Life in The Digital Marketplace, 2: 8x8, Aylesbury

Dec 16, 2015

In the second in our series looking at options for the UK public sector tech supply chain off the former CloudStore, we meet the UK MD of VoIP firm 8x8 Solutions, Kevin Scott-Cowell

Tell us about your company and its value proposition, please, Kevin.

8x8 supplies secure and reliable enterprise cloud communications and customer contact centre solutions to more than 40,000 businesses and public sector organisations operating in over 100 countries. Based on cutting edge and proven technology, our out-of-the-box cloud solutions replace traditional on premise PBX hardware and software based systems with a flexible and scalable alternative, encompassing cloud business phone service, contact centre solutions, and conferencing that we call 'Enterprise Communications as-a-Service'. We're working on all that with organisations across the UK public sector, including both central and local government.

Why did you enter onto the G-Cloud/The Digital Market Place? What did you expect to get out of it? And did you?

The UK public sector is facing a sustained squeeze on resources like never before, and is challenged to find new ways of working that are ever more flexible while continuing to deliver excellent services to citizens. Our cloud-based solutions support agile and mobile working, are quick to deploy and can be re-configured as often as required, empowering digital transformation. With the associated cost savings potential, our solutions are the perfect match.

As a global supplier, with well-established local presence we entered G-Cloud to gain increased visibility of opportunities within the sector and to raise our profile with one of our most important target audiences. This, we have certainly achieved.

How did you find the process of applying?

The team at 8x8 has a lot of experience; we first joined at G-Cloud 5. The last round of re-certifications was much easier.

How have things been working out for you on the Marketplace?

Things have been working out well. We have our cloud communications and customer contact centre solutions on G-Cloud and as a result both are in use by central and local government. Where we have done particularly well is with authorities looking to channel shift, as they are encouraging transactions towards better value media like self-service, online, phone calls instead of meetings, so as to drive down the cost per transaction. This is exactly the area that our solutions help, and the kind of changes we’ve been able to support at Aylesbury Vale Council and Peterborough City Council. We have certainly found being on G-Cloud has enabled us to build long-term opportunities.

Based on your experience, do you have any top tips for other (smaller) suppliers on how to make the most of the G-Cloud opportunity?

The G-Cloud simplifies the tendering process and shortens the procurement cycle. You still need to invest time and effort in understanding the client’s requirements, and tailoring your product and/or services to meet those requirements. There is no short cut, and firms applying for G-Cloud certainly shouldn’t assume that the orders will flow in as a result. However, if you are able to make that commitment, understand the environment and become a trusted partner, it is certainly worthwhile.

Any other thoughts about what you see as the future for cloud as a delivery mechanism for UK public services?

Nearly all public sector organisations still use on-premise equipment, however, in order to meet the huge challenges and cost savings that they face in the coming years, they need to find a way to become more agile. Cloud as an enabling technology has to be a major consideration.

Using cloud technology organisations are able to reconfigure and relocate their services and provide flexible/mobile working from any location for staff, without interruption to public services. Our customer contact centre solutions, Virtual Contact Centre and EasyContactNow enable organisations to be up and running with a new system within hours, and our flexible pricing means that they only pay for what they use.

This helps with cost savings, speed of change and business agility. An Enterprise Communications as-a-Service platform will empower their staff to spend their time working, rather than trying to work. By that I mean they can work from any location, access and share the documents they need, collaborate with colleagues and the public. By making it easier for people to get on with their jobs, we maintain good work/life balance for staff that helps with staff retention and productivity, while delivering great customer service to our citizens. 

Thanks, Kevin - and good luck on G-Cloud 7!

To find out more about this G-Cloud-7 supplier, go here

We are looking for other companies enjoying success on the Digital Marketplace and would love to feature your experiences in this new on-going editorial series. Please get in touch with us here to kick start that process.

(c) 2015

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