8x8 X Series is an excellent VoIP solution for your business, with multiple methods of communication combined into one efficient yet feature-rich workspace.
Excellent security systems
Prices start low
Variable standard of support
Sometimes confusing UI
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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional phone lines because it allows users to make voice calls over an internet connection. Since you don’t need the cable infrastructure, it’s easier to set up and can be more cost-effective to run, so it may be worth finding the best VoIP service for your business.
Due to the large number of providers out there, it can be difficult to work out which VoIP solution is right for you. 8x8 Inc. is a popular provider and offers several different All-in-One Communications plans, which are also sold under the banner 8x8 X Series. It was formerly known as Virtual Office Pro.
In this 8x8 All-in-One Communications review, we assess the pricing, features, interface, support, and security offered by this VoIP service.
8x8 X Series: plans and pricing
The three main options within the X Series range are 8x8 Express, X2, and X4.
The lowest-price plan, 8x8 Express, is a very affordable $15 per user per month. That said, it was previously available for $12 (£10) per user per month, so its pricing has been impacted by global inflation caused by a tough few years. Far from being an overly basic option, it offers all-in-one communications suitable for most small businesses. After signing up, users can download an app for mobile and desktop, through which they can access voice calls, video calls, and text messaging. The plan enables unlimited calling in the country of origin and includes visual voicemail and browser-based video conferencing. Plus, the first month is a no-commitment free trial. This is great news, giving companies time to trial the tools and delve into whether 8x8 is right for them. Other companies offer 14-day free trials.
If your business makes many international calls, you’d be better off with one of the more advanced plans. The X2 plan, which costs $28 (£25) per user per month, includes unlimited voice calling to 14 countries, as well as improved video and audio conferencing via the app and internet-based fax. It also gets support for single sign-on (SSO), which is usually the reserve of high-end products. This is great news for companies looking to streamline their IT approach to make their employees’ lives easier, without the need to spend a fortune. X2 plans are the first to get 24/7 support, too.
The more expensive option is X4, which costs $57 (£47) per user per month. This includes unlimited voice calling to 47 countries, as well as in-depth supervisor analytics. For supervisors, there’s monitor, whisper, and barge modes for listening in.
As with most companies - but not all - there are savings to be had if you’re willing to pay for a year upfront. The saving depends on which plan you’re considering and where you are in the world, but they’re mostly somewhere between 14% and 24%.
For enterprises there are even more comprehensive options. The X6, X7, and X8 plans include a contact center and cost $112, $131, and $170, per user per month, respectively. For most businesses, one of the three cheaper plans will suffice.
8x8 X Series: features
The call options offered by 8x8 are more than just the standard VoIP calls, as the X Series enables high-definition audio and video conferencing with up to 100 participants. There are multiple moderation controls available, including host delegation and participant lobbies. Also, it’s possible to record the audio, video, and chat, to be published to the cloud for those who missed the meeting.
A large amount of analytics data is efficiently collected in a single platform, enabling easy access and analysis. The dashboards are updated in real time and can be customized to your liking. With detailed data like speech analyses of every call, you can identify employee and customer trends and interpret them to solve problems and increase business efficiency.
Besides making calls from 8x8’s own app, you can integrate the service into other apps and software that your employees may already use, such as Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Google Workspace, and Slack. This makes your processes more efficient and reduces the time that employees need to spend learning new software.
Larger companies will value the extra features that come with X2 (compared with Express), like hot desking, wider call handling capabilities, and 30-day UC meeting and call storage.
8x8 X Series: interface and use
The setup process for 8x8 X Series is simple. It only takes a few minutes to provide the basic information about your business needed to get going, and you can then access the web dashboard, as well as the mobile and desktop apps.
All the interfaces are well designed for efficient use. The main app for employees is called Work and has a simple layout that makes it easy to navigate. It functions as a central hub from which you can access voice calls, video calls, text messaging, meetings, and more.
The browser-based dashboards for supervisor use are more complex but have a wide range of functions, including analytics and switchboard control.
8x8 X Series: support
If you run into problems when setting up or running your 8x8 X Series system, there are various support options available. You’re first sent to an AI assistant, which will direct you to articles on the knowledge base relevant to your question.
If these don’t help, you can contact technical support via text chat, ticket, or phone. However, the live assisted support is only available to those on the X2 plan or above, not 8x8 Express. The quality of tech support does seem to be variable - many customers have complained that communication has been poor, or that problems have been passed on from phone call to email. There are plenty of positive reviews to counter this, though, so it’s likely that 8x8 is no different to other companies.
8x8 X Series: security
When you’re running a business that handles financial information or other confidential customer data, it’s crucial to know that your systems are secure. 8x8 excels in this respect, as it has multiple security measures in place, and it’s open and transparent regarding them.
Communications are fully encrypted using Transport Layer Security and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol, so you can be sure messages and calls aren’t being intercepted. Secure coding practices are used to ensure that the technology is safe. Fraud detection tools are also built into the system.
We like additional steps that end users can take to protect their own data, and 8x8 delivers in this respect, too, with two-factor authentication (2FA).
One popular choice is Dialpad, which has prices beginning at $15 per user per month when paid annually. It has an impressive range of features and like 8x8, has comprehensive security and decent video conferencing performance.
Another option is RingCentral MVP (formerly known as RingCentral Office). This is more expensive, starting at $19.99 per user per month, but it comes with a suite of advanced features and integrations with numerous CRM programs and other software, including some pretty impactful AI-driven features like call monitoring.
There’s not much to fault with the 8x8 X Series. The app combines multiple methods of communication into one efficient workspace, and there are multiple useful features, such as analytics, integration with other software, and video conferencing. Also, the security is among the best on the market.
One downside is that the quality of tech support seems to be a little sub-standard. However, the pricing is quite good, with plenty of features packed into one of the most affordable VoIP packages that you’ll find.
While the basic 8x8 Express plan includes all main features, the increased support options and international calling make the X2 plan the most likely choice for most small and medium businesses. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and reliable VoIP provider, we recommend signing up for a trial with 8x8.
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Kieron Moore is a freelance writer based in Manchester, England. He contributes to Future sites including TechRadar and Creative Bloq, focusing on subjects including creative software, video editing, and streaming services. This work draws on his experience as an independent filmmaker and an independent TV watcher.