New Survey Indicates Reducing Costs, Planning for Growth Top Priorities for SMBs

New Subscribers to 8x8 Cloud VoIP Services Say Cost Savings, Features and Scalability Played a Key Role in Selection

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| Source: 8x8, Inc.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Despite the continuing tough economic climate, a new survey conducted by VoIP telephone and cloud communications provider 8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq:EGHT) indicates that small- to mid-size businesses continue to plan for future growth but are acutely more aware of the need to reduce costs than they have been in the past.

Conducted to identify the reasons behind the higher than usual demand 8x8 experienced for its services this past summer, the survey uncovered some interesting insights, with respondents identifying their top business concerns as reducing costs, attracting new customers and hiring and affording new employees. Concern over reducing business expenses grew throughout the summer months – 55% of new business customers in August 2011 indicated they were "more concerned" about business expenses this year than last, compared to 39% of new business customers in June 2011. In contrast, the survey also revealed that "managing and keeping up with business growth" was a top concern for nearly one-third of the respondents.

"Generally, summer is not a time when small businesses are focused on their operations but we noticed a different trend in the July to August timeframe and wanted to see what was behind it," said 8x8 Chairman and CEO Bryan Martin. "Clearly, the economy remains very challenging for small businesses, and they're realizing the need to scrutinize expenses and prepare for growth by making the right choices now," Martin continued. "We're obviously very pleased that so many of our customers seem confident their business will grow. That's not only good news for us as their communications provider, but also a refreshingly positive perspective on the future of the economy in general."

When asked about the driving factors influencing their decision to implement 8x8 VoIP phone service in their business, 62% indicated overall cost savings while 70% specified features, 43% cited portability and geographic flexibility and 37% cited the convenience of having 8x8 host and maintain the service.

"It appears that overall economic conditions may be influencing businesses to look at alternative services such as those 8x8 offers and, in the process of doing so, they are also becoming appreciative of the inherent features and advantages that promote business agility, accessibility and growth," Martin added. 

Other recent statistics corroborate 8x8's findings. A Citibank small business survey found that 49 percent of small business owners are poised for growth when the time is right and another 28 percent are already in growth mode. Earlier this year, an Intuit Inc. survey found 87 percent of small business owners said they saw opportunities for growth in today's economy.

"The fact that the feature set was even more important than the cost savings indicates that businesses are making smart decisions based on what's truly best for the company, and not only about what will save them money," Martin said. "We're very grateful to our customers for providing us with this insightful feedback, and their response rate to the survey is a testament to the high level of engagement we have with our customers. We're listening to their needs, and they know it."

The 8x8 survey randomly queried new 8x8 customers who subscribed to the company's VoIP service between May 1 and August 19. About half of all respondents said they'd switched to 8x8 from their local phone company with the majority expressing concern about reducing expenses as their reason for making the switch. Another 25 percent switched to 8x8 from another VoIP provider.

For more information about 8x8's VoIP and unified communications solutions for businesses of all sizes, visit www.8x8.com.

About 8x8, Inc.

8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq:EGHT), a pioneer in the development of cloud-based VoIP, video, mobile, and unified communications solutions, leverages its patented software technologies to deliver industry-leading SaaS applications to businesses of any size with employees in any location. We offer integrated business communications and cloud computing services that are designed to meet the highest levels of availability, reliability and scalability. Increasingly, businesses are finding they can reduce costs, improve productivity, and be positioned competitively for the future by choosing 8x8 for their mission critical, cloud-based communications and computing needs. For additional information, visit www.8x8.com, or connect with 8x8 on Facebook and Twitter.

Joan Citelli

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