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Webcast recap: What does the workplace of the future look like?

When the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 sparked a nationwide shift toward remote work, many assumed physical offices would return eventually. Today, the business world realizes that there is no going back to the collaboration methods of the past. Which leaves enterprise leaders wondering: What does the workplace of the future look like?

Experts from CBTS recently hosted a webcast with the goal of shedding light on the future of remote work. Head of Business Development Jon Lloyd and Global Solutions Architect Justin Rice shared their thoughts and fielded audience queries. The conversation was centered around answering the burning question: What does the workplace of the future look like? For Lloyd and Rice, this issue boils down to three primary concepts.

Three must-know topics for building your workplace of the future:
  • Maintaining a consistent and satisfying user experience.
  • Ensuring your network is designed for a distributed workforce.
  • Securing your remote workforce against any potential threat.

Also read: Key SD-WAN advantages your hybrid work from home model needs.

Experience is everything

The key to building toward the future of remote work is delivering reliability and ease of use to employees, Lloyd explains. Regardless of whether they’re in the office or working from home, employees expect their networks to function without difficulty. Members of a distributed workforce expect three things: no delays, no downtime, and “always-on” connectivity.

“Employees want the ability to work from anywhere,” Lloyd said. “The importance of the end-user experience is critical. That has to be (priority) number one.”

Lloyd urges enterprise leaders to think of remote work not as closing one centralized office but as opening hundreds of smaller offices. This means that each employee should enjoy the same performance at home as they would at company headquarters. One effective way to achieve this remote performance is to decentralize proprietary applications and shift away from physical data centers. That’s where the cloud shines.

“The first big winner in this new shift of work-from-home is cloud adoption,” Lloyd said. “There’s just no way for you to financially take an application and distribute it across the globe without utilizing a cloud provider.”

As organizations ask themselves, “what does the workplace of the future look like?” cloud-native network architecture is rapidly emerging as the answer.

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

Cloud-native, remote ready, and secure

Rice adds that prior to the pandemic, high costs discouraged many enterprises away from cloud adoption. As public health concerns pushed this technology to the forefront, many businesses leaped before they looked. This had the unfortunate result of distributed workforces utilizing applications that weren’t properly built for the cloud. That’s why cloud-native applications play a significant role in the future of remote work.

Cloud-native applications not only boast greater reliability but also tend to be more cost-effective. According to Rice, one network component that benefits heavily from decentralization is security. This is especially the case for enterprises struggling to secure the connections used by their distributed workforces.

That’s where Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) comes in. SASE works by implementing zero-trust network access at every endpoint. This means remote workers can safely utilize the applications they need without having to connect to centralized data centers.

When implemented and supported by an expert provider, SASE also has the benefit of superior visibility. With a single dashboard allowing access to your entire SASE framework, your enterprise can greatly simplify its cloud transition process.

These topics add up to one common goal: empowering remote workers to do their jobs from anywhere while maintaining high standards of network security and performance.

Also read: A Q&A on Microsoft Teams in the Big Picture

“What does the workplace of the future look like” and other questions

However enterprises decide to enable their distributed workforces, Lloyd and Rice were confident that remote work is here to stay. Whereas remote work was seen as optional pre-2020, the pandemic has made it mandatory and part of the “new normal.” As a result, enterprises are investing in giving their remote employees the highest-quality connections possible.

Flexibility is also becoming a key factor in the future of remote work, Lloyd and Rice added as they fielded audience questions.

“It’s not ‘work from home,’ it’s ‘work from anywhere,’ and it’s thousands of new offices on your network,” Lloyd said. “And I think—in the past—we treated work from home as ‘it doesn’t have to be as good’ or ‘it isn’t permanent.’”

“There’s certainly been a cultural shift,” Rice added. “Working from home, especially if you had a corporate office, it kind of felt like you’re on an island. Now, working from anywhere has become the new normal.”

Webcast attendees submitted questions on subjects ranging from outsourcing to how recruiters can make in-person office environments appealing again. Lloyd and Rice suggest that since the expectations of modern employees have changed, companies will need to adapt accordingly.

“It’s about making the office interesting and accepting that you’re going to have employees who just don’t want to come in,” Rice said. “What we’re seeing is more co-working spaces. It’s not coming back to a cubicle; it’s more of an open, collaborative environment.”

“We’re redefining what a workplace is. From a recruiting standpoint, for companies that are going to require (in-office attendance), they’re going to have to pay for it,” Lloyd added. “If you’re going to require folks to come in, you’re going to have a responsibility to keep them safe, which is going to increase costs, and you’re probably going to have to offer more than you typically would for that position.”

Also read: Give your remote teams the tools to connect seamlessly with Cisco Webex

“Howdy Partner” panel discusses business benefits of Data Lake Kickstarter tools

When it comes to explaining technical topics, there’s no substitute for an expert panel sharing knowledge in an audience-friendly format. That’s why CBTS joined a recent installment of “Howdy Partner” by AWS to discuss the business benefits of data lake optimization.

Howdy Partner is a weekly live stream series hosted by AWS, typically featuring solution architects and engineers discussing specific technical subjects. In early September, AWS hosted CBTS experts to discuss how the Data Lake Kickstarter initiative can enable enterprises to evolve their networks. AWS partner solution engineers and Michael Lanthier hosted the stream with CBTS solution architects Tim Selaty, Davis Gossett, and Scott Franke.

The panel discussed the business benefits of improving data lake functionality while demonstrating the CBTS Data Lake Kickstarter’s time-saving features.

How to create a Data Lake Kickstarter program with CBTS
  • Replace aging databases with scalable, flexible data lake infrastructures.
  • Easily access any data from any sector of the organization with the Simple Data Integrator (SDI).
  • Scan more data in less time and reduce the number of engineers required to execute deployments.

What is the history of data lake adoption?

Before delving into the business benefits of implementing Data Lake on AWS, the panel discussed the history of database architecture. For many years, relational databases were commonplace solutions for collecting, storing, and analyzing large quantities of data, Tim Selaty said.

However, these databases and their sources were often fragmented, and managing them was complicated and very time consuming. This meant that maintaining large-scale databases was expensive, and queries with large results tended to slow down operations. As a result, database engineers often spend more time maintaining than innovating.

Data lakes—centralized repositories capable of storing structured and unstructured data with equal ease of access—have since caught on as popular database solutions. Despite their many strengths, however, using data lakes effectively takes significant insight and experience. CBTS introduced the Data Lake Kickstarter to address this, which offers prescribed, serverless workflows and customizable admin interfaces.

The Data Lake Kickstarter program, which is built directly off of the original AWS Data Lake framework, is delivered as a managed service. This means bugs are fixed and features are added on behalf of the user. Also, since the data lake solution is built on AWS serverless, clients only pay for usage time. This means clients can deploy prescribed workflows while keeping full control of their AWS account while only paying for what they use.

Also read: Managed services solution enables client transformation

Get to know the business and organizational benefits of Data Lake Kickstarter

  • Eliminate the heavy lifting of creating a data lake and decrease time to insights from months to minutes with “one click” data lake creation and data loading.
  • Eliminate the need for developers, DevOps engineers, DBAs and data architects to create and maintain a data lake with this service from CBTS.
  • 95% savings in processing costs vs. a standard data lake in the cloud.
  • 95% faster processing vs. a standard on-prem data lake solution.
  • Optimized data lake tools for ServiceNow data for better and faster insights.
  • Scalable to billions of records.

Where legacy databases struggled with unstructured data, Data Lake Kickstarter can access nearly any data thanks to Simple Data Integrator (SDI). The serverless framework of SDI allows for simplified product deployment and extensive data access. With these tools, users will have full access to the data they need without struggling with the interface or backend barriers.

During the Howdy Partner live stream, Tim Selaty demonstrated the Data Lake Kickstarter’s features in real-time, showing viewers how workflows can be tweaked and customized to save time and effort. By simplifying both product deployment and data access procedures, Data Lake and its various features make life simpler for developers and end-users alike.

Also read: CBTS Managed Public Cloud: Powered by AWS

Find the right partner to help you build your data lake

Knowing how to build a data lake environment is only part of the battle—being able to call upon a qualified partner is also invaluable. As one of only 258 AWS Advanced Consulting Partners worldwide that is certified as Well Architected, CBTS is up to the challenge. Data Lake Kickstarter by CBTS offers a shared ownership model, meaning CBTS is accountable for the performance of your organization’s cloud environment.

Contact us to learn more about the business benefits of deploying an AWS data lake environment customized for your enterprise.

Delivering the promise of Microsoft Workloads on AWS

This blog will illuminate how CBTS can deliver the full potential of Microsoft Workloads on AWS to your enterprise.

A nimble, scalable public cloud has the ability to improve the bottom line and drive internal efficiencies for the busiest of enterprise organizations. A dozen years of satisfied customers running Microsoft Workloads on AWS indicates a platform known for high performance and reliability, not to mention top-of-the-line security, migration support, ownership cost, and flexible licensing options.

Microsoft Workloads on AWS woman dipping coffee cup at computer
Microsoft Workloads on AWS is known for high performance and reliability.

CBTS can enhance your digital transition on the service and management side, delivering deep functionality and a robust suite of services to lower the costs of running Microsoft Workloads on AWS. Benefits of this best-in-class technology include:

  • Dependability. Globally-dispersed availability zones result in fewer downtime hours.
  • Cost-effectiveness. AWS helps customers save on Microsoft Workloads compute costs through pricing models such as Spot and a full set of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances.
  • Powerful security. A selection of security, compliance, and governance services makes AWS the superior choice over the next largest cloud provider.
  • Performance efficiency. SQL Server on AWS enables faster performance when utilizing a TPC-C-like benchmark tool as compared to competing cloud providers.

Also read: The value of the cloud in our new reality

AWS brings premium performance and capabilities

AWS is the ideal cloud on which to run Microsoft Workloads, while CBTS will support everything your company needs to modernize Windows-based applications on the cloud. Partnering with CBTS brings top-tier performance to your network alongside a broad range of services.

Here’s a deeper dive into what CBTS on AWS can offer your fast-moving organization:

Optimized performance and dependability: The AWS global infrastructure includes 77 availability zones across 24 regions. Re-establishing your Microsoft Workloads on AWS will give your customers a 98% reduction in unplanned downtime, 71% faster deployment, and 26% higher developer productivity, per figures from IDC. According to Principled Technologies, AWS delivered twice the performance and 62% lower costs for an SQL Server workload when tested against the next largest cloud provider.

Top-flight security and identity services: AWS boasts 230 security, compliance, and governance features—about five times more than the nearest industry competitor. Through the AWS Nitro System, for example, virtualization functions offloaded to dedicated hardware and software results in a minimized attack surface. Busy enterprise organizations can rely on AWS Identity Services for the management of identities and permissions at scale.

Lower TCO: By running Windows on AWS, companies can reduce five-year operational costs by 56% and infrastructure expenses by 37%, according to IDC. AWS also offers clients pricing models like Amazon EC2 Spot, which reduced costs by up to 90% on compute instances for fault-tolerant workloads.

CBTS enhances the AWS adoption process in four key ways::
  • Assessment. CBTS provides a detailed analysis of existing network infrastructure, allowing clients to understand the entire IT environment and how it supports Microsoft Workloads on AWS.
  • Application Modernization. A team of certified AWS experts from CBTS will help you establish the most efficient, cost-effective cloud environments, including the refactoring of existing applications.
  • Easy transition. Once design is complete, CBTS engineers convert legacy applications and infrastructure, then oversee the entire atmosphere’s migration to AWS.
  • Management. A fully-managed Microsoft Workloads infrastructure provided by CBTS is bolstered by day-to-day monitoring and adjustment.

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

A nimble and innovative enterprise cloud provider

AWS is known as an innovative cloud provider thanks to new capabilities and services introduced to enterprise customers. Take the case of a travel-booking outfit with plans to migrate 80% of its mission-critical apps to the cloud; while the company considered a host of other cloud providers, it chose AWS due to its global infrastructure support of Asia-Pacific customers.

Today, this customer relies on AWS to develop applications, troubleshoot problems, and scale to process large volumes of data. By using AWS to build a standard deployment model, IT teams can rapidly create infrastructure for new initiatives.

Task CBTS for your digital transformation 

Leveraging CBTS to migrate your Microsoft Workloads to AWS allows you to commission one, hundreds, or thousands of server instances simultaneously, with greater reliability across globally dispersed availability zones. As a seasoned provider for digital modernization, CBTS brings numerous critical capabilities to the development of hybrid cloud infrastructure and in the AWS environment itself.

Also read: How to build a full-spectrum cloud security strategy

Read this e-book to learn more about how CBTS can assist with your Microsoft Workloads on AWS transformation.

Read more from Kevin Muldoon, Sr. Director of Cloud Transformation:

Securing success with an AWS Well-Architected Framework

Take control of third-party programs with proprietary AWS platform solution

What does a successful migration to the public cloud look like?

Answering the vital question: What is NaaS, and how can it improve business outcomes?

Modern organizations face a host of communication obstacles, among them the issue of business growth outstripping network resources. When IT personnel are stretched thin, enterprise networks can suffer increased downtime and higher operating expenses. This can lead to lag and outages even during day-to-day operations.

Businesses across industry sectors are turning to Network as a Service (NaaS) to streamline their IT needs. With this solution, clients can offload their daily tasks to CBTS experts, freeing up resources better dedicated to mission-critical strategic initiatives.

So what exactly is NaaS, and how can it benefit your enterprise? NaaS from CBTS provides businesses with a scalable method of supporting, maintaining, expanding, and securing modernized commercial networks. This service also enables networks complete with cloud integration, security, switching, Wi-Fi, management, monitoring, and software-defined wide area networks (SD- WAN).

Whether you have a single location or multi-site operation, NaaS delivers features that support the unique needs of every client, including:

  • 24×7 monitoring, management, and support.
  • Instant service upgrades over any connection type.
  • Connections to single locations or multiple offices.

This article will cover the advantages, along with how this technology can be integrated into your business.

Watch: NaaS analytics provide business intelligence to drive growth

Simplifying the everyday needs of any enterprise

When asking the question, “What is Naas?” executives must understand the limitations of their outdated network environments. Traditional networks are simply not equipped to meet today’s high demand for reliable, full-spectrum communication.

NaaS can provide managed networking capabilities as both a comprehensive service and a simple transport method. When combined with SD-WAN and hosted unified communications (UC), NaaS can address a wide variety of Wi-Fi and firewall concerns. NaaS is easily scalable for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) requiring network expansion across multiple locations or facilities. 

MPLS architecture vs NaaS architecture

As a managed service, NaaS functions by clients essentially renting cloud networking services from providers. When deployed properly, it can replace hardware-centric VPNs, load balancers, firewall appliances, and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) connections.

Naas is built to simplify the day-to-day processes of every client, regardless of vertical or size of their business.

NaaS is built to simplify the day-to-day processes of every client, regardless of vertical or the size of their business. For example, it can regulate guest Wi-Fi usage and provide unified threat management (UTM) protection. It can also turn retail networks into powerful tools capable of enriching the customer service experience.

NaaS can improve critical municipal data infrastructure functions such as emergency services, utility management, and even traffic control. Just as crucially, it allows municipalities to shift costs from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model. The results are lower upfront costs for network rollouts and an organization-wide focus on improving public services for constituents.

To ensure client success, CBTS establishes a monitoring environment that allows for continuous system auditing, patching, and improvements. A partnership between CBTS and software vendor ServiceNow allows for automated monitoring processes that proactively maintain their network databases long-term.

Also read: What is Cloud Networking?

By harnessing NaaS, industries of all types are driving real business outcomes.
  1. A concrete manufacturer with 17 locations used NaaS to increase visibility in their network and save over 87% in network upkeep costs.
  2. An auto retailer with 16 sites reduced reliance on expensive multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) connections.
  3. CBTS solved a school district’s unique needs for a reliable, secure network.
  4. A specialty foods distributor in the Southern U.S. embraced NaaS to integrate new locations and create a consistent customer experience.
  5. Single-site, customer-facing business to regulate guest Wi-Fi experiences and keep customer data secure.

What is NaaS? A future-forward, managed solution for your business

Through a NaaS solution, enterprise networks can quickly expand to new locations and automatically provision site-to-site VPNs for authorized users. Enterprises can also use it to ensure access to organizational servers. CBTS has established NaaS for more than 600 clients at 5,000 locations since launching the solution in 2016. This was possible with the help of partners such as Cisco and VMware.

What are the benefits?

  • No-touch deployment and management, where certified experts support the network on a year-round basis.
  • A centralized, mobile-enabled cloud dashboard with real-time data and network analytics.
  • Application, user, and device control where users can be searched for by any device—PC, mobile phone, tablet, and more.
  • Improved, lower-cost performance and security compared to MPLS.
  • Flexibility in adding new network locations without the expenses associated with MPLS expansion costs.

What are the disadvantages?

  • Usage of a public cloud carries some inherent risk of vulnerability—keep this in mind when selecting a provider.
  • Downtime is another potential hazard of managed network solutions.
  • Dependency on managed services, or “vendor lock-in,” is another aspect of managed cloud networking that merits consideration.

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

Integrate Cisco Meraki-powered NaaS into your network

NaaS can be enhanced by Cisco Meraki, a platform that enables seamless expansion, maintenance, and security of a managed network. This puts the enterprise network in capable hands during scale-up, giving clients room to reallocate IT resources toward growth objectives.

Meraki-powered NaaS bolsters geographic expansion and increased revenue without the added burden of unnecessary operational expenses. Pricing packages that fold hardware, licensing, configuration, and implementation into one monthly expense can be scaled as needed.

The current iteration of NaaS by CBTS comes complete with Meraki’s single-pane-of-glass dashboard. This originated from a need to modernize outdated equipment without increasing costs or otherwise negatively impacting a client’s budget. The Meraki dashboard features a managed service provider’s (MSP) portal; this enables the management of multiple customer networks with fewer personnel than is possible with simple network management protocol (SNMP) tools. The partnership with Meraki has cut down on the provider’s quote-to-cash interval and operating expenses.

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

A streamlined network solution built for your needs

Commitment, flexibility, and collaboration are the benchmarks for answering the question, “What is NaaS, and what can it do for my enterprise?” By utilizing the latest technology available and anticipating customer needs, CBTS delivers future-forward managed solutions for organizations of every size.   

Contact us for more information on how CBTS NaaS can work for you.

Securing success with an AWS Well-Architected Framework

Organizations are changing how they do business, transitioning from legacy products to a nimble, application-centric digital economy. Although traditional infrastructure still plays a role in enterprise operations, the future belongs to a more flexible networking model. These newer systems are scalable and efficient, able to support digital services-based revenue streams, and empower developers to rapidly develop new capabilities.

AWS Well-Architected Framwork helps enterprises achieve transformation
AWS Well-Architected Framework helps enterprises achieve transformation.

A public cloud managed by CBTS and powered by Amazon Web Services AWS Well-Architected Framework helps enterprises achieve this transformation while benefitting the bottom line. In a recent Magic Quadrant report, Gartner praised AWS as a hyperscale provider delivering a robust portfolio of startups, SMBs, and large companies.

With CBTS as a proven certified partner on the development side, IT buyers can capitalize on new Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) delivery models. Utilizing an AWS Well-Architected Framework solution from CBTS can optimize your cloud architecture, reduce risk, achieve cost savings, and hasten innovation.

Also read: The value of the cloud in our new reality

CBTS enhances the AWS Well-Architected Framework experience

With CBTS as an AWS Well-Architected Framework partner, organizations can harness best practices and discover opportunities for cost reduction, application performance, and risk mitigation.

The CBTS process is comprised of four key elements designed to meet a client’s unique needs:

  • Assessment. CBTS provides a detailed analysis of a client’s legacy system and business model to fully understand the IT environment and how it supports workload dynamics. CBTS engineers are trained to determine optimum cloud solutions and workloads based on application demands and use-case scenarios.
  • Design. During the design stage, certified AWS experts from CBTS establish the most efficient and cost-effective cloud environments, including refactoring of existing applications.
  • Migration. CBTS engineers then convert legacy applications and infrastructure before orchestrating the migration to AWS. This ensures a secure and efficient transition process with minimal disruption.
  • Management. CBTS provides a fully maintained AWS Well-Architected Framework environment. This suite of services includes ongoing operations along with daily monitoring and adjustment. With a managed network, your teams can focus on developing new capabilities and discovering new markets. IT is therefore removed as a major price point and becomes a value-added asset to the business.
CBTS recommends a tiered approach to a managed public cloud, a method that includes:
  • Foundational AWS. An architecture consisting of managed infrastructure for compute and storage applications. CBTS can handle configuration, support, and infrastructure maintenance alongside AWS services such as security, identity protection, content delivery, and network compliance.
  • Advanced AWS. Fostering support for advanced AWS features and cloud-native services is the aim of this tier. CBTS promotes high-level management and governance tools such as Opsworks and Trusted Advisor, as well as engagement services like Pinpoint.
  • AWS PaaS DevOps. Among this phase’s features are a next-gen platform featuring IaaS, automated deployments, and backing for a broad range of applications and infrastructure. Supported by CBTS, the goal of this segment is a seamless implementation of DevOps and CI/CD workflows, resulting in higher quality and faster time to market of the initial release as well as future deployments.

Also read: CBTS Managed Public Cloud: Powered by AWS

An improved user experience through AWS

The powerful AWS Well-Architected Framework is an answer for the challenges enterprises encounter with legacy AWS environments and application configurations.

For example, a home-building industry client runs a third-party line of business applications that provide material and cost planning for new homes. The company wanted to move the application to its AWS tenant but was challenged to identify the best architecture for optimal performance.

The client tasked CBTS to determine the cause behind slowdowns and bottlenecks impacting performance. After reviewing the enterprise’s legacy infrastructure, CBTS designed an AWS Well-Architected Framework solution to rightsize this digital transformation.

With mission-critical applications running in a dedicated Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), the company centralized and simplified its most pressing end-to-end workflow demands. Agile new architecture from CBTS delivers always-on accessibility, location- and vendor-agnostic flexibility, reduced cost, and an overall improved user experience.

A CBTS-led framework providing leading digital capabilities

Leveraging CBTS-managed services with an AWS Well-Architected Framework brings industry-leading cloud competencies to your busy enterprise. World-class expertise from CBTS in designing and managing advanced data architecture will ensure a smooth digital transition for your organization.

Also read: Realizing maximum benefits when migrating to the cloud

Read the e-book to learn more about how CBTS can help you navigate your AWS Well-Architected Framework journey.

Three Advantages of Managed IT Services for Healthcare

There’s no question that the healthcare field has borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources have been stretched thin and organizations have been forced to adapt to an unprecedented and dire situation.

Hospital contact center employees and other non-medical staff were among the many professionals to embrace remote work early on. While this adaptation kept staff safe and vital medical services operational, it also revealed an opportunity for improvement. As healthcare organizations expanded their networks to accommodate remote employees, many realized that their network technology was lacking.

Fortunately, managed IT services specialized for healthcare are available for a variety of applications. These solutions include Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Network as a Service (NaaS), software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

Three ways managed IT services for healthcare can transform your organization:
  1. Deliver secure, reliable network access for remote employees.
  2. Streamline communication and ensure solid connectivity.
  3. Layer cutting-edge network security into every layer of your business.

Below are some of the main benefits of software-defined managed IT services that your healthcare enterprise should be aware of.

Also read: The value of the cloud in our new reality

1. Empowering and safeguarding remote work with SD-WAN and NaaS

SD-WAN is a trusted and cutting-edge technology solution that revitalizes aging network infrastructure for the cloud era. While many verticals can benefit from this functionality, healthcare enterprises are uniquely positioned to embrace SD-WAN to its full potential.

Many hospitals have historically relied on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) infrastructures that offer privacy but tend to be expensive. Legacy MPLS can also lead to jumbled network atmospheres bloated with disparate connections. The vendor-agnostic nature of SD-WAN makes carrier diversity a strength rather than a weakness. By virtualizing networks, it allows hospitals to deploy whatever form of connectivity is needed regardless of licensing agreements.

Instead of needing hundreds of MPLS circuits to network all their devices, SD-WAN gives hospitals one streamlined, unified interface. This “single pane of glass” lets doctors, nurses, administrators, and support staff access every endpoint from anywhere in the network.

What makes SD-WAN an ideal managed IT service for healthcare, however, is the remote work capability it offers. When contact center employees and other non-medical personnel were sent home due to COVID-19, secure and reliable connections were critical. SD-WAN allows these employees to safely access hospital databases remotely without fear of sensitive data breaches.

Additionally, NaaS by CBTS can be deployed as a business model to standardize hospital communications systems. Healthcare networks tend to grow by absorbing the infrastructure of smaller organizations, leading to cluttered and patched-together phone systems. NaaS can be used to streamline each voice asset through a single provider to keep costs low and facilities running smoothly.

Also read: Four Considerations for Building a Remote Network with SD-WAN

2. Making cloud voice attainable with UCaaS

Many hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations struggle with an overabundance of communication systems—from landline phones to two-way radios. In many cases, these organizations were reluctant to make the switch to cloud voice until 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic made remote work a necessity, the benefits of cloud voice technology in healthcare became clear.

In the healthcare field, where lives hang in the balance each day, efficient communication is paramount. That’s why leading clinicians and hospital administrators across North America are embracing UCaaS as an advanced communications solution. UCaaS transforms networks of traditional handsets into hybrid communications models that combine existing devices with cloud voice applications. As a managed service, UCaaS by CBTS also offers predictable expenses and ongoing ground-level support to ensure dependable performance.

The last thing medical professionals need to worry about is whether their phone systems work. Managed IT services for healthcare like UCaaS can be leveraged to mitigate this issue.

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

3. Integrating security measures into each layer of the network

Network security is a top concern for much of the enterprise world, but especially so for healthcare organizations. With hospitals and clinics processing and storing sensitive patient data every day, breaches must be prevented at all costs. To meet these standards, healthcare leaders are seeking out network security that accounts for every possible contingency.

SASE by CBTS tackles this challenge by implementing industry-leading firewalls at the edge of globally distributed cloud networks. This means every networked device can be as secure as the internal data center, with no weak links left vulnerable.

This solution is complemented by an industry-leading cloud security implementation process that starts with a thorough assessment by CBTS engineers. CBTS is capable of moving every security measure into the cloud, meaning security is no longer tied to physical buildings. This cloud-native approach marries well with the managed IT services for healthcare mentioned above.

Also read: MDR: Another security fad? Think again.

Evolve your enterprise with these managed IT services for healthcare

New technologies change the face of medicine on a regular basis, and healthcare organizations often struggle to keep pace. That’s where managed services come in. A trusted partner can help your enterprise utilize the benefits of cloud technology in healthcare while mitigating risk and simplifying expenses.

Contact CBTS today to learn how managed IT services for healthcare can take your hospital or clinic to the next level.

Top 4 cloud solutions that will improve patient outcomes

Technology and innovation for better healthcare

October 7, 3:00 p.m. | Live webcast

Supporting secure business solutions on the cloud

Keeping pace with enterprise-level communications can be challenging in the digital age, as customers and employees both expect fast responses and seamless interactions across channels. Instead of toggling between platforms and devices to stay connected, agile organizations are looking for more effective ways to streamline and secure business communications on the cloud.

By integrating enterprise telephony, communication, and collaboration, CBTS helps companies deliver a seamless experience across channels. With hosted enterprise unified communications (UC), businesses can unlock significant benefits to protect from outages, downtimes, and other delays that might impede smooth communication.

Moving to the cloud can enhance communication and collaboration across an enterprise by enabling:

Read more: 5 ways the cloud protects your business

1. Carrier-grade protection

Expert engineers work around the clock to resolve issues instantly to support business solutions on the cloud.

When power outages or equipment failures shut down your network, you can’t connect with prospects, close sales, or collaborate with colleagues. To prevent these costly disruptions, CBTS delivers its hosted enterprise UC services over a carrier-grade network with 99.999% service level agreements to keep you connected.

Ten redundant data centers across North America provide disaster recovery and business continuity in case of an emergency, along with multiple server clusters, power sources, and network paths. Additionally, the U.S.-based Enterprise Network Operations teams at CBTS monitor and manage your network 24x7x365. Expert engineers work around the clock to resolve issues instantly, ensuring that your secure business communications won’t miss a beat.

Find out how Microsoft Teams synergizes with your hosted communications

2. One number, any phone

By connecting your enterprise telephony system to the cloud, you get the convenience and flexibility of using one number on any device. Whether you want to take calls through your desktop, tablet, smartphone, or handset, this capability allows calls to be forwarded seamlessly.

Using call pull capabilities, you can even move active calls from one device to another with a single click without interrupting your conversation. Meanwhile, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) handover maintains call quality as you move between data networks, switching from Wi-Fi to LTE. When you’re not tethered to a desk phone or on-site network, you can enjoy simple and secure business communication instead of contending with uncooperative technology.

3. Work from anywhere

If inclement weather, power outages, or other emergencies prevent your team from commuting to the office, the cloud can provide virtual meeting spaces to facilitate remote collaboration. Whether you’re on the go, working from home, or gathered in a conference room, CBTS offers a fully integrated unified collaboration experience with enterprise hosted UC.

By bringing together Webex’s advanced messaging and meeting capabilities within a single app, the cloud makes it easy to connect with voice, video, chat, screen sharing, file sharing, conferencing, and other remote collaboration tools. Wherever you are, you can join virtual meetings with a single click using your enterprise dial plan. With a unified solution that’s ”always on”’ across any device, you can be productive anywhere, anytime.

Also read: Give your remote teams the tools to connect seamlessly with Cisco Webex

4. Safely store sensitive data

As information travels faster than ever across a growing number of channels and devices, keeping your data safe is critical. End-to-end encryption helps bolster the security of your business communications through the cloud, while robust analytics allow your IT team to keep a close eye on your business in real-time.

When enterprise data is stored on the cloud, information can be synced instantly and accessed compliantly from any location. Paired with data loss prevention and risk assurance practices, the cloud enables collaboration while protecting your data, users, and devices. Hosted UC keeps your communications compliant and secure without sacrificing the must-have features you need to run your business.

Learn how Cisco Webex keeps your business communications secure.

5. Integrated cloud contact center

Customers expect prompt service from knowledgeable agents every time they contact your business, and if you can’t engage with them quickly and conveniently, they’ll find another company that will. An integrated omni-channel, cloud-based contact center can equip your enterprise to adapt swiftly to these evolving expectations.

Leveraging CBTS Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) can enhance the experience for your agents and your customers alike. With predictive analytics, adaptive routing, and active blending, CCaaS empowers agents to shift automatically from outbound to inbound queues when your call center traffic peaks. Bringing these robust contact center capabilities together on the cloud results in more productive agents and more satisfied customers.

Learn how Five9 Contact Center empowers extraordinary customer experiences.

Ensuring secure business communications

Omni-channel communication can be daunting for enterprises especially while balancing a remote workforce with regulatory compliance. With CBTS as your guide to navigate these communication challenges, your business can reap the benefits of the cloud to drive revenues while reducing risks.

The engineering experts at CBTS can custom-design a voice and data solution for your business, leveraging UC to integrate the tools that connect your company with your customers on the cloud. With multiple service delivery options, ongoing support, and automatic upgrades, CBTS is with you every step of the way.

Contact the UC experts at CBTS to streamline and secure your business communications today.

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

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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.

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