Arrow, 8x8 Push UC Cloud With New Partnership

Arrow Systems Integration, a subsidiary of Arrow Electronics, revealed Monday that it has partnered with cloud communications specialist 8x8 in an effort to increase its cloud portfolio. Arrow partners will now be able to offer customers 8x8's solutions, which include 8x8's virtual office telephony, cloud-based unified communications, VoIP and virtual contact center services along with analytics and reporting tools.

"The on-premises market is rapidly declining," said 8x8 Chief Marketing Officer Enzo Signore, in an interview with CRN. "Many customers are very intrigued by the transformational value and the compelling financials that cloud communications can offer, but some have been cautions about adopting it due to the perceived limitations on the overall quality of experience, service reliability or level of security. … Arrow SI and 8x8 are now offering everything that a business customer needs to help them migrate to cloud communications."

Arrow said the alliance allows partners to introduce new solutions to customers seeking to modernize their infrastructure with cloud-based deployments, according to a release. The Englewood, Colo.-based company is pushing for UC cloud solutions, having recently introduced its ACE program to increase the expertise about the cloud among solution providers, especially telecommunications VARs.

[Related: Adapt Or Die: UC, VoIP On-Premises Must Shift To Cloud, Analysts Say]

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Mark Galyardt, executive vice president at XIOSS, an Atlanta-based solution provider and Arrow partner, said the partnership tied together with Arrow's cloud push opens up the door for opportunities in the SMB and midmarket.

"The sweet spot for cloud services, whether its storage and data protection or cloud telephony, it's going to be in the SMB and midmarket space. ... There's going to be a lot of opportunity for that," said Galyardt. "Cloud-based services are just so attractive to companies who don't have a huge IT staff."

8x8 also increased its cloud solution offerings this month by launching a bundle of services, features and professional support capabilities geared toward helping midmarket and enterprise customers simplify and accelerate their deployment of end-to-end cloud communications solutions. The virtual office enterprise suite layers critical capabilities and performance assurances on 8x8's virtual office cloud telephony solution to ease decision-making and oversight when a company changes its IT or communications infrastructure to the cloud, according to Signore.

"This level of (customer) onboarding is transformational, compared to typical implementation cycles of on-premises solutions that last months if not quarters," said Signore.

The transformation from on-premises UC and VoIP solutions to the cloud opens up significant opportunities to solution providers and the channel, he said.

"Many businesses trust the advice of their channel partners to both suggest the right solutions for them as well as to provide additional services as required," said Signore.