What You Need To Know About Cloud Phone Systems - Fortinet

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What You Need To Know About Cloud Phone Systems

Table of Contents Executive summary 3 Keeping connected 5 Communications breakdowns 6 Phoning-in the cloud 8 The must-haves of a cloud phone system 9 Secure your CaaS 10 2

Executive summary As a result of the pandemic and due to the prolific changes in all industries, many organizations have shifted their business models to support a large number of distributed teams and remote workers. And the demand for collaboration tools to keep these remote workers connected and productive continues to rise. According to Avant Research and Analytics, interest in Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) increased by 86% immediately across all industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.1 The influx of UCaaS solutions has given organizations many options for how they enable their teams to communicate. But not all of these solutions are created equal. Connectivity issues, breaches, cost-prohibitive subscription models, and misconfigured tools that don’t integrate well with legacy systems can cause miscommunication, hurt an organization’s brand reputation, and damage their bottom line. Having a secure, reliable, cost-effective communications infrastructure to keep business booming and employees connected from everywhere is crucial for any organization. Digital innovation is rapidly changing the way people communicate. According to IDC, the global unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) market grew 29.4% year over year in 2020.2 As IT infrastructure evolves with the changing environment, teams are finding that legacy voice and phone systems are not only difficult to maintain, but often operate in silos, which causes security issues, among other things. Also, these systems often do not keep up with shifting employee needs. One recent report shows that 73% of companies will have distributed teams by 20283—making it imperative that organizations implement integrated, secure communications systems that support a remote workforce. 3

Interest in Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) increased by 86% immediately across all industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.4 4

Keeping connected We know that the pandemic has forced a huge number of employees to work from home. It has also pushed companies to keep up with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) needs and mass remote access. Many organizations struggle to find and implement a reliable and flexible communications system that supports the increasing number of mobile and teleworkers. And not only do companies need to keep their remote workers online and productive, they need to ensure that all of their data and devices are secured. The shift to remote working has also driven the demand for network infrastructure and connectivity. Traditional phone systems don’t have the inherent flexibility to support remote workers’ demands in modern communications. Work-from-anywhere employees need the options of mobility, softclient phone apps, and access to their communications solution from whatever devices they use, everywhere they are working. Unified communications (UC) simplifies and streamlines the modern workplace and creates a single digital environment that allows employees to connect and collaborate with one another as well as with customers, regardless of their locations and devices. This, in turn, benefits the employee, the organization, and contributes to better customer experience. 5

Communications breakdowns Managing aging and siloed communications tools can be difficult and time-consuming for IT. It also creates confusion and inefficiency among employees, especially when they are using different apps to make calls, chat, and hold video meetings. With unified communications, all of the services are integrated within a single platform and are designed specifically to work together. As opposed to legacy phone systems, cloud-based UC solutions are quick to deploy and simple to scale, even for today’s new normal. IT teams will face fewer issues migrating to the environment to get employees on board, communicating and collaborating faster and easier. Reliability is a key foundation of any cloud phone system. With that includes quality of service, speed, disaster recovery and failover, as well as security and encryption standards. Unreliable communications can result in poor employee and customer morale and subsequent lack of productivity, hinder efficiency, and affect business revenue and reputation. High-quality cloud phone providers ensure end-to-end encryption on every device and for every bit of communication. They offer cloud phone solutions that adhere to all applicable industry-leading encryption standards and protocols to protect customer data and conversations, while remaining compliant with regional and FCC standards. With security and reliability built-in to your service, you’ll never have to worry about breaches or outages, and can focus on your conversations. 6

80–90% of respondents surveyed in all industries worldwide have moved communications solutions to the cloud.5 7

Phoning-in the cloud A cloud phone system is a virtual phone system that uses the internet to make calls, chat, fax, and hold videoconferences from any laptop, desktop computer, or smart device. Cloud systems provide mobility, flexibility, and robust features in a variety of consumption models suited for any size business. Remote workers can reliably stay connected with many powerful features that are not available with legacy phone systems. And cloud communications adoptions are prevalent in every industry. According to Frost & Sullivan, 80–90% of respondents surveyed in all industries worldwide have moved communications solutions to the cloud.6 Conventional landline phone systems can cost thousands of dollars upfront for the hardware and setup. Then monthly contracts often include hidden fees for upgrades and maintenance, especially when done on-premises. Users want easy setup and simple subscription options, such as pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and BYOD, so they only pay for their calling usage (call paths) and aren’t tied into purchasing vendor equipment or paying for inclusive calling plans that many employees do not use. Cloud phone solutions take care of all of that over the internet, so the only on-site hardware is the phones. These solutions often offer users additional softclient applications that serve as a virtual phone device through their smartphones or computers without a physical phone. Setup and ongoing maintenance and management are quick and easy, and can all be done from a web-based administrator console by anyone with admin privileges, not a trained IT technician. 8

The must-haves of a cloud phone system Value and scalability Quality communications do not have to be cost prohibitive. A smart UC solution includes calling, chat, fax, conferencing, and mobile support in an integrated platform so companies spend less and get more. With simple and affordable subscriptions, organizations pay only for the needed calling usage that fits business and budget needs. Cloud phone systems make business expansion, operation downsizing, and merging groups and services a breeze with cloud management and configuration. Legacy phone solutions are not scalable, especially in this rapidly evolving digital world. Optimal collaboration efficiency A web-based console makes it easy for IT to manage and activate services for all users from anywhere. Users can be up and collaborating in no time with plug-and-play-ready devices and activation done in the cloud. Built-in security Advanced security and encryption features safeguard conversations and data, and prevent call interception, unauthorized access, and hacks. Simplified management Reduce operating overhead and cost with centralized deployment, configuration, and management across all locations. Keep teleworkers connected seamlessly with behind-the-scenes cloud management. Simplify vendor management with a trusted, secure communications provider with a unified solution for all communications needs. Reliability Support always-on connectivity and automatic system failover for business continuity, protected and monitored by a broad, integrated security ecosystem. 9

Secure your CaaS With all of the teleworkers who need access to the same reliable communications that they were afforded in the office now working from home offices and on private networks, organizations need to ensure that their people and their conversations, data, and networks are secure. They need a secure, cloud unified communications solution that provides all of the communication and collaboration functions that workers need to get their jobs done—all-inclusive calling, chat, conferencing, and even fax. And a mobile-friendly solution will help keep employees connected and collaborating, from everywhere they work. Simplify business communications with integrated voice, conferencing, and more. Learn more. 10

1 Avant UCaaS 6-12 Report, Avant, accessed April 23, 2021. 2 “Worldwide Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) Market Soars in 2020, According to IDC,” IDC, March 29, 2021. 3 “Third Annual “Future Workforce Report” Sheds Light on How Younger Generations are Reshaping the Future of Work,” Upwork, March 5, 2019. 4 Avant UCaaS 6-12 Report, Avant, accessed April 23, 2021. 5 “Finding the Right Partner for your Cloud Communications Journey,” Frost & Sullivan, accessed April 23, 2021. 6 Ibid. www.fortinet.com Copyright 2021 Fortinet, Inc. All rights reserved. Fortinet , FortiGate , FortiCare and FortiGuard , and certain other marks are registered trademarks of Fortinet, Inc., and other Fortinet names herein may also be registered and/or common law trademarks of Fortinet. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Performance and other metrics contained herein were attained in internal lab tests under ideal conditions, and actual performance and other results may vary. Network variables, different network environments and other conditions may affect performance results. Nothing herein represents any binding commitment by Fortinet, and Fortinet disclaims all warranties, whether express or implied, except to the extent Fortinet enters a binding written contract, signed by Fortinet’s General Counsel, with a purchaser that expressly warrants that the identified product will perform according to certain expressly-identified performance metrics and, in such event, only the specific performance metrics expressly identified in such binding written contract shall be binding on Fortinet. For absolute clarity, any such warranty will be limited to performance in the same ideal conditions as in Fortinet’s internal lab tests. Fortinet disclaims in full any covenants, representations, and guarantees pursuant hereto, whether express or implied. Fortinet reserves the right to change, modify, transfer, or otherwise revise this publication without notice, and the most current version of the publication shall be applicable. April 27, 2021 12:45 PM ebook-fortivoice-cloud 962515-0-0-EN

A cloud phone system is a virtual phone system that uses the internet to make calls, chat, fax, and hold videoconferences from any laptop, desktop computer, or smart device. Cloud systems provide mobility, flexibility, and robust features in a variety of consumption models suited for any size business. Remote workers can reliably stay connected .

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