8×8 Review–The Good and Bad

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8×8 offers custom VoIP phone systems and contact center solutions for enterprise businesses. Overall, it’s a powerful, customizable, complex, and expensive platform we’d only recommend using if you go through a managed service provider (MSP) or have strong in-house IT to help you through the process.

*Use the links above if you want to skip the high-level stuff and jump ahead to a specific 8×8 product.

How 8×8 Compares to its Closest Competitors

Nextiva’s intelligent omnichannel contact center solution is one of 8×8’s closest competitors. Not only is it enterprise ready and infinitely scalable, it’s also more cutting edge with a massive range of AI features, top-tier analytics, and a modern interface your agents will love to use.

Perhaps the best part about Nextiva is that you don’t have to go through a managed service provider to have a good experience. Their customer service team is one of the best in the industry and it’s self-administration capabilities are second to none. Admins won’t need much (if any) help configuring the system, adding users, and managing every feature.

On top of that, Nextiva just purchased Thrio, an industry-leading enterprise contact center platform, highlighting their dedication to improving their tools for large businesses.

Other close enterprise-grade competitors are buying up successful software, too. Nice CXone recently purchased a conversational AI solution for outreach campaigns, Genesys acquired a social listening and consumer engagement platform, and Five9 bought out an integration and data analytics solution.

In contrast, 8×8 hasn’t made an acquisition since 2021.

While that’s not a bad thing in and of itself, they’re developing in-house which is a signal that the company’s slower to innovate than it’s big-business competitors.

RingCentral’s another 8×8 alternative with strong workforce optimization and engagement tools. It’s a good fit even if you’re a bit smaller, but still offers plenty of room to grow. Like Nextiva, you won’t need to go through a managed service provider, but you can if you want to. Check out our 8×8 vs RingCentral comparison to learn more.

8×8 vs. Other Business Communications Alternatives

If you’re thinking “these are all too advanced for me” but you do a lot of international calling, Zoom or GoTo Connect may be better for you. Zoom is a simple phone system that offers unlimited international calling in 19 countries plus unlimited local calling in 48 regions for businesses with locations around the world.

GoTo Connect covers 52 countries with its unlimited international calling capabilities—it supports the most locations we’ve seen.

Both have call center features you can upgrade to when you’re ready.

Like RingCentral, TalkDesk and Dialpad are great options for midsize businesses. However, they each bring something unique to the table. TalkDesk offers (nearly) unlimited customization options for call centers with its no and low-code builders. Dialpad’s unique AI scorecards, insights, live agent assist, and supervisor tools make it a frontrunner in implementing innovative AI capabilities for call centers.

If you’re a small business, Aircall and Cloudtalk are more affordable call center tools and Ooma is a strong choice for small traditional office environments.

They’re simpler while still delivering all the essential features you need as a smaller team.

Check out our full list of call center platforms or VoIP phone systems to learn more about all of your options and how they stack up against each other.

8×8’s an Enterprise-Grade Communications Best Utilized via a Local Managed Service Provider (MSP)

8×8 has been around for nearly 25 years. It didn’t make it that long or accumulate more than 10 million customers around the world by offering subpar services.

However, the company leans heavily towards enterprise customers and relies on a lengthy sales process to build custom plans for their clients.

Because of that, we only recommend 8×8 if a local MSP has recommended it to you or you have experienced IT pros on staff to help. MSPs will not only fill the IT gap if you don’t have it and help you choose the right software, but also guide you through the tough (and sometimes misleading) sales process to ensure you get everything you need at a fair price.

Before we dive into 8×8’s products, here’s a deeper look at why we feel that way.

It’s a Highly Customizable and Powerful Solution

Because of 8×8’s well-established infrastructure, it’s capable of doing just about whatever you need. From standard phone system features to the most advanced omnichannel contact center capabilities, there’s really not much the platform can’t handle.

There’s a reason major companies like the Kansas City Royals, Acer, Sweetwater, and McDonalds use it—it’s sheer power and experience in the market make it a strong choice for even the most complex of systems.

On top of that, it’s highly customizable with a wide range of integrations and API opportunities.

Full UCaaS Capabilities on Every Plan

Whether you use 8×8’s phone system or contact center solution, you get the full gamut of UCaaS features, including voice, video, texting, team chat, faxing, and file sharing. There’s not a single plan that doesn’t come with everything.

It’s video conferencing limits are notably higher than with other options, allowing up to 500 participants no matter what plan you’re on.

On top of that, all of 8×8’s infrastructure is built in-house, so it doesn’t rely on third-party software for any of these capabilities. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on what you care about. You won’t have to worry about unexpected changes or limitations that can occur when companies utilize third parties. But you also won’t be getting the best of the best and innovations take time.

Multiple Compliance Certifications

8×8 holds compliance certs for HIPAA, GDPR, ISO27001, ISO9001, and dozens of other regulations. The list is staggering compared to other business communications providers. From cloud computing to UK information security, PCI compliance, and EU/US data protection, 8×8 makes a valiant effort to keep its platform compliant and secure for everyone around the world.

Clunky and Convoluted with a Steep Learning Curve

Compared to more straightforward solutions, 8×8’s interface has a lot of room for improvement. We call companies like these dinosaurs because they’re so big it’s difficult (if not impossible) for them to keep up with such a dynamic industry.

Plus, they have thousands of clients with legacy, hybrid, on-premise, and cloud deployments.

This makes it challenging to release updates to the system and ensure every version works the way its supposed to. Overall, this leads to a user experience that’s not as easy, modern, or streamlined as other options, especially for administrators. It often feels like you have to jump through a ton of hoops to do basic activities. Adding new lines is a good example—you can’t just add it yourself like you would be able to with other providers.

Confusing Plans and No Pricing Transparency

While 8×8 does have a basic breakdown of what comes with each of its plans, you won’t find a ton of details on its website. Instead, you’ll have to get on the phone and talk about what you need. While that sounds great in theory, a lot of smaller businesses don’t know they need.

This can lead to paying more than you should for features you’ll never use.

The good news is that you can mix and match plans, so you get more control over your per-user pricing without having to upgrade team mates who’ll never use most of 8×8’s features.

Speaking of cost, you won’t find pricing, or even a ballpark figure of what to expect—for the record, many customers say it’s more expensive than other solutions out there. This lack of clarity can be frustrating if you just want to sign up now and get started or compare costs across a few different providers.

Targets Enterprise, But Still Sells to Small Businesses

The points above make it clear to us that 8×8’s going after larger, enterprise customers.

8×8 makes a lot of sense for them, really—they need customized solutions and are willing to pay top dollar, agree to longer contracts, purchase training services, and navigate a long sales and implementation process.

Small business, on the other hand, don’t want to do most of those things. Despite that, 8×8 still sells to them. Then, they leave them behind to focus on bigger accounts. This is where most of the horror stories you’ll read on Reddit come from. Smaller businesses don’t have a great experience navigating the ecosystem because its not made for them.

You’ll see lots of folks saying they feel neglected, waiting weeks or even months for resolutions, and having to go to support for basic administration tasks more often than they’d like.

For small businesses, these frustrations can be catastrophic. For large teams and enterprises, it’s doesn’t have as much of an impact.

Overall, things would be a lot better for everyone if they pushed smaller teams elsewhere.

Customer Service Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

This is why we recommend going through an MSP. 8×8’s customer service has been on a downhill slide for a while, with some users saying they’ve had cases closed without ever talking to anyone, completely non-responsive customer service, and having to leave negative reviews to get any kind of a response from the company.

Managed service providers fill that gap and will be able to help you when you need it, sometimes even in person if you need help with device configuration or troubleshooting.

They’ll be your point of contact so you’ll likely not have to interact with 8×8 at all.

8×8 Unified Communications: Full Communications Suite with Unlimited International Calling + Specialized Receptionists Tools

Aside from the things we’ve already covered, we wanted to take a closer look at the pros and cons of 8×8’s standard unified communications plans. Everything we said above still applies—it’s best for enterprise businesses and we only recommend it if you know what you’re doing or go through an MSP who’s recommended it to you.

But it’s VoIP system also has a few interesting capabilities that may make it a good fit for your large team.

8x8's business phone makes your phones work smarter. Leverage cloud PBX to more effectively onboard employees, manage, an scale your voice services.

8×8 Business Phone: The Good

Unlimited international calling: Both plans include unlimited calling to a range of countries. The cheapest plan includes 12 countries and the other covers 48. You can also purchase direct dial numbers in more than 500 countries.

For comparison, Zoom covers 19 and GoTo Connect includes 52. With that said, making sure the countries you talk to most are included is far more important than the number of covered locations itself.

Call queuing and multi-level auto attendant: Aside from standard phone features like transfer, forward, ring groups, caller ID, and call parking, all 8×8 plans also include queueing and multi-level auto attendants for gathering caller information and lightweight routing.

A lot of providers limit these capabilities to higher tiers, but you get them both on every 8×8 plan.

8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams: 8×8 offers a deep integration with Microsoft Teams, making it a great choice if your team lives inside the app. With it, users can make and take calls, send faxes, and manage text messages directly inside Teams (in more than 50 different countries) using 8×8’s network. You’ll get all the same 8×8 features, including forwarding, call queues, unlimited international calling, and its long list of compliance certifications. However, users won’t have to leave the Teams app.

Specialized receptionist tools: Like RingCentral, 8×8 offers tools specifically for operators and receptionists that handle a high volume of incoming calls.

It includes a full directory, presence indicators, and easy drag-and-drop call handling to ensure callers get to the right place as fast as possible. If you use Microsoft Teams, it syncs presence indicators from there. Overall, it’s a specialized workspace for the receptionist role within 8×8, so nobody has to use a different app. The best part is that it takes one click to configure and works from anywhere the user’s logged in to the desktop application. Receptionists will need to be on the higher tier to use it, but everyone else can stay on the cheaper plan unless they need to upgrade for another reason.

In-call monitoring: Around half of the providers in this space offer whisper, monitor, and call barging with their phone systems. 8×8 is one of them that does. Supervisors have to be on the more expensive plan, but they can leverage live monitoring tools for anyone under them, even users on the cheaper tier.

Optional cold storage and speech analytics: Cold storage and speech analytics are both optional add-ons—cold storage offers archival, long-term storage space for up to 10 years. You can store you recordings, transcripts, documents, or whatever you’d like. This isn’t something we’ve seen with other providers.

To add to that, speech analytics is usually reserved for call center solutions. While you do have to pay extra for them, both are rare to see with regular phone systems.

Potential Drawbacks of 8×8’s VoIP Phone System

May be too much for you: Because every tier includes all the standard UCaaS features, 8×8 may be overkill if you don’t plan to use all of them. You’ll end up paying a premium price for features you don’t use.

Analytics are non existent on the entry plan: Except the optional speech analytics add-on, you won’t get any analytics on the cheaper tier. Supervisor and call activity analytics are available on the more expensive plan, but it’s one of the only phone systems we’ve seen with no analytics at all on the cheapest plan.

More expensive than others: Because 8×8’s meant for enterprise businesses, it comes with a big-business price tag. If you are an enterprise, you’ll appreciate all the customization and flexibility options—the price may be worth it to you. But many users say it’s a lot more expensive than other providers. It may be out of reach for you, especially if you’re a small business with a tight budget. However, there are plenty of cheaper (and high-quality) alternatives to choose from.

No advanced voice features: Compared to more affordable options, like Nextiva, you’d expect to get more voice features, including call routing options, analytics, or AI functionality to justify the higher price tag. For example, RingCentral costs more than Nextiva but offers IVR, a call flow builder, and advanced queue management—it’s worth the added cost if you need those things but aren’t ready for call center software.

We couldn’t really find anything that 8×8 offers and RingCentral doesn’t. In fact, RingCentral seems to offer more voice functionality at a lower price.

Self-administration could use some work: Some users said they had to reach out to support for basic administration tasks, like adding new phone numbers or removing users. We prefer systems that give admins full control without having to talk to support. Especially when support is notably lacking (like it is with 8×8).

8×8 Contact Center Platform: Powerful and Customizable Omnichannel Solution for Enterprise Businesses

If you have a massive contact center with more than 1,000 agents, 8×8 may be a good choice for you.

At that scale, it’ll be a challenging migration. But a managed service provider (MSP) or experienced IT professional can help shorten the timeline and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Overall, 8×8’s contact center platform is powerful—it’s focus on enterprise leaves us very little doubt they can handle whatever you need. Just be prepared for a long road. As long as you leverage the expertise of someone who knows what they’re doing, you should have no problems other than that.

Here’s a closer look at what we like and don’t like about the platform.

8x8's contact center solution lets you connect faster and answer better with omnichannel routing. Stay ahead of changing customer expectations by intelligently delivering live service across voice and a complete array of digital channels with proactive service options.

8×8 Contact Center: The Good

Includes all the same collaboration features: Many call and contact center solutions don’t include all the UCaaS features, leaving businesses to get those tools elsewhere. All of 8×8’s contact center plans include voice, video (up to 500 participants), texting, faxing, and file sharing.

Option to purchase unmetered usage bundles: Most of the time, you have to pay per minute for outbound and inbound calls with call center solutions. 8×8 gives you the option of buying unmetered usage bundles in different locations to help lower costs for high-volume usage. Depending on how often you handle calls in specific areas, it can be a huge savings compared to paying per minute.

Omnichannel skills-based and custom routing: 8×8 offers a ton of routing options for all types of interactions, including social media, voice, messaging apps, voice, SMS, and live chat.

From skills-based and caller-directed to round robin, time-based, and hunt groups, you’ll be able to route calls however you want. You’ll also be able to leverage ACD and IVR plus a custom call flow builder to set things up however you need.

Intelligent AI-powered customer assistant: A lot of contact center tools include AI assistants for agents, but very few offer a comprehensive one for customers. Sure, there are AI bots and things like that, but 8×8 offers a robust customer assistant that enables customers to (actually) help themselves without speaking to an agent. With it, you’ll be able to build start-to-finish automations that cover the entire customer journey, so they’re never alone. All while empowering agents to handle more complex situations.

There are dozens of pre-made templates you can use to get started, plus you can integrate with more than 50 tools across over 20 channels to build out a powerful and trustworthy AI-powered experience.

Customizable workspaces for various roles: Like TalkDesk, 8×8 lets you build custom experiences for different roles in your company. Supervisors can see real-time data to manage queues and monitor agents, while agents get all the customer details they need to understand callers needs before they pick up the phone. This is just one example—you can have as many roles and as many custom workspaces as you need to ensure everyone on your team has everything they need front and center.

Full-featured survey management: Surveys aren’t anything unique to 8×8, but they are something a lot of solutions skimp out on or don’t offer at all. With 8×8, you can create phone surveys and standard online surveys to gather feedback, learn about your customers, and improve agent performance.

You’ll also be able to see all of the responses and measured metrics plus hear what respondents had to say in voice comments. All survey responses are also automatically tied back to CRM records so agents get the full picture for every interaction.

Powerful workforce management tools: Unlike other providers who only offer workforce management integrations or overlook it entirely, 8×8 delivers a full suite of tools for forecasting, scheduling, and optimizing your workforce needs. On top of that, you can keep an eye on schedule adherence and create your own custom alerts when service levels or individual interactions fall below your standards.

Speech analytics add-on: 8×8 offers speech analytics for companies that need it. With it, you’ll get automated guidance on how to set it up plus pre-made categories and templates you can use as a starting point. That paired with machine learning and AI-powered insights makes it possible to understand themes, coach your agents, and identify potential areas of improvement across different channels. It’s a robust and comprehensive solution, including both voice and text-based interactions, complete with in-depth analytics and reports to help you make sense of the data you collect.

A built-in payment processor is available: If you accept payments, you can use 8×8 Secure Pay, which is built directly into the system. Callers will be able to access secure payment links or over the phone using their number pad so they don’t have to say their payment information out loud. The agent will never actually see the number and there’s no risk of accidentally recording it (which is in violation of PCI compliance).

99.999% uptime SLA: This is a pretty standard service level agreement, but it’s good to get it in writing. Some providers, like Dialpad, beat it out with a 100% uptime SLA for enterprise users, but that’s pretty rare.

Potential Drawbacks of 8×8’s Contact Center Solution

Auto dialers cost extra on most plans: Unless you’re on the top tier, you have to pay extra if you want to use progressive, predictive, and preview dialers. It’s not uncommon for companies to gate these to higher tiers, so this isn’t a problem specific to 8×8 but still worthy of pointing out.

Quality management is an added expense: Like 8×8’s auto dialers, quality management features are an add-on unless you’re on the most expensive plan. That includes snippets, tagging calls, additional analytics, and a full agent evaluation tool. Many of these features are included with other providers at no extra cost, although it’s unclear exactly what’s included in the add-on.

AI features are add-ons: Intelligent IVR and AI-powered customer assist cost extra regardless of the plan you choose. Other providers include similar functionality at no additional charge.

On top of that, 8×8 seems to be much further behind in implementing AI functionality, especially for things like summaries, action items, in-call agent assistance, and other handy time-saving features. These capabilities are pretty commonplace with contact center solutions, so it’s a bit weird that they don’t seem to exist within 8×8.

Limited integrations on the cheapest plan: The lowest contact center tier doesn’t include 8×8 Contact Center for Microsoft teams or any one-click integrations for tools call centers often use. This isn’t uncommon in the space, but it is something to keep in mind.

Gets expensive very quickly: Because it targets enterprises, 8×8’s contact center solution is expensive in comparison to other providers out of the box. On top of that, you’ll have to pay extra if you need any add-ons.

The cost adds up pretty quick, making it unapproachable for smaller or budget-conscious businesses.

Check out our complete guides on the best call center software and business phone systems to learn more about how 8×8 stacks up against its alternatives.

Cait is a banjo player, snowboarder, climber, cat mom, and (former) engineer who lives in Olympia, WA. She's been a professional writer for more than five years, specializing in B2B software with a technical yet empathetic approach that puts data and hands-on experience at the heart of every review.

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