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Cloud Compute

A Modern VPN Alternative to Deploy Now

Work from anywhere has recently become a hot topic. The corona virus outbreak has forced many organizations to move some or all of their employees to work from home. In some cases, work from home was a way to reduce possible exposure, in others it was mandated by health authorities to prevent the spread of the disease across communities.

This unforeseen set of events caught many organizations off guard. Historically, only a subset of the workforce required remote access, including executives, field sales, field service, and other knowledge workers. Now, enterprises need to maintain business continuity by enabling the entire workforce to work remotely.

The most common enterprise remote access technology is Virtual Private Networking (VPN). How does it work? A VPN client is installed on the users’ devices – laptops, smartphones, tablets – to connect over the Internet to a server in the headquarters. Once connected to the server, users gain access to the corporate network and from there to the applications they need for their work.

The obvious choice for enterprises to address the work-from-anywhere requirement was to extend their VPN technology to all users. However, VPNs were built to enable short duration connectivity for a small subset of the users. For example, a salesperson looking to update the CRM system at the end of the day on the road. VPNs may not be the right choice to support continuous remote access for all employees.

VPN is incompatible with company-wide work from anywhere requirements

VPN technology has many shortcomings. The most relevant ones for large scale remote access deployments are scalabilityavailability, and performance.

VPN was never meant to scale to continuously connect an entire organization to critical applications. Under a broad work-from-anywhere scenario, VPN servers will come under extreme load that will impact response time and user productivity. To avert this problem, additional VPN servers or VPN concentrators, would have to be deployed in different geographical regions.

Next, each component in the VPN architecture has to be configured for high availability. This increases cost and complexity. The project itself is non-trivial and may take a while to deploy, especially in affected regions.

Finally, VPN is using the unpredictable public Internet, which isn’t optimized for global access. This is in contrast to the benefits of premium connectivity, such as MPLS or SD-WAN, available in corporate offices.

SASE: A VPN alternative for continuous work from anywhere by everyone

In mid-2019, Gartner introduced a new cloud-native architectural framework to deliver secure global connectivity to all locations and users. It was named the Secure Access Service Edge (or SASE). Because SASE is built as the core network and security infrastructure of the business, and not just as a remote access solution, it offers unprecedented levels of scalability, availability, and performance to all enterprise resources.

What makes SASE an ideal VPN alternative? In short, SASE offers the scalable access, optimized connectivity, and integrated threat prevention, needed to support continuous large-scale remote access.

First, the SASE service seamlessly scales to support any number of end users globally. There is no need to set up regional hubs or VPN concentrators. The SASE service is built on top of dozens of globally distributed Points of Presence (PoPs) to deliver a wide range of security and networking services, including remote access, close to all locations and users.

Second, availability is inherently designed into the SASE service. Each resource, a location, a user, or a cloud, establishes a tunnel to the neatest SASE PoP. Each PoP is built from multiple redundant compute nodes for local resiliency, and multiple regional PoPs dynamically back up one another. The SASE tunnel management system automatically seeks an available PoP to deliver continuous service, so the customer doesn’t have to worry about high availability design and redundancy planning.

Third, SASE PoPs are interconnected with a private backbone and closely peer with cloud providers, to ensure optimal routing from each edge to each application. This is in contrast with the use of the public Internet to connect to users to the corporate network.

Lastly, since all traffic passes through a full network security stack built into the SASE service, multi-factor authentication, full access control, and threat prevention are applied. Because the SASE service is globally distributed, SASE avoids the trombone effect associated with forcing traffic to specific security choke points on the network. All processing is done within the PoP closest to the users while enforcing all corporate network and security policies.

A SASE Service you can deploy TODAY

If you are looking to quickly deploy a work-from-anywhere solution in your business, consider a SASE service. Cato was designed from the ground up as a SASE service that is now used by hundreds of organizations to support thousands of locations, and tens of thousands of mobile users.

Cato is built to provide the scalability, availability, performance, and security you need for everyone at every location. Furthermore, Cato’s cloud native and software-centric architecture enable you to connect your cloud and on-premises datacenters to Cato in a matter of minutes and offer a self-service client provisioning for your employees on any device.



During these unique circumstances, it is important (as your communications partner) to support & provide you with the tools necessary to efficiently and effectively perform your day to day operations, be it at home or other remote capacities. It won’t take long to get confused when you take to google to source tools, resources, and technologies to support these efforts. Just as fast as you get confused, so will you sign up for a service with ambiguous terms and conditions that may hold you liable after the fact.

We have documented the services (with their respective COVID-19 promotions, concessions, and free offerings) for you. We have also streamlined the process for you sign up & deploy these services quickly. The solutions we have researched have high inventory’s and the ability to act fast! If any of the below items are becoming more of a realized need with the extended social distancing guidelines, let me know.


  • Headsets (WFH): source quality headsets for any remote environment. Sourced and shipped fast.
  • Video/Audio Conferencing solutions: free services w/ no contract obligations.
  • Microsoft Teams: unlimited domestic dialing, month-to-month with no long-term contract through direct routing partnership.
  • Customer Service & Contact Center: move agents to remote office, continue customer satisfaction, go digital with customer experience. Discounted rates and promo’s available.
  • Remote and Mobile VPN: ditch corporate VPN or legacy solutions for SaaS like ease of use for all internal applications w/ Zero Trust Security. Remote users can access internal corporate network through mobile terminal with fast and stable internet VPN tunnel. Free months of services.
  • DaaS: Stand up full cloud desktops for your power users. Month to month with no long term contract.
  • Workspaces: SaaS’ify legacy applications on premise and deliver to select users via online workspace portal. Month-to–month and no long-term contract.
  • Device Security & Management: Secure employees and their work from home devices with single sign on portal and mulit factor authentication. Access all SaaS application, simplify logins and reduce help desk passwork requests. Free for 60 days.
  • Expense Management: working from home will radically change how technology is consumed and invoiced. Manage these increased expenses (minutes, data, managed services, carrier bills, etc) with this service for 90 days for free.



Your business continuity is our number one priority.

Please join RingCentral on March 26th for a quick 30 minute discussion on solutions to ensure business continuity and optimize your employees ability to be successful as a remote workforce. 

We will dive into:

  • Maximizing employee productivity with communication and collaboration
  • Best practices, tools and processes to optimize an efficient remote workforce environment
  • Solutions and tools to create a hassle-free experience, ensure business continuity and limit disruption and stress.

Now more than ever, the use of powerful remote work tools like RingCentral is not just a matter of preference, but a matter of safety. Our goal is to provide our best in class communication and collaboration solutions to ensure business continuity and employee health and safety.

Join us and leave with solutions, best practices, and tips on optimizing your employees ability to be successful by building strong communication & collaboration in this dynamic, quickly changing workforce environment.

Register today and become confident in remaining connected and working harmoniously during this time.

Register Now



Today’s business environment is much different from 20 or even 10 years ago. Employees are more productive and expect more from their business tools, while companies run a tighter, more streamlined work environment. As a result, every tool is utilized to its fullest capabilities, with little room for downtime. SMBs, in particular, are looking to get the most productivity out of their technology. Most don’t have an IT staff—and some don’t even have an IT budget, to speak of—so every technology purchase must have a direct impact on the SMB’s bottom line. That’s what makes cloud-based communications a smart investment for small businesses. Little to no upfront investment, low IT involvement and flexibility are a few of the benefits of cloud communications. Indeed, more companies have adopted cloud communications as a way to save money and keep their employees on task: According to research firm Transparency Market Research, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is expected to become a $38 billion market by the year 2022, representing a 20 percent increase over seven years. Technavio, meanwhile, predicts 28 percent growth in the global UCaaS market between 2015 and 2019. Wondering how cloud communications might benefit your business? Cloud may be a good fit for you if:

Your IT staff is overloaded, or you don’t have an IT person at all —

A cloud-based communications system is hosted offsite, eliminating the need for a dedicated IT or telecom person to manage your communication needs.

Your IT budget doesn’t allow for anything more than a basic phone system

For many businesses, communications consists of dial tone and voice mail. But customers want to be able to reach your company in multiple ways—over the phone, via web chat, click-to-call from your website—at any time. Cloud communications can give your customers the options they want at a price you need through a monthly subscription rather than a   hardware upgrade.

Your employees work out of the office as much as they do in the office

Today’s employees demand the flexibility to work from anywhere, and to have access to the same functionality as they would if they were sitting at their desks. Does your communications system currently offer that? A cloud-based system can, providing a feature-rich work experience using any device. Cloud communications offers many of the same phone system features as an onsite system, as well as collaboration features such as instant messaging and screen share. Small businesses must bridge the gap between limited budgets and equipping their employees with technology to keep them productive. The functionality and low cost of a cloud-based communications system makes it a smart investment.


Your Phone System & Remote Employee Productivity

Imagine for a moment that you’re a sales manager at a growing company and you’ve just been tasked with building a remote team of 40 sales reps. Your company’s headquarters is in Boston, but these reps will primarily work out of their home offices and much of their time will be spent on the phone — either initiating conversations with prospective clients or engaging existing customers. While most of your sales reps have personal smartphones they can use on the go, you know that business calls are better conducted on a private line that provides more reliable call quality. Your sales reps will appear more professional, while the features of a business phone system also allows them to be more productive. But here’s the issue: How exactly are you going to set up each of those sales reps with their own phone lines and all the tools they need to be as productive as possible?

The challenges with remote workers and on-premise phone systems

With traditional onsite phone systems, business owners or in-house IT experts would need to take several laborious steps to get remote workers’ phones connected to the company’s internal network. First, they’d have to purchase an expensive phone for each employee — typically through their TelCo provider. Next, they’d need to do some circuit work to ensure that the company’s on-premise system could manage the additional call load. And lastly, they’d have to perform regular monitoring and maintenance of the onsite equipment to ensure its ongoing reliability. Then there’s the issue of system features and functionality. Generally, the benefits of legacy onsite phone systems are limited to reliability, caller identification, and voicemail functionality. Modern VoIP systems, however, allow employees (including remote workers) to easily link their phone to CRM and ERP applications, leverage click-to-dial technology, and unleash powerful call analytics. If your business can’t provide those tools to remote employees, then it’s likely limiting your remote staff’s efficiency and productivity.

Is a cloud-based phone system the answer?

The emergence of cloud-based VoIP technology has largely rendered each of the challenges and obstacles listed above moot. With a cloud-based phone system, getting a remote employee up and running with a phone system is as simple as purchasing a phone, connecting it to the Internet, and downloading some software. There’s no added setup, maintenance, management costs, or headaches, and your remote employees can immediately tap into the same functionality that in-house employees have access to. Even better, cloud-based phone service providers ensure the system is constantly upgraded and protected, which improves uptime, call reliability, and customer experience. In a word, a cloud-based phone system just makes things easier. If your business has a legacy onsite phone system that’s failing to deliver that kind of connectivity to your remote staff, or if you just think there’s a more effective way to sync remote workers to your company’s network, then you may want to consider moving to the cloud. Your remote employees — and their customers — will thank you for it.[divider]