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Azure creates a powerful DRaaS business case

Making the most of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) requires that you pay particular attention to how your data is being replicated and the end destination cloud environment. Let’s say you’re already committed to Microsoft products like Windows and Office 365. Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform is an obvious choice, right? Of course. But there are other, less obvious reasons why Azure might be your best bet for a secure data protection environment. Before we explore those reasons, let’s review the basics of DRaaS:

  • Instead of handling all disaster recovery on your own, you partner with a managed services provider that runs and maintains DRaaS recovery in the cloud.
  • Your Azure for DRaaS provider designs, documents, tests, implements, and manages the solution around the clock with trained specialists.
  • The solution replicates your IT systems in the cloud. In the event of an outage, the DR secondary site will fail over to meet your specific RPO and RTO objectives.
  • Instead of investing millions in a dedicated duplicate data center, you pay a predictable monthly fee based on the compute, storage, and bandwidth you use. For many IT organizations, switching from CapEx to OpEx creates substantial cost savings.
  • Cloud DR often provides better security and scalability than you can accomplish on your own, improving your security posture and ability to address complex compliance and regulatory requirements.

Also read: Revolutionize Your Cloud Disaster Recovery Capabilities with DRaaS

Next, let’s take a quick look at three DRaaS scenarios where Microsoft Azure shines:

You have regional compliance requirements

Your organization may require data to be stored in specific geographic areas. Microsoft has global data centers in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa, enabling Azure to meet location-specific data requirements worldwide. As you shop for an Azure for DRaaS provider, always confirm that the data-storage location aligns with your specific compliance and regulatory requirements.

You’re using a legacy backup system

If you’re still using tape drives for backup, Azure for DRaaS can transform your business continuity program and greatly reduce the time it would take to get your business back up and running after an unplanned outage. Tapes remain a reliable choice for data archiving, but it can take days or weeks to restore mission-critical systems from tape.

Cloud DR can be configured with near real-time failover, keeping your most vital IT systems running without disrupting your business. If you’re ready to expand or replace an aging tape or optical disk backup system, it may be a perfect time to switch to Azure.

You have a specific business need

Disaster Recovery used to be cost prohibitive and only accessible for enterprise giants.  Today, the cloud is a game-changer and Azure is an ideal fit for small to midsized enterprise organizations that have the same requirements for 24×7 availability but only have limited resources or skill sets. Moreover, if you have a tight budget or relatively simple DR requirements, the Azure service can prove practical and economical.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform gives you:
  • The full support of a dedicated disaster recovery partner.
  • An around-the-clock managed solution.
  • IT system cloud backup.
  • Predictable monthly fee based on usage.
  • Better security and scalability.

Azure implementation

After you’ve assessed your entire IT environment and determined your recovery time and recovery point objectives, you’re ready to implement DRaaS to Azure. Your disaster recovery infrastructure will consist of technologies for virtualization, management, and replication on the original site. Your recovery site will have a cross-platform design enabling automatic failover and bi-directional migration to and from the Azure environment. The five key components of implementing DR on Azure include: 

  1. Assessing your current environment.
  2. Designing and implementing.
  3. Validating and documenting.
  4. Managing and monitoring.
  5. Testing the recoverability to prove it works.

Also read: Disaster Recovery Solutions that Work

Partner with CBTS for your Azure for DRaaS environment

DRaaS with Azure might seem straightforward, especially for Microsoft power users. But replicating systems in the cloud and making sure they deliver in a crisis is anything but simple—no matter which technology brands are the best fit.

CBTS has decades of data center experience and highly-trained DRaaS experts who will design, build, test, and manage your backup system. You enjoy all the cost, flexibility, and security advantages of the cloud without having to worry that a system crash or hacking attack will paralyze your organization.

Contact the disaster recovery experts at CBTS to get started on your Azure DraaS Environment

Cloud DRaaS solution mitigates hurricane impact

CBTS helps CIOs address IT gap

CBTS: We have you cloud covered

Check Point Harmony: A secure solution for remote users

The business world has comprehensively shifted over the last year into remote work, a way of life that may be permanent for many organizations. Staying connected at a time of widespread change is paramount, as your employees must be able to work from anywhere on any device, and have access to work-related applications at all times.

Check Point Harmony is a secure solution for remote users
Check Point Harmony consolidates six security protocols to provide uncompromised protection.

Of course, additional touch points mean more opportunities for hackers to steal your data. To defend against attacks from increasingly sophisticated threat actors, it’s not enough to simply keep adding individual security products.

Enter Check Point Harmony, the industry’s first unified solution for remote work. Harmony consolidates six security products to provide uncompromised protection, safeguarding devices and Internet connections from attack while ensuring Zero-Trust Access for corporate applications.

Utilizing Harmony gives organizations a suite of services including:

  • Clientless connectivity.
  • VPN remote access.
  • Mobile and e-mail security. 
  • Secure Internet browsing.

Combining Harmony with a managed and hosted partnership from CBTS—a Check Point Software Technologies 5-Star Partner—will keep your enterprise network productive and connected.

Also read: Protecting your most vulnerable cyberattack vector: E-mail

Let CBTS and Check Point Harmony secure your “work from anywhere” efforts

Check Point Harmony is simple to manage and capable of securing the your new “work from anywhere” environment. Organizations concerned about fortifying staff endpoints are covered by Harmony, with CBTS acting as a managed provider to relieve the burden on already busy IT staff.

Harmony unifies endpoint, browser, e-mail, and remote access security components to protect user devices and networks against known and unknown threats. Harmony integrates key security capabilities into a single solution to deliver:

  • Complete web security: As a core component of Harmony, the new Harmony Browse feature offers secure, fast, and private web browsing by inspecting SSL traffic directly without adding latency or re-routing traffic through a secure web service.
  • Secure remote access from any device, anywhere: Harmony Connect securely links a user or branch to mission-critical resources, supporting clientless Zero-Trust Access from any browser.
  • Best-in-class e-mail and productivity app protection: Harmony Email & Office secures e-mail clients, giving users complete protection for Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, Google G Suite, and more.
  • Total endpoint and device security: Harmony Endpoint defends PCs from ransomware, phishing, and malware, minimizing breach impact with autonomous detection and response capability. Meanwhile, Harmony Mobile secures employees’ mobile devices against malicious apps and OS attacks.

Harmony is easy to deploy due to its simple per-user pricing model. With CBTS acting as a managed provider, companies can apply user-centric security policies across all organizational environments.

Also read: How SD-WAN security enhances critical business applications

By harnessing Check Point Harmony, organizations can:
  • Securely connect users to any resource, anywhere, with cloud-delivered network security powered by 11 SASE services.
  • Provide clientless Zero-Trust Access to any corporate application from any web browser, web applications, database, remote desktop, SSH remote terminal, and more.
  • Allow for a secure, fast, and private Internet browsing experience with the industry’s first in-browser protection.
  • Protect user e-mail and collaboration apps such as Office 365, MS Exchange, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and G-Suite.
  • Prevent threats on user devices with complete endpoint protection and a mobile threat defense solution.

Look to Check Point Harmony and CBTS for a complete network solution

CBTS, a leading technology provider of communications, cloud, infrastructure, and consulting to clients worldwide, is on the front line of supporting organizations struggling to equip remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only has CBTS developed a suite of networking solutions to connect employees to reliable, secure bandwidth no matter their location, the leading technology provider also works with different partners and is provider-agnostic. For organizations, this means CBTS can deliver the best solutions available from different vendors to a single point of contact.

Through its partnership with Check Point, CBTS can protect the full Check Point Harmonyproduct suite. For example, Harmony Endpoint is a complete security solution built to shield user PCs and laptops from today’s complex threat landscape. Endpoint protection tackles imminent threats and enables enterprises to quickly minimize breach impact with autonomous detection and response.

“CBTS has always taken pride in the organizations we choose to partner with to deliver industry-leading technology solutions for our clients, and this latest partnership with Check Point Technologies is a milestone in that long history,” said Joe Putnick, Chief Innovation Officer with CBTS. “Check Point Harmony represents a new standard in comprehensive, future-forward network security, especially for an age of hybrid workplaces and remote connectivity. We’re proud to work with Check Point Technologies in equipping our customers and stakeholders for success.”

Additionally, CBTS can help enterprises maintain fast and private Internet browsing safe from malware downloads, phishing attacks, and corporate credential reuse. Via Harmony Browse, companies can also block access to inappropriate websites.

Harmony Email & Office secures user mailboxes and productivity apps, while blocking sophisticated phishing attacks and malicious attachments. Finally, Harmony Mobile is a mobile threat defense solution giving organizations comprehensive protection across application, network, OS, and device vulnerabilities.

“Many times over, CBTS has proven to be a reliable and expert facilitator of cutting-edge technology solutions, making them an ideal partner to bring Check Point Harmony to market,” said Marco Garcia, Director of Engineering, Global SI & Telco at Check Point Software Technologies. “Together, we’re confident that our organizations can revolutionize the way enterprises secure their remote workforces for the post-COVID era and beyond.”

Also read: Employ cloud-enabled security to safe-guard your SD-WAN network

A best-of-breed protective partnership

With Harmony and CBTS, your users get the same level of protection regardless of location, the applications they access, or devices they use. Whether it’s a phishing attempt, a malicious e-mail attachment, or zero-day ransomware, the comprehensive solution guards them from threats across all attack vectors. Powered by revolutionary AI engines and the industry’s most extensive threat intelligence network, Harmony—with CBTS as a hosted cloud provider—stops attacks before they happen.

Learn more about Check Point Harmony here, and contact CBTS for more information regarding remote working solutions and managed services.

Key SD-WAN advantages your hybrid work from home model needs

As the business world continues to adapt to the remote working conditions necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, migrations of network infrastructure and applications to the cloud are becoming increasingly common.

Learn about the advantages SD-WAN can have for your hybrid work environment.
Learn about the advantages SD-WAN can have for your hybrid work environment.

With businesses looking to the cloud to stabilize and enhance their hybrid work from home models, it’s more important than ever that enterprise leaders understand the solutions and benefits offered by software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN), as well as how SD-WAN and network as a service (NaaS) offerings can complement each other.

VMware SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud creates an agile platform that allows enterprises to securely deploy, manage and monitor hybrid public and private and wireless networks—all while offloading management and analysis to the solution provider. NaaS enables customers to leverage the power of CBTS to deliver a fully managed network, with cloud integration, security, switching, Wi-Fi, management, monitoring and Auto VPN.

These solutions can be secured through Trusted Security by Check Point CloudGuard Connect and CloudGuard Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)—now called Harmony Connect and Harmony Email and Office, respectively—which deliver integrated, advanced threat prevention, reducing complexity and lowering the total cost of ownership. Whether your enterprise is looking to limit capital expenditures, lessen the workload on your internal IT staff, enable growth within the new hybrid/remote work environment, or simply do more with less, it pays to be familiar with the following SD-WAN advantages:

Primary SD-WAN advantages:
  • Hold onto your capital: SD-WAN, as well as NaaS solutions, function as monthly utility models, limiting the capital expenses required to get them up and running.
  • Do more with less: The hosted and managed cloud-based nature of SD-WAN means your organization can offload network maintenance tasks and easily scale operations as needed.
  • Streamline remote and hybrid workforces: SD-WAN can maintain reliable connections between remote and on-site employees on the same network.
  • Advanced security features: Remove accessibility for employees working from home doesn’t have to mean compromises on security.
  • Superior service: As a managed solution, SD-WAN comes with the expertise and partnership of your provider organization, which can act as an extension of your own team.

Read more: How SD-WAN & NaaS come together to supercharge remote work productivity

Addressing the pain points of a hybrid work-from-home model

The last year has been chaotic for nearly every sector of the global economy. Employees are settling in for the long haul as remote work becomes the new normal, and enterprise leaders continue to seek every opportunity to introduce stability and reliability to their remote workforces. Indeed, rapidly shifting to a hybrid work-from-home model can create a variety of difficulties ranging from expenses and loss of efficiency to security risks.

The migration of disparate remote offices and traditional workplaces into a shared network tends to incur a need for greater bandwidth and more robust traffic routing to properly manage the volume of data a modern hybrid work-from-home model produces. That’s where SD-WAN shines, allowing enterprises to scale bandwidth up or down on an as-needed basis to meet changing conditions.

Read more: CBTS Delivers Optimal Remote Work Accessibility and Productivity with Secure SD-WAN Solutions

SD-WAN advantages for security

Even before COVID-19 forced major restructuring of the standard workforce composition, network security was a primary concern for enterprises of nearly every industry and vertical. Today, with more employees than ever accessing business-critical data from home or even from coffee shops, security is a more crucial priority than ever.

Fortunately, a fully managed SD-WAN solution can be easily augmented with a cloud security package without putting any additional strain on your organization’s in-house IT personnel.

The advantages of a managed SD-WAN service don’t stop there—your providers will have insight into the day-to-day operations of your networking environment and will be able to work closely with you to identify potential cost savings while also assisting your organization’s transition to a cloud-based architecture.

Read more: Protect your SD-WAN network with cloud-enabled security

Lean into SD-WAN and NaaS to empower your hybrid work-from-home model

By embracing the strengths of SD-WAN and NaaS solutions, your enterprise can establish and maintain a robust remote/hybrid workforce capable of meeting any current challenge, with the flexibility and ongoing support to meet any future obstacle as well.

Contact CBTS for more information on how the above SD-WAN advantages can modernize your organization for the modern age.

Continue reading:

Cloud delivered SD-WAN and 5 fixes for networking obstacles

How SD-WAN security enhances critical business applications

How a certified Microsoft partner can advance your digital disruption

The benefits of moving to the cloud are no longer a secret. Cloud services make everything easier for businesses and organizations of any size. The key to maximizing your benefits is making sure your transition to the cloud is customized to meet your specific business objectives and your environment becomes cloud efficient. To that end, it’s critical to find a Microsoft certified partner that helps you develop the right strategy and ensures a successful deployment.

A Microsoft certified partner can increase your efficiencies and improve your security posture
A Microsoft certified partner can increase your efficiencies and improve your security posture.

If you’re like most organizations moving to the cloud, your first step will be an Office 365 migration for collaboration and communication solutions. Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity suite is one of the most powerful business tools available. According to Gartner, nearly three-quarters of all medium and large organizations in the U.S. use the platform, particularly in areas like healthcare and finance, which have seen usage double over the last two years. 

An end-to-end solution provider 

A qualified Microsoft certified partner can offer informed recommendations based on their ability to capture a holistic view of your IT environment’s infrastructure and applications to provide a modernization roadmap for your journey to the cloud.  A Microsoft certified partner should have the proven experience and certified expertise to assess your environment, look at every workload application, and determine what’s ideal for the cloud and what is not. Even if you’re already using Microsoft, a Microsoft certified partner can increase your efficiencies, lower costs, and improve your security posture. 

Also read: Efficiency, security, and savings are in reach with managed database services

Leverage the experience of a 15 year partnership with Microsoft
  • Microsoft licensing optimization
  • Managed Azure Cloud
  • Collaboration and Communications
  • Application Development and Consulting Services

Why invest in a Microsoft certified partner?

There are many benefits to partnering with an experienced Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, including:


Only pay for what you need. Take Office 365, for example. If you had 1,000 Office 365 licenses and needed to increase that by 50 licenses for a big project but wanted to drop it back to down to 1,000 afterward, you can. When using Azure, you only pay for what you use, just like an electric bill.

Logical billing.

Every month, you’ll receive a bill for the communication licenses you used and/or the amount of Azure you utilized. Gone are the days of upfront licensing costs.

Superior Microsoft support.

Your Microsoft certified partner also acts as your support team. When necessary, your partner deals with Microsoft on your behalf. This ensures a resolution that can occur in a matter of hours vs. days or longer.

Trusted advisors.

You may be aware that Microsoft’s service offerings and licensing can be complex. With a Microsoft certified partner, you have an experienced guide that is able to evaluate your options and enable you to maximize your technology investment.

Right-size your Microsoft environment

Whether your organization’s IT infrastructure is on-premises, in the cloud, or uses a hybrid model, CBTS—as a Microsoft certified partner—can customize solutions to fit your unique needs. If you’re unsure of what you need, no worries. CBTS has the expertise to evaluate and recommend agile solutions that meet your currents needs and can easily scale. 

If you already use at least one Microsoft solution, CBTS would love to show you how to get the most out of your investment. You’ll be surprised at how unlocking the full potential of your current Microsoft solution can transform your organizational digital disruption.

Contact CBTS  for assistance with finding a Microsoft certified partner and streamlining your cloud migration

Continue reading:

Learn what the power of a fully managed Microsoft Azure cloud platform can do for your organization

Leverage Office 365 to transform your business

How CBTS is integrating Hosted UCaaS with Microsoft Teams

How Network as a Service can benefit your business

Cut costs and ease the IT burden with a future-proof NaaS solution from CBTS

Until recently, organizations with multiple locations had to grapple with the costs and complexities of managing their own wide area networks (WAN) to connect each site. As businesses expand and new technologies devour limited bandwidth, these existing networks are being stretched beyond their intended lifespans, causing frequent downtime and increased operating expenses that can be eliminated by leveraging the benefits of Network as a Service (Naas).

Network as a Service (NaaS) benefits different industries and their unique networking requirements.
Network as a Service (NaaS) benefits different industries and their unique networking requirements.

Adding to these IT pressures, different locations often involve their own unique networking requirements. This is further complicated by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and the Internet of Things (IoT), which both require robust security, flexibility, and scalability to meet fluctuating demands. An outdated multiprotocol label switching (MPLS)-based network simply can’t keep pace with these rapid changes.

The NaaS model for deploying and managing networks can bring countless benefits to businesses of all sizes by providing centralized connectivity, support, and network management. Just as the popular Software as a Service (SaaS) approach helps companies shift their applications to the cloud, the various benefits of NaaS enable organizations to transfer their networking responsibilities to the connectivity experts at CBTS, tapping into features and cost-savings that can boost the bottom line.

Also read: NaaS helps school districts engage students

The basic functionality of NaaS

Fully-managed NaaS solutions from CBTS provide businesses with scalable methods of supporting, maintaining, expanding, and securing their enterprise-wide networks. This centralized service gives end users the ability to access the enterprise network from any location or device, unhindered by the limitations of traditional MPLS-based architecture.

Built on Cisco Meraki technology, these full-service networking solutions from CBTS combine:

  • Automated virtual private networking (VPN) to connect and secure local area networks (LANs).
  • Endless scalability options to add or remove users and easily provision or decommission entire locations.
  • Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology that enables centralized, customizable network management solutions.
  • Multilevel security protocols including next-generation firewalls, unified threat management, and advanced encryption standards.
  • 24x7x365 monitoring, management, and support from certified engineers at CBTS.
Sr. Solutions Consultant Kirk Rooney explains Network as a Service and how it benefits businesses.

Although NaaS offers benefits that enable companies to offload day-to-day connectivity responsibilities (such as resource provisioning, network mapping, and security monitoring), the intuitive dashboard preserves the ability for internal IT staff to easily monitor and adjust networks as needed. This flexibility gives companies the control and the support to make informed networking decisions without the day-to-day burden that typically accompanies enterprise network solutions.

Also read: How SD-WAN & NaaS come together to supercharge remote work productivity

By replacing expensive MPLS networks with a flexible NaaS solution from CBTS, businesses can take advantage of benefits such as:
  • Integrated branch operations across remote office locations.
  • Scalable network support to enable seamless expansion.
  • Dependable 24x7x365 uptime with continuous upgrades.
  • Built-in security features to protect data privacy.
  • Flexible connectivity with sufficient bandwidth.
  • Significant cost-savings at a predictable monthly price.

The benefits of Network as a Service

Unlike traditional network environments, NaaS provides a virtualized solution that’s cheaper to deploy and easier to operate than a traditional MPLS architecture. Whether you operate a single location or multiple branch offices, NaaS delivers scalable features to support the unique needs of every business—even complex sectors such as retail, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, and education.

By implementing Network as a Service from CBTS, many different industry verticals can tap into the game-changing benefits of NaaS. Here are a few examples:

Integrated branch operations

For retailers with multiple store locations, NaaS can securely connect network endpoints to support numerous facilities through one streamlined solution. This allows clients to share wireless connectivity, analytics, and other IT resources while gaining full network visibility across their operations. As a retail chain grows, NaaS provides sufficient bandwidth to add wireless point-of-sale devices and kiosks without requiring additional investments in hardware or software. This is just one reason why retailers love NaaS.

Scalable network support

For healthcare providers, NaaS can be a critical tool to support HIPAA compliance and other regulatory requirements while offering network scalability and reliability. As hospitals spin-up satellite clinics, short-term research labs, and other temporary “pop-up” facilities, NaaS enables top-notch security and automatic upgrades to keep data safe and accessible as healthcare networks expand.

Dependable uptime

In the industrial sector, NaaS provides dependable connectivity to position manufacturers to take full advantage of factory automation and IoT devices with 24x7x365 uptime. By integrating factory floor networks into company-wide enterprise architecture, NaaS keeps manufacturing companies connected across facilities, helping them improve operational efficiency by eliminating downtime and reducing capital costs.

Baked-in security

For companies in the financial services sector that handle personally identifiable information (PII), cybersecurity hacks and data breaches pose a persistent threat. NaaS offers baked-in security features rather than requiring additional time and expertise to layer security on top of the network infrastructure. With enterprise-grade firewalls and constant security monitoring from CBTS, NaaS is particularly well-suited to protect sensitive financial data.

Flexible connectivity

The budget-conscious, resource-constrained education sector can easily accommodate both staff and student connectivity expectations through NaaS. A NaaS deployment from CBTS offers superior performance when transmitting all types of content across locations. Whether administrators are sending video announcements to staff members or students are submitting assignments from home, Network as a Service provides school systems with reliable network access.

Cost efficiency

For companies in any industry, one of the biggest benefits is the cost-savings that Network as a Service provides. The NaaS model eliminates the capital expense of building out individual networks or performing forklift upgrades to replace aging equipment that doesn’t meet current demands. Instead, companies pay a predictable monthly price for equipment, management, and support, along with automatic upgrades. This allows companies to move from fixed capital expenditures (CapEx) to on-demand operational costs (OpEx), so you only pay for what you need.

Better business outcomes with NaaS

From Major League Baseball teams to entrepreneurial cannabis start-ups, businesses of all shapes and sizes are tapping into the benefits of Network as a Service from CBTS. These companies are future-proofing their businesses and cutting operating costs while freeing their IT teams from day-to-day network management.

Through its NaaS offerings, CBTS supports the entire spectrum of network and IT infrastructure requirements by leveraging a software-defined networking approach that responds to dynamic traffic and application requirements. CBTS makes the task of remotely managing hybrid, public, and private networks more affordable and less complex. With CBTS, businesses can migrate to a high-performance network without the hefty price tag or heavy IT burden.

Contact CBTS for a free demo to see how your company can streamline operations with NaaS.

4 Reasons Retailers Love NaaS

CBTS helps governments use telehealth technology

Meet uptime and dependability targets with NaaS

LAN infrastructure from CBTS gives a boost to retail growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified demand across all industries for modern networking technology that enables seamless and user-friendly collaboration. Retail is no different, as local area network (LAN) infrastructure gives merchants and customers alike access to actionable information anytime from any location. Benefits include:

  • Faster customer information processing.
  • An enhanced customer experience.
  • Increased sales and reduced costs.
  • Improved network performance.

Cloud-managed security cameras—the latest addition to the CBTS Network as a Service (NaaS) product line—are equipped with advanced sensors and work seamlessly within the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline store operations, improve public safety measures, and optimize revenue without an increase in licensing costs.

LAN infrastructure gives a boost to retailers.
LAN infrastructure and cloud computing solutions give a boost to retailers.

LAN infrastructure also allows retailers to reduce spending associated with software and hardware development, maintenance, and staffing. Retailers can now deliver products and services at speed while monitoring data performance in real time.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the many ways in which innovations in LAN infrastructure from CBTS empower retail clients nationwide.

Also read: Employ cloud-enabled security to safeguard your SD-WAN network

Unifying multiple store locations with NaaS

NaaS is putting LAN infrastructure within reach for every enterprise, including retailers not currently equipped to meet high demand for reliable, full-spectrum communication. When combined with software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) and hosted unified communications (UC), NaaS is capable of reinventing any store’s networking architecture.

NaaS delivers a Wi-Fi-enabled network that boasts shared wireless connectivity and analytics across multiple locations. By harnessing NaaS, retailers can:

  • Spend less time and money managing expensive, complex resources such as LANs, appliances, switches, and application delivery controllers.
  • Provide customers with Wi-Fi connectivity for loyalty and award apps as well product information and reviews.
  • Use Wi-Fi to obtain customer travel paths and additional data for dissemination of personalized in-store promotions—wireless access points provide information on where the customer moves in store, which can help retailers design layouts and maximize foot traffic.

Cisco Meraki MV cameras are the newest feature of the ever-expanding CBTS product portfolio. By tapping into cloud-augmented edge storage, Meraki MV cameras eliminate the costs and complexities of traditional security camera systems.

Meraki MV cameras are managed centrally through the cloud, eliminating the need for in-house servers and enabling automatic firmware updates, bug fixes, and instant delivery of new features. Users with a retail cloud computing focus can stream and create video walls for monitoring critical locations without needing to configure IP or install plug-ins.  

Also read: How Cisco Meraki + CBTS NaaS team up to deliver cost-efficient modernization for your network

Product highlights include:

  • Meraki dashboard for centralized management.
  • Cloud-augmented edge storage.
  • Easy scalability for multiple camera deployment.
  • Intelligent motion indexing.
  • Built-in video analytics tools.
  • Encrypted control architecture supported by SAML integration.

No special software or browser plug-in requirements.

Discover how LAN infrastructure and cloud computing are revolutionizing retail by downloading this retail networking guide.

Updating your retail operations with LAN infrastructure

Smart wireless networks are a treasure trove of customer information that offer retailers valuable insights into customer behavior—from foot traffic patterns to time spent in store. Retailers can further improve customer experience and brand loyalty via branded landing pages, integrated applications, and push notifications.

Secure access service edge (SASE) is a network architecture that rolls SD-WAN and security into a cloud service, delivering simplified WAN deployment, improved efficiency and security, and appropriate bandwidth per application.

As a cloud service, SASE can be readily scaled up or down based on usage, an attractive option for retailers looking for a viable cloud computing option. SASE’s designation as a single service cuts overall complexity and cost, thanks to a decrease in hardware and the number of vendors retailers must meet with. 

SASE also supports zero-trust networking, which bases access on user, device, and application rather than location and IP address. End users can therefore gain access without worrying about security becoming a focal point for future cyberattacks.

Ultimately, SASE allows businesses to respond to crises faster, ideally minimizing their impact. Additionally, SASE better positions stores to employ new innovations such as edge computing, 5G, and mobile AI.

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

Crucial LAN infrastructure resources can replace outdated retail systems

UCaaS (unified communications as a service), a managed service for voice and collaboration, is an increasingly popular tool for retailers.

By implementing UCaaS, businesses can replace outmoded voice-only systems and operate VoIP, room-based video, chat, web conferencing, and other real-time applications. UCaaS is a scalable cloud computing solution that improves the quality of voice calls while adding omni-channel features such as call reporting, video conferencing, and e-mail.

With UCaaS solutions from CBTS, retailers can increase productivity and eliminate upfront costs. Cisco’s Context Service, included in all CBTS contact center solutions, collects customer data from multiple channels and organizes it for use in marketing, sales, and other applications.

SD-WAN is another valuable cloud resource for retailers to manage services among UCaaS, LANs, software as a service (SaaS) applications, security systems, and private and public clouds.

Among its other benefits, SD-WAN minimizes delays over long distances and improves overall network quality. The technology allows cost-conscious merchants to maximize multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) costs, or even replace MPLS entirely and switch to broadband. SD-WAN can be deployed over MPLS and Ethernet as well as cable, fiber, DSL, Wi-Fi, and 4G cellular LTE.

Also read: Enhance the customer experience by blending Five9 Contact Center as a Service with CBTS enterprise voice solutions

LAN infrastructure in retail ensures business longevity

UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN are subscription-based cloud computing solutions with usage-based monthly payments, meaning retailers won’t be responsible for upgrade costs or ongoing hardware and software licensing. Merchants can now better connect with customers, maximizing visitor data to develop beneficial business strategies and perfect customer service.

Contact us to learn more about LAN infrastructure options for your enterprise and join a team of CBTS experts for an online-only LAN infrastructure for retail event.

Employ cloud-enabled security to safe-guard your SD-WAN network

The cyber threats faced by enterprises today—from phishers and scammers to bots and viruses—can have a disastrous impact on your organization. Stay-at-home orders spurred by the pandemic have only exacerbated the issue, with hackers exploiting remote networks and human error to steal corporate data.

Cloud-enabled security safeguards your SD-WAN network
Cloud-enabled security safeguards your SD-WAN network

As the pandemic enters its second year, business networks are becoming more efficient thanks to new transport methods, organizational strategies, and improved cloud computing capabilities. Contemporary security solutions are the logical answer to next-generation threats aimed at cloud-connected software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN).

Cloud-enabled security from CBTS can steer your organization on its path to digital transformation. Check Point’s Harmony Connect and Harmony Email and Office solutions provide reliable security at a time when applications and employees alike can operate from anywhere in the world. These technologies empower companies to make optimal network and application decisions without the added difficulty of securing a malleable, distributed system.

Also read: In response to COVID-19 now is the time to build a Cyber Risk Program – Here’s How

Public, cloud-enabled security is a must for modern organizations

With more applications moving to the cloud, many business users are conducting virtual meetings, sharing files, and collaborating through bandwidth-reliant tools such as voice and video traffic. For IT organizations managing remote and branch offices, it can be a challenge to accommodate user needs in a way that’s efficient, secure, and cost-effective.

As traditional WAN architectures aren’t designed to support cloud applications, many organizations are turning to SD-WAN to manage and improve connectivity from a single dashboard. Working alongside Networking as a Service (NaaS), this solution requires a cloud-enabled security approach to create a fully functional modern networking infrastructure. Ideally, your security solution should:

  • Offer next-generation threat prevention as a cloud service.
  • Enable public cloud security and compliance measures.
  • Increase protection and threat assessment across all applicable virtual networks.

These features are the bare minimum for any up-to-date, cloud-enabled security solution. Considering the danger presented by modern security threats, it’s critical to safeguard enterprise branch offices linked to the cloud via SD-WAN.

Also read: Cybersecurity Awareness Month: the Essential Security Practice

By using Harmony Connect, you’ll provide your enterprise with:
  • Threat prevention as a cloud service, including threat emulation, HTTPS inspection, anti-bot, application control, and firewall.
  • Tunneling to Check Point cloud with GRE and IPsec.
  • Redundancy of availability zones.
  • Dynamic or sstatic IP site creation.

The power of Harmony Connect and Harmony Email and Office

Harmony Connect and Harmony Email and Office are perfect complements for enterprises seeking to secure their SD-WAN environments.

“Check Point Harmony Connect is integrated with leading SD-WAN vendors in the cloud to secure branches in minutes,” says Erez Yarkoni, head of the Telco Division at Check Point Software Technologies. “We’re excited to partner with CBTS to help drive enterprise digital transformation, with a special emphasis on branch office SD-WAN security.”

“CBTS has leveraged SD-WAN technologies to help our customers along their journey to the cloud and their path to digital transformation,” says Jhonatan Almaraz, director of cloud networking for CBTS. “Organizations are now facing the challenge of how to secure this new, flexible, always-on network. Check Point’s Harmony Connect and Harmony Email and Office enable our customers to make the network decisions and application decisions that are best for their organization. We are delivering peace of mind now, along with our flexibility and convenience.”

Putting the right cloud-enabled security program in place

When determining what to look for in cutting-edge security, organizations should place threat emulation functionality high on the list. With the right threat emulation program in place, you can ensure your organization avoids infections from new malware and targeted attacks. Your enterprise will also have the best possible catch rate for network attacks, while would-be hackers will have a difficult time navigating your defenses.

Best-in-class cloud-enabled security systems like Harmony Connect provide URL filtering, a valuable tool that keeps lists of problematic URLs and flags any attempts by end users to access them. This is handy for preventing users from opening inappropriate, unsafe, or irrelevant websites you’d rather not have them access.

Ongoing intrusion protection forms a nearly impenetrable barrier around networks by monitoring, tracking, and shutting down potential threats. As it stops external attacks, the program also compiles actionable data about incoming threats that could threaten your network.

Ultimately, organizations employing SD-WAN services between branch offices must complete their cloud-enabled security package in preparation for the post-pandemic digital future.

Contact the experts at CBTS for more information on how Check Point Harmony Connect can protect and enhance your cloud-enabled network security environment.

CBTS is proud to be named a Check Point Software Technologies 5-Star Partner.

Continue reading: Cloud delivered SD-WAN and 5 fixes for networking obstactles

Streamlining the Data Lake to take on emerging security threats

Large enterprises face a number of complex data challenges that smaller and even mid-level organizations do not. Growth is rarely linear in the corporate world, coming instead in fits and starts in pursuit of highly targeted business opportunities.

This makes an impact on IT systems, which tend to spring up in response to immediate needs rather than an overarching growth strategy. By the time most organizations realize their data infrastructure has gotten out of hand, the fix is often lengthy, complex, and fraught with risk, even for companies that have a wealth of technology expertise at their disposal.

Fortunately, CBTS has acquired the skills and know-how to manage complex projects to successful conclusions, and supports managed AWS—a world-class leading cloud platform—to ensure that we can provide optimal results well into the future. Our team of experts has proven time and again that careful planning, highly customized systems and architectures, and ongoing managed services—including data lake—are the keys to delivering a data infrastructure tailored to immediate goals as well as long-term strategic objectives.

The challenge

Recently, a cyber technology and risk subdivision of a major global aviation manufacturer found itself struggling to implement two specific objectives. First, it needed to centralize and consolidate its oversight of cybersecurity risks, not just within its own infrastructure but that of suppliers, all while keeping abreast of emerging compliance requirements and monitoring the capabilities of various threat actors. Secondly, the client needed to upgrade its threat management capabilities with tools like real-time information gathering for security analysts, end-to-end anomaly detection, and predictive analytics.

Large enterprises face complex data challenges. CBTS has the skills to manage complex problems. Read about the challenges faced by a major aviation manufacturer as it worked to implement two specific challenges:
  • Centralize and consolidate oversight of cybersecurity risks.
  • Upgrade its threat management capabilities.

In assessing the best way to achieve these goals, CBTS quickly identified a number of problems to be dealt with. The client already had an existing legacy environment designed around older technology that was struggling to keep up with modern security standards. This would have to be decommissioned and all relevant data processed and migrated to the new environment built on a fully modernized AWS cloud, leveraging data lake capabilities. This led to another challenge, however, since the client lacked the skill sets to manage an AWS environment and take advantage of the very efficient capabilities of a serverless environment leveraging the data lake.

The solution

Together, CBTS and the client devised a cutting-edge solution that addressed the immediate challenges of migration and integration as well as the long-term goals of improved security performance and streamlined operations. The new data lake platform features the Athena single-pane-of-glass management console that collects all data in a central location where it can be leveraged to generate deep insights into the full data ecosystem. This provides an extremely efficient operational focus that requires little in the way of maintenance and upkeep.

Additionally, CBTS integrated a Lambda serverless environment upfront to reduce integration challenges down the road and to provide for millisecond-speed transactions right from the start. At the same time, we instituted the AWS CloudFormation Infrastructure-as-Code architecture that leverages the serverless environment more fully to enable rapid provision of the data lake and other cloud-based resources.

For storage, we turned to the S3 service on AWS as this was the most scalable and robust solution available, coupled with the lowest cost. This was linked to the AWS Glue data cataloging and auditing system, a managed ETL service that automates much of the data discovery, preparation, and other tasks demanded of modern high-speed analytics.

And finally, we added the AWS IAM service to oversee identity and access management, along with 24×7 monitoring and management to ensure the entire system remains optimized for the client’s needs.

The results

Thanks to the broad experience that CBTS has developed over the years—not to mention our longstanding relationships with AWS,–including our achievement as a certified Advanced Consulting Partner as well as the Well-Architected Framework program—the data lake transformation project proceeded smoothly and with zero downtime.

The client is now operating under a modern security stance built on an AWS serverless architecture that is easy to manage, highly automated, and responsive to emerging threats. Numerous developers can access critical data with state-of-the-art authentication and access controls, which leads to rapid development and testing to push new capabilities into the field in record time.

And best of all, the new environment operates on a lower TCO than the previous legacy infrastructure.

In today’s fast-paced digital economy, no organization—not even the largest, wealthiest, and most resource-heavy business—can go it alone. The knowledge and expertise in the newest iterations of IT infrastructure, such as serverless computing, are still so rare that even the most well-equipped enterprise struggles to acquire and employ them effectively.

By aligning with CBTS, however, organizations of all sizes and in every industry gain immediate access to the top minds and the top technologies in existence, allowing them to jump onto the fast-track toward becoming a modern, agile enterprise.

See how our engineers deployed solutions that allowed this major aviation manufacturer to make informed threat-related decisions in real time.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can implement advanced solutions to modernize your data lake and cloud environment.

Revamp your business with the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

CBTS worked with one of the largest communications technology companies in the world, offering voice, data, and video services across multiple networks with an operating structure that focuses on three customer-facing areas: consumer products, business communications, and media.

The technology giant continues to deliver network services as the COVID-19 crisis poses challenges to public health and the global economy. In recent months, the client has donated mobile hotspots to support remote learning initiatives, adding further capacity in support of wireless and fiber networks for struggling businesses.

However, even a major corporation with a global footprint needs guidance when modernizing their legacy platforms. The client recently turned to CBTS to revitalize its legacy network infrastructure, a call answered via implementation of the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.

Also read: Why CBTS leverages Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform for modernizing enterprises

Updating networks with the Ansible Automation Platform

As a worldwide wireless carrier, the communications provider relies on an efficient automation platform for secure dissemination of services to millions of subscribers. An outdated network platform stifled the introduction of new products and services, highlighting the issues of a fragmented legacy system with limited automation capabilities.

By enabling digital modernization, your organization can:

  • Drastically accelerate speed to market.
  • Foster a DevOps culture.
  • Scale hybrid-cloud environments.
  • Increase the capabilities of your business communications infrastructure.
  • Ensure continuous compliance

Delivering a reliable, secure business communications platform

The Ansible Automation Platform provided crucial role-based access control, security, auditing, and delegation capabilities. Supported by CBTS professional services, the new platform oversees daily functions such as infrastructure provisioning, networking, line of business, operations, and development. CBTS added improvements of the automation platform—dashboards, disaster recovery capabilities, and more—to help the company manage diverse IT operations in a simple and optimized manner.

Also read: How to move your network security strategy forward with automation

The platform utilizes a streamlined user interface—called Red Hat Ansible Tower—to harness integrated notifications and enhanced role-based access control competencies. A web-based UI allows operators to schedule jobs while enabling greater control and compliance management.

On the disaster recovery front, Ansible Automation Platform delivers productivity improvements that lead to infrastructure standardization as well as automated IT tasks and processes. Additional benefits include certified technical assessment and development, as well as enterprise standards for security that address compliance and regulatory requirements.

Increased scale and deployment speed utilizing automated CI/CD tool chains is another benefit of the platform, while a reduction in unplanned downtime is a direct result of improved application performance. Throughout the implementation process, CBTS automation training brought their staff up to speed on best IT practices, including disaster recovery testing that demonstrated a full data wipe and platform recovery. Extensive disaster simulations confirmed the efficacy of the CBTS DR plan in the event of a crisis.

Download the Red Hat Ansible case study from CBTS

Achieving impactful business communications results

The newly realized network infrastructure is now capable of large-scale automation, giving the communications provider full control and resident IT staff the ability to leverage the platform’s full potential. In a time of evolving organizational needs, the client now has an easy-to-operate infrastructure automation solution equipped for administrative use, configuration, inventory tracking, and more.

No longer is the client beholden to a dated system that required staff to spend valuable time overseeing routine tasks. With the Ansible Automation Platform, IT specialists can focus on driving value to the company’s bottom line. What’s more, the organization now maintains a single-version control system that applies new configurations to production—all at speeds exceeding what was possible with previous manual workflows.

Also read: Cloud computing solutions replacing legacy infrastructures

Conclusion: CBTS helps you automate your business communications environment

Automating your environment with Ansible Automation Platform is the first step in achieving your most pressing IT and business objectives. Adding the platform is a simple and efficient means of maximizing resources, reducing costs, and speeding time to innovation.

  • Maximize resources throughout your entire IT organization.
  • Accelerate business outcomes and consolidate tools across your hybrid-cloud system.
  • Control risks and expenses.
  • Increase compliance while minimizing errors and reducing production costs.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS and Ansible Automation can implement advanced solutions to modernize your business communications environment.

Four pitfalls to avoid in your UCaaS deployment

Effective communication and cutting-edge collaboration applications are more important than ever in the new age of remote workforces. However, organizations and IT juggling collaboration tools, conferencing tools, and diverse technologies that exist across their locations can quickly become overwhelmed by the volume of applications and equipment that require support and upkeep.

This scenario has played a part in the rise of unified communications as-a-service (UCaaS), especially in organizations that depend on reliable connections between disparate remote offices and employees working from home. Although enterprise UCaaS has proven to be an invaluable tool throughout the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing a UCaaS solution requires thorough planning and preparation.

Below are a few missteps to watch out for when plotting your UCaaS deployment:

1. Ensure that your UCaaS deployment factors in all critical features

When planning to transition to a hosted enterprise UCaaS system, it’s important to keep mind that your entire organization relies on dependable and convenient communications that your users are accustomed to. Early in the planning process, take the time to perform a complete audit of capabilities your teams currently utilize, ensuring that the new enterprise UCaaS solution leaves nothing behind. This way you can avoid establishing a cloud-based communications system that doesn’t include critical features that your organization needs to function.

Also read: How CBTS is Integrating Hosted UCaaS with Microsoft Teams

2. Prior to deployment, build a rigorous enterprise UCaaS support system 

A successful UCaaS deployment brings every branch of an organization together with intuitive communication functionality, including voice, collaboration, video conferencing, and more. To maintain this network, precautions must be taken to ensure that peak traffic periods and downtimes can be managed without losing quality of service. This means provisioning sufficient bandwidth and staffing enough knowledgeable experts to keep the enterprise UCaaS infrastructure intact. Remember that poor traffic routing, call lag, or dropped connections can be severe detriments to the overall experience of your customers, partners, and users.

3. Have a comprehensive process map in place before your UCaaS deployment 

The devil is in the details; if your UCaaS deployment roadmap fails to account for business continuity, then your communications upgrade could end up disrupting strategic operations and hurting more than it helps. To maintain regular business activities during an enterprise UCaaS transition, your deployment must include contact center routing plans, IVR configuration, auto attendant setup, strategic hunt groups, call flows, call handling strategies, and any other critical workflow elements your organization relies on.

Also read: UCaaS roadmap requires support from stakeholders

4. Thoroughly train and prepare team members at every level of the organization

Training, adoption, and ongoing technical support are crucial elements of follow-through that can help a UCaaS deployment make a meaningful long-term impact. After all, simply buying a new collaboration application or handset for your company doesn’t mean much if your teammates aren’t taught to use it effectively. Not only should employees be properly trained to get the most out of the new enterprise UCaaS solution, but this training should be tailored to specific departments based on the needs of each branch of the company. For example, sales staff and warehouse technicians typically don’t require the same training since they use their communications hardware and software for different tasks. This approach to specialized training and adoption should be baked into the planning process of your UCaaS deployment and accounted for with ongoing support.

Precautions such as these can help ensure a successful hosted cloud communications transition and set your enterprise up for long-term success. It’s also worth considering pairing your enterprise UCaaS solution with a customized software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) service to fully modernize and streamline your network infrastructure and applications.

Also read: Stepping up your UCaaS experience with SD-WAN

Contact CBTS to find out how to properly prepare for and execute a UCaaS deployment for your enterprise.