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Technology Stocks : 8x8 (EGHT)
EGHT 35.42+3.5%1:56 PM EST

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From: Savant6/30/2015 4:56:10 PM
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http://www.crn.com/news/networking/300077222/8x8-goes-on-acquisition-spree-with-170m-war-chest.htm?itc=hp_ots



8x8 Goes On Acquisition Spree With $170M 'War Chest'


by Mark Haranas on June 19, 2015, 5:58 pm EDT


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With more than $170 million in its 'war chest,' cloud-based Unified Communications specialist 8x8 has made several acquisitions in recent weeks to boost its portfolio around its contact center and UC portfolio.

In May, the San Jose, Calif.-based company acquired privately held U.K.-based DXI Ltd., a cloud-based contact center solutions vendor, for just over $26 million in cash and stock with plans to bring DXI services and solutions to the U.S. market by the end of 2015. On Thursday, 8x8 acquired assets of the privately held Delray Beach Fla.-based Quality Software Corp. (QSC) as well as two affiliated companies.

"It's truly a phenomenal time to be at 8x8," said Enzo Signore, chief marketing officer at 8x8. "We definitely have a very strong financial war chest, with over $170 million in cash. We have no debt, and, therefore, you're going to see us, over time, expanding our push in different positions."

[Related: Arrow, 8x8 Push UC Cloud With New Partnership]

Signore declined to comment on whether 8x8 plans to continue its acquisition spree for the remainder of the year, but told CRN to "stay tuned."

In March, 8x8 also revealed its plan to partner with Arrow Systems Integration, Irving, Texas, in another effort to increase its cloud portfolio.

Gartner has named 8x8 as a leader in the UC-as-a-Service space for several years, an area the company will expand with its recent acquisitions and its call center capabilities. The purchases also will deepen its presence in England and help channel partners gain new sales, according to Signore.

"It's a good strategy they're doing," said Todd Carothers, executive vice president of products and marketing at CounterPath, a Vancouver, B.C.-based 8x8 partner. "If you look at what they're doing on those acquisitions around improving user experience for customers, they're heading in the right direction. Competition here comes in the quality of service for someone like 8x8 -- that's why these investments are important."

Carothers said partners will benefit from having a broader portfolio and a better user experience for customers.

"A lot of customers we see in the channel are coming to us because of this issue of bad user experience," said Carothers. "This looks like it's going to help us win those customers."

The acquisition of the QSC business will expand 8x8's pure cloud contact center portfolio to include "innovative" quality management capabilities, such as live monitoring, call recording and detailed analytics, according to Signore. He said QSC solutions are designed to enable a contact center in a more efficient way and will attract customers that are moving from on-premise to cloud-based solutions.

"We'll now serve cloud communication solutions for enterprise customers that are stuck in the past with on-premise, and they want to move to the future with cloud communications," said Signore.

QSC's CEO Ryan Morrissey will become senior director of product strategy at 8x8.

Signore pointed at DXI's EasyContactNow product as a way to allow customers to easily buy, deploy and adapt services without the complexity and constraints experienced with traditional systems.

"DXI's solution will make it easier for our channel partners to penetrate the line of business," said Signore. "We are improving our tremendous portfolio of technologies and helping channel partners as we see a major transition to the cloud."
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