There is big news out of ITEXPO this week in Los Angeles. 8x8 and Microsoft just released the news that the two companies will be working together to offer Packet8 VoIP SIP trunking service with the Microsoft Response Point Business Phone System.
At a press conference held by Bryan Martin CEO of 8x8 and XD Huang General Manager of Microsoft, the two companies addressed a large crowd of analysts and press regarding the huge opportunity the two will take advantage of.
In order to maximize the relationship, the both will jointly market the combined solution through their respective VAR channels. In addition, they will jointly market this solution online and via other marketing channels.
For 8x8, this agreement further cements its position as an SMB IP communications provider who seems to be operating on all cylinders. The company was smart to focus on the SMB market years back when it became clear the consumer VoIP market was hard to make money in. In addition, 8x8 has done a great job marketing these past years.
For Microsoft, this agreement is a big deal because the Response Point product is still relatively unknown in the communications market and Microsoft has been very successful with their VoIP As You Are campaign but they haven't necessarily branded the Response Point product as well as they could.
What this means is the Redmond-based software company will be able to leverage the experience and marketing expertise of 8x8/Packet8 who lives and breathes the SMB VoIP service environment. The two companies are natural partners and I look forward to seeing what the uptake of this new partnership is. After all, the Microsoft name will no doubt help sell more Packet8 service -- even if the Response Point brand is not well-known yet. In short this is a win-win for customers, VARs who have one less throat to choke and the shareholders of both companies
According to analyst David Yedwab (pictured at right) with Market Strategy and Analytics Partners, "This could be the revolution because it is the coming together of several best in class players to serve an underserved market with forward looking solutions."
XD Huang above left and below
8x8 Chairman and CEO Bryan Martin
Here is a shot with me on the right