8x8 secures and simplifies multi-cloud infrastructures, employee access, and global video communications with the Cloudflare connectivity cloud

Trusted by over three million business users, 8x8 is a leading integrated cloud contact center and unified communications platform provider for the mid-market and enterprise. The company’s solutions range from customer-engagement and contact center management systems to unified communications, voice, video chat, and messaging systems — all running on the cloud-native 8x8 platform.

8x8’s 2,000+ employees serve more than 55,000 corporate and enterprise customers. The company supports its software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) products in more than 59 countries, and its virtual services support customers from a total of 186 nations.

As a mark of the company’s status within the corporate communications sector, Gartner has recognized 8x8 as a Leader for 12 consecutive years in Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Gartner has similarly recognized 8x8’s contact center services for nearly a decade in the CCaaS Magic Quadrant.

Challenge: Maximize performance, security, and scalability for customers in 186 countries

With a long history of developing cloud-native communications, contact center, and customer engagement platforms for some of the world's most recognizable enterprises, 8x8 is no stranger to overcoming complex technical challenges at scale. In 23 years of developing cloud solutions, the company has continuously adapted to the rapid evolution of the Internet to provide its customers with robust, highly available communications solutions.

Mehdi Salour, Senior Vice President of Global Network and DevOps for 8x8 and member of the original 8x8 solutions team, explains the ongoing challenges 8x8 has faced as a part of that evolution.

“We deliver real-time conversational voice and video over the Internet — always a difficult application to get right because it depends on the performance and quality of the network,” says Salour. “Then there are the emergent security issues that compound our performance concerns. Not only have the threat of malicious attacks increased in volume — over time, they have also grown in scale and complexity.”

Driven by an ongoing mission to improve upon its best-in-class customer engagement and communications solutions, 8x8 began using Cloudflare. 8x8 uses the Cloudflare connectivity cloud — a unified platform of cloud-native services that allow enterprises to maintain strict control over their IT environments — to do the following:

  • Secure user data and customer-facing applications and services against sophisticated, high-volume, online threats
  • Simplify complexities associated with implementing, protecting, and managing a multi-cloud strategy
  • Provide secure, frictionless, and easy-to-manage work-from-anywhere access for employees
  • Relieve inter-organizational information silos with improved internal application access

“Today's security trends and challenges differ significantly from when we started with Cloudflare years ago,” says Salour. “Although our partnership began with a very narrow, security-specific use case, the Cloudflare connectivity cloud is now integral to our entire security and performance infrastructure.”

Strengthening security while streamlining management

When it came to securing 8x8’s critical customer service and internal communications platforms against online attacks, Cloudflare application services provided an ideal starting point. These services enable the company to safeguard customer apps and APIs from online abuse, and can be scaled across 8x8’s customer deployments without having to use hardware. 8x8 administrators can manage security controls from a central control interface.

“Cloudflare provides the defensive expertise we need to fill resource gaps and protect our customers in an easy-to-administer, automated security solution,” says Salour. “Simply knowing that we defend our applications against different types of automated threats and zero-day issues using Cloudflare gives our customers peace of mind.”

Abstracting multi-cloud complexity

To provide industry-leading enterprise SaaS communications platforms to companies around the world, 8x8 depends on a modern microservices and multi-cloud architecture. This architecture must offer flexibility and scalability for 8x8 platforms and help streamline the work of meeting regional data storage and privacy requirements.

Using Cloudflare’s connectivity cloud, 8x8 engineering and development teams have the freedom to use the best cloud service for their use case. At the same time, the connectivity cloud enables them to retain control and visibility over their environments so they can deliver their trademark seamless communications across the public Internet.

“Cloudflare has created a massive resilient network that sits on top of the cloud, abstracting multi cloud complexity and making everything more straightforward to maintain,” says Salour. “The Cloudflare connectivity cloud intelligently steers traffic, selecting the best provider based on availability and the quality of their connection. That low latency, high-quality service enables us to deliver top-quality communications to our users, irrespective of their cloud provider.”

Providing secure, frictionless employee access

Supporting hybrid work models was another top priority for 8x8. The company wanted to ensure its employees had highly available, frictionless access to the platforms, customer infrastructure development tools, and production environments that traditional tools and legacy systems could not provide. Cloudflare offered an effective, scalable solution that 8x8’s IT team had up and running in hours: Cloudflare Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).

“We wanted secure network connectivity and access to tools, but it had to be easy for our users to utilize those core services,” says Salour. “Cloudflare was the ideal solution to replace our complex VPN connections. We eliminated frequent timeouts and improved user satisfaction by providing seamless, on-demand access to resources.”

Cloudflare’s integration with third-party identity providers (IdP) for single sign-on (SSO) access saves 8x8 employees even more time. The company has improved the user experience throughout the company.

“Since we rolled out Cloudflare, people love that they can log in using only an Internet connection and Okta to access once-blocked internal resources securely,” says Salour. “The fact we no longer need to deploy and maintain VPN instances and expensive firewalls in remote locations to provide secure access is a game changer.”

Breaking silos between people, teams, and tools

Increased ease of access has also improved 8x8 internal communications and business processes. By linking back-office applications via the connectivity cloud, 8x8 has reduced the compartmentalization between teams, especially while working outside the corporate network. Teams can more easily use core tools such as Jira to support agile project management and share information with Confluence. With Cloudflare, 8x8 maintains context-specific control over exactly who uses tools and granular control over how they use them.

“Cloudflare is synonymous with connectivity. With Cloudflare, we can break down the silos between our people, teams, and tools,” says Salour. “The result is happier end users and IT teams that can rapidly deliver secure connections.”

Partnering for a new technical era

Salour is extremely positive about 8x8’s experience working with Cloudflare. “We continue to leverage and expand our use of Cloudflare for its vision, culture of innovation, and customer-centric mindset,” says Salour. “Cloudflare has always listened to what we need, and its pace of innovation is amazing. Each new Cloudflare product delivers outstanding performance and does exactly what we need it to do.”

In the future, Cloudflare will continue playing a central role in 8x8’s security and availability strategy. That relationship will be particularly helpful to 8x8 as AI and machine learning gain traction, and companies and bad actors alike leverage newer, more powerful cloud technologies.

“As we enter a new technical era, with the rapid development of generative AI, we expect to see new generations of complex online threats coming toward the industry,” says Salour. “I believe Cloudflare has the visibility, access, and business intelligence to leverage the massive amounts of data on the global network and train defensive models to identify and mitigate these next-generation attacks.”

Key Results
  • Enhanced global network security and performance, bolstering defenses against hyper-volumetric DDoS attacks

  • Simplified multi-cloud complexities, improving administrative and maintenance efficiency

  • Eliminated the maintenance burden and financial overhead of complexity third-party VPNs and firewalls

  • Improved internal communications and information sharing among global teams

  • Provided secure and frictionless remote employee access to company tools

  • Reduced network latency, helping ensure high-quality service across multiple cloud providers

Cloudflare's low-latency, high-quality service enables us to deliver top-quality communications to our users, irrespective of their cloud provider.

Mehdi Salour
Senior Vice President of Global Network and DevOps

Cloudflare is synonymous with connectivity. With Cloudflare, we can break down silos between our people, teams, and tools. The result is happier end users and IT teams that can rapidly deliver secure connections anywhere.

Mehdi Salour
Senior Vice President of Global Network and DevOps