8x8 bolsters government division, names Vance Raeside to head federal sales

8x8 (Nasdaq: EGHT) wants to get a larger piece of the federal's government communications spending budget, but realized that to do that it needed to bring aboard Vance Raeside as its new federal government sales chief.

In his new position, Raeside will be responsible for all direct and indirect sales activity with federal, state, and local government agencies.

Raeside comes to 8x8 with 20 years of federal government IT sales experience. That experience includes 13 years selling to government agencies as manager of federal sales at Shoretel and manager of the Business/Systems Integrator Partners unit at Nortel Government Solutions.

Among his accomplishments at Shoretel, Raeside created the company's go-to-market plan for U.S. federal government agency sales, resulting in the addition of 60 new federal channel partners and the initiation of GSA Connections II and Networx contracts. During his tenure at Nortel Government Solutions, Raeside managed relationships with integrator partners including General Dynamics, SAIC and Ronco, meeting sales quotas in excess of $36 million.

One area of continued focus for 8x8 and the government is cloud services. Driven by the "cloud first" initiative, the federal government could spend up to $20 billion of its $80 billion IT budget on cloud computing.

Initially known for a competitive player in the SMB space, 8x8 has become an emerging player in the public sector in recent years. In addition to selling its wares directly to federal and state & local government agencies, including City of Garden Grove, Calif., 8x8 has a set at the GSA Networx Enterprise contract table as a subcontractor to Level 3 (Nasdaq: LVLT).

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