Secure UC&C for mobile workers


Mobility has already become an integral part of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), and its importance is only expected to grow as time goes on.

UC&C and the modern phase of mobility, brought on by the introduction of the iPhone, broke into the enterprise marketplace at roughly the same time; but now this combination is poised to move to the next level. Enterprise customers will need to think long and hard about how they can best capitalize on this powerful combination.

However, mobility is just one element in the much larger fabric of UC&C, and that’s where the planning has to center. There are a number of high-quality UC&C platforms with notable differences.

Integrated approach to business problem solving

Network planners must consider the unique personalities of their organizations and their key business processes and objectives to determine which tools will be most important in moving their organization forward. Some are more heavily weighted toward office productivity solutions, while others have their roots in legacy telephony solutions.

A good example of that integrated approach to business problem solving can be seen in the case of an international management consulting company with 17,500 employees worldwide. The company had a vast store of critical but highly sensitive client data, and was struggling with the problem of how to make that information accessible to its mobile workforce while still keeping it highly secure.

Working with AT&T, the company found the answer it needed in Box from AT&T Enterprise Key Management (EKM). Used in conjunction with Box’s cloud-based file storage service, EKM allowed the customer to control its encryption keys so it did not have to rely on Box to encrypt its data.

Box’s integration with MobileIron’s enterprise mobility management system allowed the company to use MobileIron’s app-wrapping technology to allow cloud-based file sync and share capabilities while providing a highly secure environment for the company’s client data.

Key elements to the solution

One of the key elements in the solution was AT&T NetBond®, part of the company’s network enabled cloud (NEC) strategy that allows companies to connect their AT&T virtual private network (VPN) to other cloud providers.

Since AT&T NetBond® extends the AT&T MPLS VPN network, customers are using highly secure connection to Box for all of their traffic, avoiding the internet, minimizing distributed denial of service attacks, and delivering as much as 50 percent lower latency. Once authenticated into the system, NetBond® virtual connections may be provisioned in minutes and do not require the purchase of additional hardware.

For access to that highly secure Box from AT&T connection by the company’s mobile users, AT&T has built a global network that connects customers in more than 190 countries and territories on six continents. This encompasses 99 percent of the world’s economy.

Between 2010 and 2015, AT&T invested more than $160 billion in its wireless and wireline networks, including acquisitions of wireless spectrum and operations to help ensure that the wireless network is there when you need it. AT&T gives customers access to a single, globally available network to run all of their critical applications.

Leveraging technology

In today’s highly competitive business environment, organizations must be able to leverage these new enabling technologies and exploit them for competitive advantage.

Security is important, but so is coverage and reliability, as users need continuous access to be productive. The key will be to choose partners who offer a range of offerings tailored to different types of businesses and who provide solutions that offer the reliability and security enterprises can depend on to serve their customers.

Michael Finneran Principal dBrn Associates About Michael