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‘XaaS’ Has a Role to Play in a Multi-UCaaS World

Traditional enterprise IT’s standard method of operations is to support a single enterprise solution. Instead of fighting the trend of a multi-UC platform environment, IT should embrace the reality that not one UC platform meets the cost, feature, security, and performance requirements for all use cases. As part of this multivendor strategy, enterprises should embrace services that support UC in the cloud for interoperability, additional security, and overall manageability.
For UC, a sampling of such services, let’s call them XaaS, includes:
  • SBCaaS -- Traditionally an enterprise session border controller (SBC) has been the demarcation point between the network service provider and an on-premises platform. SBCs provide interoperability, security, and supportability between different UC platforms. So as UC goes to the cloud and more users are mobile and not on the corporate network, it only makes since that SBCs move into the cloud. Common use cases include providing transcoding resources between platforms such as G.729 from Cisco on-premises platforms to G.711 for Microsoft Skype for Business/Teams. A quick Google search shows Ribbon Communications offering SBCaaS through many of its partners.
  • 911aaS -- 911 is tricky to implement, especially on software UC clients where the user’s physical location can be anywhere. Many enterprises don’t provide 911 on their UC clients; they tell the caller to hang up and dial 911 from a hard phone or cell phone. This isn’t all bad, since many 911 calls from enterprises are mistakes (dial 9 for an outside line, 1 for long distance, then another 1 in error). Regardless, look for a cloud 911 system from West and another vendor that supports many different platforms.
  • CAaaS, or call authentication as a service -- While basic telephony security is aimed at mitigating things such as telephony denial-of-service attacks, robo-calling and call spoofing are becoming more prevalent threats. More enterprises are reporting robo-calls coming into the enterprise and tying up network and telephony resources. Cloud-delivered call authentication services can block these calls before they get into the enterprise. The nice thing about these CAaaS solutions is that they can provide different levels of authentication based on business risks and call origination or destination. See graphic below for an overview of a CAaaS from SecureLogix, a well-known vendor in this space.
How the SecureLogix Call Authentication Service works

How the SecureLogix Call Authentication Service works

An enterprise can consume XaaS in multiple ways. These include:

  1. Hosted -- A service provider hosted solution for which a single instance of the platform or application is reserved specifically to an enterprise. This could be sold on a subscription basis or perpetual license basis.
  2. Service -- A service provider cloud solution that is designed to take advantage of the economies of scale by using shared resources. In this model, application management and usage capacity is primarily sold to an enterprise on a subscription basis. The term of that subscription could range anywhere from instantaneous (serverless) to hours to days to months or yearly.
  3. Virtual Function -- This entails getting rid of hardware appliances and running the application in a private or public cloud for management from anywhere by the enterprise.
At some point, most telephony managers are going to be asked to stop robo-calling from getting into the enterprise. How long from the time of request to time of implementation will largely depend how well IT is prepared to adopt cloud services.