8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGHT), a provider of cloud-based unified communications, contact center and collaboration solutions, today announced that Barge, Waggoner, Sumner, and Cannon, Inc., one of Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Top 500 engineering and architecture firms in the U.S., has deployed 8x8 Virtual Office services to approximately 400 users in its Nashville, Tennessee headquarters and 11 other offices in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. By standardizing on the 8x8 secure unified communications platform across all 12 locations, Barge Waggoner enables its talented professionals to quickly and easily collaborate with colleagues in other offices regardless of location, enhancing the agility and productivity of this widely distributed organization. Founded in 1955, Barge Waggoner is a full-service engineering and architecture firm focused on industrial, energy, environmental, aviation, water services and land resources (private development, surface transportation, civil site design and survey) markets as well as federal government work. Before implementing 8x8’s unified communications solution, Barge Waggoner had as many as 10 different phone systems installed at its various offices. These older systems lacked modern features and functionality, such as email notification of voicemail and accompanying mobile apps. More importantly, the problems associated with having disparate phone systems were exacerbated when the firm organized to focus on vertical markets rather than geographic locations. This organization meant that professionals in areas like water plant design needed to collaborate with colleagues throughout the firm, not just in their own local offices. “We wanted to use the talent we have anywhere,” explained Barge Waggoner’s Chief Technology Officer Paul Dougherty. “To align our business vertically, we needed a communications solution that could overcome geography and enable our specialists to efficiently consult with other employees. Dougherty initially considered standardizing the entire firm on an on-premise VoIP system, but the required capital expenditures and IT support requirements that would be needed at each location gave him pause. Lack of incremental scalability was another issue.
“Our firm is affected by macroeconomics, just as many businesses are today,” said Dougherty. “We wanted the ability to quickly add users and offices during expansion, and to scale back during downturns. There’s no point investing in expensive hardware we may not be able to use in the future.” Impressed by a recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report that named 8x8 a leader in unified communications, Dougherty and his team decided to pilot 8x8 service at one office.“We were very pleased with the feedback received so the firm decided to move forward with 8x8,” said Dougherty. “Our original plan was to implement 8x8 only where it was needed most, but momentum started to build, and we ended up canceling some phone service contracts early and replacing the former hardware that wasn’t even fully depreciated so we could standardize the whole company on 8x8 unified communications.” From Dougherty’s perspective, 8x8 has “transformed how we interact with clients and other stakeholders.” Employees can now make and receive business calls on their smartphones using the 8x8 mobile app, which makes it appear as if they are using their office phones. Email notification of voicemail lets employees know when they have voice messages—and caller ID indicates who left the message, greatly enhancing responsiveness to clients. Standard 8x8 business features such as four-digit dialing between offices and a company-wide directory on every desktop make it easy for employees to reach colleagues anywhere in the firm. Conference bridges are also included as part of the standard service, eliminating additional charges for third-party conferencing services. The flexibility of the 8x8 solution enables customized configurations for the firm’s locations. For example, some offices allow direct inward dial (DID) calls to go straight to the call recipient; others set up ring groups and have a receptionist answer calls before transferring them to the recipient.
“8x8 allows us to set up our phone system to meet the needs of each office and the individuals who work there,” said Dougherty. “Each time we rolled out 8x8 to a new location, our IT Manager, David Ferguson led a team of champions who would work with an 8x8 sales engineer to train users and answer our questions. All we had to say is ‘we would like the system to perform this way,’ and he helped us find the answer. The sales engineer visited us on site numerous times which was extremely helpful.”"The benefits of switching to 8x8’s cloud-based unified communications are even more apparent with highly distributed organizations like Barge Waggoner,” said 8x8 CEO Vik Verma. "8x8 provides a single unified platform that enables the entire company to communicate and collaborate effectively while providing enough flexibility to establish customized configurations for specific locations, groups and users.” About 8x8, Inc. 8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGHT) is the trusted provider of secure and reliable cloud-based unified communications and virtual contact center solutions to more than 37,000 small, midsize and distributed enterprise organizations operating in over 40 countries across six continents. 8x8's out-of-the-box cloud solutions replace traditional on-premise PBX hardware and software-based systems with a flexible and scalable Software as a Service (SaaS) alternative, encompassing cloud business phone service, contact center solutions, and web conferencing. For additional information, visit www.8x8.com, or www.8x8.com/UK or connect with 8x8 on Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. About Barge, Waggoner, Sumner, and Cannon, Inc. Barge Waggoner is a professional services firm that includes engineers, architects, landscape architects, and surveyors employed in offices in Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio and Georgia. Our focus markets include Aviation, Energy & Environment, Federal, Industrial and Building Services, Land Resources and Water Services. Founded in 1955, Barge Waggoner is ranked No. 171 in the 2014 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 500 Design Firms list. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn -@BargeWaggoner. For more information, please visit our website: www.bargewaggoner.com.