1 Introduction / Executive Summary
The ability to communicate remotely has revolutionized the way organizations work. Wars have been won and fortunes have been built based on better communications. In the 20th century telephone, telex, and wireless communications changed the way business was done. Today the massive communications bandwidth delivered by optical fiber networks together with cloud-based computing services have further enhanced the communications capabilities available to individuals and businesses.
As a result of these technological advances the way in which communications services are delivered is changing. These are moving away from fixed line, point-to-point communications delivered by legacy telecoms companies and point solutions from software vendors towards a unified cloud-based delivery model - Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). This is an unstoppable trend given the many advantages that this approach delivers.
Typically, before UCaaS was available organizations depended upon multiple point video and telephony solutions that were difficult to administer, access, and use. These old communications solutions offered unreliable call quality which had a direct impact on business relationships as well as employee satisfaction. In addition, poor software quality led to high support costs as well as security concerns.
Organizations that have deployed UCaaS solutions have seen improvements in employee productivity, as UCaaS is easy to deploy and use. UCaaS improves videoconferencing and call quality which benefits customer relationships and employee satisfaction. External interactions with customers and partners are improved and internal interactions become more efficient, using UCaaS for virtual help desk operations for example. Finally, organizations typically can save substantial amounts of money from decommissioning legacy solutions.
The benefits of this approach include flexibility, performance, and price. Cloud services support demand-based pricing without the need for capital expenditure. By using shared infrastructure UCaaS services can respond flexibly and rapidly to changing levels of demand from customers.
Cloud services and software-defined infrastructures support new and more flexible development models. UCaaS service providers can build on these to innovate and respond flexibly to customer feedback. In addition, a unified and integrated set of communications capabilities delivered as a service reduces the management and administrative burdens as well as improving the level of service delivered.
Using cloud services also improves UCaaS service resilience. Cloud services are delivered from multiple data centers and use wide area networks from multiple providers which increases the resilience of UCaaS to point failures.
However, UCaaS also introduces new security and compliance challenges and CISOs need to be aware of these. The risks are well-known and manageable. This white paper provides a guide to these challenges. It then describes how Zoom UCaaS is built using a strong security architecture and Zoom applies best practices to addresses them.