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Why cellular signal repeaters are ineffective without DAS

The era of 5G communications is about to break wide open on the world economy, putting untold amounts of data in the hands of businesses and consumers and unleashing a vast array of new services, some of which will require uninterrupted connectivity to perform vital functions.

The fact remains, however, that cellular coverage on which these services depend is spotty at best within most buildings. Conventional materials like steel and concrete act as RF blockers, as do newer materials like eco-friendly windows. If building owners and managers do not take steps now to improve coverage within their facilities, critical applications are likely to fail. This will negatively impact not just the user’s quality of life but will also diminish the value of owned property, whether it is used for housing, retail space, entertainment, manufacturing, or some other purpose.

77% surveyed tenants list quality of mobile network coverage key consideration

The DAS advantage

While it may be tempting to simply place a cellular repeater on top of a building or utilize Wi-Fi extenders inside, both of these approaches provide limited improvements at best, particularly as usage and data traffic increase, which they most surely will under 5G. A more compelling solution is the Distributed Antenna System (DAS), a fiber-based technology that utilizes small, low-power antenna nodes to push connectivity into dead spots without hampering performance with latency and interference issues.

Unlike a repeater or booster system, DAS does not amplify or extend an existing cellular service. Instead, it generates its own coverage, which can then be amplified to the cellular carrier’s network to provide stable, reliable service from virtually anywhere.

DAS generates its own coverage, which can then be amplified to the cellular carrier’s network to provide stable, reliable service from virtually anywhere.
 

DAS is also easy to install and inexpensive to operate, with many solutions costing as little as $1.50 per square foot. At the same time, it is highly scalable, enabling resources to be more easily matched to data demands. This allows for rapid and simplified installation coupled with low operating costs because the network does not need to be over-provisioned with resources that sit idle most of the time during periods of low demand.

Yet another advantage that DAS has over Wi-Fi or cellular repeaters is the ability to locate users on a far more granular level. This offers advantages when the need for emergency services arises or when location-based applications are employed, and it allows network operators to more accurately analyze where data is being consumed within the building in order to deliver high Quality of Service (QoS) and to plan for future growth.

The right managed service partner

Few building owners and managers have the expertise to effectively manage high-tech communications networks, however, which is why finding the right partner to implement a DAS solution is essential. CBTS has been at the forefront of advanced network technologies for more than two decades and can deploy experienced engineering teams to provide a detailed analysis of indoor networking needs and then devise a DAS system that generates optimal coverage at minimal costs.

Whether the solution is deployed under a traditional infrastructure model or under a DAS-as-a-Service (DASaaS) model, CBTS offers full installation and integration with carrier networks, as well as 24×7 support and operations, plus detailed reporting and analysis to ensure the system remains in peak working condition even as data demands shift over time.

As the new decade unfolds, wireless service will transition from a simple convenience to a downright necessity. Connected devices will require nearly 100 percent uptime in order to fulfill their functional mandates, but this cannot happen if dead spots remain indoors due to blocked signals.

If building owners hope to maintain financial returns on their properties, they must take steps now to ensure robust data access throughout all enclosed areas. After all, when users cannot access their data in one location, they quickly move to a place that is properly connected.

Download the infographic about the benefits of 5G-ready, in-building wireless network.

Continue reading: Why a Distributed Antenna System is the best answer to in-building wireless dead spots


Contact us for more information on how CBTS can ensure effective 5G connectivity in your facility.


Frost & Sullivan report places CBTS in top bracket for UCaaS innovation and growth

The past year has seen a meteoric rise in the demand for, and proliferation of, remote collaboration technology as organizations of every size, shape, and type have scrambled to meet the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an influential figure in this rapidly shifting atmosphere, CBTS has been recognized for its efforts in providing access to revolutionary solutions for mid-size and enterprise businesses.


Market research and business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan recently placed CBTS within the top quadrant of the 2020 Frost Radar™ for growth and innovation in Hosted IP Telephony and Unified Communications as a Service [UCaaS] for North America.


“CBTS differentiates from its competitors with its broad cloud, infrastructure, communications, and consulting expertise, and its unique ability to leverage the resources of a large organization and nimbleness of an entrepreneurial company culture to deliver excellent customer value. With its rich portfolio of cloud communications, collaboration and contact center solutions CBTS can effectively address the diverse needs of a broad customer spectrum—from SMB to large enterprise and from private to public companies. CBTS also stands out with its tailored approach to different industries. Specialized teams of vertical industry experts enable CBTS to custom-tailor solutions for SLED, healthcare, retail and other verticals’ highly specific requirements.”


Elka Popova
Vice President and Senior Fellow, Digital Transformation of Frost & Sullivan

The report further explores the tumultuous but opportunity-rich environment that managed service providers currently find themselves in.

“Digital technologies, including cloud communications solutions, have captured the spotlight in this time of crisis,” the study reads in part. “At the time this study is publishing, the global pandemic is already experiencing a second wave, which means that most businesses will be unable to resume normal operations for the foreseeable future.”

Despite the myriad challenges presented by the pandemic in 2020, there is also significant room for growth that agile and forward-facing organizations may capitalize on.

Although cloud migration rates could be hampered by the current economic climate, the Frost Radar report suggests considerable growth potential for the UCaaS marketplace.

“In the near term, UCaaS solutions are likely to see pockets of rapid growth in certain customer segments and verticals,” the report reads. “Service providers leveraging modern cloud architectures and with the ability to deliver services over public broadband, on any connected device and network utilizing technologies like SD-WAN, are likely to better capitalize on the growing demand for hosted IP telephony and UCaaS than providers relying on managed circuits, premises-based infrastructure (e.g., session border controllers (SBCs) and desktop devices.”

Frost Radar Report: Benchmarking future growth potential - Click this banner to download the report

The report elaborates that in the future, diversified offerings and comprehensive service suites that offer “one-stop shopping” for clients, such as unified communications, contact center solutions, and collaboration toolkits, are likely to provide the broadest avenue toward sustainable growth.


“Going forward, providers with broader cloud services suites are likely to experience faster growth than those selling point solutions,” the report reads. “Integrated cloud collaboration suites such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Cisco Webex will gain traction as businesses seek to deliver more compelling user experiences whereby users can use a single pane of glass to access a variety of modalities including, voice, video, team messaging, SMS, and more.”

By leveraging technologies from trusted third-party vendors such as Cisco HCS, Cisco Broadworks, Microsoft Teams Voice, and Cisco Webex Calling, CBTS is able to offer the following solutions with unparalleled reliability:
  1. Hosted Enterprise UC
  2. Hosted UC
  3. Microsoft Teams Voice
  4. Cloud Calling

Additionally, CBTS spares no effort when consulting and collaborating with clients and partners in order to deliver superior business outcomes.

Contact us to find out how CBTS can prepare your organization for the future with tailored UCaaS solutions.
 

 

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

Growth is widely considered the key to survival in the business world, but growth not is equally simple or achievable for every organization. That’s why many business leaders are seeking out managed networking solutions such as network as a service (NaaS) by CBTS.

NaaS, powered by Cisco Meraki, enables geographic expansion and increases revenue without the added burden of increased operation expenses. It accomplishes this by folding hardware, licensing, configuration, implementation, and co-management into one monthly expense. The package can also be scaled up or down according to need. CBTS currently supports NaaS solutions for more than 600 clients and is able to install managed networks in an average of 30 days. CBTS is proud to receive the highest compliment to our NaaS solution by Cisco Meraki in their recent case study.

Also read:CBTS NaaS Awarded Product of the Year by CIOReview

The current iteration of CBTS’ NaaS offering, complete with Meraki’s single-pane-of-glass dashboard, came out of a need to rapidly modernize outdated equipment without increasing costs or negatively impacting a client’s budget planning. The Meraki dashboard also features a managed service provider’s (MSP) portal, which allows for the management of multiple customer networks much more easily and with less personnel than is possible with traditional simple network management protocol (SNMP) tools.

Flexibility and agility are also core components of the Meraki/CBTS NaaS solution. It can easily be scaled up or down at any time to accommodate relocations, new facilities, or other network reconfigurations—making expansion a breeze for growing businesses or organizations with seasonal locations and job sites. Additionally, end users can benefit from collaborative co-management features if needed. This allows service providers to provide oversight during peak traffic periods or offer expert insight—all without the client needing to give up direct control or access.

CBTS offers the NaaS solution as a co-managed utility with a simple monthly recurring expense, including an automatically refreshing Meraki equipment licensing agreement. Complete visibility into the managed network is built into the solution, so end users can stay apprised of how the network is performing.

Other functions are also enabled to fulfill user expectations, including services like Cisco DNA Spaces and Cisco Unified Communications. This allows CBTS to deliver artificial intelligence and network insights in addition to a reliable software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) experience. Being able to offer all of these capabilities with a single cost-effective and user-friendly platform allows enterprise leaders to set their organizations on a stable road toward sustainable growth and adaptation—all without major capital expenditures every few years.

Easily migrate from MPLS to cloud computing of the future powered by Cisco Meraki

In recent years, CBTS has seen remarkable growth as a service provider, thanks in significant part to the transport-agnostic nature of the Meraki MX, which enables migration from a regional MPLS provider to a managed WAN provider that can reach across the entire North American continent. CBTS has since enabled MPLS solutions for 116 unique customers, with an average installation time of only 120 days. Today, CBTS can claim more than 600 WAN customers and an average WAN site install interval of 30 days. The partnership with Meraki has not only led to rapid geographic expansion for CBTS, but also simultaneously cut down on the provider’s quote-to-cash interval and operating expenses.

Another key to the success of the Meraki NaaS offering is the way it factors in each customer’s unique network environment, goals, and needs. From 3,800-site foodservice and retail businesses that require centralized, consolidated data center solutions to smaller organizations seeking an expert partner to troubleshoot their aging networks, CBTS has been able to reduce downtime, increase revenues, and simplify operations for a wide variety of clients with the Meraki NaaS offering.

CBTS plans to continue growing the Meraki solution suite with new functionalities in the future, including Meraki MG wireless WAN, MT sensors, and a VMX virtual security/SD-WAN appliance.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS and Cisco Meraki can enable your organization to simplify operating expenses while achieving strategic networking goals.

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

Many professionals working remotely are struggling with insufficient wireless networks and constrained bandwidth, whether they’re operating from home or a branch office. For companies still grappling with the “new normal” of remote work, getting the most from their networks requires maximizing remote office capabilities and targeting mission-critical business goals.

CBTS, already demonstrating a proven network solution track record, is offering optimized solution bundles leveraging software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology with Network as a Service (NaaS) to empower organizations to meet these new challenges. These bundles are designed for the needs of remote branch employees and allow staff to access their private networks from anywhere and on any device, while companies can enjoy easy scalability to meet bandwidth demands and facilitate new locations. This support takes the form of two distinct remote collaboration technology offerings.

Meraki Remote Worker Bundle

The first bundle, based on Meraki technology, utilizes an MX67C to provide a next generation full unified threat management firewall and also includes a SIM Slot, automatic VPN functionality, and an internal LTE modem to pair with an LTE data plan from CBTS.

VeloCloud Remote Worker Bundles:

The second package centers around a VeloCloud SD-WAN 510 LTE Edge that features an integrated LTE modem. When coupled with a managed LTE data plan from CBTS, this one-box solution provides improved signal strength and coverage over USB modems while also limiting the compatibility issues that non-standardized USB modems occasionally suffer from. Check Point Network Security can also be added to this second bundle for enhanced protection and peace of mind.  Check Point CloudGuard is a system that manages cloud security services at the enterprise level to integrate advanced threat protection measures and create secure connections over hybrid WAN transports.

Managed Cloud Network as a Service (Naas) from CBTS is another boon for the active remote office. Built on Cisco Meraki technology, the solution includes Auto VPN, switching, and Wi-Fi. Fully supported by CBTS engineers, the network is WAN-deployed, saving organizations from a management burden as their employees continue to operate from home.

Remote worker bundles include cloud-enabled security measures and remote management tools, while also eliminating the need for a second Internet connection and providing network survivability through LTE connectivity. Serving as a cost-effective backup, LTE offers flexibility and security for branch offices or home networks. Ensuring day-one connectivity for remote workers means leveraging an all-in-one branch solution that supports LTE as the primary WAN link. Once a wired connection is established, the same multi-WAN router can be utilized to load balance between wired and wireless links.

Companies now relying on remote environments—either temporarily or on a more permanent basis—must also furnish their workers with networking know-how equal to what is available in the office. CBTS is offering a suite of remote worker solutions that link employees to dependable networking options regardless of their location.

SD-WAN abstracts the network hardware and application transport characteristics to simplify management and enhance performance. It also allows companies to replace expensive private WAN connections such as MPLS by building higher-performance WANs using low-cost Internet access.

Ideal use cases for an SD-WAN solution combination include on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployment models that require a Quality of Experience (QoE) for real-time applications such as VoIP and video regardless of where the user is located. SD-WAN can be an especially good fit for organizations that operate call centers or rely heavily on critical applications.

Network solutions can be further bolstered by Check Point CloudGuard Connect, a cloud-hosted threat prevention service that protects SaaS, IaaS, and branch-office assets with scalability, intelligent provisioning, and consistent control across physical and virtual networks. Rather than burdening IT staff with the maintenance of dedicated hardware and supports, the system’s cyber protection benefits are added to existing routers or SD-WAN deployments. This enables branch offices to stay connected while removing the operational overhead of sustaining hundreds or thousands of physical devices.

Meanwhile, hosted unified communications (UC) is giving businesses control over their remote communications. This cloud-contained, fully-hosted solution can replace aging telephone systems, enabling organizations to allocate workloads across locations.

As many workplaces are still working diligently to implement efficient remote work solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud-friendly tools are available to help companies avoid productivity losses and enhance the performance of their remote employees.

Contact CBTS for more information on how SD-WAN & NaaS networking solutions can accelerate the productivity of your remote workforce.

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

Customers today demand faster service from companies across multiple communication channels. They expect contact centers to deliver extraordinary experiences with every interaction—but that becomes more challenging as communication technologies rapidly evolve.

Thanks to their widely recognized reliability and flexibility, cloud-based contact center solutions can help companies keep pace with these changes by equipping agents to provide stellar service across channels, leveraging advanced features and unlimited integration capabilities to stay ahead of the curve. By offering Five9 Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), CBTS gives enterprise clients a scalable platform from which to enhance the customer experience while streamlining agent workflows.

By combining industry-leading contact center software from Five9 with trusted Cisco UCaaS solutions from CBTS, this powerful new platform empowers companies to future-proof their contact center experience for both remote agents and customers. Below are a few of the ways Five9 and CBTS are working together to expand your enterprise communication capabilities.

Delivering a seamless contact center experience

Call center agents can’t provide a streamlined customer experience if they have to toggle between multiple systems to field incoming calls, use outbound dialers, or switch from voice to other channels. The Five9 blended contact center unifies inbound and outbound calling features to bridge this gap, so agents can access multiple applications simultaneously through a single cloud-based platform.

Five 9 Hosted Call Center Solutioins

CBTS and Five9 work together to connect agents with customers across voice, e-mail, web, social, chat, and mobile. Built-in integrations and advanced API capabilities offer connectivity to critical business applications that agents use every day. Customers ultimately benefit from this seamless experience, thanks to integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft (Dynamics), NetSuite, Oracle (Service Cloud), ServiceNow, Sugar CRM, Velocify, Zendesk, and Zoho. This collaboration also includes open REST-base API functionality that integrates with existing systems, enabling higher quality service across channels.

Bundling Five9 Contact Center software with CBTS Unified Communication as a Service solutions can reduce expenses while streamlining your company’s telecom infrastructure with a single vendor. As a single solution provider, CBTS can fully customize each client’s communication capabilities, allowing you to Bring Your Own Voice (BYOV) provider or adopt a cloud-based voice solution like Hosted UC or Hosted Enterprise UC to support your agents’ PSTN calling.

Empowering call center agents anywhere

As the omni-channel contact center experience grows more complex, it can be challenging to maintain consistency and continuity. With more companies shifting toward a remote work environment, it’s even more important to equip agents with the same service capabilities regardless of where they’re geographically located. Make sure you’ve set your remote work agents up for success; learn more about remote work best practices here. 

Whether your agents work from one central office, multiple locations, or remotely from home, Five9 Contact Center and CBTS offer scalable support. The flexible cloud-based platform keeps agents connected anywhere, on any device, by providing reliable access to all the tools they need.

Five9 also offers comprehensive supervisor capabilities that let you monitor, whisper, and barge into calls from any location, so you can manage agent interactions everywhere. Plus, real-time insights and robust performance metrics help supervisors manage contact center operations at a glance.

Preparing for the future

Aging on-premises contact center solutions can’t keep pace with the rapidly changing telecommunications landscape, and limited technical capabilities can even hold companies back. By contrast, the feature-rich functionality of Five9 Contact Center as a Service from CBTS keeps enterprises nimble and poised for growth.

Read more: Now More Than Ever it is Time to Move Your Enterprise Contact Center to the Cloud

CCaaS offers flexible scalability as your contact center needs grow and change. You can simply add more agent licenses with our concurrent user-based pricing, IVR ports, and line capacity as you need it—paying only for what you use to make growth more affordable. The interfaces are intuitive and training is included so administrators can easily add and change routing strategies and IVR call flows.

Even when natural disasters, power outages, and other emergencies strike, CCaaS helps companies maintain communication without interruption to support business continuity. Together, Five9 and CBTS provide peace of mind through:

  • 24x7x365 network availability.
  • Redundant global data centers.
  • Strict end-to-end security protocols.
  • Real-time software upgrades.
  • 99.990% uptimes.

Why CBTS?

CBTS and Five9 will help you adapt quickly to the constantly changing environment and stay ahead of the competition.

  • Single account team, project management, training, and implementation.
  • Overlay hosted unified communications advanced PBX features.
  • No interruption of service, ease of migration.
  • Common calling plan and extension dial legacy systems.
  • 24x7x365 U.S.-based support.
  • Bundle integrated collaboration and unified communications solutions to reduce expenses.
  • Consolidated billing for all solutions.

As a leading Five9 Contact Center provider and integrator, CBTS offers enterprise solutions to future-proof your contact center with reliable cloud-based tools that deliver consistent, high-quality customer experiences across channels, devices, and locations. The streamlined platform enables service with more flexibility, functionality, and consistency—ultimately boosting agent productivity and customer satisfaction.

Contact us to learn more about bundling Five9 Contact Center as a Service with CBTS enterprise voice solutions to enhance your contact center experience.

How CBTS is Integrating Hosted UCaaS with Microsoft Teams

As more businesses settle into long-term work-from-home environments, remote teams need more efficient ways to connect with each other and to the critical applications they use every day. Instead of patching together disjointed systems for voice solutions and cloud-based collaboration, forward-looking companies are looking to synergize and streamline their corporate telecommunications experience and employee experience.

To help businesses maximize their remote work capabilities across channels, CBTS has combined its Cisco Broadworks-powered enterprise voice solution with Microsoft Teams. Using Microsoft Direct Route as a bridge, this powerful integration unifies Microsoft Teams with the robust public branch exchange (PBX) features, flexibility, and reliability offered by CBTS.

By combining VoIP communication with collaboration into a single integrated platform, companies can offer a true Unified Communications experience and tap into their full employee potential by boosting the productivity of their remote workforce. Meanwhile, IT can now enable a fully-featured PBX solution to Microsoft Teams users and their entire organization. Here’s how Microsoft Direct Route from CBTS empowers business collaboration and continuity.

Full application integration

Microsoft Teams Voice from CBTS enables businesses to connect their organizations’ Microsoft Teams users with PBX capabilities whether that’s through hosted UCaaS or SIP trunking, giving advanced functionality at a lower cost than the competition.  CBTS enhances this solution by integrating the collaboration capabilities of Microsoft Teams and the essential business tools of Office 365 with the industry-leading enterprise voice platform Cisco Broadworks—giving clients access to all the communication features their businesses need, such as:

  • Contact center functionality.
  • AI-enabled IVR.
  • Multi-level auto attendants.
  • Advanced hunt groups.
  • Analytics and call reporting.

As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud Service Provider, CBTS integrates these enterprise voice features and omnichannel contact center functionalities with the Microsoft Teams collaboration suite to deliver a seamless telecom experience from a single managed solution provider. This frees your IT department from having to spin up patchwork solutions or support multiple VPNs to connect remote workers to the tools they need.

Reliable remote collaboration

By offering local and remote workers secure access to all the business applications they use to do their jobs, the CBTS Microsoft PBX solution from CBTS equips employees to work anywhere from any device. The 99.999% reliability of CBTS Microsoft PBX, combined with the redundant network design of CBTS enterprise voice solutions, ensures uninterrupted call delivery and business continuity, even during emergencies and power outages.

Microsoft Direct Route enables businesses to take advantage of Microsoft Teams’ collaboration features like video conferencing and group chat, while seamlessly supporting employees’ daily workflows across Office 365 programs, third-party applications, and existing telephone systems. Using this integrated solution, companies can keep their teams connected with robust chat, voice, and video features that help employees collaborate effectively through shared files and app integration.

Engaging meeting features

Blending VoIP, dial-in audio conferencing, and HD video makes online meetings more dynamic. Microsoft Direct Route from CBTS lets your company communicate with parties around the globe by extending the collaboration capabilities of Microsoft Teams to your employees, customers, and partners.

Instantly launch online meetings with a single click and invite guests to join from any mobile device, desktop, or web browser, instead of requiring proprietary conferencing software or complicated login instructions. Facilitate real-time collaboration with screen sharing features and integrated applications that make meetings more meaningful and productive.

Benefitting the bottom line

Combining your enterprise calling plan with the powerful collaboration capabilities of Microsoft Teams enables more scalable, flexible, and reliable communications—making employees more productive whether they’re remote or on-premises—while also giving them the option to communicate however they prefer, whether that’s on a soft client, handset, or mobile device.

Deploying this unified solution can even help reduce telecom costs by leveraging your current phone systems and eliminating the need for additional network gateways, with fixed monthly expenses to help plan your IT budget without any surprises. Bringing CBTS voice solutions into the Microsoft Cloud through Direct Route delivers an average monthly savings of 30% compared to Microsoft’s calling plans—giving clients the best of both worlds without adding financial burdens. CBTS Microsoft voice solutions come with additional benefits as well:

  • Customized implementation and delivery models.
  • Robust network delivery like SD-WAN, NaaS, or OTT.
  • 99.999% service level agreements.
  • Ongoing 24x7x365 U.S. support.
  • Common enterprise dial plans.
  • Extension dial to existing PBXs. 
  • Pool long distance usage.
  • Dedicated project and account management.
  • SIP handsets are available.

With customized implementation, adoption, and ongoing support from CBTS, you can future-proof your company’s collaboration solution by integrating the best communication tools from Microsoft and Cisco from an experienced provider like CBTS.

Contact us to learn how CBTS and Microsoft Direct Route can enhance your organization’s remote collaboration, voice, and conferencing capabilities.

The key to finding the right SD-WAN provider for your organization

As cloud-based applications catch on in terms of both popularity and availability, the users who rely on them are expecting easier and more reliable access from any remote work situation they operate in.

Simultaneously, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology is solidifying its place as the leading solution for deploying and managing cloud-enabled network environments. Small, medium, and enterprise-level organizations alike are seeing the value in partnering with a qualified SD-WAN provider to enhance and simplify their cloud application and managed software processes.

Identifying and selecting the right partner for your managed SD-WAN needs is no simple matter, however. It’s crucial for organizations to have an intimate knowledge of their existing network architectures in order to find the best fit for their goals.

Not every provider has the expertise to smoothly transform a legacy Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network into a cloud-powered hybrid or SD-WAN architecture, regardless of the industry or vertical the client occupies. This requires a provider to work closely with the client’s IT teams to identify vulnerabilities, map out the existing network environment, and meticulously plot out a transition plan.

The right SD-WAN partner must also bring a critical eye and modern approach to your organization’s security situation. When designing and deploying an SD-WAN environment for your enterprise, solutions like Check Point CloudGuard should be layered throughout the architecture of the managed service. In short, your SD-WAN provider should fully and comprehensively assess your existing network to not only optimize bandwidth but to safeguard data and applications as well, counseling you on where to layer on additional security measures when needed.

Additionally, a managed SD-WAN solution provider should offer a suite of services that achieve the end goal of freeing up your IT personnel and resources to focus less on mundane daily tasks and more on critical strategic business initiatives. A properly implemented SD-WAN environment can achieve this, but only if the provider works alongside your team throughout the entire deployment process by monitoring, maintaining, and updating the environment as necessary to ensure a smooth transition.

It’s a common misconception that after migrating to a Software as a Service (SaaS) SD-WAN model, organizations lose direct control over their network. This isn’t the case for experienced and proven SD-WAN providers, which partner closely with clients to co-manage the new network environment. In this manner, a truly collaborative SD-WAN solution combines the strengths and expertise of both client and provider to achieve the client’s long-term goals.

Contrary to some popular perceptions, SD-WAN is not a magic button that solves every networking difficulty with the press of a button, even when users are extensively trained and experienced in the operation of SD-WAN networking solutions. That’s why a qualified and trusted partner is so important to effect an orderly migration from legacy MPLS networking to a cloud-enabled SD-WAN environment while giving your organization a greater degree of flexibility and control over your network.

That’s where CBTS comes in. Whether your strategic goal is to cut down on operating expenses or greatly increase application uptime, CBTS will synergize with your IT infrastructure to formulate a customized SD-WAN solution that is tailor-made for your specific circumstances and needs. CBTS can also easily factor in and balance additional features like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) as needed.

SD-WAN is defining both the present and future of enterprise networking and is creating exciting new opportunities, but it takes an expert guide to navigate these turbulent waters safely. Choose your partner carefully to get the most out of this cutting-edge technology.

Contact us for more information on finding the right SD-WAN provider for your organization.

How NaaS is putting the cloud within reach for every enterprise

Legacy networks, and the businesses that rely on them, are running out of juice. For the most part, these outdated network environments are simply not equipped to meet the high demand that exists today for reliable, full-spectrum communication capabilities. The spike in remote work situations during the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the demand for modern networking technology that enables seamless and user-friendly collaboration.

Network as a Service (NaaS) has emerged as a transformative solution to the flagging effectiveness of most legacy networks. NaaS works by leveraging the programming and connectivity power of the cloud to provide managed, cloud-based networking capabilities as a comprehensive service and a simple transport method.

Joe Putnik, chief innovation officer at CBTS, recently sat down with CIO Review to discuss new advances and developments in NaaS, which won CIO Review’s Product of the Year award.

When combined with other revolutionary solutions such as Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) and Hosted Unified Communications (UC) and implemented by a trusted vending partner, NaaS is capable of completely reinventing any enterprise’s networking architecture. Indeed, reinvention is crucial at a time when organizations are settling into a semi-permanent state of remote operation in the face of the COVID crisis.

However, networking solutions are only effective when enabled by the correct hardware. That’s where Cisco Meraki comes in. A collection of scalable and secure network platforms for the future-focused enterprise, Meraki offers intuitive cloud integration, auto-provisioning, VPN, and other valuable capabilities. As an experienced partner for enterprise-level organizations as well as small- and medium-sized businesses, CBTS pairs the Cisco Meraki platform with its array of managed SD-WAN, Hosted UC, and NaaS services to deliver unparalleled results for clients.

CBTS has implemented its NaaS for more than 600 clients and more than 5,000 locations since it began offering the solution in 2016 and has achieved this milestone by partnering with other leaders in the market, including Cisco and Dell/VMware. CBTS is able to deploy solutions from these partner firms over any transport, from Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to 4G LTE. This flexibility makes CBTS an attractive provider for organizations of any size that are seeking a future-ready network architecture.

The CBTS NaaS solution arose from a need for a fully-managed, streamlined, and holistic approach to secure connectivity. Customers in multiple industries were seeking a method to address both their Wi-Fi and firewall concerns, which NaaS is purpose-built to solve. NaaS is also designed to be easily scaled for growth, a major benefit for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), especially those with a need to expand their networks to multiple locations or facilities.

From day one, the NaaS approach has been driven by the goal to simplify the lives and day-to-day processes of every client, regardless of the vertical they occupied or the size of their business. However, implementing a solution is only part of the equation. To ensure success for their clients, CBTS takes the initiative to establish a monitoring environment that allows for continuous system auditing, patching, and improvements to deliver the best experience possible for the client. CBTS accomplishes this by partnering with software company ServiceNow and creating automated monitoring processes that help clients proactively maintain their network environments and databases in the long term.

Commitment, flexibility, and collaboration are the keystones of the NaaS service that CBTS employs for all of its clients. By utilizing the latest technology available and anticipating the needs of its customers, CBTS stays ahead of the curve and consistently delivers intuitive, effective, and future-forward managed solutions for organizations of every size.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can enable your network infrastructure to be smarter and simpler.

Expert breakdown webcast series: Microsoft Teams in the Big Picture

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

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

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

Webcast Series 3.1: Comparing collaboration platforms

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

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

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

Webcast Series 3.2: Taking a technical deep dive

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

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

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

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

Webcast Series 3.3: Exploring work-from-home collaboration

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

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

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

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

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

Register for Webcast Series 3.1

Register for Webcast Series 3.2

Register for Webcast Series 3.3

Revamping an outdated network with SD-WAN and NaaS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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