The SES-8 satellite was released to its geosynchronous transfer orbit. The upper stage will, if all goes well, restart to raise apogee to its prescribed orbit.
Why did SES agree to launch a satellite on a rocket that had never flown to geostationary transfer orbit before and never demonstrated its ability to do so?
According to SpaceX Chairman Elon Musk, SpaceX launched the commercial satellite, insured for $200 million, because the Falcon 9 is capable of completing its mission even if it loses one of the nine first-stage engines. That gives the vehicle an inherent reliability far beyond its actual flight heritage, said Musk.