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SD-WAN removes network-related barriers

As organizations evolve in the era of digital transformation, they often discover that the networks that have driven their business forward in the past are now slowing them down. They know they need to replace the hodgepodge of systems they’ve accumulated over time that are creating network barriers with a solution that’s more integrated, more efficient, and easier to manage.

For many, that means migrating to the cloud, which can create additional network strains.

To stay competitive, distributed organizations are looking to SD-WAN to overcome today’s branch network challenges of expensive bandwidth, infrastructure complexity, and rigid architectures.

Companies that want to avoid the challenges of cloud migration should consider upgrading their network strategy and design with an SD-WAN solution that is:

  1. Optimized for cloud performance both now and in the future.
  2. Configured to maximize the efficiency of existing hardware throughout the migration to cloud services.
  3. Offered as a managed service to free in-house IT staff from the day-to-day network management, maintenance, and troubleshooting. This allows internal IT resources to focus on core initiatives and innovate on a modernized infrastructure.

SD-WAN alleviates top networking concerns

SD-WAN addresses our clients’ top networking issues as it provides a centralized network that optimizes cloud computing, improves security, and increases visibility in a single solution. SD-WAN also lowers bandwidth costs.

Backed up by superior engineering, CBTS SD-WAN adopts a transformational approach to simplify branch office networking, assure optimal application performance, and overcome existing network barriers.

How SD-WAN overcomes your network barriers

Our purpose-built enterprise solution allows businesses to:

  • Address performance issues where latency, distributed data sources and applications, and broad access to systems across locations, devices, and geographies may all come into play.
  • Deliver high performance for the next-generation of business applications.
  • Innovate and transform business outcomes with enhanced real-time operations and business agility.
  • Eliminate capEx, the traditional capital investment in IT infrastructure.
  • Leave behind the complexity and high costs associated with building, sourcing and supporting high performance and leading-edge technology.
  • Pay less for an agile, high-performance network.

Why SD-WAN as a managed service is the solution

The simplicity and cost advantages of SD-WAN make it an excellent candidate for cloud-based fully managed services, even at the enterprise level.

When you partner with a managed SD-WAN provider, you hand off a substantial volume of networking duties to CBTS experts who design, implement, manage, and monitor your remote-office networking 24x7x365.

Managed SD-WAN from CBTS helps enterprises move beyond MPLS connectivity to overcome network barriers. Our experts have decades of experience with data centers, networking technologies, and enterprise-level IT challenges. With every enterprise embracing big data, machine learning, and advanced analytics to survive disruptive threats, the fully managed option can give your company a computing edge.

Pairing our SD-WAN solution with our expert support makes for a white-glove solution package that is tailored to meet your business needs.

How to choose the right SD-WAN provider for your business

The adoption of cloud technologies, such as SD-WAN, requires a comprehensive strategy along with the trust and reassurance of a proven IT partner.

Look for a partner with all of these capabilities:

  • Ability to assess your existing network and develop a customized technology roadmap that addresses both your organization’s current needs and its future business goals.
  • Support for both wired and wireless technologies as well as public and private transport.
  • Cloud management that enables remote provisioning and global management from a single central location.
  • Intelligent load balancing that uses all available bandwidth in the most efficient way.
  • 24/7 monitoring that detects bad links and steers traffic for optimal network and application performance. Reports on application performance and links for SLA adherence.
  • The ability to build sophisticated business rules and routing policies.
  • The ability to let clients shift between managing all or just some infrastructure depending on current needs.
  • Broadly certified engineers who can  perform routine implementation and monitoring, and future proof a network by designing a cloud migration strategy that maximizes efficiency of existing hardware on the way to the cloud. Our certified engineers will also suggest new technologies based on the latest certifications.
  • A portfolio of providers that lets the partner choose the right vendor-neutral mix of solutions for a customer’s specific business needs.
  • A utility pricing model based on a flat monthly fee for easy budgeting and planning.
Together with IDG Research, CBTS recently surveyed IT decision makers on SD-WAN. Do you know where you stack-up? This whitepaper gives you not only the stats, but also the solution to removing network-related barriers. To learn more about CBTS SD-WAN, request a free consultation or Proof of Concept conversation.

CBTS introduces new cloud calling solution

CBTS is pleased to introduce Cloud Calling, a complete cloud-based calling solution powered by Cisco.

Cloud Calling features

Cloud Calling is a comprehensive service with full cloud-PBX and mobility features. It enables organizations to expand and migrate an existing on-premise deployment into a cloud environment.

This cloud calling solution provides multisite capabilities and global reach for small, midmarket, and enterprise organizations while minimizing the complexity associated with moving into the cloud. It supports a wide range of Cisco IP Phones combined with the latest collaboration technologies–Webex Meetings and Webex Teams.

The CBTS Cloud Calling offering includes calling, meetings, and team collaboration under a single subscription model.

Collaborate efficiently with Cisco Webex Teams

 

Cisco Webex Teams is a collaboration tool that includes video, messaging, screen sharing, spaces, whiteboarding, and much more.

Webex Teams is included, adding rich unified communications and team collaboration services.

Leverage Cisco Webex for meetings

Cisco Webex Meetings provides unmatched video quality and delivers a seamless meeting experience from any device, anywhere. Webex Meetings is offered as an integrated add-on to provide the world’s most popular and premium conferencing experience.

Receive world-class support

As part of our secure and scalable Cloud Calling offer, you receive:

  • Global delivery and support. Ubiquitous services and functionality regardless of location. Ideal for multisite businesses.
  • A cloud migration path. Augment on-premise PBX solutions and build a gradual cloud migration to easily scale your business.
  • Extensive support. From onboarding, activation, through ongoing 24x7x365 monitoring, management, maintenance, and training our CBTS experts are here for your business.
Cloud Calling by CBTS: Get the best solution for your business

Cloud Calling offers multiple benefits

A fully managed cloud calling solution platform helps you:

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Work Globally
Our Cloud Calling offer is built to support multisite and global multi-national networking requirements.

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Control Investment Costs
Reduce technology and operational cost and complexity, and gain a more agile, intuitive way to work.

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Scale Up or Down
We offer flexible Cloud Calling solution deployments that scale to meet the needs of enterprises of every size.

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Reduce Time to Onboard
Start using your new solution quickly and easily.

Remain competitive with CBTS

Cloud Calling by CBTS is the solution for any business that needs and wants to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing digital landscape.

CBTS couples vast technical expertise with flexible unified communications and collaboration solutions to drive successful business outcomes, mitigate risks, improve operational efficiency, and reduce costs for our clients.

 

“Our clients expect to use professional communications technology that easily integrates with their business applications and workflows. Cloud Calling provides the flexibility and value that will allow clients to communicate and collaborate more efficiently in order to drive business outcomes.

The addition of Cloud Calling, in combination with our existing portfolio of Unified Communications solutions, allows CBTS to fully meet the needs of organizations ranging from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises.”

Greg Samuels
Senior Director, Cisco Sales Practice
CBTS

Future-proof your business today with Cloud Calling by CBTS.

NaaS helps school districts engage students

School districts are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to technology funding. The rock is the budget, which is usually stretched to the max. The hard place is the relentless need for new technologies.

Case Study: Read how CBTS NaaS addresses the unique pain points facing school districts in a cost-efficient and future-proof manner.

Connectivity is critical in today’s educational environment. Students must have access to data across multiple locations. Students need to communicate on a wide scale. And students are increasingly required to submit assignments on various digital platforms.

Failure to provide the necessary technologies will ultimately isolate students.

School districts have unique networking needs

Maintaining broadband connectivity is an expensive and highly inefficient prospect.

School districts, on average, serve at least 30,000 students. Their networking needs rival those of Fortune 500 companies, yet capacity largely sits idle after the school day ends. Cash-strapped schools require a better networking solution.

NaaS offers school districts flexible, efficient solution

Many districts are turning to CBTS for Network as a Service (NaaS).

CBTS NaaS is managed via a user-friendly dashboard that provides complete visibility into the network. The solution evolves without complex hardware deployments, disruption of service, or gaps in security.

NaaS enables districts to move from a fixed capital cost (CapEx) to an on-demand operational cost (OpEx). This means schools only pay for what they need.

NaaS offers value to school districts beyond connectivity

The CBTS managed Network as a Service portfolio provides school systems reliable network access. The solution meets connectivity needs in a number of ways:

  • Automated Virtual Private Networking. Auto VPN allows local area networks (LANs) to easily be connected, secured, and decommissioned.
  • Offloaded Management. CBTS provides expert engineering support 24x7x365 for your network. CBTS constantly monitors the network for threats, and stops them without disrupting your team.
  • Cost Control. CBTS service is available at a fixed rate for a predictable monthly fee.
  • Security. CBTS allows clients to set their own rules and integrate appropriate security measures for each type of user. For schools, these users include students, teachers, administrators, and facilities maintenance.
  • Constant Protection. CBTS offers proactive monitoring to provide early detection of network infractions and threats.

School districts access cutting edge technology with NaaS

NaaS also allows school districts to remain on the cutting edge of networking technology.

CBTS clients enjoy the most advanced technologies when they become available. These technologies include intelligent analytics, software-defined network architectures, and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE).

CBTS offers flexible support to school districts

CBTS helps clients quickly implement new technologies with no downtime or security risks. CBTS can fully manage your NaaS stack, or we can custom-tailor our engagement based on your organization’s needs.

CBTS helps school districts stay focused on supporting students

School systems must deliver a wide range of digital services to remain relevant. This requires an advanced, flexible, and cost-efficient network.

School districts that leverage the CBTS NaaS solution are better equipped to enhance the educational experience for students. These school districts will enjoy improved performance and ensure cost efficiencies for administration, parents, and taxpayers.

NaaS solution meets automobile retailer’s needs

CBTS helps clients across industries leverage Network as a Service to meet their individual needs. An automobile retailer with a wide network of franchised dealerships approached CBTS looking for a managed network solution to support its future business strategy. The client had a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS)-based network and was concerned about its ability to handle growth.

Case Study: Learn how the CBTS NaaS solution helped an automobile retailer achieve 20% cost savings.

Automobile retailer’s business challenges

The client owns a network of franchised automobile dealerships across three states. The client has three business units located in Greater Cincinnati, Columbus, and Salt Lake City. Its expensive MPLS connections were supporting 16 sites and provided access to critical applications through the client’s data center.

The automobile retailer had the following needs:

  1. A managed network solution. To ensure a reliable connection for the automobile dealer’s current and future locations.
  2. Additional Internet bandwidth. To support dealer-specific and proprietary applications without making additional investments in software or hardware.
  3. Short-term support for existing infrastructure with long-term implementation strategy. The retailer’s MPLS contracts had various expiration dates and limited in-house IT resources. It needed a provider to help implement this technology.

Developing a comprehensive NaaS solution

CBTS determined the client should move to Network as a Service (NaaS) technology.

NaaS is a Wi-Fi enabled network that provides centralized data services throughout multiple locations. This allows clients to share wireless connectivity, analytics, and other resources.

The CBTS development and operations team planned, developed, and implemented the solution. The solution was installed at 16 customer sites within 30 days. It was also integrated with the automobile retailer’s existing MPLS and routing infrastructure. This mitigated the impact on the client’s existing IT resources.

Achieving desired results

With NaaS, the automobile retailer achieved the following results:

  • Improved speed and reliability. This was achieved by moving the retailer’s network infrastructure to the cloud.
  • Sufficient bandwidth. This bandwidth can now support the retailer’s business units.
  • Scalability. This allows the client to add and remove dealerships in the future.
  • 50/50 Internet connection. This connection provides low-cost bandwidth that complements and enhances the retailer’s existing 10/10 MPLS connection.
  • Built-in hardware refresh. Eliminates the retailer’s obsolete equipment.
  • CBTS managed network solution. CBTS manages and monitors the solution, providing 24x7x365 adjustments and troubleshooting. This allows the automobile retailer to manage its locations without worrying about IT issues.

 

Learn more

Network as a Service (NaaS) from CBTS provides businesses with a scalable method of supporting, maintaining, expanding, and securing today’s commercial networks. To learn more about the solutions CBTS provided to the automobile retailer, download the case study.

SD-WAN mission critical for today’s workforce

With today’s workers spread out in branch offices and remote sites across the United States and around the world, IT leaders must explore options like SD-WAN for improving their enterprise WAN performance. Employees expect to collaborate effortlessly no matter their location. They want instant access, on any device, to the cloud applications and rich-media files that are consuming more and more of your network’s bandwidth.

Bold changes in the ways people interact with their corporate environment demand bold thinking by IT professionals about enterprise WAN technology. That’s why CBTS and VeloCloud are focused on helping organizations rethink their enterprise WAN to handle ever-increasing demands.

CBTS, VeloCloud tailor enterprise WAN solutions for your needs

CBTS and VeloCloud networking experts are gathering with IT leaders at CIO Summits and Executive Briefings across North America to talk about SD-WAN. At these meetings, we leverage our combined expertise to whiteboard specific enterprise WAN plans based on pain points and growth. The goal is to ensure high performance and reliable access to the cloud services, private data centers, and SaaS applications that employees need.

SD-WAN offers multiple benefits to organizations of all sizes

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of SD-WAN for today’s enterprise WANs:

Build better enterprise WAN for branch office connectivity

Adding bandwidth intensive cloud applications like Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Marketo or Pardot to an already stretched enterprise WAN can sharply degrade performance. This is especially true when you consider all of the compute and storage functions migrating to the cloud.

MPLS-connected WANs deliver proven performance for a specific application, but aren’t suited for handling multiple cloud-hosted applications simultaneously. That’s where SD-WAN excels.

By connecting branch and remote sites to the corporate headquarters and data centers via the public internet, remote users can easily access:

  1. Their SaaS products for communications, scheduling, and collaboration.
  2. Corporate cloud software used for time tracking, CRM, marketing and sales functions, and office productivity.

SD-WAN helps maximize IT organization’s time

SD-WAN, as a software-focused approach, does not require the installation of network equipment at each site.

By moving network control to the cloud, SD-WAN gives IT staff a centralized dashboard to configure, maintain, and actively manage their entire corporate network. This eliminates the time and expense of sending IT staff to a branch or remote site for troubleshooting or updates.

SD-WAN provides access to cloud-based applications

With SD-WAN in place, Internet traffic can be analyzed and rebalanced in real time to grant users immediate access to an array of cloud apps.

Through actions such as Forward Error Correction (FEC), SD-WAN addresses packet loss, which can degrade public Internet performance. SD-WAN also ensures throughput stays constant or increases.

SD-WAN ultimately delivers the high-speed and low latency users demand while running cloud-based applications simultaneously throughout an organization.

Strengthen security of the enterprise WAN

In a conventional enterprise WAN environment, IT personnel must deploy dedicated security devices like firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. IT personnel must also implement predefined policies for groups or departments at each given location.

Security functions for SD-WAN, on the other hand, are built-in, granting protection of data and traffic across the entire network.

Security functions managed via the cloud gives IT personnel flexibility and control for protecting sensitive corporate network environments while reducing both latency and costs.

Benefits of SD-WAN as a managed service

Enterprise organizations employ only so much IT “bandwidth” they can dedicate to managing their enterprise WAN. This is especially true when their enterprise WAN stretches across regions, countries, or international borders.

That’s where the partnership between CBTS and VMware for VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud implementation is beneficial.

Organizations will reap the rewards of our combined expertise for design, implementation, management, and monitoring of their enterprise WAN environment. Their IT staffs can then focus on initiatives that drive growth or create efficiencies to stave off the competition.

Choose the right cloud provider for Unified Communications

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

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

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

UCaaS a better option than on-premise solutions

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

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

Event Registration - INDY CIO Summit April 24, 2019

On-premise solutions create organizational challenges

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

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

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

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

Essentials for selecting the right cloud provider

Expertise

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

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

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

People

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

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

Product

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

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

Service

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

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

CBTS is the right cloud provider to help you leverage UCaaS

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

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

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

Event Registration - INDY CIO Summit April 24, 2019

 

Municipalities streamline operations with NaaS

Municipalities are following the private sector, which has embraced Network as a Service (NaaS) to improve performance, deliver better services and products to consumers, and lower overall operating costs.

Advanced digital capabilities are reconfiguring the way municipal data infrastructure improves critical functions like emergency services, utilities management, and even traffic control. One of the core technologies involved in this transformation is networking, which can be complex, costly, and difficult to manage.

But as more municipal IT environments transition to virtual, software-defined infrastructure, many cities and towns are starting to recognize the benefits of converting from on-premise networking assets to streamlining operations with Network as a Service.

Network as a Service is reliable, cost-effective

Municipalities benefit from OpEx model

The chief advantage NaaS brings to municipalities is the ability to shift costs from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model. In this way, agencies avoid the high upfront costs of network rollouts and expansion, while adjusting the consumption of resources according to workload demands.

The end result is a more reliable and cost-efficient network experience that allows municipalities to concentrate on their core mission and improve public service for their constituents.

But exactly how does NaaS work?

Third-party support gives municipalities flexibility

While every office has its own networking infrastructure in place, tasks like configuring routers, optimizing protocols, and setting up firewalls can be costly and time-consuming. With NaaS, municipal offices are able to outsource these functions to a third party.

Most solution providers offer a web platform that serves as a portal for IT staff to monitor and manage the network security and ensure that it meets regulatory compliance.

In this way, agencies are provided with a dynamic network environment managed by a trusted third-party solution provider.

Streamline operations, meet budgetary goals

In the private sector, networking budgets are often constrained due to the pressure faced when trying to achieve a company’s bottom-line as well as the competing demands of the overall IT stack. In the public sphere, budgets tend to be tight as a general rule, lest the elected decision-makers face the wrath of unhappy voters.

In both cases, however, the perpetual goal is to do more with less.

NaaS fulfills this mandate on the network level, while laying the groundwork for enhanced virtualization across the entire IT stack. Rarely does a solution provide improved service at less cost right from the start, particularly in networking.

CBTS helps municipal organizations streamline operations with Network as a Service and delivers an agile, top-notch network infrastructure that meets their budgetary goals.

Discover how CBTS helped a municipality save $12,000 a year by adopting Network as a Service to monitor and manage their infrastructure.

5 key benefits of CBTS NaaS solution for municipalities

The CBTS NaaS solution provides municipal organizations with these key benefits:

  • 24x7x365 engineering support from highly-qualified CBTS experts.
  • Data center support. CBTS establishes the groundwork for a software-defined data center through expert support of existing virtual servers.
  • Infrastructure support. CBTS provides the necessary infrastructure for additional applications, such as Hosted Unified Communications (Hosted UC).
  • Third-party visibility. CBTS offers third-party visibility into servers and individual telephones.
  • Predictable monthly costs. CBTS provides a predictable monthly cost model that builds hardware refreshes into the network lifecycle.

CBTS NaaS also provides a foundation for the extension of virtual networking over the wide area, a crucial element of flexibility for agencies that coordinate with other agencies or non-governmental entities like utility collectives, non-profit organizations, and contractors.

At the same time, CBTS NaaS provides seamless adherence to strict compliance rules, data sovereignty, and other regulatory measures.

CBTS is a trusted IT partner

With CBTS NaaS, our expert engineers are available 24x7x365.

CBTS helps municipalities free up their staff so they can focus on mission-critical tasks rather than spend time conducting patchwork, monitoring the network, or dealing with expensive hardware issues.

In partnering with a trusted solution provider like CBTS, municipalities remove the burden of IT management from their staff and are able to streamline operations with Network as a Service.

CBTS wins VMware partner Innovation Award

CBTS awarded VMware 2018 Partner Innovation Award

Partners Awarded for Extraordinary Performance and Notable Achievements

Cincinnati, Ohio — CBTS is proud to announce that we have received the Americas 2018 VMware Partner Innovation Award in the VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud Solution category. CBTS was recognized at VMware Partner Leadership Summit 2019, held in Carlsbad, CA.

“We congratulate CBTS on winning a Partner Innovation Award as Partner of the Year in the VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud Solution category, and look forward to our continued collaboration and innovation,” said Jenni Flinders, vice president, Worldwide Channel Chief, VMware. “VMware and our partners will continue to empower organizations of all sizes with technologies that enable digital transformation.”

“CBTS is very pleased to receive this recognition from VMware, which validates our strong relationship and our shared commitment to providing an outstanding customer experience to our clients,” said Joe Putnick, Vice President and Principal of the CBTS Communications Practice. “We are excited to build on this momentum in 2019 and deliver continued success to organizations through custom designing a migration strategy to the cloud that will future-proof their network.”

Recipients of the Americas VMware Partner Innovation Award were acknowledged in 11 categories for their outstanding performance and distinctive achievements during 2018.

To be awarded the Partner of the Year for the VMWare SD-WAN by VeloCloud solution category, CBTS had to be a partner with a large focus on SD-WAN by VeloCloud solution whereby our outstanding performance can be attributed to aligning our skills, competencies, sales, and services capacity with our global practices. Our history of successful implementation of SD-WAN is evident in this case study, in which our deployment of this powerful solution delivered innovative results for a client in the healthcare industry.

Learn why successful businesses choose CBTS as their preferred provider of advanced networking solutions in our SD-WAN CIO Toolkit.

Take a look at our guide to learn more about CBTS SD-WAN solution powered by VeloCloud, now part of VMware.

CBTS Wins VMware Partner Innovation Award

 

About VMWare Partner Leadership Summit 2019

VMware Partner Leadership Summit 2019 offered VMware partners the opportunity to engage with VMware executives and industry peers to explore business opportunities, customer use cases, solution practices, and partnering best practices. As an invitation-only event, it provided partners with resources to develop and execute comprehensive go-to-market plans.

About VMware

VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, networking and security, and digital workspace offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to over 500,000 customers globally, aided by an ecosystem of 75,000 partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit https://www.vmware.com/company.html.

VMware, VMware Cloud, VMware SD-WAN, and VeloCloud are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions.

About CBTS

CBTS serves enterprise and midmarket clients in all industries across the United States and Canada. From Unified Communications to Cloud Services and beyond, CBTS combines deep technical expertise with a full suite of flexible technology solutions that drive business outcomes, improve operational efficiency, mitigate risk, and reduce costs for its clients.

Cloud networking technologies driving business outcomes

In Part 2 of our post-CIO Summit discussion in Houston, we discuss the business outcomes organizations can achieve by implementing Cloud Networking technologies. In Part 1, we highlighted the key differentiators when evaluating an SD-WAN solution.

Defining business outcomes for cloud networking

After a lively discussion at our Houston CIO Summit late last year, it was time for our team to hit the road and meet with clients to talk about the business outcomes they can achieve with cloud networking technologies such as managed SD-WAN and Unified Communications solutions. After all, isn’t the job of IT to align technology with the organization’s business goals, and enable employees to maximize performance, create efficiencies, and better serve their customers?

For the CIOs in these meetings, we wanted to help them dissect these future-forward cloud networking technologies in an unbiased way and weigh the positive impacts for their investment in energy and time.

Recap: The benefits of SD-WAN

As we talked through the benefits of SD-WAN, like better quality of service, traffic management at the packet level, centralized monitoring, and greater security, we needed to boil it down more to get at what makes SD-WAN an excellent choice for business.

At its core, SD-WAN provides quicker access to, and better performance from, the cloud apps and tools branch and remote-site employees use every day to collaborate with colleagues and stay ahead of customers. That’s an advantage we’re all seeking.

Learn more about the advantages of SD-WAN for enterprises.

Adding network flexibility with NaaS

It’s been interesting hearing from CIO Summit attendees and clients alike about how they’ve already put a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy into practice for compute and storage functions, to ensure uptime, add flexibility, and rein in data center costs. But with the ever-increasing demands placed on networks for cloud application access, IT professionals realize companies need more diverse cloud networking connectivity to keep up.

Disparate network environments create challenges for IT organizations

Most traditional networking environments have been built over time. These networking environments are usually comprised of multi-vendor equipment offering little visibility to performance and management functions beyond the device level.

Troubleshooting these traditional networks can be a nightmare. One has to track down issues from multiple devices at each location. In-house knowledge is also required to comprehend how these different products work together. Often several vendors have to be involved to address an outage, taking an inordinate amount of time and resources to narrow down the issue. Moreover, when adding new networking equipment to a site or bringing a new location online, the upfront costs can strain budgets.

This is why so many companies are turning to NaaS.

Business case for NaaS

For IT departments already stretched by demands of managing aging networks at multiple sites, the benefits of NaaS are clear:

  • Central, secure, global cloud management. With CBTS NaaS in place, your IT team can log in to a single dashboard to monitor, troubleshoot, make changes, and run reports for every location.
  • Next generation firewall. Providing packet inspection, intrusion prevention, anti-malware protection, and content filtering to block access to specific web and social networking sites, all continually updated with each firmware release.
  • Zero touch provisioning. Allowing easy installation of new network devices automatically from a specific configuration file, with minimal manual intervention required.
  • Streamlined troubleshooting. Eliminating the hassle of involving multiple vendors when addressing issues at individual business locations.
  • 24/7 support team. Co-managing the network means your IT staff can make changes and troubleshoot issues or reach out directly to the CBTS support team for guidance or to resolve any networking problems.

By implementing CBTS NaaS, organizations benefit from enterprise-grade networking technology with minimal upfront capital expense. Proactive updates ensure maximum uptime and security, and continuous monitoring and support mean your IT staff can focus on the initiatives that drive growth, create efficiencies, and better serve hard-earned customers.

Case Study: Learn how a nationwide food service retailer leveraged CBTS NaaS to add new franchise locations to their network.

UCaaS: Final piece to the cloud networking puzzle

No cloud networking discussion would be complete without talking about an organization’s communications stack. It’s the final piece of cloud networking that can bring numerous advantages to our clients looking to migrate from on-premise to a custom, on-demand communications as a utility service.

Like other cloud technologies, UCaaS:

  1. Allows organizations to flex with business conditions
  2. Scales quickly and easily
  3. Brings cost-effectiveness while freeing IT from managing complex onsite infrastructure

But how does UCaaS make an impact on an organization’s success?

Case Study: CBTS UCaaS saves the State of Ohio $6.8M with consolidated communications for over 500k government employees.

UCaaS benefits include single dashboard for easy management

For many CBTS clients, UCaaS is the final piece in their digital transformation strategy, designed to improve collaboration, productivity, and customer engagement.

Cloud-based unified communications bring employees together by combining VOIP with chat, audio and web conferencing, room-based video, mobile integration, social media, and other functions under a single system. Clients reap the benefits of better response times and connectivity, with features like:

  • Simultaneous ring
  • Voicemail to email
  • Video conference presence
  • Call center functionality when call queuing is needed

And like our other cloud managed services, UCaaS uses a single dashboard to manage all sites and users, with 24/7 support when you need it.

Learn how to begin your journey to UCaaS.

Combine SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS technologies for powerful cloud networking foundation

When combined with the added bandwidth, network stability and security, and site-to-site connectivity of SD-WAN and NaaS, UCaaS is the final piece of the cloud networking puzzle used to transform companies and set the foundation for innovation and growth.

A big thanks to all of our friends and colleagues who attended our Houston CIO Summit and met with us afterward. Hope you found the conversations meaningful, and as always, feel free to reach out to us with any of your cloud networking questions.

Learn more about how CBTS is driving real business outcomes with SD-WANNaaS, and UCaaS.

Guide to our March enterprise network madness

When March rolls around, and a hint of Spring is in the air, a little basketball tournament weighs heavily on the minds of even the best employees (and your organization’s enterprise network). Brackets are carefully contemplated, completed, dwelled upon, and then filled out again. And then the games start streaming, on desktops and laptops, mobile phones, and personal tablets.

It’s at that time when the support team at CBTS begins to get calls from clients. That little event is draining their enterprise network, bringing it to its knees. And we heard that again, loud and clear, from business and technology leaders recently at our CIO Summit in New York City.

Luckily, today’s enterprise network technology can help CIOs and their teams live up to the tournament challenge.

I’ll get back to that in a moment, but let’s first talk about what’s on the minds of the CIOs who were in the room with us in NYC.

Technology, CBTS leaders discuss enterprise network

Here are some of the questions asked of NYC technology leaders, and CBTS engineers Justin Rice, Director of Solution Design, NaaS and SD-WAN, and Jon Lloyd, Sr. Solution Design Engineer:

Current primary architectural challenge

Q: Moderator, Lane Cooper: From an architectural perspective, we’ve wrestled through the big eras from the mainframe to the client/server environment to cloud. We’ve tackled client/server sprawl and have worked on managing applications and key resources spread across different platforms and cloud environments. So, from your perspective, what are the biggest challenges you’re facing versus a few years back?

A: CIO Participant: Everyone has a higher level of expectation, and at the same time, everyone is working from everywhere. The expectation is, “Hey, if I can get Netflix on a plane at 35,000 feet in the air, why can’t I get my email address to work at a specific offsite location?”

Cloud and internet connectivity challenges

Q: CIO Participant: The expectation for everything IT related is just more. We’re in the middle of a cloud migration. We’re going from on-prem systems to Azure. Azure is 13 milliseconds away. It’s pretty close, but still, it’s 13x what it used to be. The data center is in Middletown, N.J., and the office is in Midtown. And we’re pulling an application from the middle of Aurora, IL, about 1,000 miles away. We’ve increased our bandwidth and pulled elements out of the network to streamline the path, but it’s a bit slower, and our employees expect more. How do you address problems like these in today’s evolving networks?

A: Jon Lloyd, CBTS: Many companies today have a 40 or 80 Gbps backbone in their data center or even 100 Gigabit. The data link layer and the physical layer used to be just a millisecond away. With the cloud, you might have a 100 Gigabit backbone but only get 20 or 50 Megabit internet connectivity. That’s the challenge we’re trying to solve.

Justin Rice, CBTS: Every use case is different, but we recently worked with a company that has 25 branch locations. They increased the bandwidth at every branch to 100 Mbps. And because they wanted to backhaul all of their internet traffic to their data center, they added bandwidth there, too, to 1 Gbps, but there was still a bottleneck. We were able to go in and look at the performance of applications at each branch and define which were critical and not critical. Trusted applications like Office 365 could be accessed directly from the cloud and did not need to touch the centralized environment. By focusing at a workload level instead of managing traffic on the network and data link levels, we were able to help them create new policies around workloads to improve performance.

Related: How CBTS can provide your business with a custom-tailored cloud computing technology stack

Unique solutions to achieve consistency

Q: CIO Participant: What we’re seeing is more than just being about reliability; it’s about consistency. If a client is getting a response in 2 milliseconds, they expect the next time should not be 10 milliseconds. So every time, whether it’s morning or afternoon, high traffic or low traffic, they want the same experience. How can you help us with consistency?

A: Jon Lloyd, CBTS: The short answer is that there is a difference between the traditional iWAN days with failover of Layer 3 routing and application-aware routing or an IP application SLA. So, we can have multiple links set up as a failover, not saying up or down, but based on performance and what the best path is. The struggle we all deal with is when those hosts leave the network, and they go to an offsite location like Starbucks. I can’t have an edge on that network, and that might cause an issue for an organization since today’s workforce wants that flexibility. Inside the network, some apps are just not made to go to the cloud, and for best performance, they need to live in your data center. Some sites are better off staying on MPLS. Every business case is unique and requires a unique solution. And that’s where we like to get involved at a deeper level with our clients.

More from Jon Lloyd: How retailers keep up with the competition

Future of enterprise IT organization structure

Q: CIO Participant: Cybersecurity is essential, and there was a time when my team wasn’t doing anything else. There were clear responsibilities, and we had minimal crossover with what the network administrators were doing. Can you talk about how that is changing and what enterprise IT organizations might look like in the future?

A: Justin Rice, CBTS: It’s definitely worth having a deeper conversation about that. We’re going to get to a world where the application team and the network team are the same team. Now they may have different roles, but they are going to be the same team because networkers are going to be developers, as well. We’re going to get there. The cool part about what we do, with SD-WAN in particular, is now we can start to understand the performance of applications. If you tell me you’re having a challenge with whatever ERP you’re using, I can help troubleshoot. By looking at the application layer, we can determine if there’s an issue with the network, where does that challenge lie, and what we can do to help you fix that challenge. Because now we have that intelligence at the application layer that we really didn’t have before. We had it at some level but over the WAN. Now the network team can start identifying application issues and help remove the barriers between those two organizations.

Related: SD-WAN helps staffing firm manage explosive growth

Convergence or specialization

Q: CIO Participant: We have some specialized voice and specialized data requirements, and still others focused on applications. Are you saying we’re going to see convergence there?

A: Jon Lloyd, CBTS: You’re still going to see specialization. But you’re going to have a business leader within the organization who understands the synergy between the different areas and has a line of sight into how they work together. So, you’re going to have someone who’s in charge of application and also responsible for the network. Voice may not apply to a lot of you in the room who are in the financial industry, with turret systems and complex voice requirements that most organizations don’t have.

Sideloading technologies solution

Q: CIO Participant: Can you discuss the ways to address technologies that are sideloading? And they cannot talk to one another?

A: Jon Lloyd, CBTS: This is the number one issue our voice team has to deal with. The good news is that for the first time in my career, all of these technologies are coming together. If we look at our story and approach to unified computing and communications, we started with the Cisco UCS, then to BroadCloud and BroadWorks, built WebEx CCA into that, and then the Customer Journey Platform into our voice core. And now we have greater flexibility for implementing WebEx video endpoints, for example, meaning they can be registered to your cluster in the CBTS cloud or the Cisco Cloud. Given the right partner can bring together all of these technologies under a full or hybrid Unified Communications as a Service deployment, IT can drive value for the organization. With a more integrated network strategy, organizations can support collaboration among today’s mobile and remote workers, their partners, and their clients.

Related: Learn more about the CBTS Communications Practice.

Orchestration with SDN

Q: CIO Participant: In the case of SDN, have you run into a situation where you’re responsible for putting in the parameters of orchestration to stop things like sporting events? When, for example, you have 200 traders in the UK, all watching the World Cup on TV sets while streaming on their devices, and wondering why the Internet is slow?

A: Jon Lloyd, CBTS: In Cincinnati, we are the ILEC, so we actually have run nearly 12,000 route miles of fiber and are an Internet provider in the Midwest. And we get those same calls every March. Now, lucky for us – I was a University of Cincinnati grad and Justin, here, went to Xavier – that’s only typically the first weekend, so it’s no big deal – but for other cities, it’s a bit longer. I’m glad you find that funny! The big thing with software-defined – Justin talked about our ability to recognize and define applications. In the past, we would have a choice – do I want to restrict the network or restrict the person? We could say, on Wi-Fi, we want to limit it to 2 megs per host. Or, in general, the host can consume as much as they want, but no more than 5 megs on this network. In our world, you can now talk about how we can do it from an applications level – whether source, application, signature, etc., and orchestrate it.

Related: CBTS is helping many single-site retailers overcome connectivity issues with standard ISP (Internet Service Provider) service

Summary: Let CBTS help you manage the enterprise network

It was great meeting with all of the CIOs and business leaders in NYC. I hope that we were able to answer your questions to help bring your networks to the next level.

The investments enterprise organizations make today in SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS ensure enterprise network resources are available consistently, securely, and cost-effectively to give employees the flexibility they need to perform at their best.

Speaking of performance, good luck to all of you with a tournament bracket in your hands! And be sure to give CBTS a call when you want to get your enterprise network ready for FIFA Women’s World Cup, Wimbledon, Champions League playoffs, or the MLB World Series.