8X8 (Nasdaq: EGHT), a competitive cloud and VoIP provider targeting businesses, on Tuesday is now going to offer its suite of IP Virtual Office cloud services throughout Canada.
Set to be available in most Canadian provinces, the 8x8 Virtual Office cloud communications suite provides small and medium businesses (SMBs) with services such as hosted VoIP, contact center, UC and videoconferencing.
One of the benefits of 8x8's service is that it can help businesses save on long-distance voice charges.
A multi-site customer, for example, can use the local phone numbers they already use in province they use in each province in addition to virtual numbers from Canada, the United States and other international locations. This means that a business that has locations in both Canada and the United States can have a single, virtual PBX enabling extension dialing with high definition audio between international locations, all with no per minute charges.
Given the mobile nature of businesses, the Virtual Office service also provides SMBs the option to extend these services to smartphones and tablet computers, so employees can connect to the office regardless of location.
8x8's services will be deliver services from its network of data centers in the US and Saskatchewan, Canada.
Providing services in Canada comes at a time when businesses are looking for alternatives to not only connect their operations inside the country, but also into the United States.
"We have customers in the U.S. that have subsidiary companies in Canada, and up until this point we have been unable to serve them," said Huw Rees, Vice President of Business Development, for 8x8, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "The second thing that moved us towards being able to do this is that the vendors with E-911 service released a version of their services that enables us to provide compliant to the CRTC's requirements in Canada."
With the E-911 elements in place, 8x8 customers that have Canadian telephone numbers will be able to be billed and provisioned via all of the service provdier's web portals with the same call quality and features that its U.S. customers have.
Rees added that its move into Canada, which gives establishes it as a player in the overall North America market, is part of a broader initiative to expand its service into locations outside of the United States.
"We have an initiative we call internally called Global Reach, which is our ability over time to increase the delivery of our services in the markets we serve across the world," he said. "Canada, of course, being our next door neighbor is the easiest of those countries to deliver those services."
Of course, 8x8 is not alone as a number of other service providers, including XO Communications, are expanding into Toronto, a major hub for the financial and media industries.
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