Masergy: UCaaS, CCaaS Must Address Security, Network

Network Security

Enterprises cite security and network services as the top challenges when deploying or considering UCaaS and CCaaS technologies, and decision makers prefer bundled solutions that add security features, a software-defined network and 24/7 performance monitoring.

That’s according to Masergy‘s new market trends report for UCaaS and CCaaS, conducted in partnership with IDG Research. The study analyzed responses from IT decision makers at global enterprises that are evaluating, planning to implement or have implemented UCaaS or CCaaS.

The findings revealed that data security and network performance are the top two areas that IT focuses on to ensure their UCaaS and CCaaS solutions are successfully delivering on business goals. Moreover, integrated solutions from a single provider take precedence because respondents said they result in easier implementation and management with better visibility and fewer integration issues.

Terry Traina, chief digital officer at Masergy, tells Channel Partners that what’s most interesting is the extremely high volume of respondents verifying the approach of bundling cloud communications apps with network services. The report consistently finds more than 90% endorse the idea that SD-WAN is a smart partner for UCaaS and CCaaS.

Masergy's Terry Traina

Masergy’s Terry Traina

“In fact, these figures practically shout out the importance of this pairing,” he said. “These dominant figures signify that the pairing isn’t just a rising trend; it’s likely becoming the new normal. Most respondents (93%) find it highly important that their UCaaS/CCaaS solutions come bundled with network services in a single seamless approach. When considering a network service to support UCaaS/CCaaS, 90% of the respondents rated a fully managed service with 24/7 monitoring as a highly important criterion.”

These findings point to the fact that UCaaS/CCaaS providers can no longer offer only point solutions with respect to cloud communications applications, Traina said. They need to be able to address the “wider breadth of clients’ needs with multifaceted solution platforms that reach across multiple IT domains today — cloud applications, network services and security services, he said.

“Today it’s no longer just about helping companies migrate to the cloud and purchase new AI-based analytics tools; it’s also about helping them guarantee application service delivery across the globe, and secure those assets across both the network and the cloud,” he said.

Maintaining consistent service globally and managing network performance rank as top concerns, as cited by 63% and 57% of the respondents, respectively.

“With users and customers expecting consistent service across all devices and communications channels globally, poor service levels can directly impact daily business operations by reducing productivity and creating poor customer experiences,” Traina said. “And given that UCaaS and CCaaS applications are very bandwidth-demanding tools, sensitive to latency and network jitter, it is no surprise that IT leaders care a great deal about the underlying network and performance management. Increasing IT flexibility and agility also ranked high with 40% of respondents identifying it as one of their primary investment drivers.”

When you consider the nature and type of sensitive and private client data that users collect, generate, transmit and store via their UCaaS and CCaas solutions, security is non-negotiable, he said. With any cloud migration, the adoption of SaaS applications changes the security paradigm for the enterprise. Traditional security tools and approaches require manual processes, are prone to misconfiguration and don’t scale for cloud environments, he said.

“This helps explain why security needs to become an intrinsic part of every cloud strategy,” Traina said. “Moreover, in today’s COVID-19 environment of work-from-home business models and virtual workforces, security threats are increasing with email phishing attacks preying on the fact that everyone is clicking emails to stay informed about the latest developments.”

Increased IT flexibility is the top driver (40%) of a UCaaS or CCaaS investment. More than half of respondents prefer an integrated UCaaS/CCaaS solution — one that includes network services from a single provider.

“The maturity of UCaaS and CCaaS has today’s decision makers less worried about technology features and more concerned about secure application performance across the network and the cloud,” Traina said.

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