Unified Communications Featured Article

Business Security in the Ever-Expanding UC Universe

September 01, 2015

The umbrella of unified communications (UC) solutions encompasses everything from smartphones, to smartwatches, and more. And as the number of communication and collaboration endpoints continue to accelerate, so do the possible entry points for data breaches.

One company that has positioned itself on the frontlines of the cyberwar being waged against businesses and enterprises of all sizes if SimpleWan. The cloud managed security company focuses on providing businesses big and small with the tools they need to make sure that business operations proceed smoothly in the event that something—anything—goes wrong. This includes helping to prevent data breaches that can cripple the day-to-day operations of any company.

And while SimpleWan will undoubtedly have plenty more insight to share on the issue of keeping corporate connectivity secure at ITEXPO Anaheim in October, Erik Knight, the company’s CEO, took a moment to talk with us about some of his ideas regarding new opportunities that the continued expansion of the business communication realm presents for professionals, and more importantly, a few important tips to keep top-of-mind in the ever-expanding universe of endpoints.

Erik Knight, SimpleWan CEO

Have we finally reached an inflection point with Unified Communications adoption? What is driving or hindering the market?

Erik Knight: We definitely have reached an inflection point in the Unified Communications arena. This is partially due to the overall edge in the high tech marketplace, being more precise with sales and company data to grow an organization. I have found that the early adopters of Unified Communications have and remain cutting-edge and they are oftentimes more efficient than their competitors.

How do you feel collaboration software/services are helping workers today?

EK: One tool that has completely changed the landscape on how we collaborate is Google Apps. People can be anywhere at any time and work in the same documents and track it. For those that have staff globally, this application works very well for a team approach.

Has corporate awareness of security threats increased over the past year?  Have security practices been adjusted as a result?

EK: In general, corporate awareness has increased and people are looking for solutions. There seems to be a lot of confusion as to how to proceed and maintain secure networks. Security practices are in the process of being adjusted but there definitely is a long way to go.

If your mobile device had integrated software that allowed you to separate your business and personal apps, would you use it?  Why or why not?

EK: I certainly would use it. In a convoluted app world it is important to separate business and personal. These apps are becoming more popular, and in some instances, are already being forced on staff members as the norm.

How is cloud computing shaking up your product/service offerings?

EK: Consumer attitude is becoming more open to almost everything in the cloud. They realize that cloud computing can increase bandwidth and also be cost efficient; at the same token security is concern. Since our product is a security solution, we are showing steady growth globally.

Are channel partners keeping up with the latest products and services or is more training required?

EK: More education and training is required. When we engage channel partners we constantly engage in training, especially when it comes to new features or offerings. The other things is that the cloud space is changing rapidly so there needs to be training at all times. 

Samsung Mobile is making a direct move into the enterprise market with its latest line of corporate-centric devices.  Can Samsung successfully take the corporate market share that once belonged to BlackBerry or will the enterprise mobile market remain entirely fragmented?

EK: The enterprise mobile market will remain fragmented. BYOD or “bring your own device” seems to have taken hold in the corporate market space. It’s going to be hard to displace this trend.

What, if any, wearable tech products do you use?  How do they make you more productive?

EK: One of my favorite wearable tech products is the Fitbit HR. It keeps me conscious of my movements and activity. After an exhausting day, and thinking I have worked hard, I look down at my device and find it is a different reality. This keeps me in check when it comes to my overall fitness levels. There can be days I feel great, and think about how I need to move more, only to find out I’m way above my normal activity level. These devices help me stay grounded in reality.

Will wearable tech become a major enterprise technology?  What will drive or hinder adoption?

EK: Indeed it will. In this day and age people are looking for anything that enhances security and access control to data. This is the primary premise of wearable tech. What will hinder adoption is people and the learning curve. Not everyone is willing to go through the exercise of learning this technology until they are forced to learn.

WebRTC went through a very significant hype cycle.  Will its use cases and adoption live up to that hype?

EK: WebRTC is slowly gaining ground; however the technology and roll out, along with device support has to catch up to the hype.

What technology has had the greatest impact on your ability to perform your job in the past year?  Explain.

EK: By far Google Apps has the greatest impact on my ability to perform my job. Just the overall collaborative nature of this app allowing the ability to source talent and still work as a team in an office environment has helped productivity immensely.

What technology has had the greatest impact on your personal life in the past year?  Explain.

EK: Google Chromecast has had the greatest impact on my personal life. It’s a cord cutter's dream. It has allowed me to be free myself from being a cable “slave”, as well as a ton of other features. Instead of our life being built around technologies, the technologies are embedded in our life.

What innovations do you expect to see in the business communications world in the next year?

EK: I expect to see less hardware, and more integration in mobile and remote technologies.

What are you looking forward to at ITEXPO Anaheim?

EK: I am really looking forward to empowering people with knowledge as it applies to the cybersecurity world. This has gotten to be such a serious issue with immense data breaches this year, that it is not a topic to be ignored. I am looking forward also to meeting like minded people in the IT space. ITEXPO is one of the best forums to reach companies of all sizes that represent all sectors of the IP Communications industry, including Service Providers, Carriers, Enterprises, Government Agencies, Resellers, Manufacturers, Developers, and more.

Why should attendees come to your session/visit your booth?

EK: Cybersecurity is the fastest emerging market. It affects business, communications and almost any new technology. It’s changing very fast and most people don’t feel they can keep up. Either you learn now, or you may become the next statistic. We have seen every size company be breached these days and once you are breached, it becomes a nightmare for your company. I will be sharing some real world statistics and ways to protect every type of business at an affordable level. I have some great tips for end-users, and low cost solutions that have really great margins for resellers. Any agent and reseller can easily enter the cyber security business.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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