The following features and enhancements were introduced in previous versions of the 8x8 Virtual Office desktop app. For details on the latest new features, see our list of what's new in the current release.
Enhanced navigation and interface: With our new interface, take advantage of vertical navigation that enables you to access more of your features at a glance! The tabs available to you may be different based on which optional features you have access to, such as recordings and fax.
Improved Outlook contact import: When you import a contact from your Outlook directory, information in the contact's Company field is imported as well, allowing you to quickly find imported contacts by searching for their associated organization.
Ability to edit global keyboard shortcuts for Virtual Office: You now have the ability to customize your global keyboard shortcuts available for use in Virtual Office. To access your global keyboard shortcuts, open the Settings tab and go to Keyboard shortcuts.
To see your full list of global and local keyboard shortcuts, open the Calls drop-down in the top menu in your Virtual Office window. Changes to your global shortcuts are reflected in this list.
Important: At this time:
- The following local shortcuts (visible in the Calls menu) work only when the Virtual Office desktop app is open and selected, and cannot be customized: Hold and Answer, End and Answer, Hangup, Monitor, Barge, Mute/Unmute, and Keypad.
- While you are editing a global shortcut, local shortcuts are not deactivated. For example, on a PC, the local shortcut Ctrl+K is assigned to the dial pad and is always enabled; if you try to enter the combination as a shortcut for another feature, it brings up the dial pad instead of being entered as the desired combination.
- Conflicts with local shortcuts are not detected when you set a new combination for a global shortcut. For example, on a PC, the local shortcut Ctrl+/ is assigned to muting or un-muting an active call, but you are not given a warning if you try to assign the combination to a feature in your global shortcut list.
Enhanced notification settings: Take advantage of detailed notification settings that you can tailor to your needs more closely than ever! Control audible or visual notifications for calls, IM, SMS, or fax, and stay on top of your most important tasks while filtering out distractions.
Note: Depending on your subscription, you may not access to some features, such as fax or SMS. If a feature is unavailable, notification settings for that feature do not show up for your extension.
Ability to launch Virtual Office automatically at computer startup: To grant yourself the quickest access to the Virtual Office desktop app, you now have the ability to automatically launch Virtual Office upon logging in to your computer. This setting is automatically enabled when you upgrade to version 6.2 of the app.
Support for file download notifications on your desktop: If you download a file via the Virtual Office desktop app, you see a notification in the corner of your desktop when the download is complete, allowing you to know when a large file has been fully downloaded without needing to periodically check Virtual Office.
When you see the notification, you can also click it to open the location the file was downloaded to.
Ability to manually reconnect if connection with 8x8 is poor: If you have trouble with your connection and fix the source of the problem, you now have the ability to manually skip the automatic waiting time to reconnect with 8x8.
Ability to create private rooms on behalf of others: If you need to create a private room on behalf of someone else, you now have the ability to remove yourself from the member list of a private room as you create it, in addition to removing yourself from a previously created room.
Support for mentioning users with identical names: If you try to mention a name that is used by multiple people in a room, the @mention selection list now includes differentiating information, such as their email addresses, to help you identify the correct person.
Improved typing indicator in rooms: Your typing indicator tells you when someone is typing in your room, which helps room members avoid interrupting each other while chatting. If multiple people are typing in a room at the same time, this release allows you to see multiple names in the typing indicator at the bottom of the room.
Ability to import Google contacts: As a Google user, you can import up to 10,000 personal contacts from Google to the Virtual Office desktop app for quick and efficient access. Simply select the option to import your Google contacts, and log in and permit the app to access your Google contact list.
Once you have given the app permission to access your personal Google contacts, you can find them by opening the Contacts tab and going to My Contacts; your Google contacts are differentiated from your other personal contacts by a Google icon next to their contact icon, and you can refresh them at any time from the top of your list of personal contacts.
Notes: With Google contact import:
-Google contacts without phone numbers are excluded from the import, and will not show up in Virtual Office.
-You can only have contacts imported from one Google account at a time.
-When using a G-Suite managed account, Google contact import applies to contacts from your personal Google Contacts list, but not from your business Google Directory list. To allow colleagues to access Google Directory contacts that are not using 8x8, those contacts should be imported by the administrator at the level of the company directory.
Notes: Differences from past Google contact import capability in Virtual Office Classic Mode:
-You no longer need to select a particular contact group to import; this speeds up the import process.
-As Google Talk was deprecated with changes in Google Hangouts, integration with Google Talk is no longer available.
Improved display for personal contacts: When you view your personal contacts, whether they were imported or created in Virtual Office, you see additional information on the contact underneath their name, such as their organization and title, if available.
Ability to search for contacts by company: You now have the ability to look up contacts in the search box by which organization is listed in the Company field of their contact details.
Ability to filter contacts by site: If your organization is an X Series or Virtual Office Editions customer, you can now filter by site in the filter list of your company contacts, as well as view the site associated with a company contact in their details page.
Note: This feature is only new to X Series or Virtual Office Editions customers, and was previously available to Virtual Office Classic customers.
New keyboard shortcuts for calls: To streamline your calling experience, you now have the ability to place and receive calls via keyboard shortcuts optimized for Windows and Mac! For a list of keyboard shortcuts available on your computer, simply open the Calls drop-down in the top menu of the Virtual Office desktop app. Using keyboard shortcuts, you can quickly call a phone number copied to your clipboard, manage incoming and active calls, and more!
Note: At this time, in order to use key shortcuts with Virtual Office, you must have the Virtual Office desktop app open and selected as you enter a shortcut.
New keyboard shortcuts for Barge-Monitor-Whisper: If you are an office manager or supervisor whose extension is set up to use the Barge-Monitor-Whisper feature, you can take advantage of new shortcuts to monitor calls and to barge directly in on calls; to use whisper or to barge in on a call you are already monitoring, you continue to dial the existing combinations from within a monitored call.
Note: In order to use the shortcuts for monitor and direct barge, you must have the desired person's contact details in the Virtual Office desktop app open and selected as you enter a shortcut.
End of life for Classic Mode: All users who previously had access to the Classic mode of the Virtual Office desktop app are now being migrated to the new interface; the option to switch to Classic Mode is now removed. Starting with version 6.0 of the app, take advantage of all the features the latest versions of Virtual Office have to offer!
Note: Features specific to Classic Mode, such as the ability to import Microsoft Exchange contacts, are still not supported in the new interface in version 6.0 of the app. Subsequent releases will consider these features and prioritize them based on customer requests.
For a list of feature differences between Classic Mode and the new experience, see this 8x8 Support page.
Enhanced flexibility in messages tab: In the Messages tab, you can now track your chat history in three separate sub-tabs:
Ability to mark a specific message in a chat as unread: If you have yet to get around to an action item that came up in a chat, you now have the ability to mark that item as unread so that you can quickly return to it the next time you open the conversation.
Note: You cannot mark multiple messages as unread at a time within a single conversation.
Ability to copy text and formatted text in chats: You now have access to an improved way to copy message text in your conversations; just hover over a message, click the More icon that appears, and select Copy text from the resulting drop-down menu to copy the message text to your clipboard, allowing you to paste it anywhere.
As message text in the Virtual Office desktop app can be formatted, the above method for copying text also lets you copy any formatting commands that were used in the text (such as typing *hello* to display hello in a chat).
This allows you to paste a fully-accurate duplicate of a message in another conversation in the Virtual Office desktop app. You can also use this function to check how you can use in-text formatting commands as you type messages.
Note: As these formatting commands are specific to the Virtual Office desktop app, pasting Virtual Office-formatted text into a message in a different application will not preserve the formatting; the formatting commands will continue to appear as punctuation marks surrounding the text even after you send the message.
For details, see our FAQs on:
Changes to 8x8 Microsoft Integration with Outlook and Skype for Business: Starting with version 6.0 of the Virtual Office desktop app, the 8x8 Microsoft Integration plug-in (version 5.0.10) will be replaced with plug-ins that are compatible with version 6.0 of the Virtual Office desktop app.
Important: If your organization upgrades you to version 6.0 of the Virtual Office desktop app, you must download the latest plug-ins that are compatible with your version of the Virtual Office desktop app.
For details, see our content on what's new in integration with Outlook and Skype for Business.
Skype for Business Virtual Office plug-in: A specialized plug-in for Virtual Office calling integration
Note: At this time, the ability to view 8x8-linked contact presence from Skype for Business is not supported.
For users of version 5.9 or earlier: If your organization does not upgrade you to version 6.0 of the Virtual Office desktop app, you must continue using the 8x8 Microsoft Integration plug-in instead of downloading the individual plug-ins for Outlook and Skype for Business.
Important: At this time, only organizations that are new Skype for Business customers are upgraded to version 6 of the Virtual Office desktop app, and must install version 6.1.2 of the Skype for Business Virtual Office plug-in. If your organization is an existing Skype for Business customer, you continue to use version 5 of the Virtual Office desktop app, and can use versions 6.1.2 or 5.0.10 of the Microsoft Integration plug-in.
Unified content sharing experience: When a participant shares content in a meeting, the shared content appears in the main meeting window instead of separately, offering a more integrated experience.
In addition, if a colleague is sharing their screen in a meeting, they no longer need to worry about someone accidentally taking over their content sharing. Now, if you need to share content while someone else is already sharing content, you can simply "raise your hand" and send them a request to let them know you would like to contribute to the meeting with content of your own.
Note: The ability to request content sharing only works if the current presenter is running version 5.9 of the app or newer.
Announcing Team Messaging: With Team Messaging, collaborate with your colleagues via chat more effectively than ever before! Create chat rooms on demand, stay up to date on your team's latest discussions, bring multiple teams together to collaborate, and much more! Your chat rooms can be found under Messages tab.
In our examples, let's say that Sarah's fictitious organization, AcmeJets, uses Team Messaging. Sarah's Sales team (which includes Rob, Lisa, and John) is one of many teams within AcmeJets that can collaborate using Team Messaging, and make use of its features to accomplish tasks more effectively.
Public and private chat rooms: With Team Messaging, you can create a public room that can be accessed by anyone at any time, or create a private room that is only accessible to certain colleagues. Whether you want to stay up to date with all your colleagues, or share sensitive information with a smaller group, you can do all this and more!
Let's say that Sarah must collaborate with her global team more effectively to ensure that the team meets its goals. The team shares critical information, and holds an ongoing discussion across multiple time zones, which warrants multiple meetings. Sarah doesn't have the time to meet often, so she sets up a private room for her team, and invites all her team members to facilitate communications. Now, her team can discuss and post information in a convenient chat room.
On the other hand, Sarah is also collaborating on a public release where she is one of many core team members tracking the progress of the release. To stay up to date, all core team members follow a public chat room created exclusively for the release.
Ability to invite colleagues to private chat rooms: As a member of a private room, you can invite colleagues relevant to the conversation to bring them into your discussions; a fully-collaborative experience allows any member of a private room to invite a new member.
Note: For added security, an invited colleague has access to the chat history of the private room starting with the time they were invited.
Ability to get a colleague's attention in a room: If you need to alert a group member on a release deadline, ask for their input on your current discussion, or bring a new person into a public chat room, you can get their attention at any time by simply typing <@> before their name (for example, <@John Smith>). In a public room, you can @mention any of your company contacts, while in a private room, you can only @mention colleagues who are members of the room.
John, a Sales agent in Sarah's team, needs to send his manager Sarah a brief spreadsheet on the sales progress for the customers he is negotiating with; as John's deadline approaches, Sarah can alert him via @mention to make sure he is on schedule with the document.
Notification settings for messages and changes: Has your chat room been renamed, or have new colleagues been invited to your private chat room? Whenever something about a chat room changes, you are notified in your chat history for that room. In addition, you can choose to be notified of all messages in a room to stay up-to-date, or reduce interruptions when you are busy by choosing to be notified only when you are mentioned.
Let's say that the Acmejets Sales team is hiring new agents; as new agents are hired, Sarah or another person in her team can add them to her team's private chat room. Whenever a new agent is added to the chat room, existing members of the chat room are notified that their new colleague has access to the team's discussions.
Better collaboration via shared rooms: Using 8x8 Sameroom, connect with your colleagues or clients who use other chat applications (such as Slack, Hipchat, or Google Hangouts) via shared rooms. With Team Messaging and Sameroom, connect with all your colleagues under a streamlined chat experience! You can even use shared rooms that are connected to the Virtual Office chat rooms of another organization that uses 8x8. You can see whether your chat room is also a shared room next to the room's public/private label, and in the details page for the room.
The AcmeJets engineering team communicates with contractors outside of their company; once the engineering room is connected to the contractors' usual chat app via Sameroom, the engineering room is labeled as a shared room, and the engineers can collaborate seamlessly with their contractor colleagues.
Ability to hide conversations from your personal chat history: If you want to clean up old business messages and SMS spam messages from your chat history, you can simply hide them on your end. When you hide a chat room or conversation, you do not delete it; other people involved in the hidden chats still see the conversations and chat rooms in their chat history.
Note: You can hide chat rooms and chat conversations with individuals, but you cannot hide specific messages within a chat conversation or chat room.
Ability to view caller information: View additional information on a caller and be better prepared before you answer the call! Based on which site or app you use to manage your callers, simply enter an appropriate URL with a search query that targets the caller's phone number; this enables you to pull up information based on the number. When you receive a call, any relevant information extracted by the URL pops up in your browser, giving you better insight during the conversation.
Let's say that the veterinary branch of the Acme Health organization uses an application to keep track of their customers, so that customer information is always on hand. By entering a URL appropriate to their application in the Virtual Office desktop app, anyone answering a call at the veterinary clinic can quickly view details on a caller, such as their last appointment, their pet's health history, and much more!
New location for voicemail greeting setting: Your voicemail greeting setting is now located directly under your settings list, allowing you to find it and update your greetings more quickly. The settings open in your browser, in your user profile advanced settings page.
In addition, you can now set different voicemail greetings for colleagues in your organization and for external callers, as well as change your default voicemail greeting! For example:
Improved incoming call notifications for desk phone: If you are routing calls through your desk phone, you can choose to avoid having your work interrupted by on-screen notifications for incoming calls. When you are changing your notification settings in the Virtual Office desktop app, you can now choose whether to enable incoming call notifications for calls via desk phone.
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