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TheStreet Open House

Businesses Affected By Hurricane Sandy Turn To 8x8 Cloud Communications Services To Enable Business Continuity

Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS), the largest underwriter of pollution liability insurance for marine vessels in the United States, is based in lower Manhattan and experienced massive flooding during Hurricane Sandy that destroyed nearly all of the equipment housed in the basement of its building. Rather than re-establish phone service with their former provider, WQIS IT Director John Imor will be installing 8x8 Virtual Office business phone and fax services.

“Hurricane Sandy has opened our eyes to the vulnerability and limitations of the premises-based communications system we currently had in place,” said Imor. “Had we been using 8x8 service previously, we would not have been tied to one physical location. Our employees would have been able to simply plug their desk phone into their home Internet connection or use a PC soft phone to conduct business just as if they were in the office.”

In addition to the redundant architecture of the 8x8 network, the technology and design of 8x8’s cloud communications services allows customers to dynamically configure service behavior on the fly based on current needs and circumstances. 8x8's unified communications portals contain powerful tools that enable users to change routing and call delivery methods in real-time so that employees can stay connected during a disaster.

Rockville, Maryland-based Preferred Computing Resources (PCR Educator), a leader in the school information systems and databases market, became an 8x8 customer just in the nick of time. Days before Hurricane Sandy hit, CEO Tom deBettencourt and his team decided it was time to get rid of the PBX phone system they had sitting in the closet and move to a 100% web-based telephony environment.

“With the threat of Sandy upon us, we didn’t want our business to suffer as a result of storm damage that could disable our PBX equipment,” said deBettencourt. “We are now not tied to any one device with our 8x8 service, not even desk phones, as we are all using PCs and iPhones for our business communications. We’ve also been able to add valuable features, like after hours emergency ring groups, to improve customer responsiveness.”

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