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A Q&A on Microsoft Teams in the Big Picture

CBTS recently put together a three-part webcast series centered on Microsoft Teams and competing collaboration tools. Part one of the webcast series, moderated by Channel Chief Rob Messmer, features CBTS Sr. Director of Solution Engineering Matt Douglass, Senior Solutions Architect Justin Rice, and Senior Sales Engineer Alex Broome. Part one is a comparison of major collaboration platforms and how they integrate with UCaaS.

The second part of the CBTS webcast series takes a technical deep dive into Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Teams Direct Route, and UCaaS. CBTS Director of Solution Design Chris Pope joins the panel to break down the little-known advantages of Cisco’s Webex Teams toolset and the new integrations with CBTS Cisco UCaaS offerings.

The third and final part of the webcast series features an expert panel including Cisco Cloud Calling Specialist Bryan Wilson, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking Jon Lloyd, and CBTS Senior Director of Solution Engineering Matt Douglass. Together, they break down what collaboration tools mean to the new work-from-home paradigms.

Bryan Wilson, please give an introduction and explain who you are and what you do for Cisco.

“I’m a Cloud and Hosted Calling Product Specialist at Cisco. I came into Cisco via the BroadSoft acquisition. I support partners like CBTS in navigating all the architecture offerings that we have at Cisco.” – Bryan Wilson, Cisco Cloud Calling Specialist

Matt, can you explain some of the differentiators between both platforms and why someone might look at Cisco Webex Teams vs. Microsoft Teams?

“Webex Teams for BroadWorks—which is really Webex Teams and Webex Meetings—I think is a game changer approach. Clients have all the things you’d expect in a comprehensive environment that goes along with our BroadWorks call control. So we’re trying to help customers understand they don’t necessarily need Microsoft Teams because really when we sell this new kind of UCaaS 2.0 clients can set aside Microsoft Teams.” – Matt Douglass, CBTS Sr. Director of Solution Engineering

We hear a lot of terms around Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Direct Route, and UCaaS. All of these offerings are discussed together. How can we talk to customers in ways that bring them all into a common solution?

“I think that’s probably the biggest opportunity for us and for partners with customers today, because customers are still confused when they think about it. They think they get Microsoft Teams, it’s on their desk, and they can turn it into a telephone. But that’s not the case. One of the great opportunities for partners with vendors like ourselves with companies like CBTS, is that now we can come in and really do a consultative approach and understand again, what are their business problems, and we just get to be more glue to help understand and you teach them really, that okay, you think maybe you’re going to move all your voice components there? Well, that’s not going to happen, you’re going to have to have a mix and match of different pieces.”  – Matt Douglass

With COVID changing the way we work to a new model of work-from-home, how does Cisco view this new world?

“If you look back maybe two years, the rate of video participation was only 30%. Most people would just be on audio during a web meeting. But since COVID, I’ve personally seen video participation well above 80% on every call I’m on. We’re going to start seeing pieces of plastic that were dedicated for calling be changed out for pieces of plastic dedicated for video.” – Bryan Wilson

With work-from-home users, how does SD-WAN play into that world?

“I have an SD-WAN device that sits here in my network. It can broadcast a wireless SSID, that SSID can have radius authentication back to my corporation so now I’m tied in. I can create a work specific segment to it, and now I’m not worried about how do I connect my DX80 in so that I can optimize Webex traffic over the same internet connection that my neighbors’ kids are doing virtual learning, and my kids are streaming videos and playing games, and all of that stuff that’s going on. People say all the time, ‘We’re reducing our office footprint, we closed 70 offices.’ No you didn’t, you opened 1,200 new ones when you sent those 70 offices full of people home, and that’s the challenge. It’s not just how do we connect, but how do we start to prioritize these mission critical functions.” – Jon Lloyd, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking

Bryan, how does Cisco view the channel? What would you say to partners as they’re looking into their base of customers on why they should start thinking about a Cisco powered solution—preferably in our case CBTS—but compared to an 8X8 or RingCentral or some of the other folks that are competitors to Cisco?

“Cisco has done a great job enabling managed service providers (MSP) like CBTS to have transactional velocity. In a sense, you have a Cisco team in the field that is working with you to close the business, and gets the transaction through a Cisco commerce workplace. In the past, where a lot of deals got bogged down was in the transaction and how it was transacted. With Webex for BroadWorks and a lot of other offers that you’re going to start seeing from Cisco on both the security and the network side with Meraki and others, is to empower our MSPs such as CBTS to have all of the tools in their toolkit to transact and to turn up customers and to build them all on their own.” – Bryan Wilson

As partners start working more with Cisco representative, how do you see them working together and not competing on opportunities? Is a relationship between the trusted advisor or channel partner and Cisco representative part of the go-to market strategy with Cisco?

“I think that piece is going to take a lot of education, not just on the channel partner side, but quite frankly a lot of education within our own field. In a lot of cases these folks are used to going to battle with each other, they’re used to viewing the channel agent as a competitor, and they don’t understand that they’re selling a cooperating solution. So what I would just say for—and this is something that we do in my role—is go out and meet with all those commercial sales teams, educate them on Webex for BroadWorks, educate them on our go-to market initiative, and for any of the partners that are on the phone today, if you run into a deal where there’s maybe an existing Webex seat or there’s an existing CUCM, work with CBTS, work with us, and let’s get you in contact with that field team, that Cisco team, and let’s take down business and win together.” – Bryan Wilson

Matt, talk about where our partners’ customers have some type of Cisco offering already, and how we’ve been able talk about Cisco Webex Teams and start selling the full portfolio from Cisco versus thinking that is competitive.

“I think this UCaaS—we’ve been calling it UCaaS 2.0, this opportunity to start to use the Teams work space, Webex Teams for BroadWorks—obviously we’d love to keep pushing, but that team space and opportunity, that UCaaS 2.0, is really allowing us to have a different kind of conversation that’s about a deeper relationship and hopefully a longer term relationship with a customer. So those are the things we’d love to help partners with talking to their customers.” – Matt Douglass

So Bryan, why CBTS? Why are you on this call? And why are you saying CBTS versus others in the market? What are the differentiators that CBTS brings?

“One of the things that CBTS does really, really well is letting the customer’s requirements drive the design. There’s a lot of folks out there that have CUCM, and maybe they have an on-premises business and that’s sort of their only calling solution, or maybe they have SD-WAN and their only SD-WAN solution is one thing. CBTS has different solutions tailored for different customer needs. The needs of the large enterprise are going to be very different than the needs of a user in the mid-market. The needs of a user that has highly distributed work force or lots of retail locations are going to be different than a one headquarters or a campus environment. And I think one thing CBTS does really well is sort of obscure the technology from the end customer and you don’t even talk platforms until you’re on that third or fourth conversation where you’ve really sharpened your pencil on the customer requirements, and then you come in and give them the right approach, which I think is great.” – Bryan Wilson

Matt, what kind of licensing can we provide our partners with so they can try out the different Cisco offerings we have in our portfolio and experience it? What’s available from your team from a demo perspective?

“First of all, Webex Teams is available for free. So one, I would urge everybody to get out there and load Webex Teams up and get a feel, because you can start using it. The other thing some partners have seen and started to do is what we call our partner certification program. So far that partner certification program has been around our SD-WAN offerings and our NaaS offerings and you’re going to see the same thing now in UCaaS.” – Matt Douglass

Visit Expert Breakdown: Microsoft Teams in the Big Picture 3.1-3.3 Webcast Replay for a full recap and to view all webcasts in the series.

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CBTS

CBTS is a leading technology provider to enterprises in all industries, including dozens of Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies. What sets us apart is the agility, flexible delivery models, and client focus of a smaller company coupled with the ability to deliver the resources, scale, and capabilities required by large organizations. Ask how CBTS can help you capitalize on the cloud today.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can implement the right meeting solutions for your organization.

Expert breakdown webcast series: Microsoft Teams in the Big Picture

Team collaboration is evolving quickly as companies strive to maintain smooth operations and meaningful interactions, whether working from home or utilizing traditional office environments.

Service providers, master agents, partners, and customers alike are exploring new tools and channel options with a multitude of questions about the future of communication. To tackle these questions and help you navigate the solutions, CBTS will host a three-part webcast series during which our experts will break down Microsoft Teams in the Big Picture.

Through three engaging discussions, this series will explore the most pressing issues and opportunities surrounding collaboration tools today. Below is an overview of what we’ll cover.

Webcast Series 3.1: Comparing collaboration platforms

In the first installment of this webcast series, the team of CBTS experts will compare major collaboration platforms including Cisco Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams. By examining the benefits and downsides of each platform, this webcast will explore how different collaboration tools integrate with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to provide a seamless experience from the desktop to the cloud.

The first webcast will feature insights from CBTS experts including Justin Rice, Senior Solutions Architect; Matt Douglass, Senior Director of Solution Engineering; and Alex Broome, Senior Sales Engineer.

Secure your spot now for this webcast, scheduled for Wednesday, September 16, at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Sign up here

Webcast Series 3.2: Taking a technical deep dive

In the second session of this Expert Breakdown series, we’ll take a technical deep dive into Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, and UCaaS.

We’ll evaluate how Direct Routing connects Microsoft Teams to SIP trunks and third-party voice applications. Then, we’ll highlight the game-changing advantages of combining the Cisco Webex Teams toolset with Cisco UCaaS integrations from CBTS.

Join our duo of technical experts—Chris Pope, Director of Solution Design, and Matt Douglass, Senior Director of Solution Engineering—to take a closer look at these integration issues.

Reserve your virtual seat today for this webcast, scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Register here

Webcast Series 3.3: Exploring work-from-home collaboration

The final webcast of the series will explore how companies can use remote collaboration tools to excel in today’s new work-from-home environment. Through a live panel discussion moderated by CBTS Channel Chief Rob Messmer, several cloud experts will analyze how collaboration tools like UCaaS and SD-WAN can elevate remote work productivity like never before.

A panel of experts—featuring Cisco Cloud Calling Specialist Bryan Wilson, Director of Cloud Networking Jon Lloyd, and Senior Director of Solution Engineering Matt Douglass—will confront the biggest questions, challenges, and opportunities surrounding remote collaboration. By the end of the conversation, your business will be better equipped to make the most of working from home.

Tune in to participate in the live Q&A, scheduled for Wednesday, September 30 at 1 p.m. EDT.
Reserve your spot here

Navigating all the different platforms and potential pitfalls of today’s rapidly shifting communications experience can be a challenge, whether you have sophisticated IT resources or a one-person IT department. That’s why CBTS designed this new webcast series to explore Microsoft Teams in the Big Picture and guide companies through the maze of collaboration tools impacting operations in every industry.

Join our three-part webcast series to find answers to your biggest collaboration questions.

Register for Webcast Series 3.1

Register for Webcast Series 3.2

Register for Webcast Series 3.3

Revamping an outdated network with SD-WAN and NaaS

Growth, and having a plan to achieve it, is critical for any enterprise. However, growing your business is difficult when aging technology, an outdated network, and thinly-stretched IT resources are holding you back.

The Kleingers Group, a civil engineering, transportation, land surveying, and landscape architecture firm with approximately 120 employees and offices in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Louisville, had a similar issue.

The company contended with various IT challenges and had precious few qualified employees to do so. Instead of focusing on the core strategic initiatives needed to drive the company’s bottom line, these specialists were instead bogged down by the many tasks involved with managing an outdated network and aging telecom system, resulting in frequent downtime.

This outdated network had been assembled out of equipment from multiple vendors, creating a cluttered and chaotic environment for the IT staff to navigate. Additionally, the client’s phone system originated from a vendor that had gone out of business, making replacements or repairs needlessly expensive and time-consuming.

Employees in the client’s Cincinnati, Dayton, and Chicago offices were also collaborating through expensive equipment that was managed through a separate vendor. This sprawling web of vendor relationships, paired with the obsolete and costly nature of much of the technology itself, led to severe difficulty in daily operations. A fourth office, which was preparing to open in Louisville, required a more streamlined and comprehensive connectivity solution that was scalable and more suited for the growth that The Kleingers Group was planning.

The Kleingers Group sought help from communication provider Parallel Technologies, Inc., a member of the CBTS Partner Channel, to assess The Kleingers Group’s network environment and formulate a solution.

A full-spectrum audit of The Kleingers Group’s telecom and network environment was launched with the intent to identify opportunities to remake the client’s IT infrastructure from the ground up. Throughout this process, experts from CBTS and Parallel worked closely with the client to plan the implementation of new tools and solutions, including a new cloud-based network and voice service.

“Parallel and CBTS came into our organization two years ago and were critical to helping us achieve our business goals. They understood the technology needs that Kleingers had in order to grow and proposed a strategy to move us forward. They worked with The Kleingers Group’s IT staff to find a solution that would fit our business needs and facilitate future growth.” —Mike Pillman, Systems Administrator, The Kleingers Group

CBTS launched a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solution that could seamlessly integrate the client’s branches with a single pane of glass management console to simplify operations. CBTS also provided the Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) necessary to support reliable connections between all four Kleingers locations, with no third party needed to manage the branch network.

Additionally, Parallel installed a Mitel MiVoice Connect voice solution that would operate in concert with the CBTS NaaS and SD-WAN solutions. This added functionality was intended to empower The Kleingers Group’s growth and expansion strategy.

When all solutions were put into place by CBTS and Parallel, the client had at its disposal a reinvented and reinvigorated network that was capable of supporting its multiple branches and ambitious growth strategy. The Kleingers Group also had the benefit of full transparency into the performance of this new network thanks to the management tools provided by the customized SD-WAN and NaaS solutions.

The close partnership of Parallel’s IT support staff—which oversees the client’s new network and voice system—frees up resources for Kleingers, allowing its own personnel to concentrate their attention from an outdated network to more mission-critical strategic initiatives.

Contact CBTS for more information on how a managed NaaS and SD-WAN solution can help your organization achieve its strategic goals.

Download the full case study to learn more about how CBTS and Parallel Technologies created a comprehensive, cloud-enabled networking solution that revamped The Kleingers Group’s outdated network with SD-WAN and NaaS.

A Q&A on VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud

CBTS recently put together a three-part webcast series centered on VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud. The panel, moderated by Channel Chief Rob Messmer, features VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware Craig Connors, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking Jon Lloyd, and CBTS Senior Director of Solution Engineering Matt Douglass. The three-part webcast series breaks down the top questions about VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud.

What is the story behind VeloCloud?

“I’ve been in the WAN space since 2007. When I joined the founding engineering team at Talari Networks, it was the first time we looked at what MPLS was doing and asked if we can do it across the public internet. I joined VeloCloud in 2013, and in 2018 the cloud began to become part of our daily lives, and the idea of keeping the cloud a cohesive part of network infrastructure was really innovative and forward-looking.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

What are the core differentiators for VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud?

“There are two major differentiators: 1) Gateways that serve as a direct on-ramp to SaaS. We can build an overlay using one or more links from your end location to gateways and not just steer around problems that happen, like a lot of SD-WANs do, but we can mitigate problems such as jitter and packet loss. Even with a single link, with  packet loss, you can still get high-quality business connectivity, even for applications living in the cloud.

“And, 2) Dynamic Multipath Optimization with (a) Continuous Link Monitoring, (b) Dynamic Per Packet Steering, and (c) On-Demand Remediation. Everything we do—measurement-wise, error correction-wise, traffic steering-wise—is unidirectional. We’re measuring upstream and downstream independently. Per-packet steering allows us to move traffic at any time to link in a sub-second fashion.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

How does CBTS communicate all of the value and technology behind VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud to its channel partner agent resellers?

“When a customer says, ‘Help me understand that this is not marketecture and that it’s architecture,’ we can show you the traffic, show you moving it…we can show you the results of tests we did back in 2016. For us, the proof is in what we do today, especially now with remote work.” – Jon Lloyd, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking

How does VeloCloud view next-generation security features like UTM, malware protection, etc.?

“There are two sides to the question, and the first one is SASE (secure access service edge). When you look at SASE, you get a consolidation of cloud firewalling, secure web gateways, ZTNA, and SD-WAN. On the other side, SASE is all about market consolidation and a single vendor—a single pane of glass network simplification. We’re able to facilitate security in a flexible way, working with any vendor a customer may prefer.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

How does CBTS bring Check Point CloudGuard Connect into the SD-WAN story?

“What we wanted to do with Check Point CloudGuard Connect and with the Check Point suite was complement what we’ve already been doing for customers for five years with the VMware SD-WAN platform. Some customers are going to want this, and some are going to want that, and our job is to be able to make sure we’re delivering with an easy-to-consume wrapper.” – Jon Lloyd, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking

What are some important aspects for customers to know about the SASE market?

“I think the important thing for customers to remember is SASE is big in the hype cycle right now. There’s a lot of companies rushing to try to ride that wave of hype. And one thing you’ll never hear me say is “good enough security.” That’s a term that people throw around. And I think something that we take seriously at VMware is we’re the leader in SD-WAN Workspace ONE, tens of millions of devices under management. We believe that’s a best-in-breed solution for UEM for ZTNA, bringing those together.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware  

How does VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud and Check Point fit into the customer’s journey to the cloud?

“This is a unique time for us in the channel to talk about business outcomes and building outcome-based networks for customers. One of the things that my sales engineering team has been most excited about is that these tools—VeloCloud, Check Point, all the things we’re talking about—allow us really to be meeting with customers and start talking about business outcomes.

“We actually will write on a whiteboard that we build what we believe is outcome-based networking. And so, a lot of our work is sitting with the customer and saying, okay, what are your applications that are going site to site? That are going site to data center, site to SaaS application, site to AWS or Azure? There is now this work-from-home component. How do we layer in the right security solutions? Because VeloCloud, Check Point, and CBTS are positioned as a managed service provider, it really allows us to build very customer-specific solutions.” – Matt Douglas, Senior Director of Solution Engineering

What are the industries that you are surprised about adopting cloud technologies like VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud?

“Retail, banking, sports stadiums, and healthcare are all taking advantage.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

How does CBTS, as a service provider, keep pace with what key partners like VMware and VeloCloud are doing in the market?

“It starts with a great partnership and understanding of where VMware is going. There’s an open flow of communication and knowing ahead of time what will be rolling out so we can be prepared.” – Jon Lloyd, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking

Visit Expert Breakdown: VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud Series 2.1-2.3 Webcast Replay for a full recap and to view all webcasts in the series.

Download our SD-WAN CIO Tools to learn how integrating SD-WAN into your infrastructure can deliver better performance and outcomes for your organization.

VMware SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud

VMware SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud provides limitless and optimized access across the entire enterprise organization for cloud applications and services while simplifying implementations and centrally managing all network activity. Using a flexible, agile, and scalable delivery model, VeloCloud is the only SD-WAN solution fully able to leverage all the benefits of the cloud.

CBTS

CBTS is a leading technology provider to enterprises in all industries, including dozens of Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies. What sets us apart is the agility, flexible delivery models, and client focus of a smaller company coupled with the ability to deliver the resources, scale, and capabilities required by large organizations. Ask how CBTS can help you capitalize on the cloud today.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can implement state-of-the-art SD-WAN solutions for your organization.

Q&A: Secure networking utilizing robust SD-WAN solutions

CBTS recently partnered with cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point to deliver a Network Security as a Service with Check Point CloudGuard and Custom SD-WAN integration solution. Given today’s advanced cyber threats, CloudGuard is designed to benefit customers looking to secure their VMware SD-WAN infrastructure powered by VeloCloud, now part of VMware.

In a recent webcast series hosted by CBTS, a panel of experts emphasized the importance of leveraging new SD-WAN solutions to safely help customers along the path to digital transformation.

Why did CBTS and Check Point partner on this solution?

“We understand that each network is going to be different, and a lot of times we don’t look to connect people or connect buildings, but to deliver business outcomes. With Check Point we’re able to do that, because whether you’re looking to protect the software-defined perimeter or the end-point user with applications moving to the cloud, we have that with CloudGuard.

If you’re looking for something locally at the data center, we have the Check Point physical hardware lineup that’s still managed from that same centralized control plan. We can take all the pieces of Check Point to build a customized solution that has the same ease of traditional SD-WAN networks. We’re taking that ease into the complex security space.” – Jon Lloyd, director of cloud networking, CBTS

How does this technology interweave with SD-WAN?

“We started seeing interest in this 18 months ago. We would be in the field and presenting SD-WAN and how we would integrate it with your firewalls at a location, branch or data center. People started asking, ‘What about cloud security?’  “What we’re really seeing is how are people building a network of clouds, because applications are moving to the cloud with all of us working from home. Whether we’re talking about a secure cloud for your SD-WAN domain, or a data center if you’ve got inbound traffic, or our mobile workforce. People are starting to work with an SD-WAN solutions provider and also integrating a full suite of security services. We’re bringing a very robust environment that can support a data center, branch, cloud, or mobile workforce.” – Matt Douglass, senior director of solution engineering, CBTS

Can you talk about pricing model flexibility with this solution?

“The cloud products we’ve seen have been built for the larger enterprise market. When you start to bring these solutions to the mid-market, you’ve got to meet some price points and have some flexibility. Check Point has done a great job in building a product at a price point that’s easier to absorb in the mid-market space.” – Matt Douglass

How is this technology relevant in our new work-from-home environment?

“We keep coming back to flexibility. We can provide a work-from-home solution with a VeloCloud SD-WAN deployment where I’m putting a VeloCloud Edge with built-in LTE in my house. I’ve moved mission-critical businesses applications home.

“What happens when that internet goes down? Having VeloCloud Edge with built-in LTE gives me survivability to my network. We can deliver security whether it’s off of an SD-WAN deployment, or the roaming user that runs on your device. I can supply that same security without taxing my resources.” – Jon Lloyd

How does this solution protect SaaS for customers?

“We were able to provide SaaS security in an in-network connectivity approach. When you are connected to an SaaS application, we can provide security on that connection going across a network. The platform provides the capability to inspect the data on SaaS applications. We realized customers might want a more integrated approach in securing e-mail, for example.” – Marco Garcia, director of security/sales engineering, Check Point

What other security benefits does this technology provide?

“You are now moving the threat plain away from your front door. With a cloud-based solution, you’re moving your threat plain to the cloud. Now we’ve got quicker response. As soon a threat’s recognized for one user, that (solution) gets applied for everybody.” – Matt Douglass

How are customers using the solution supported?

“It’s going through our 24×7 support desk and CBTS employees. What we’ve been able to do with Check Point and VeloCloud is un-handcuff customers from the giant conglomerate. What these new technologies allow customers to do is be able to expand.” – Jon Lloyd

Visit this landing page for a full recap and to view all webcasts in this series.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can implement state-of-the-art SD-WAN solutions for your organization.

CBTS and Parallel Technologies combine strengths to modernize 200+ restaurant locations

One rule dominates the food service industry: keep your customers happy. This rule goes beyond simply providing high-quality cuisine—modern consumers expect to be able to contact and order from your restaurants without issue.

Donatos, a family-owned chain of pizza restaurants founded in Columbus, OH, understood this food industry rule. The company operates more than 200 locations in nine states and is still growing. Of these stores, 105 are company-owned, with more than 100 others operated by franchise partners. As part of its goal of steady, sustained growth, the Donatos corporation sought to double its customer service efforts, meaning an upgrade to its IT and telecom platform was in order.

The main priorities for this upgrade included systems to enable unrivaled customer satisfaction, enhanced security measures, and a comprehensive process to streamline the complex ordering system that Donatos had relied on for years. Each method of placing an order, whether over the phone, on the website, or via mobile app, was crucial to the customer experience and needed to be updated and empowered accordingly.

Re-thinking communications around the customer experience

For Donatos, dropped or disconnected calls, online and mobile orders that fail to go through, or even poor reception, can all translate to lost revenue, so strong and reliable connections were of paramount importance. Additionally, high-traffic periods such as holidays or major sporting events meant that individual restaurants could easily be overwhelmed by calls and orders.

Parallel Technologies, trusted advisor to Donatos, partnered with CBTS to provide a unified, cloud-based commercial platform that met the challenges that Donatos was facing. This solution would utilize an SD-WAN architecture to keep commerce applications and systems up to date through the use of several cost-effective internet transports, creating redundancy that ensures applications would remain supported in case the primary circuit failed for any reason. The increased reliability of this system would bode well for the company’s goal of delivering the best customer experience possible.

Download the full case study to learn more about how CBTS and Parallel Technologies created a comprehensive, cloud-enabled networking solution that transformed Donatos Pizza’s customer service experience.

A cloud-based call queuing system was implemented to alleviate the difficulties of dealing with above-average call volume. This solution ensured that if a customer called to place an order during a period of peak activity, they would be placed on hold with a branded, automated message encouraging them to stay on the line.

Another point of improvement that the CBTS/Parallel Technologies partnership looked to address was the in-store guest Wi-Fi, which lacked consistency across retail locations. In order to provide a uniformly satisfying customer experience, each restaurant was outfitted with a new guest Wi-Fi environment complete with branded login pages and secure browsing measures to keep guest data safe.

Security was also a primary concern for Donatos corporate, which sought to protect its newly modernized and cloud-empowered restaurants from any potential intrusions. CBTS and Parallel worked in tandem to install a Unified Threat Management (UTM) platform in each location, granting total application control, web filtering and safe search tools, and much more at the store level.

When Donatos was in need of a truly modern network overhaul to continue serving its customers with exceptional quality, CBTS and Parallel answered the call. The proven performance of CBTS Hosted Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), SD-WAN, and telecom solutions, combined with Parallel’s extensive design overlay expertise, formed and implemented a personalized and comprehensive upgrade strategy suited for the entirety of the Donatos corporate structure.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS and Parallel Technologies can create a comprehensive, cloud-enabled networking solution for your organization.

In our channel partner world, you’re the superhero

When deciding on a provider, there is so much to consider. Who are the best providers? Can the provider deliver specifically what our customers need? Does the provider comprehend our clients’ brand and areas of growth? Will this provider enhance our relationships with our customers?

So how do you make the right choice?

Four superpowers to look for in a provider

They have a consultative approach.
You need a provider which can educate your customer, is willing to whiteboard, and get down to the business problems. They should facilitate discovery, and figure out the business challenges and innovative solutions. The job is to deliver business outcomes. And technology doesn’t mean anything if it’s not solving a business problem. 

They can stay on task.
A perfect provider can stay laser-focused on the task at hand. If you bring them in for one part of a solution, they stay in their swim lane. There is an established flow that distinguishes job sharing and responsibilities. They respect that role, follow the process, and use their powers to accomplish specific goals–not instill chaos.

They know when to say no.
Sometimes your provider’s solution isn’t always the perfect solution for you and your client. There are a lot of options out there, so when your partner is consulting, they are honest and upfront, especially if their solution isn’t the right one. You need a provider who wants to deliver the right technology, has the right approach and can execute.

They are always responsive.
A reliable provider will respond to e-mails, requests for quotes, and turn around proposals quickly. Surprisingly, this is an area of weakness for many providers. It is also the easiest way to weed out unsuitable providers.

If your provider has these four attributes, they have what it takes to make you a hero in the eyes of your customer. At CBTS, we use our superpowers to equip you with everything you need to swoop in and save the day for your customers. It’s a win, win, win situation.

Three factors that make CBTS a unique channel provider

Cisco as a Service
How many times have you walked into a customer trying to help them solve their business problems to find out that they’re already leaning toward Cisco technology? BAM! Just like that, you are left out, and that business is going to go elsewhere. It’s like kryptonite depriving you of your revenue stream. As an agent working with CBTS you now have an opportunity to rescue that sale.

CBTS offers something unique in the channel market: Cisco as a Service. To become a better channel partner, we elected to embrace Cisco, create a full suite of Cisco UCaaS offerings, offer Network s a Service (NaaS), that delivers Cisco routers, switches, access points, and cameras. So today, if your customer decides Cisco technology is the best way forward to resolve a particular business problem, CBTS can expertly deliver the right Cisco solution, including a budget-friendly Cisco-as-a-Service utility model. ZOOM! We’re there—ready and waiting to deliver.

Big enough to matter, small enough to flex
Our size and ability to allow us to deliver in the most complex environments. We can lift large, multi-location projects over the finish line. We are flexible enough to shift focus instantly in an emergency or when business conditions demand a change in services to keep an organization on track. And, we come with more than one superpower: we have experience and certifications in a variety of technologies needed to meet any challenges as they arise for your customers.

Multi-platform SD-WAN
When CBTS decided to take on SD-WAN we brought in the top brands and built an internal experimental lab with air injection to test for jitter and latency. We ran all applications site-to-site, site-to-data center, and site-to-cloud to put them all to the test. In the end, CBTS chose to align with Viptela, Meraki, and VeloCloud technology for our multi-platform service. Subsequently, we became VeloCloud’s 2019 Partner of the Year in North America.

Behind every good hero is a great provider

At CBTS, we want to be your go-to provider and partner, your technology sidekick who makes you a hero with your customers. We are here to help you deliver business outcomes faster than a speeding bullet, with technology more powerful than a locomotive, and agile networks able to leap a large geographic distance in a single bound.

Look into the future… it’s CBTS… it’s UCaaS.. it’s SD-WAN… it’s YOU!

Yes, you. You are always the hero in our story.