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Cloud Operations: Creating Business Agility By Scott Murphy

The trend is steady and unmistakable: Businesses are moving to the cloud. In stages, they are moving externally and internally facing services and custom and off-the-shelf applications and services. They are adopting infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), increased virtualization, microservices, and containerization for improved reliability and performance. They are using public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid clouds; but the trend has been shifting to the public cloud in the last few years at an accelerating rate.

We are seeing this trend toward cloud in the communications technology industry. Traditional on-premises communications services have been moving to the cloud for over a decade, but we are now starting to see this happen on a larger scale.

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Cyber Security: Locking the Door Is Not Enough By Scott Murphy

Most enterprises have long been focused on preventing the bad guys from getting in to their networks and systems. Historically, the especially security conscious enterprises -- ones that understood their organizations were a target -- were focused not just on prevention, but also on detection and response to security incidents. The IT security landscape has changed – the reality of today’s security landscape is that it’s not a question of if you have been hacked, it’s whether or not you know about it. Detection and response capabilities are more important than ever before.
 
The risks to your physical business office and assets, as well as the mitigation techniques you can take to protect your assets from this risk, are much more obvious than when it comes to the cyber world. Fifty years ago, good physical security for many businesses was a locked door – it was enough to keep most bad guys out. Today, a locked door is barely a deterrent; yes, you still need to lock the door, but that needs to be reinforced with a security system to detect if an intruder has gained entry. That security system needs to be connected to a monitoring agency that is alerted of the break-in and notifies the police so they can respond in a timely manner and catch the intruder to prevent serious loss of assets.

Getting Started with Successful Security Breach Detection By Scott Murphy

Organizations historically believed that security software and tools were effective at protecting them from hackers. Today, this is no longer the case, as modern businesses are now connected in a digital global supply ecosystem with a web of connections to customers and suppliers. Often, organizations are attacked as part of a larger attack on one of their customers or suppliers. They represent low hanging fruit for hackers, as many organizations have not invested in operationalizing security breach detection.

As this new reality takes hold in the marketplace, many will be tempted to invest in new technology tools to plug the perceived security hole and move on with their current activities. However, this approach is doomed to fail. Security is not a "set it and forget it" type of thing. Defending an organization from a breach requires a careful balance of tools and operational practices -- operational practices being the more important element.

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Moving to IaaS: Big Changes Required by Scott Murphy

There are some huge opportunities for improvements in moving enterprise services to the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud, but there are some equally daunting challenges -- both technical and operational.
 
Demand for public cloud infrastructure, or IaaS, is expected to grow 36.8% in 2018, according to Gartner. IaaS refers to the basic computing, networking, and storage services supplied by the big three providers: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The cloud allows your infrastructure to scale dynamically but requires a fundamentally different approach than premises-based infrastructure. You cannot do everything the same as you did in a private data center.

Endpoint Decisions & Strategies Evolve By Barbara A. Grothe

As communications consultants with clients all over the country, we have helped with many enterprise deployments over the years and have seen just about everything. In all those deployments, it’s become clear that most enterprises tend to struggle with supplying communications endpoints and devices. This is largely due to the wide variety of options available today for endpoints, as well as the myriad factors to take into account when crafting an endpoint strategy. In addition to cost, these factors include differences in employee roles and skill sets, varying use cases, and of course user demands and preferences.
 
Ultimately, every business (and its users) is different, and there simply cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. An enterprise’s endpoint strategy will come down to analyzing its environment and deciding on a solution that fits its unique needs. However, lessons learned from other enterprises can be helpful as you work to craft your enterprise’s endpoint strategy.

SD-WAN: Yes, It's a Revolution Alright by Tom Brannen

SD-WAN: Yes, It's a Revolution Alright by Tom Brannen

In an industry filled with overused buzzwords and overhyped technologies, the word “revolution” gets thrown out year after year, to the point that we don’t even know what it means anymore.
 
Every new service and application promises to revolutionize your business, revolutionize the industry, and revolutionize the way you communicate. We’ve become so numb to this cycle that we’re susceptible to missing a real revolution when it comes. Or, our anti-hype blinders are so pronounced that we’re unable to distinguish genuine transformational change from this year’s industry darling.
 
Such is the case with software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). I don’t think enough people realize just how revolutionary it is.

Thinking Strategically About Digital Transformation by Jon Arnold

In the age of digital transformation, technology buying decisions should never be just about price, and they can no longer be solely made by IT for IT.
 
That’s the essence of the messaging I gleaned from an SCTC event I attended last week that should resonate most for No Jitter readers. I’m going to illustrate that here in terms of how digital transformation is impacting the enterprise environment. (I’ll be writing about other notable takeaways from the event in another post soon.)
 
Mitel and the Transformation Imperative
Aside from being a vendor helping businesses adapt to digital transformation, Mitel is an enterprise itself, just like its customers. Not only that, but with a long history of growing via acquisition, Mitel has more than once needed to integrate new cultures and operations into the organization. At the event, Mitel CIO Jamshid Rezaei talked about Mitel’s transformation imperative, and here are four lessons learned that should help any enterprise in developing a successful strategy for digital transformation.

What Are You Really Getting with Your Cloud Solution? by Melissa Swartz

What Are You Really Getting with Your Cloud Solution? by Melissa Swartz

I’ve recently worked on a couple of projects that involved migration of my clients’ UC environments to cloud solutions. Both projects involved contact center and business user requirements, which the clients discussed at length with their selected cloud vendors.
 
In both cases, the clients ended up with solutions that were somewhat different than they thought they were buying. Here are some things the providers glossed over during the sales process:

Planning for a Successful 'Carve Out' Acquisition by Beth English

You've just been notified that your company is purchasing a large business unit from another company, and you've been placed in charge of moving the IT components to your organization without disrupting business and keeping all aspects of your organization secure. This type of arrangement is commonly referred to as a "carve out," and it requires extensive planning and forethought to navigate the complex, competing requirements.

Complicating and Uncomplicating a Carve Out

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What's Going on with E911? by Dan Aylward

What's Going on with E911? by Dan Aylward

We are all familiar with 911 and the simple yet significant value it has for our nation. Behind the scenes is a vast and complex infrastructure. With changes in technology, however, come necessary changes with this telecommunications infrastructure and legislation that pertains to it. Below are ten frequently asked questions to help you understand trends around 911, as well as information that all organizations must understand for compliance purposes. 

E911: What Is It?

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Lessons Learned from the Trenches of UCaaS Implementations by Melissa Swartz

I have worked on several projects recently that involved UCaaS solutions where the end user organization had a need to support both regular business users and a contact center environment. One of the solutions had evolved, starting as a contact center solution first, with support for the regular business user capabilities added later. A second solution I worked with had the opposite evolution -- it was originally designed as a solution for business users and contact center capabilities and support were added after that.

 
Both solutions offered a fairly complete solution as far as their primary development was concerned. But both had some significant shortcomings on the capabilities that were added afterwards. In both cases, they were capabilities that, in my opinion, should be available in every system out there.
 
In both cases, requirements were defined in advance and covered with the selected UCaaS provider in detail. Even so, there were unexpected challenges along the way.
 
Here are some of the issues that we ran into:

Cybercrime & Collaboration: On a Collision Course? by Jon Arnold

Cybercrime & Collaboration: On a Collision Course?

I'm recently back from the annual conference of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants (SCTC), of which I'm the only active analyst member. These consultants are on the front lines for helping businesses make smart technology decisions along with getting good value from those investments, so it's a pretty important community of influencers. Their experiences inform my thinking as an analyst, and I'm going to share some of that here.

Aside from attending, I gave the locknote talk, played a gig with the SIPtones, and even got to play "UC Cookoff" Jeopardy, so there was a nice mix of fun, learning, and networking. One of the learning highlights was a keynote about the state of cybercrime, a topic from which the collaboration space is not immune.

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Can Training Save Your Business from the Next Cyber Attack? by Scott Murphy

Can Training Save Your Business from the Next Cyber Attack?

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UC Evolves to Collaborative Communications by Blair Pleasant

UC Evolves to Collaborative Communications

 Blair Pleasant

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Stopping the Leaky Faucets of Cloud Subscription Costs by Sara Uzel

Stopping the Leaky Faucets of Cloud Subscription Costs by Sara Uzel

By taking an inventory of which subscription-based services your users actually use, and dropping the rest, you can gain significant cost savings.

Cost management of IT subscription services is much like a leaky faucet. It does not seem very significant until you put a bucket under it, and you quickly have a bucketful of water. So, let's discuss how to turn that bucket of water into gold -- by managing your cloud subscriptions.

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Digging In to the Contact Center Obsession by Dennis Goodhart

Digging In to the Contact Center Obsession

Contact centers are in your enterprise future and will be for a long time to come.

For us in the communications industry, not a day goes that you do not hear about or read something related to contact centers or customer service organizations. Whether we're talking about providing exceptional customer experience (CX), following the customer journey, applying artificial intelligence (AI) for self-service and optimal routing, deploying chatbots and Web click-to-chat to round out multi-channel and omni-channel implementations, migrating to the cloud for agility, or applying analytics for deeper understanding of customer interactions and motivations, the business of contact centers has become one of the most dynamic and critical areas of the communications technology industry.

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Running Toward the Edge by Elizabeth English

  
   

 

Running Toward the Edge

Exploring why the industry is moving toward intelligent edge computing

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When Government Buys, the Private Sector Reaps the Rewards by Joyce Osenbaugh

When Government Buys, the Private Sector Reaps the Rewards

Transparency and innovation are the clear winners as government entities look to replace aging infrastructure and hardware, and take advantage of new services.

From mid-2017 to present, there has been a sharp increase in the level of activity that the government sector has been generating in the telecommunications space. From phone systems and telecom audits, to service contracting events, government telecom buying is quickening, and the private sector is only just beginning to reap the benefits.

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Best Practices for Enhancing IVR by Diane Halliwell

Best Practices for Enhancing IVR

From speech recognition to virtual assistants, there are numerous ways to enhance traditional IVR for a better experience.

Many firms are trying to determine the best ways to effectively implement self-service applications. Several have added Web-based tools and mobile apps to their customer- interaction portfolio. However, the IVR remains an important channel, and its effectiveness still has a significant impact on the customer experience. Therefore, it remains as important as ever to get the IVR right. The information contained in this article should be considered to facilitate the achievement of that goal.

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E-911: Understanding the Basics for UC by Howard Feingold

E-911: Understanding the Basics for UC

An overview of necessary considerations and complications that can arise with E-911 configurations.

It seems safe to state that everyone is familiar with the basic concept of 911 services: A special number is called and a contact center mediates the emergency response. Many of us in the telecommunications field also are familiar with the basic challenges of 911 when dialing through a multi-user system in which dialing "9" is the common method for reaching an outside line.

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