Jul 01, 2021 Bring Your Own Carrier Addresses Hybrid Work-From-Home Complexities
As IT leaders re-evaluate their technology architectures in light of the permanent shift to a hybrid work-from-home environment, new complexities and concerns arise. Adopting a “Bring Your Own Carrier” (BYOC) approach can address many of these issues.
The combination of a largely remote workforce, coupled with distributed applications in cloud, hybrid-cloud, or multi-cloud architectures has increased complexity in how companies address security, integration, and performance. Add to that picture the fact that bad actors are trying to compromise the network and applications in this distributed world, and things get even more complicated.
At this point, only 12.7% of companies will require employees to work in the office as the pandemic restrictions subside. Among contact center agents, that figure is only 6%. As companies shifted to this remote workforce, 64.8% of them said they were more likely to use cloud services for services such as UC as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). So now, rather than the majority of employees and perhaps applications being located in company-owned locations—with consistent Internet access and security protocols—they’re now in various locations with inconsistent connection, security protocols, and associated IT management and support.
The cost and time to simply make the transition to the cloud can be high, as well. Those moving to the cloud should consider the following questions:
- How do you transfer complex call routing policies?
- How do you time your transition to the cloud when you have multiple telecom contracts, each expiring at different times?
- How do address security, with issues such as toll fraud, robocalls, DDoS attacks, or identity theft?
- If existing on-premises solutions are highly reliable and secure through the use of Session Border Controllers (SBCs), can they still play a role in the cloud world?
- Given the highly distributed workforce, how can you deliver good performance and network security–particularly important with so many customer service agents working from home?
BYOC Addresses Concerns
Companies can opt to bring their own carrier, via SBCs, to provide PSTN connectivity for UCaaS or CCaaS. For example, 32.1% of participants in our Workplace Collaboration: 2021-22 global research study use Microsoft as their primary UC provider. There are two options for connecting Microsoft Phone System to the PSTN: Microsoft Calling Plan, under which Microsoft provides phone numbers, and provides E911 location management and call routing; or Direct Routing, under which companies BYOC to preserve their existing calling plans and routing schemes and maintain responsibility for E911 location management.
When asked which method they use, 70% use the Direct Routing, or BYOC, approach. The primary benefits are cost savings, phone number control, ability to use multiple cloud providers, geographical reach, and the ability to retain existing SIP services.
For larger companies with multiple relationships with carriers, this approach also helps to address the issue of telecom contracts expiring on different dates during different years. There is no need to coordinate the transitions to the cloud provider, or to pay penalties for early cancellations. Companies can keep these same carriers, as well as all the policies, number management, and routing instructions already programmed into their SBCs.
The BYOC approach also can improve security. By leveraging network-based edge security and SBCs, companies can prevent cyberattacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), fraudulent calling, robocalling, from reaching the enterprise network.
As you’re developing and finalizing your future workplace plans, it’s important to proactively implement a security architecture, complemented by a management platform, for policy enforcement. Using SBCs at multi-vendor SIP trunking access points can further enforce your security policies and hedge against SIP-based attacks.