Cloud comms pioneer 8×8 Inc expands into Ireland

15 Nov 2018

8x8 Inc’s Bryan Martin with Workair’s Stephen Mackarel. Image: Naoise Culhane

8×8 seeks to help SMEs that want a single platform to unify all their comms needs.

Cloud voice, video and collaboration player 8×8 Inc has arrived in Ireland after forging a partnership with enterprise firm Workair.

New York Stock Exchange-listed 8×8 was founded in 1987 and began as a semiconductor manufacturer for the comms industry before pivoting towards unified communications in 2002. The company’s chair and CTO Bryan Martin was in Dublin yesterday (14 November) to kickstart the expansion.

‘It has been interesting to see how truly disruptive technologies like cloud communications have been in transforming the ways that businesses operate’

Today the company is focused on unified communications over SaaS (UCaaS) and has been named a Gartner Magic Quadrant UCaaS leader for seven consecutive years.

Unifying all communications

Man in dark jacket and checkered shirt gestures with his hands during speech.

Bryan Martin, chair and CTO of 8×8 Inc. Image: Naoise Culhane

8×8’s Irish partner Workair is headed by the former CEO of Carphone Warehouse in Ireland, Stephen Mackarel, who said that the timing of the alliance coincides with more firms moving their communications to the cloud.

“Businesses up and down Ireland are moving to the cloud in record numbers and they need the best technology to do this effectively. 8×8 X Series is a great solution to this demand,” Mackarel explained. “As one of the leading providers in the market, we will now be able to deliver a non-intrusive, enterprise-grade, flexible and secure solution that caters to businesses of all sizes.

“It’s perfect for our customers across both contact centre and office communications as there’s no upfront cost but is also fully scalable, which means they’ll never have to change their communications system again.”

Speaking with, 8×8 chairman Bryan Martin said that the biggest beneficiary of the move to cloud communications has been the small and medium business sector.

“It has been interesting to see how truly disruptive technologies like cloud communications have been in transforming the ways that businesses operate. While it is still fragmented in Europe, the UK has seen widespread cloud communications adoption and currently accounts for 10pc of global revenue. SMEs that have access to these capabilities are being transformed in terms of productivity, security and costs.”

Looking to the future, Martin believes all communications and IT will evolve into the cloud. “This will all coalesce into a single platform for channels of communications across all platforms, from voice to video and data in a common framework.

“Companies like Slack and HipChat as well as platforms like Google Hangouts and Skype for Business are creating the need for all of this to be addressed under a single platform that is easier for SMEs to utilise.

“We are starting to see more unified comms vendors emerge with contact centres, voice and video to create a universal view of the world but 8×8 Inc is already many years ahead of the competition.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years