WebRTC Expert Feature

September 23, 2019

8x8 Launches WebRTC-based Meeting Rooms Solution

The world is in the midst of a workforce evolution like none before, driven by technology.  A number of factors are driving this evolution that is causing businesses to hire and operate very differently than even a decade ago.

  • Workforces have changed – Generational gaps between workforces are greater than ever.  The single largest group in the workforce now is the Millennial generation – digital natives, with different perspectives on how, when, and where to work than prior generations.
  • The economy has changed – Globalization is bigger than ever and companies are doing business is more countries and regions.
  • Work has changed – Thanks to automation, mobility, cloud, and many other technological innovations, the work people do and where they are doing it has changed.  Companies are able to hire in different geographies, and location in many cases is a  non-factor, changing the way they communicate and operate.
  • Customers have changed – They are no longer beholden to brick and mortar, and do most of their shopping and customer service online using digital channels.

Ultimately, much of this change can be attributed to convenience – convenience for workers, businesses, and customers.  But, while where people work and some roles and specific functions may have evolved, what hasn’t changed is the need for effective communications internally and externally.  In fact, these changes have only increased the value of communications, which makes the communications technology businesses use invaluable.  With employees and customers scattered throughout a digital world, sitting together physically in the same office or meeting room simply isn’t possible.

“These changes are tremendous,” said Dejan Deklich, chief product officer at 8x8.  “If companies can adjust to work in this universe, they will really win.”

He made the comment just before announcing 8x8’s latest product release, 8x8 Video Meetings.  Since acquiring the Jitsy video collaboration technology from Atlassian a year ago, 8x8 has been busy integrating that team and technology into its product roadmap and, now, has a finished product to add to its business communications solution portfolio.

Part of 8x8’s cloud communications solutions – and a key component of the 8x8 Series – 8x8 Video Meetings is intended to enable frictionless collaboration with a host of engagement-enriching features to make meetings across geographies as close to in-person engagements as possible.

It starts with eliminating the set-up hassles with legacy meeting room solutions.  From setup to scheduling to joining to the meeting itself, if the hardware or software are too clumsy, people simply won’t use them. 

“Employees are exhausted with clunky meetings experiences that eat minutes out of the day and keep them from being productive,” said Deklich.  “The reimagined 8x8 video conferencing solution makes work immersive and effortless.”

Tightly integrated with 8x8’s all-in-one desktop and mobile solutions, the WebRTC-based solution is  makes setting up and joining meetings simple and intuitive.  Scheduling is easy thanks to full integration with Google and MSFT calendars, and access to presence status, corporate directory, messaging and calling features, creates a simple process for users to engage with colleagues, wherever they are located.  External participants are able to join using the browser on any device, without needing to download plugins or additional software.  The idea is that it just has to work.

“When you walk into room, you often have to do go through a whole setup process, including connecting cables and you spend 10 minutes or more for no reason,” said Deklich.  “Our goal with 8x8 Meeting Rooms is to have customers literally walk into rooms they have never been in, push a button, and start a meeting immediately.”

With instant screen-sharing, HD video and audio quality, and all the included integrations, the solution has been designed with ease of use in mind and to allow to get the most from their collaboration by giving them the tools they need and taking the complexity out.

“We spent a lot of work on HD video and audio and being able to switch from one mode of communications to another with a single button push,” added Deklich.  “Screen share is a critical feature for a product like this, and you should never have to ask anyone, ‘Can you see my screen?’  Simple is key and that’s what is hardest to deliver.”

8x8 has been running all hands meetings for several months using the solutions, and when running through YouTube Live (as 8x8 did for this announcement), companies have essentially unlimited scalability.

One of the biggest reasons companies fail to realize ROI on their meeting room solutions is there are many that aren’t easy to use.  By creating a solution that is intuitive and meets the needs of today’s workforces, 8x8 increases the collaboration efforts of its users.  Whether it’s Millennials joining from remote locations on their phones, or older generations sitting in the office conference room, 8x8 seeks to deliver a valuable, consistent, and enjoyable meeting experience for all.

8x8 CEO Vik Verma will be keynoting ITEXPO 2020 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Part of the TechSuperShow, along with other business communications and technology events – SD-WAN Expo, the AI-focused Future of Work Expo, and AIOps Expo, ITEXPO’s conference programming, networking events, and exhibit hall will feature all the latest communications technologies businesses need to compete in this new flexible, global, multi-generational environment.

Edited by Erik Linask
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