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Choose the right cloud provider for Unified Communications

70% of Unified Communications deployments in the next year will be cloud-based. Find out why – and how to choose the right UC cloud provider.

About 70 percent of UC deployments in the next year will be cloud-based, and virtually all will migrate to the cloud within the next five years, according to a survey of chief information officers conducted by International Data Group, Inc. and CBTS.

Among respondents who either already have or plan to implement UCaaS, 28 percent have done so, and 42 percent plan to do so within the next 12 months.

UCaaS a better option than on-premise solutions

Cloud-based UC is more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective than on-premise options.

Increasing productivity and relieving internal IT staff from the hassle of managing on-premise solutions are clearly top drivers for investment in UCaaS solutions – and finding the right cloud provider to deliver those solutions.

Event Registration - INDY CIO Summit April 24, 2019

On-premise solutions create organizational challenges

Many organizations have limited staffs or cannot afford to invest in the talent required to manage on-premise solutions.

Organizations that take on that challenge themselves, and that deal with multiple vendors, can quickly drain their internal resources. Disparate hardware and applications can be a management nightmare if you don’t have the right professionals or providers to monitor and maintain the on-premise solutions at all times.

Your company needs to find an expert UC cloud provider that can provide 24x7x365 monitoring, management, and support to offload the burden of upgrades, patching, and maintenance from your organization so you can focus on your core initiatives.

Case Study: Learn how CBTS Hosted Enterprise UC solution saved the State of Ohio $6.8 million.

Essentials for selecting the right cloud provider

Expertise

CBTS is a Cisco Gold, Master Specialized partner and has more than 560 certifications.

CBTS has deep experience as a UC cloud provider: We’ve been providing UCaaS services utilizing Cisco technology for 20 years and provide on-premises, hybrid, and pure cloud deployment support to more than 2,400 clients across North America.

In October 2018, CBTS was named as a Notable UCaaS Vendor by Gartner in their “Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide,” report.

People

CBTS provides highly-certified experts who serve 24x7x365 as your dedicated account team. Our engineers guide you through the entire process, from the assessment of your current environment to implementation and support.

Let CBTS be your UC cloud provider. Our experts will create the right roadmap, project management, and training that your organization needs to successfully migrate your UC to the cloud.

Product

CBTS UCaaS offers multiple delivery options for voice, collaboration, and mobility solutions.

We are industry trailblazers when it comes to custom-tailoring an integrated NaaS, SD-WAN, and UCaaS solution. Our white-glove designed UCaaS solutions are engineered for flexibility, scalability, and integration with your existing applications and technologies.

Service

CBTS UCaaS is a single-vendor solution with centralized management. Having one support number for voice and network service requests simplifies the management experience.

CBTS cloud unified communication solutions offer network monitoring tools and constant analytics that can enhance management control and monitor for service issues.

CBTS is the right cloud provider to help you leverage UCaaS

UCaaS renders a seamless experience across all locations, centralizes management, and delivers immediate cost savings.

UCaaS and SD-WAN provided by CBTS let you deploy on-demand communications and applications as a utility service, providing the business agility, quality of experience, scalability, and cost-effectiveness you need to innovate and grow.

Stay ahead of changing markets and new demands by building a more agile, efficient company with CBTS UCaaS, and by partnering with CBTS as your cloud provider.

Event Registration - INDY CIO Summit April 24, 2019

 

Managed services solution enables client transformation

A fresh start is sometimes exactly what an enterprise needs to modernize data infrastructure and shift processes to a forward-leaning, digital-ready framework. Such was the case with Unilever Federal Credit Union when it recently decided to relocate its main campus, and embrace a managed services solution.

Unilever FCU is a full-service, single-sponsor, non-profit financial institution that is owned by its members and governed by an elected board of directors. Its Corporate Credit Union is Alloya Corporate FCU. This organization provides a range of credit union services, such as compliance guidance and managed services solutions through a partnership with CBTS.

New data environment included key requirements

To bring its services in-line with today’s digital economy, Unilever FCU had to fulfill a number of requirements for its new data environment:

  1. Deploy its own network infrastructure. To ensure both operational efficiency and meet regulatory requirements.
  2. Upgrade its data resources. To accommodate rapid growth and the development of new products and services.
  3. Implement an in-depth data protection strategy. To support the needs of a modern financial institution.

But since every challenge is an opportunity, Unilever FCU seized on this project to implement a wholesale reimagining of the existing data center infrastructure.

Client operates in heavily regulated environment

A key challenge for any financial institution is meeting the regulatory requirements imposed by both regional and national authorities.

In UFCU’s case, this involved maintaining stringent levels of security and data availability, while also developing new services to provide members greater flexibility for their banking needs. This became increasingly difficult to do with aging infrastructure.

Solution leverages managed services model

In consultation with both Alloya Corporate FCU and CBTS, Unilever FCU decided to switch to a managed services model using a hybrid data center and networking infrastructure solution. In this way, the company benefits from:

  1. A high-availability cloud for all production.
  2. Data protection.
  3. Backup and disaster recovery services.
  4. A full suite of services for remote network monitoring and management.

CBTS has expertise to support complex managed services projects

A project of this magnitude requires a deep understanding of infrastructure needs and the emerging business objectives they will ultimately support. CBTS worked closely with UFCU to first design the environment, and then to define the ongoing responsibilities to maintain a tested and proven data ecosystem.

CBTS provides a cohesive solution

We began by assessing the current environment and establishing a set of success-based business objectives. We then developed new policies to guide the design and deployment of a new secure network.

For production workloads, we established a high-availability, multitenant cloud with managed backup and disaster recovery services across multiple CBTS data centers. This places primary production environments within a fully managed, high-availability CBTS cloud. A secondary offsite offers backup and full data replication for Disaster Recovery applications. This environment is subject to complete documentation and annualized testing.

The solutions allowed CBTS to assume responsibility for managing and monitoring key functions, such as network authentication based on group policies developed in conjunction with Unilever. In addition, our experts guided the client’s IT staff on the proper way to pull reports for auditing purposes to ensure regulatory compliance. CBTS oversees any and all third-party integrations and other support needs for the new environment.

Solution meets client’s needs, helps drive business outcomes

Today, Unilever FCU enjoys a state-of-the-art data ecosystem with redundant, secure and universal Internet-based access. We also provided a letter of attestation proving that UFCU is committed to ensuring full protection against downtime and data loss. We work with both UFCU and Alloya to continuously refine regulatory documentation to address stringent compliance requirements.

And as a fully managed environment, Unilever FCU can now relieve its internal IT staff of the day-to-day burdens of operating a data center to focus on more productive pursuits involving the delivery of outstanding member services.

Cloud computing solutions replacing legacy infrastructures

Enterprise businesses require reliable networking and collaboration tools to stay competitive as digital disruption accelerates the need for agile, scalable, and flexible cloud computing solutions. IT leaders require cost-effective ways to enhance their networking capabilities and efficiently replace legacy systems and processes.

Download this infosheet to learn how CBTS can provide your business with a custom-tailored cloud computing technology stack.

Migrating mission-critical infrastructure and applications to the cloud provides the reliability and connectivity that your business needs without the burden of a significant upfront capital expenditure. Cloud computing is revolutionizing business operations through managed services, and CBTS offers a trio of cloud computing solutions to help businesses collaborate, network, and communicate in a centrally managed and unified way.

These cloud computing solutions provide businesses with a turnkey package to increase organizational efficiency and improve Quality of Service (QoS).

Cloud computing solutions increase business opportunities

CBTS UCaaS provides industry leading voice and collaboration tools

CBTS Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) replaces outdated phone systems and collaboration technologies, and allows businesses to operate on-demand, real-time communications and applications. These solutions include VoIP, collaboration applications, mobile solutions, chat, messaging, web conferencing, audio and video conferencing, contact center solutions, and advanced applications like call analytics and recording as a utility service. It is a flexible and scalable, OpEx cost model cloud computing solution that improves the quality of voice calls while adding omnichannel features. With CBTS UCaaS solutions, businesses save time and money.

WiFi-enabled NaaS centralizes data services

The CBTS Network as a Service (NaaS) solution delivers cost-effective sharing of smart wireless connectivity, cloud computing, powerful analytics, centralized data services, and countless other network resources across all branches of the organization. NaaS delivers network connectivity by leveraging the cloud and virtualization to unify network and computing resources.

Free your IT staff from managing complex and expensive network resources, including wireless LANs (Wi-Fi), security appliances, switches, and application delivery controllers in a data center or the campus network. All network MAC-D is only a phone call away to connect with a CBTS expert engineer to perform the work you need, when you need it. In fact, remember that CBTS experts are always available to support our cloud computing solutions.

SD-WAN employs a more effective use of Internet and MPLS network links

With Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), businesses can maximize the use of costly MPLS connections, augment current MPLS with a cheaper secondary connection, or even replace MPLS entirely in favor of broadband. SD-WAN can also help orchestrate services among UCaaS to provide a better quality of experience, LANs, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, security systems, and private and public cloud platforms.

CBTS SD-WAN is one of our cloud computing solutions that drive cost savings, drastic improvements on end-to-end voice and video communication, more efficient use of private and public networks, and the ability to optimize hybrid network activity and application-aware routing to your business. The solution also enables IT managers to establish rules for applications, specify 100 percent uptime for a specific application, and deliver remediation of packet loss or jitter.

The centralized, policy-based routing capability of SD-WAN can increase the performance and reliability of branch networks.

Cloud computing solutions reduce complexity, increase uniformity

CBTS implements these three cloud computing solutions for organizations and performs proactive network monitoring, management, application delivery, and security on a 24x7x365 basis. CBTS can also integrate your existing MPLS network and legacy data apps with our next generation Managed Services.

When these cloud computing services are used together, the benefits multiply. Wrapping together UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN creates a uniform and holistic solution for your business, eliminates reliance on multiple vendors, and provides the support necessary to free your internal IT staff to focus on mission-critical initiatives with our as a service model.
 

“The idea is to create a consistent experience for your employees, IT staff, and customers. The easiest way to manage that is through uniformity. Think about how easy it can be to end up with a mix of vendors and services in just one store.

“The enterprise landscape, by nature, is continuously faced with business mergers and acquisitions. And from the incorporation of multiple organizations, businesses end up with a surplus of disparate equipment, technology solutions, and innumerable vendors which can exponentially create complications. CBTS uniquely solves these pain points to meet the changing needs of enterprise businesses.”
Jon Lloyd, Senior Solutions Design Engineer at CBTS

 

The trio of services enables your business to be “always-on,” with future-forward cloud computing solutions that keep employees and customers connected to your business initiatives and services.

Cloud technology in retail increases productivity

Retailers have more technology options than ever. From inventory management systems to customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, cloud technology in retail is helping merchants increase productivity, reduce costs, and boost sales.

Cloud technology in retail is an integral part of the sales environment, and retailers who embrace it will gain a powerful competitive advantage over their peers, as customers expect merchants to provide an array of sales resources including:

  • In-store digital displays that provide detailed product information.
  • Immersive mobile apps that allow customers to visualize the product in their home or business.
  • In-store pickup from items bought online.

For example, Home Depot recently invested $5.4 billion to improve the customer experience in its physical stores and e-commerce platform. Home Depot gives customers multiple communication paths during a single transaction. Online customers who pick up orders at a physical retail location have the opportunity to talk with Home Depot’s expert associates, and a relationship is established that can drive repeat visits.

Additionally, cloud technology in retail enables retailers to streamline their processes, which gives them more time to create a fantastic customer experience. And retailers will only continue to invest in technology.


According to Gartner, worldwide retail technology spending will increase 3.6 percent to $203.6 billion in 2019.


Cloud technology in retail increasingly important in today’s world

The CBTS Cloud Practice can help retailers improve their efficiency and effectiveness. By moving data and infrastructure to the cloud, retailers reduce the costs associated with maintaining aging equipment, and provide internal resources with instant access to mission-critical information that increases both productivity and sales.

CBTS provides cloud technology in retail services that:

  • Free IT resources to focus on business initiatives.
  • Help move retailers from a CapEx model to an OpEx model.
  • Provide access to certified experts who monitor and manage solutions 24x7x365.
  • Poise retailers for increased productivity, profit, and growth.

CBTS professionals will guide retailers through the cloud design, development, and implementation process that best fits their specific needs. And, as the retail business grows and changes, CBTS will scale and adjust its cloud technology in retail services accordingly.

At CBTS, your business is our priority. With a variety of technology solutions from data management to cloud services, we have what retailers need to increase sales in 2019 and beyond. Contact us today to see what the CBTS Cloud Practice can do for your retail environment.

Cloud computing in retail supports growth

Businesses must adopt cloud computing in retail technologies to grow. Cloud computing in retail  technology ensures employees and customers can quickly and easily access the information they need from anywhere, at any time. The benefits include:

  1. Faster customer information processing
  2. An enhanced customer experience
  3. Increased sales
  4. Reduced costs
  5. Improved network performance

Cloud computing in retail technology allows retailers to reduce the costs associated with software and hardware development, maintenance, and staffing. This technology also allows retailers to deliver products and services more quickly, and to monitor performance data in real time.

UCaaS improves retail’s omnichannel services

UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service), a managed service for voice and collaboration, is an increasingly popular tool for retailers.

UCaaS replaces outdated voice-only systems and allows retailers to operate on-demand, real-time communications and applications, such as VoIP, room-based video, mobile solutions, chat, messaging, web conferencing, audio conferencing, social media, contact center solutions, and more, as a utility service. It is a scalable cloud computing in retail solution that improves the quality of voice calls while adding omnichannel features such as call reporting, video conferencing, and email.

With CBTS UCaaS solutions, retailers save time and money by increasing productivity and eliminating upfront costs. Cisco’s Context Service, which is included in all CBTS contact center solutions, collects and provides customer data from all channels, and then delivers it to employees, who can use it for marketing, sales, and other applications.


According to a recent report by Infiniti Research Ltd., the global UCaaS market will expand from $17.35 billion in 2017 to $28.293 billion in 2021.


NaaS unifies multiple store locations

NaaS (Network as a Service) is a Wi-Fi enabled network that provides centralized data services throughout stores. This allows retailers to share wireless connectivity, analytics, and other resources across various locations.

NaaS helps retailers:

  • Decrease costs. With NaaS, retailers no longer need to spend time and resources managing expensive and complex network resources such as LANs, appliances, switches, and application delivery controllers.
  • Boost sales. Customers expect retailers to provide Wi-Fi connectivity so they can access loyalty and rewards apps, and product information and reviews. According to a study conducted by IHL Group with NCR Corp., stores that offer Wi-Fi have 663 percent higher sales growth than stores that do not. Customers are also likely to spend more time at retailers that offer Wi-Fi and potentially purchase additional products.
  • Enhance customer relationships. Retailers can use Wi-Fi to obtain customer data, such as travel paths and product interaction, and send customers personalized, in-store promotions. Wireless access points in stores provide information on where the customer moves within the store, which can help retailers design store layouts that maximize foot traffic.

Like UCaaS, NaaS is also expected to grow in popularity, increasing from a $35.3 billion market in 2016 to $126 billion in 2022, according to Market Research Futures.


SD-WAN improves overall network quality

A Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is another cloud resource that retailers use to cost-effectively manage services among UCaaS, LANs, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, security systems, and private and public clouds.

SD-WAN minimizes delays over long distances and improves overall network quality. This cloud computing in retail technology allows merchants to maximize their often costly multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) costs, or even replace MPLS entirely and switch to broadband since SD-WAN can be deployed over existing private WAN links such as MPLS and Ethernet, as well as broadband networks such as cable, fiber, DSL, Wi-Fi, and 4G cellular LTE.


SD-WAN is growing even faster than UCaaS or NaaS. The global SD-WAN market is expected to increase from $300 million in 2017 to $1.5 billion in 2022, according to Frost & Sullivan.


CBTS cloud computing in retail solutions ensure business longevity

UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN are all subscription-based cloud cloud computing in retail solutions with monthly payments based on usage. This means no CapEx investment, ongoing hardware and software licensing, or upgrade costs. The trio of services ensures retailers never miss an opportunity to connect with customers, and allows them to analyze and maximize data to develop the most beneficial business strategies. Retailers also reduce costs while improving both overall business performance and customer service.

CBTS monitors and manages the network 24x7x365 to resolve issues quickly and effectively. It can also integrate these services with an existing MPLS network and legacy data apps.

Learn more

To learn more about cloud computing and its role in retail, download our eBook “How Cloud Computing is Revolutionizing Retail.”

Cloud technology for retail drives opportunities

Cloud networking is integral for today’s retailers. Cloud networking offers a more reliable and efficient alternative to traditional multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks, enterprise WAN, expensive bandwidth, and costly infrastructure. Cloud technology for retail can help businesses facing challenges that include:

  • Limited budgets
  • Multiple locations
  • Continuous technological maintenance and upgrades

C-level executives require technology solutions that help them lower costs while providing maximum performance and scalability. Ultimately, the best strategy for these companies – especially those in the food service, retail, and restaurant sectors – is a cloud networking solution.

Executives are increasingly turning to CBTS to manage their cloud technology for retail solutions with a combination of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and managed cloud Network as a Service (NaaS) to triple their performance.

Cloud technology for retail saves costs and increases efficiencies

UCaaS is a managed service for voice and collaboration tools that allows retailers to operate on-demand communications and applications as a utility service. NaaS is a Wi-Fi enabled network that provides centralized data services throughout unlimited locations. This allows retailers to share wireless connectivity, analytics, and other resources.

When provided by CBTS, cloud technology for retail solutions:

  • Allow retail executives to focus on their core expertise rather than IT-related issues.
  • Reduce redundancies through management and monitoring via one company rather than multiple vendors.
  • Decrease the need for additional IT professionals and ongoing training.
  • Combine mobile solutions, web conferencing, VoIP, contact centers, and collaborative efforts so that they integrate and work together seamlessly.
  • Eliminate the need for costly equipment maintenance and upgrades.
  • Place the burden of implementing upgrades and enhancements on CBTS.
  • Scale and evolve as your business scales and evolves.
  • Provide usage-based monthly pricing models.
  • Offer effective and reliable 24x7x365 service.

UCaaS and NaaS provide retailers a single-pane-of-glass view

UCaaS and NaaS solutions encompass a wide range of communications services, including VoIP, phone, long distance, collaboration applications, contact centers, networking, firewalls, access points, and optical sensor cameras. With a real-time, web-based dashboard, retailers can view key metrics and performance indicators, and evaluate how they align with business goals and priorities. These cloud technology for retail solutions provide a more efficient and unified look at a retailer’s IT services, and offers a comprehensive analysis that would not be possible with solutions from multiple vendors.

CBTS solutions aid PCI compliance

Businesses that process credit card transactions face myriad security concerns. With CBTS NaaS solutions, retailers no longer need to worry about threats to customer information. The solution works with clients’ current payment card industry (PCI) compliance solutions, and adds state-of-the-art Intrusion Detection (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention (IPS) Systems. Anti-malware products protect against digital threats that could compromise data, and a network segmentation strategy limits hackers’ attack options.

Streamlined solutions allow for more in-depth analytics

CBTS analytics evaluate client data so retailers can identify their strengths and weaknesses, and adjust their business models accordingly. This information also helps forecast trends for the future, which is important for industries like retail that rely heavily on customer data. With the suite of CBTS cloud technology for retail solutions, retailers can identify customer demographics and shopping trends, track the effectiveness of customer loyalty programs, illustrate customer traffic patterns, and send promotions.

Learn more

CBTS UCaaS and NaaS solutions combine to maximize retailers’ cloud networking capabilities. Contact CBTS and read our White Paper, “10 Reasons Why UCaaS and Cloud Networking Work More Effectively Together to 3x Your Performance,” to find out more about how these services can triple retailers’ production.

Retail technologies bring businesses, consumers together

The retail marketplace is becoming increasingly digital, and retailers must adapt to remain competitive. With more merchants closing brick-and-mortar locations during the “retail apocalypse” of the past few years, it is critical that businesses adopt retail technologies to survive and thrive.

Data analytics, cloud, social media are powerful retail technologies

Let’s examine some of the key retail technologies that businesses can use to better engage with customers on a global level – both online and in physical locations.

Retailers must leverage data to enhance the customer experience

As retail technologies advance, personalization becomes more important. Merchants must leverage data and analytics to better understand customer demographics and shopping behaviors. Retailers should already have this customer data, as tracking customer contact information and shopping patterns are hardly new concepts.

However, many retailers do not know how to efficiently use this data. For example, retailers can:

  • Personalize the shopping experience. Merchants can tailor products, services, advertising, and promotional offers to meet consumer wants and needs. Sales teams can use the data to match each customer with the right agent for them, and ensure that the right offer is being made to the right customer based on analytics.
  • Remain competitive. Customer data identifies the products and services that customers want and the prices they are willing to pay.
  • Drive traffic to stores. With exclusive promotions at brick-and-mortar locations, retailers can ensure their physical locations remain in business.
  • Never miss a call. Centralized call routing from the cloud reduces the number of abandoned calls. Route customer calls to call center agents when a store is closed or the phone isn’t answered. With informative analytics, your business and your teams are better equipped to anticipate and meet customers’ needs.
  • Eliminate blind spots. Advanced call analytics and data reporting allow your business to identify road blocks in delivering superior customer service and an enhanced consumer experience. This provides new visibility to help your business identify staffing needs, network issues, and underlying reasons for system issues.

To ensure retailer data is always available and never compromised, CBTS offers professional data protection services. These include data storage, backup, and recovery.

Moving retail technologies to the cloud saves time and money

Cloud-based retail technologies include functions such as inventory tracking and management, ordering, and shipping. By migrating these activities to the cloud, retailers can reduce costs related to software development, maintenance, and staffing while quickly delivering products and services, and viewing real-time data.

Moving data and applications to the cloud also eliminates the costs of housing data in large storage centers. CBTS can assist businesses in migrating devices, infrastructure, and applications to the cloud. We provide expert support and identify retailer needs to develop innovative strategies, design targeted solutions, and implement game-changing technology.

Optical Sensor Cameras provide retailers with valuable insights about their environment

Sensor data is an increasingly popular retail technology. Retailers can place small Optical Sensor Cameras in key locations throughout their businesses. The technology enables retailers to track the number of people in their stores, as well as better understand their customers’ behaviors and movements. For example, merchants can see how much time the customer spent in the store, and what items they purchased or viewed.

This ultimately helps retailers develop an in-store experience and layout that best aligns with their typical volume of customers, and how those customers prefer to shop.

Social media isn’t just about “likes” or “shares”

Most retailers have used social media for years, but simply posting on these sites isn’t enough. Retailers must understand that they’re marketing to a global audience. Social media is a powerful retail technology for exposing your product or service to new consumers.

One of the best ways retailers can leverage social media is by encouraging existing customers to share their products and services. Retailers can offer incentives, such as discounts or swag, to users who share their promotions or sign up new customers.

Social media technology now allows consumers to purchase directly from these sites with “buy” buttons. The ability to purchase directly from social media will likely become more streamlined in the future, and consumers will expect retailers to implement a seamless process.

Digital marketing and omnichannel commerce enable retailers to remain competitive

Today’s consumers rely on mobile devices more than ever to engage with retailers. Retailers must increase their reliance on digital promotions, virtual storytelling, and email campaigns to communicate their brand to consumers.

Retailers often struggle to remain relevant in an omnichannel marketplace in which customers not only desire – but require – a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels. However, merchants can adapt by adopting retail technologies such as:

  • Order-by-text, which allows consumers to order products and services via text message.
  • Photo snapping, which allows consumers to take a photo of a product to learn more about it.

These Omnichannel experiences offer convenience for customers, and allow retailers to personalize the shopping experience by suggesting additional products and services the consumer might like. Additionally, consumers who buy items online and pick them up in a store are more likely to make additional purchases once they enter a brick-and-mortar location.

CBTS makes omnichannel management easier via contact centers. CBTS ensures retailers provide extraordinary customer care through a connected digital experience.

Consumers no longer need to interact with human staff

Some retailers have adopted retail technologies that eliminate cashiers and allow consumers to purchase exclusively at self-checkout stations. Additionally, with the advent of IoT devices such as Google Home and Apple HomePod, consumers want to use their voice to interact with retailers. Alexa and Siri help consumers search for and buy products and services online.

Other artificial intelligence technologies include both augmented and virtual reality, which allow customers to digitally try on clothes, test makeup, or use services.

Consumers use mobile wallets for fast and immediate payment

Digital retail technologies enable consumers to store their payment information on mobile devices instead of carrying cash and credit cards. The benefits of mobile wallets include:

  • Less risk of consumers forgetting their retailer discount or credit card.
  • Seamless integration with retailer apps.
  • Preferred payment options for consumers via bank, credit card, or online payment system.
  • Increased likelihood of consumers making spontaneous purchases because payment is quick and easy.

Retailers must leverage digital technology to meet new demands

The retail industry is learning how to adopt emerging retail technologies to meet customer demands. Retailers are using innovative tools from artificial technology to product analytics to provide personalization, customization, security, efficiency, and enhanced customer service both online and in stores. E-commerce has forced incumbent retail to adapt, but everybody wins when retailers use this digital disruption to benefit customers.

Learn more

Retail’s biggest conference, NRF, kicks off Jan. 13, and CBTS will be well-represented, leading with UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN solutions.

Cloud solutions for retailers transform outcomes

2019 and beyond will be an exciting time thanks to the growing number of cloud solutions for retailers. With an increasing amount of advanced technology hitting the market, and with consumers demanding a responsive and robust user experience, retailers will need cloud-based solutions to ensure they keep up with the rapidly advancing market.

Cloud solutions for retailers offer multiple benefits

Cloud solutions for retailers help solve many challenges when navigating this dynamic environment.

  1. Mitigate unpredictable costs
    By eliminating ownership of older, outdated technology and equipment – which often requires expensive maintenance and upgrades – retailers save thousands of dollars both immediately and into the future. CBTS also helps retailers reduce staffing costs associated with hiring IT personnel to manage and maintain infrastructure. With CBTS cloud solutions, our clients only pay monthly usage-based fees rather than having to manage the constantly fluctuating costs of building and maintaining a large data center, hiring additional IT staff, and repairing or replacing technology.
  2.  

  3. Support information organization and management
    Cloud-based technology allows retailers to monitor all of their resources, including inventory tracking and management, orders, and shipping information, through one convenient online portal. These businesses can access their data immediately, rather than contacting IT to determine where the information is stored.
  4.  

  5. Support security initiatives
    Retailers can feel safe and secure knowing their data is being monitored by trained professionals 24x7x365 and housed in a high-availability, cloud-enabled data center. CBTS provides a cloud toolset that includes state-of-the-art Intrusion Detection (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention (IPS) Systems. Our robust anti-malware products guard against online threats to preserve the integrity of your data. Our security experts implement a network segmentation strategy to create a more secure network by limiting attack options—making it more difficult for an assault on your entire network.

Data analytics inform, direct strategic retail initiatives

Built-in analytics enable retailers to examine foot traffic patterns as well as determine which employees are using in-store Wi-Fi to access various applications. Retailers can also set rules restricting certain apps to specific individuals or user groups.

CBTS analytics can be easily integrated into contact center solutions to uncover traits for a more personalized shopping experience, track the effectiveness of client loyalty programs, show traffic trends, and launch targeted and timely push notifications and promotions.

Cloud management allows retailers to focus on business

By allowing CBTS to manage their cloud technology, retailers are freed to do what they do best: operate their business and focus on strategic objectives. Professionally certified engineers monitor the cloud environment every minute of the day, every day of the year. The infrastructure may be located on the retailer’s premises or in a third-party data center.

CBTS provides cloud solutions for retailers that are:

  • Public: Allows application and server workload implementation in minutes. This solution is most beneficial for web-based applications that are built for native public cloud use.
  • Private: All assets are dedicated to a retailer’s exclusive use. This solution is useful for highly regulated and complex environments.
  • Hybrid: Connected management and support of both on- and off-site resources. This solution is ideal for integrated web and large database environments.

Different retailers have different cloud needs, and CBTS provides customized options to manage these technologies with end-to-end design, build, and run services:

  • 24x7x365 monitoring and reporting
  • Alert notifications and escalations
  • Patch management and implementation
  • Timely resolution of any incidents
  • ITIL best practices
  • Industry-leading infrastructure technology
  • Decades of cloud, managed service, and data center experience
  • Solutions that scale with business growth

Cloud protection ensures critical information is safe

Data breaches or data losses can be devastating and affect consumer loyalty and trust. It is imperative that merchants have data protection, backup, and recovery services to combat:

  • Malicious software. CBTS security experts are constantly monitoring your network for potential threats and viruses such as ransomware.
  • Infrastructure downtime. CBTS cloud services prevent infrastructure downtime, during which customers may not be able to use technology such as purchasing software, payment options, or point-of-sale terminals.
  • Complete data loss. CBTS provides real-time cloud backup to an offsite data center and secondary failover to a third site.
  • Outdated security. CBTS ensures security requirements are always compliant and up-to-date.

CBTS data protection services include both Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and Backup as a Service (BaaS). DRaaS is a multi-tenant cloud-based disaster recovery solution that duplicates a retailer’s IT environment at a secure CBTS facility. BaaS, on the other hand, is a secondary offsite CBTS data backup solution that can restore files and data in minutes.

Cloud-based solutions for retailers support future success

Because many retailers have limited IT resources, a provider like CBTS is ideal to offload the burden of cloud management and protection.

Learn more

Retail’s biggest conference, NRF, kicks off Jan. 13, and CBTS will be well-represented, leading with UCaaS, NaaS, and SD-WAN solutions.

Six common goals of cloud-based networks

With so many employees in today’s workplace relying on cloud-based apps to perform their jobs, network administrators are looking for better ways to ensure access and provide the required bandwidth. Increasingly, IT professionals are discovering the improved network performance they need in the cloud. Finding the right cloud solution for your specific environment, however, can be challenging, and IT staff often seek guidance from a trusted partner while investigating the technologies available to get the job done.

An experienced partner can be a game-changer and architect a solution based on your organization’s precise needs, and then help you navigate the migration path to the cloud.

Current cloud network technologies – whether software-defined networks (SDNs), software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs), network function virtualization (NFV), or virtual network functions (VNF) – have one thing in common: They shift networks away from dedicated, single-function hardware at each location toward a software and virtualization model.

With cloud-based networks in place, organizations are much more efficient, flexible, scalable, and easy to administer.

To start building a foundation for making the transition to cloud networking, let’s talk about six common objectives IT personnel can achieve with these related technologies:

1. Ensure availability

The cloud removes the decision-making center (control plane) from the forwarding hardware (data plane), which helps data make it to the correct destination without interruption. These cloud-based solutions allow you to maintain network flows despite link failures, node failures, or other network issues that may occur. If an outage affects the data plane, the control plane can redirect the data flow elsewhere. If an outage affects the control plane, the data plane continues forwarding information without skipping a beat.

2. Reduce costs

By controlling network services and functions available at each data site remotely, IT departments save the costs involved with traveling to each location to install, maintain, and update their network equipment. Also, network administrators can implement VNFs to perform functions specific to the organization’s needs, saving the time typically spent to install or scale complex software manually. Finally, by using cloud-based technologies, companies eliminate significant capital expenditures when they need to expand or revamp their network. Instead, they enjoy a predictable monthly operating expense based on usage.

3. Centralize management

IT staff can implement, maintain, and upgrade software functions and services from anywhere around the world via a centralized dashboard. Your software instances do not just run on the cloud; they are the cloud.

4. Increase agility

All of the cloud-based technologies grant IT departments the ability to ensure their organization stays relevant as networks evolve and competitors adopt new ways to improve network performance. With these technologies, network administrators can download, move, upgrade, remove, activate, deactivate, and scale up or down any VNF at any time, with ease.

5. Eliminate vendor lock-in

Each of these network technologies is software-based and virtualized, performing functions that were formerly executed on proprietary, dedicated hardware. The transition to cloud-based technologies means companies can run their networks on open source, commodity hardware, which allows IT professionals to choose the right hardware for their business needs.

6. Future-proof the network

The risks of running an organization’s network on outdated technology keeps IT professionals and corporate management teams up at night. Outdated systems and software lead to network instability, increased downtime, and loss of productivity. They also open up vulnerabilities in security or falling behind the competition. With cloud-based solutions, network systems and software are continually refreshed and updated, and can flex with business activity. Centralized control means administrators can instantly adjust scale by assigning appropriate, policy-based server resources and priorities to the VNF.

Understanding the common goals of today’s network technologies is a starting point for IT professionals looking to transform their networks to meet business objectives. Each technology has its strengths, but at the core, they all use the cloud to allow organizations to stay agile, control data from anywhere on the globe, and ultimately reduce a company’s capital expenditures while improving performance.

Download our free guide to SDN, SD-WAN, NFV, and VNF, or click here to learn more about how to choose the right SD-WAN partner.

CBTS recognized at Cisco Partner Summit

Cisco recently honored CBTS, a leading technology provider that delivers communications, cloud, infrastructure, and consulting solutions to clients across North America, with two awards at the Cisco Partner Summit annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • CBTS received the Execution Excellence Regional Partner of the Year award for its innovation, leadership and best practice as a Cisco business partner across the Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio region.
  • CBTS received the SLED Breakaway Partner of the Year award in the U.S. Public Sector.

Joe Putnick, Vice President and Principal for the CBTS Communications Practice, accepted the awards on behalf of the company.

“These awards reflect our commitment to strategic partnerships with Cisco. We pride ourselves in delivering best-in-class solutions, built on Cisco technologies, that deliver positive business outcomes to our clients,” said Putnick.

“We have seen tremendous success with our Hosted Unified Communications as a Service solutions, especially in the SLED space, as more and more clients wish to consume technologies in a hosted model.”

Cisco Partner Summit Theatre awards reflect the top-performing partners within specific technology markets across the country. All award recipients are selected by a group of Cisco Global Partner Organization and regional and theatre executives.

Cisco Partner Summit is attended by more than 2,100 global attendees from Cisco’s ecosystem of partners representing more than 1,000 companies worldwide from more than 75 countries.

 

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