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Onward and Upward!: How 8x8 Is Forging New Paths for Partners

Businesswomen meeting

This blog is part of a Channel Partners Conference & Expo sponsorship.

I’m now a few months into my role at 8x8, and I have to tell you: this is a dream come true for me. Why? Because for me, the way 8x8 strives to treat our partners is exactly the way I personally believe they should be treated - with customer and partner focus, mutual support, respect, and unwavering commitment.

In all my years working with and serving partners, I want to create delightful experiences for partners. For many partners, that starts with building a relationship and becoming an extension of their own business. I believe 8x8 delivers that.

Throughout my career I’ve had some incredible opportunities to listen to and learn from partners. Partners aren’t afraid to self-actualize—it’s why they’ve leaned into the challenge of the channel, led the way with innovative solutions and technologies, and sought out the best vendor programs to build their businesses. What I’ve learned is that while touting a commitment to the partner community may be popular, living it out is actually a challenge that requires diligence and determination at every level. That diligence must be part of our culture, our bones, and our DNA as a company.

It’s also a huge focus for us as we head to Channel Partners Expo this year. If we’re not listening to partners, communicating with partners, and evolving to adapt to what partners need, I can tell you that mutual success will be a difficult - if not impossible - goal to achieve.

Partners I talk to want flexibility, simplicity, respect, trust, and autonomy. Enablement and collaboration are a big focus that partners are asking for, and our partners love the innovation, no-cost enablement, and hands-on collaboration 8x8 provides them. We’re shaping our partner program to offer the differentiation, value, and ROI partners need to feel like they’re truly moving the needle on their own GTM strategy and business goals. We also want to make sure we’re easy to do business with - partners do not have the time to wrangle over minutiae in a program, they just need it to work and deliver value for them.

When I step back and look at my own life—as a professional and in my personal, family life—I think a lot of those same things appeal to most of us. I know I value the flexibility to hit the trail for a run before a day of back-to-back meetings. I know my coworkers enjoy the trust that they’ve got what it takes to get the job done, and the empowerment to make the decisions they think best. I think partners seek that exact same trust and empowerment in their dealings with technology vendors like 8x8.

This is especially true when it comes to partners diving into the competitive, rapidly growing CCaaS and UCaaS space. Our partners lead the way in helping their customers improve both the customer and employee experience in the contact center. They want agile solutions that don’t require them to cobble together a bouquet of different vendor platforms and innovative solutions that are continually adapted to the demands of customers. They want self-service options that appeal to younger consumers, with speech analytics and expanded omnichannel capabilities that enhance agents’ and supervisors’ ability to resolve queries.

Partners want choice in how they partner with technology providers—whether as an Agent or Resell partner, because not all partnerships look the same (nor should they!). They want solutions that incorporate cybersecurity best practices, are compliant with a variety of regulatory requirements, and have a thriving technology partner ecosystem that incorporates best-of-breed technologies right into a single platform.

At 8x8, we’re listening, understanding, and taking action based on that feedback to provide more of the experience our customers need and our partners want. Our partners are working across multiple technologies and platforms, so it’s critical that 8x8 ensures we’re delivering the value and ROI partners need and expect in this evolving landscape.

That stuff—the hard stuff, where you continuously iterate and innovate to make something infinitely better—is what excites me. It’s what makes this so fun because there’s always more to do and there’s always more to learn. It means that the organization and team I’m part of is bringing a spirit of ingenuity, humility, and ownership to what we do. I think most of us value those qualities. I know I do, and I believe our partners do, too.

And I’m proud to say that in recent months, 8x8 has been able to work with channel partners to achieve big wins for their customers. Things like:

  • Bringing 8x8 Contact Center with 8x8 Phone App for Microsoft Teams to a rapidly growing cloud analytics and data platform company that needed a solution to support a force of 500 agents, with employees distributed across 88 countries.
  • Providing 8x8 XCaaS with Contact Center and Voice for Microsoft Teams to a healthcare provider with 40 health centers serving 180,000 patients in the Pacific Northwest. They needed our industry-leading integration with Epic and our single platform to deliver the contact center and UC capabilities they wanted, with greater simplicity and ease that ultimately improves patient experience.
  • Delivering a unified platform contact center and UC to a large museum with hundreds of interactive exhibits and presentations, supporting more than 500 employees with contact center features and functionality to help ensure guest satisfaction in a solution that will grow with the museum.

These solutions are adaptable to the variety of customers our diverse partner ecosystem serves. I feel confident that our partner program, 8x8 Elevate, is designed to help our partners lead with new technologies and differentiate the customer and employee experience they can provide. For our part, 8x8’s channel team carries with us the knowledge that our solution provides award-winning simplicity, call quality, and platform strength in the CCaaS/UCaaS space.

More importantly, our Channel team carries the knowledge that empowering our partners to lead in the CCaaS space is going to require living out the emphasis we always tout around customer experience. Just as we do with our solutions, we must innovate with programs and services that meet and exceed the needs and expectations of partners. We’ll continue creating new avenues for active listening and problem solving, because we want partners to build this with us and be a part of the 8x8 journey. These kinds of conversations are some of my favorite conversations—and something we plan to be doing even more of at Channel Partners.

Come meet with me and my team while you’re at Channel Partners Expo 2024 and be part of that journey with 8x8. I can’t wait to see you there!

Michelle Paitich is global vice president, channel sales, at 8x8.

8x8, Channel Partners Conference & Expo