacation great."

The Virtual Office hosted VoIP business phone service from 8x8, Inc. is as critical to the operations of the resorts and contentment of their owners and guests as the miles of vibrant blue water surrounding the island paradise.

First, Schorr installed the Virtual Office phone solution in KeysCaribbean's eight seat call center to support its online reservation system. Guests use the call center and its online counterpart to quickly and easily secure reservations for both resort accommodations and island activities. The decision to go with a hosted business VoIP phone service over a traditional in-house PBX system saved KeysCaribbean over $100,000 and gave them the flexibility to make changes to their set-up quickly, and without extra cost. Today, KeysCaribbean is saving nearly $2,000 per month in phone charges.

8x8 Virtual Office is also making it easier and more cost-effective for KeysCaribbean to manage its many resorts across the 129-mile stretch of islands as if they were all under one roof -- something unheard of a decade ago when only big businesses could afford the technology to do so.

"With 8x8 Virtual Office, our management and staff are making calls from one rental site to another as if they were in the next room. No one has to cross-reference a list of long numbers to locate a guest whose luggage has just arrived or call over to another corporate site to review procedure. Now it's as simple as dialing an extension," reports Schorr.

Additionally, this increasingly popular communications strategy is winning the favor of guests again and again -- as well as individual property owners who have watched their ROI wobble under the stresses of a down economy. Virtual Office allows KeysCaribbean to include free long distance calling in their vacation packages -- a big plus for overseas visitors and an advantage the company uses to remain competitively priced.

"There's nothing worse than getting back from a vacation you've already paid for and finding bills in the mail for vacation-related expenses you didn't plan for -- like those additional cell phone minutes you used to keep in touch with the office," continues Schorr. "With Virtual Office, vacationers can use our phones to make those long-distance calls without making a difference to our bottom line or their cell phone bill." And, as 35% of KeysCaribbean's guests are from Europe and the UK, free long-distance is a feature that sets it apart from the competition.

"It's always great to hear when a customer of ours is getting ahead of the economy by using our Virtual Office solution," comments Debbie Jo Severin, chief marketing officer of 8x8, Inc. "Switching to VoIP phone service is an easy way to save money from the very first month you plug it in. And, its fixed monthly cost is allowing more small businesses to tighten their belts while at the same time adding value for their customers."

About 8x8, Inc.

8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq:EGHT) offers voice, video, mobile and web conferencing 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. All 8x8 communications solutions carry little or no upfront investment, no maintenance or upgrade fees and no change in user behavior. For additional information, visit www.8x8.com.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com

SOURCE: 8x8 Inc.

CONTACT:  8x8, Inc.
Joan Citelli
(408) 687-4320
jcitelli@8x8.com

(C) Copyright 2009 GlobeNewswire, Inc. All rights reserved.

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