Partners with telephone hardware vendor Poly
Unified communications provider 8×8 is looking to remove the up-front expense of buying telephones and conference room speakers, allowing customers to lease equipment rather than buy it.
The Lowdown: Through a partnership with telephone equipment vendor Poly (formerly Polycom and Plantronics), the 8×8 Flex Hardware Program will eliminate a significant barrier to entry — the cost of buying handsets, headsets, and conference room speakers. Rather than charging customers the full up-front costs, 8×8 will spread the hardware costs over the course of the service engagement by adding a monthly lease fee to the recurring service payment.
The Details: The program allows customers — many buying through partners and agents — to select from 15 different Poly IP phones. The 8×8 Flex Hardware Program carries no long-term commitment and includes upgrade and replacement options. If a customer cancels the telephony service, they can simply return the phones to 8×8 — at 8×8’s expense. 8×8 says the program makes it easy for customers to acquire and expand their telephone systems.
The Impact: Leasing telephony hardware is commonplace in the telephone and cellular sectors. UCaaS providers, though, must partner with third-party hardware vendors to provide the endpoints that enable their services. The 8×8-Poly partnership for the 8×8 Flex Hardware Program will provide partners and customers an interesting factor in considering a UCaaS provider.
The Buzz: “Hardware such as desktop phones, headsets, and conference phones has traditionally accounted for a large portion of a new communications solution deployment, which can be a deterrent for some businesses looking to move to the cloud and adopt an OpEx model,” said Meghan Keough, global vice president of corporate and product marketing at 8×8. “By offering a low-risk, Device-as-a-Service offering, 8×8 is removing friction from the sales process, allowing companies to focus their efforts on reaping the long-term benefits and cost savings associated with cloud communications.”
“We are thrilled to partner with 8×8 to offer companies an easy way to upgrade their communications systems with zero-risk,” said Shawn Puddester, vice president of global service providers at Poly. “The integration of 8×8’s Flex Hardware Program with Poly’s latest VVX x50 line of VoIP desktop phones, with industry-leading voice technology, enables innovative communications for the modern-day workforce.”