8X8, a competitive VoIP and cloud services provider, has taken the top spot on the Infonetics Research top hosted unified communications scorecard, beating out West IP Communications, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ).
What helped drive 8x8 up in the rankings was "a solid financial position and continued focus on service enhancements and geographic expansion," said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research.
Geographic expansion has been a predominant theme at 8X8. Over the past year it has expanded its presence in Europe by acquiring cloud business telephony and communications provider Voicenet Solutions and establishing an agreement with Interxion, a European data center and carrier-neutral provider.
Besides 8x8, West IP jumped from fourth place in last year's scorecard to the No. 2 position this year due to what Infonetics said was "strong demand for its Cisco-based solution."
Mitel also made its debut on the scorecard due to its merger with Aastra. Myers added that "while 8x8 still serves predominantly small companies, it's finding more and more success with larger businesses." Driven by SIP trunking, the North American IP connectivity market is dominated by a host of incumbent telcos and competitive carriers, including Verizon, XO, AT&T (NYSE: T) and Windstream. One of the interesting challenges for players in this market is that all companies are competing in a market where differentiation is difficult.