8×8 Inc. announced Thursday the addition of two new services for its Virtual Office cloud-based PBX, including a virtual receptionist and group intercom multicast paging.
Virtual Receptionist uses the new Polycom VVX 500 IP phone to add call-handling and work group monitoring capabilities to the Virtual Office business phone service. With Virtual Receptionist, 8×8 Virtual Office customers can process up to six concurrent, incoming live calls without the expense of a sidecar accessory. It also enables users to observe the presence status of up to six team-member extensions, including those using any other Polycom, Aastra or Cisco deskphone, using busy line field (BLF) keys with speed dial, and instant transfer functions to maximize responsiveness between colleagues. Virtual Receptions also enables collaboration with customers, suppliers and business partners by using speed dial keys.
The Group Intercom Multicast Paging service enables 8×8 Virtual Office users to make real-time announcements to a department, team or work area using the intercom feature on the Polycom VVX 500 phone, subsequently eliminating the need for an expensive multi-zone loudspeaker paging system. With Group Intercom Multicast Paging, 8×8 Virtual Office customers also can intercom specific paging groups or broadcast a page to all other Polycom VVX 500 sets on the Virtual Office PBX by choosing the emergency or priority group, ceate and manage up to 23 customer defined paging groups using the 8×8 Account Manager Portal and manage permissions for who can broadcast pages and who can only receive them.
Another enhancement, the updated 8×8 Account Manager Web Portal, now provides administrators with centralized control options over Virtual Receptionist, Group Intercom Multicast Paging and other 8×8 PBX features.
In the future, 8×8 plans to extend Virtual Receptionist and Group Intercom Multicast Paging to all other 8×8-supported Polycom deskphones by porting the fourth-generation Polycom firmware to those models. This road map will let 8×8 customers with legacy Polycom deskphones take advantage of these new offerings, preserving their investment in those devices.