How to Create a Customer Contact Center in AWS

Virtualization Review | November 13, 2019

Although cloud hyperscalers such as Amazon are well known for their ability to host IT infrastructure, it is also possible to use the AWS cloud for telephony. This is perhaps one of the most underrated use cases for the Amazon cloud. On premises PBX systems can be expensive and are notoriously difficult to configure. However, Amazon offers a cloud service called Amazon Connect that allows you to connect a phone number to a virtual infrastructure and route calls on an as needed basis. In this series, I will show you how it works. To get started, log into AWS and select Amazon Connect from the list of services (it's in the Customer Engagement section). When Amazon Connect opens, click on the Get Started button.

Spotlight

The IBM Cloud Adoption and Transformation framework from the IBM Cloud Garage is an innovative, multi-dimensional, proven approach to accelerating your success in the cloud. The purpose of the framework is to help you transform faster with a strategy that enables you to overcome the challenges of using cloud technology in a way that best suits your readiness and priorities.

Spotlight

The IBM Cloud Adoption and Transformation framework from the IBM Cloud Garage is an innovative, multi-dimensional, proven approach to accelerating your success in the cloud. The purpose of the framework is to help you transform faster with a strategy that enables you to overcome the challenges of using cloud technology in a way that best suits your readiness and priorities.

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VIRTUAL DESKTOP TOOLS

DNSFilter Provides a Better Secure Web Gateway with Guardian

DNSFilter | August 12, 2022

DNSFilter today announced the acquisition of Guardian, a leading Firewall + VPN technology platform. The acquisition allows DNSFilter to provide a robust Secure Web Gateway (SWG) that more effectively protects user information and secures organizations against web-based threats. “Secure Web Gateway plays a critical role in modern security strategies, enabling organizations to better secure access to the service edge, But the technology is tired – incumbents have not kept pace with the evolving threat landscape or customer needs around service and support. Combining best-in-class Domain Name System (DNS) layer security with Firewall + VPN presents a massive business opportunity and alleviates the pain points customers face with legacy SWG technology.” Ken Carnesi, CEO and Co-founder, DNSFilter Protective DNS is a key element of a SWG, as it is the primary barrier against malware, ransomware, and phishing websites, and is where policies for acceptable use are configured and managed. However, legacy providers rely on signatures and threat feed lists and struggle to identify new attack vectors. DNSFilter provides AI-powered security via DNS. 61% of threats identified by DNSFilter at any given time have not been identified by competitors, who lag behind an average of seven days. Guardian blocks unauthorized third parties from collecting end user information while adding an extra layer of security from hackers and unsecure websites with a powerful VPN – protecting passwords, search history, and other sensitive data. The Guardian Firewall + VPN is securely integrated into the privacy-preserving Brave browser's iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, stopping third-party tracking and blocking unwanted surveillance with protection at the network level on the entire device. Guardian’s technology provides the foundation for DNSFilter to disrupt the SWG market, adding full URL, file type, IP, and port filtering, along with VPN capabilities. DNSFilter’s predictive DNS protection further enhances the security of Guardian users, and Guardian’s highly efficient Secure Web Gateway software stack enables filtering of new internet traffic layers for DNSFilter customers beyond DNS. “We are thrilled to join DNSFilter, the category leader in DNS layer security and a like-minded team that shares our beliefs on privacy and delivering quality software to protect devices,” said Will Strafach, Guardian Founder and CEO. “Guardian and DNSFilter place a high priority on in-house security research to best protect our customers and remain steadfast in our mission to allow users to take back control of the personal data and information they share while using any device. Guardian solutions are a perfect complement to DNSFilter as the company broadens its platform offerings.” About Guardian Guardian is a research company founded on the belief that personal privacy and transparency into network-connected devices are fundamental consumer rights. Guardian is building the world’s most powerful data privacy tools to change the paradigm of your technology owning you, to you owning your technology. Guardian Firewall + VPN blocks attempts by apps on iPhones to track the location of, and take data from, unsuspecting users. Well known for its ability to reverse engineer almost any app and device, Guardian’s mission is to expose what’s happening under the hood, to protect people from the dangers lurking – often unknowingly – in the digitized world. For more information, go to https://guardianapp.com. About DNSFilter DNSFilter is redefining how organizations secure their largest threat vector: the Internet itself. With 70% of attacks involving the Domain Name System (DNS) layer, DNSFilter provides AI-powered security via DNS that uniquely identifies 61% more threats than competitors on an average of seven days earlier, including zero-day attacks. Over 15K organizations and managed service providers trust DNSFilter to protect millions of end users from phishing, malware, and advanced cyber threats.

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Greater Flexibility and Interoperability for Operators Virtualizing Their Software Defined Fiber Access Networks

Broadband Forum | July 14, 2022

Operators can now reduce the time and cost associated with onboarding new Optical Network Unit (ONU) vendors, roll-out services faster, and more easily migrate and evolve their networks by applying new innovations and flexibility thanks to the publication of two new documents from the Broadband Forum today. Broadband Forum’s TR-451 ‘vOMCI Specification’ and MR-451 ‘ONU Management using Virtualized OMCI’ have armed operators with more choice in how they create, activate, and maintain services associated with ONUs. Previously, the management cycle of the ONU was tied to a specific vendor’s Optical Line Terminal (OLT). The latest specification enables operators to de-couple the ONU and OLT from control and management purposes, with the Virtualized ONU Management (vOMCI) being introduced as a solution to centralize operations without relying on each OLT to act as a management entity. This means operators’ OLT vendors no longer needed to be intimately involved in the roll-out of the management services and features provided by the ONU. TR-451 also increases the number of potential ONU vendors, allowing operators to better negotiate the best prices for ONUs. The specification enables easier interoperability testing and on-boarding of ONUs within an operator’s ecosystem and cloud-based network. It supports various deployment models where virtualized functions can be deployed to the cloud or within existing management system solutions. “The latest specification can be used in the evolution of the management of ONUs, not as a replacement for the management processes and data models already in use by operators but to future-proof their infrastructure while maintaining their investment in existing ONU devices,” said Bruno Cornaglia, Co-Director of the SDN/NFV Work Area at Broadband Forum. “Ultimately, ONU management will be more adaptive to changes in operators’ processes and services, as well as less costly to maintain.” About the Broadband Forum Broadband Forum is the communications industry’s leading open standards development organization focused on accelerating broadband innovation, standards, and ecosystem development. Our members’ passion – delivering on the promise of broadband by enabling smarter and faster broadband networks and a thriving broadband ecosystem. Broadband Forum is an open, non-profit industry organization composed of the industry’s leading broadband operators, vendors, thought leaders who are shaping the future of broadband, and observers who closely track our progress. Its work to date has been the foundation for broadband’s global proliferation and innovation. For example, the Forum’s flagship TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol has nearly 1 billion installations worldwide. Broadband Forum’s projects span across 5G, Connected Home, Cloud, and Access. Its working groups collaborate to define best practices for global networks, enable new revenue-generating service and content delivery, establish technology migration strategies, and engineer critical device, service & development management tools in the home and business IP networking infrastructure. We develop multi-service broadband packet networking specifications addressing architecture, device and service management, software data models, interoperability and certification in the broadband market.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Companies Rethink Strategies for Enabling Hybrid Work

Citrix | August 05, 2022

Forced by the pandemic to provide employees with access to the systems and information they needed to work from home, IT organizations around the world turned to traditional technologies like Virtual Private Networks (VPN). And they worked. But as the world moves to hybrid work, 96 percent of IT leaders who participated in a recent global survey conducted by Gartner Peer Insights on behalf of Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS), say they no longer cut it. And they’re rethinking their approach. A Seismic Change Hybrid models have radically changed where and how work gets done – and even who does it. Of the organizations who participated in the Citrix poll: 96 percent have a hybrid work policy or allow both fully remote and hybrid work 85 percent say their workforce is more geographically dispersed than it was two years ago 75 percent have seen an increase in the number of seasonal, contract, or freelance workers A Major Miss When it comes to supporting these changes, respondents say the solutions they put in place to enable remote work fall short in the following areas: Fail to protect against additional security risks posed by employees working from anywhere (96 percent) Create a digital divide between in-office and remote employees (63 percent) Don’t provide a consistent user experience (46 percent) Hinder efficient collaboration among distributed employees (46 percent) Don’t support bring-your-own-device initiatives (33 percent) Difficult to scale and manage (25 percent) A Strategic Shift And they are increasing their investments in technologies that allow them to provide a simpler, more consistent and secure experience for employees regardless of where they work, including: Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) (69 percent) Virtual apps and desktops (56 percent) Desktops as a Service (DaaS) (42 percent) Zero trust network access (34 percent) A Layered Approach VPN remains the most popular solution to support remote work. But as the Citrix research reveals, it’s not enough to enable safe and productive hybrid work on its own. According to the poll, 87 percent of respondents using VPN have implemented at least one other solution to close the gaps, including: VDI (69 percent) Virtual Apps and Desktops (49 percent) DaaS (39 percent) Desired Results And in doing so, they’re achieving their goal. When asked to identify the top three benefits their hybrid work solutions provide, participants in the Citrix poll said they: Provide layered protection for all devices on the network, including unmanaged and BYOD Create an equitable work experience by providing employees with consistent and reliable access to applications and data regardless of where they are working Provide layered protection and consistent security management for all applications “Hybrid work is the future of work, Innovative organizations recognize this and are reimagining the solutions used to support it so they can deliver it today.” Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Citrix Citrix provides a complete digital workspace platform that companies of all sizes can use to enable secure work. With Citrix, employees can work where and how they prefer, and IT can be confident their information and devices remain safe. Click here to learn more about Citrix solutions and the value they can provide. About Citrix Citrix builds the secure, unified digital workspace technology that helps organizations unlock human potential and deliver a consistent workspace experience wherever work needs to get done. With Citrix, users get a seamless work experience and IT has a unified platform to secure, manage, and monitor diverse technologies in complex cloud environments.

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