Video Conferencing

What is Video Conferencing in 2020?

The New Standard for Team Meetings

High-quality video conferencing experiences are increasingly important for end-user productivity. With more users turning on video, IT must ensure company networks can handle the load. Just as importantly, meeting rooms must support video conferencing, as collaboration between in-office and remote users is the new normal.

What is Video Conferencing?

Gartner defines video conferencing as communication by individuals or groups using systems that support image, voice and data transfer over digital networks or telephone circuits. Recently, several video conferencing platforms have grown in popularity for work. Top platforms include Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype for Business.

The Need for Video Conferencing

By 2024, remote work and changing workforce demographics will impact enterprise meetings. Only 25% will take place in person, down from 60% today. 

Challenges of Video Conferencing

The growing popularity of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and video conferencing in general is driving increased usage of room systems in organizations. These room systems exponentially increase support needs and associated costs. 

  • Multi-platform Management: Modern organizations typically use multiple video conferencing platforms and require a central management solution.
  • Actionable Meeting Room Analytics: Are rooms over capacity? What rooms should be upgraded? Actionable insights are key to continuous improvement of the meeting room experience.
  • Integrating Software and Hardware: Meeting rooms are complicated. They require the perfect connection between hardware and software, typically from different vendors.
  • Inherited Video Conferencing Technologies: Organizations need tools to deal with legacy technologies while still meeting end-user expectations of a modern conferencing experience.
  • Room System Troubleshooting: If there's an issue with a meeting room, IT needs to know. Troubleshooting guidance is important, especially when working across multiple systems like Zoom Rooms, Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR), and Skype for Businesss Room Systems (SRS).
  • Room System Security: What is the best way to manage admin access to your platforms and monitor the integrity of meeting recordings? Ensuring proper security is key.

Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration Platform Feature Comparison Guide

How do you know which platform is right for you? There is far too much information out there for you to do ALL the research. As independent experts, we developed a guide focusing on key factors to help you decide on the best choice for your organization.

The Upside to this Quick Transition

This rapid transition to remote work showed a low impact on daily functions. Businesses reported that they experienced a number of benefits:

1.

Better employee quality of life (59%)

2.

Better environmental impact (42.7%)

3.

Reduced employee turnovers rates (32.8%)

4.

More productive employees (28%)

5.

Cost savings (24.9%)

 

The downside to this
quick transition

More Challenges for IT

Beginning in early-March, the world experienced an unprecedented shift to working from home. This resulted in two significant transformations. First, organizations suddenly found themselves with the need to deploy video conferencing on a massive scale. Second, the threat of video conferencing security dangers quickly became a top issue in the UC world.

Caught Unprepared
IT was not ready

A recent survey found that 85% of companies believe embracing the public cloud is critical to fuel innovation. But only 40% of those who have already adopted public cloud have a cloud security management approach in place. 

End users were
not ready.

Most end users were unaware of vital security settings of video conferencing platforms. For the few who did know about them, they assumed that someone else was managing security on the back end. 

And in many cases, the UC Platforms was not ready.

The Importance of Conferencing Security

With an expected 40% of businesses maintaining a remote structure post COVID-19, security is a higher priority as we transition back to a semblance of normality. The key elements of security for video conferencing monitoring can be broken down into three areas:

Pre-Call Settings and Policies

The difference between a “Zoom-Bomb” or an exposed chat thread and a secure meeting, is as simple as checking a few boxes in the settings.

Call Data Transmission

Data transmission is the most vulnerable area of security. In the wrong hands, the video conference stream can turn into a private surveillance camera.

Post Call Archiving

Information from these virtual meetings could be sensitive, so data storage needs to be secure and separate from all other networks.

Is Your Collaboration Platform at Risk?

Cisco Webex Teams

In March 2019, Cisco patched high-severity vulnerabilities in the video-conferencing platform. If exploited, these could have allowed an attacker to execute code on affected systems.

SLACK

Also in March, a critical vulnerability was found in Slack, which could allow automated account takeovers (ATOs) and lead to data breaches. 

Microsoft Teams:

Recently, Microsoft Teams had a security flaw that would allow a ‘malicious GIF’ to steal user data across an entire company.  Additionally, some customers are still looking for Teams to implement some advanced security features previously valued in Skype for Business.  

Both IT and end users need to keep a core list of video conferencing security best practices in mind. This renewed and hyper-vigilant form of digital workplace dexterity is essential.

Monitor &
Track Metrics

Deploy
Policies

Protect & Verify
Meeting Links

Don't Share Personal IDs

Authenticate & Track Users

Control Screen Sharing

Disable Join Before Host

Use Waiting Rooms

Avoid File Sharing

Double Check Confidentiality

Managing the Video Conferencing Experience

What is shadow IT? To complete their work, end users download video conferencing applications without considering security gaps. Gartner estimates that 1/3 of cyber-attacks in 2020 will center around Shadow IT, especially with remote workplaces.

Our free PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout monitoring software reveals security blind spots by surfacing usage of unsanctioned Unified Communications and Collaboration platforms. Identify account owners and individual users engaging on these platforms.

Take back control of your video conferencing UC environment with the free PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout.  Learn More here.

Bring your users’ favorite collaboration and communications apps all under a single management framework, powered by our patented technology. Tackle cross-platform issues with ease. Learn about our plans and pricing to see which is right for you. Gain access to:

Help Desk:

Reduce troubleshooting time and improve end-user satisfaction by providing actionable and prescriptive guidance regarding advanced quality issues.

Benchmarking:

Use the power of crowdsourced cloud intelligence to compare anonymized WSC and UC performance KPIs across multiple sites and between different users and virtual meeting platforms.

Usage and Adoption:

Accelerate user adoption for meetings, chats, and calls across multiple platforms at the same time —visualize the full adoption profile of your entire enterprise Unified Communications and Collaboration environment.

Tracking:

Identify and track a customized and targeted set of Execs, VIPs or even conference rooms so that IT can stay ahead of any potential problems.

Problems & Insights:

AI/ML analyzes platform data to create a centralized hub to view problems and insights. Our software  prioritizes issues to troubleshoot and identifies system anomalies.

Policy Management:

Leverage PowerSuite’s comprehensive policy framework to implement governance covering security and workflow needs.

Video conferencing platforms have increased expectations for productivity gains and always-on reliability. Especially with so many companies new WFH policies, IT teams are now responsible for planning, deploying, and maintaining a multifaceted stack of unified communications and workstream collaboration platforms. Our unified communications experts have been busy honing their skills to cover the video conferencing solutions arena so that you don’t have to. Take a look at our Signature Consulting Services Datasheet to see how we can help your virtual meeting platforms be successful and secure.  Learn More Here. 

More Resources

Post-COVID-19 Remote Work

Long-term impact and statistics you need to know

Readying the Workplace for the “New Normal”

Issues, considerations, and tips & tricks for managing remote work

How to Plan Your Return to the Office Post-COVID-19

Current state and trends for telecommuting and remote work amid COVID-19

Remote Work Means Increased Challenges for IT

Top 6 work from home UC challenges and solutions

Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration Platform Feature Comparison Guide

Deciding between Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and others

Video Conferencing Security Issues and Opportunities

Is Zoom simply the canary in the coal mine?

How to Ensure the Perfect Video Conference

COVID-19 is forcing us to be better at remote work.

How to Create the Perfect Zoom Co-existence Scenario

Best Practices for Pairing Zoom with Microsoft Teams and other apps

Best Practices for Enterprise Usage of Multiple Collaboration Apps

Battling the multi-platform collaboration app hydra

Brand Guidelines

Unify Square

Brand Guidelines

Main Logo

The Unify Square logo is composed of a sphere and an uppercase logotype set in Cyan ExtraBold  and Merel Medium. The logo variation with the shadow is to be used as the primary logo. The version without should only be used when on dark or busy backgrounds. Always use the logo files provided. Do not re-create or alter. *left-click to preview and download an image

Alternate Logos

The full-color logos should be used only on white or light blue backgrounds. The wordmark can be white on dark blue backgrounds. On dark gray or black backgrounds an light, gray-scale may be used.

Avoid using full-color logos on photographs unless the logo sits on a black or white area of the image.

*Click color circle to see examples. Left-click to preview and download an image

With Shadow

No Shadow

Core Product

The core product logo is composed of a custom icon and logotype set in Open Sans Semibold. The logotype should be styled with the capital P and S Logo to be horizontal only, with the exception of the circle format. Always use the logo files provided. Do not re-create or alter. *left-click to preview and download an image

Badges & Logo Alternatives

The PowerSuite logo can be used as a “badge” with and without the product descriptor. 

*left-click to preview and download an image

Rectangular Logo with Product Descriptor

Rectangular Logo Without Product Descriptor

Circular Logo Without Product Descriptor

Typography

Two primary fonts used by Unify Square are Arial and Tahoma.

Arial is to be used in heading copy, and Tahoma is for body copy. Body copy color should always be #565758. The only exception is when being placed on a colored or image background. 

Standard font size 15px.

Arial Bold

Aa

Used for

Headings

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

1234567890±!@#$%^&*()_+-=©

Tahoma Regular

Aa

Used for

Body Text 

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

1234567890±!@#$%^&*()_+-=©

Colors

Use these color proportions in any
layout or collateral design. For the most part headers should be done in the three primary colors, a tint of the color can be used if needed.

Secondary colors can be used as accent colors for smaller headers, buttons, and graphic elements.

Primary Colors

Dark Blue

#154D71

RGB 21 77 113

CMYK 81 32 0 56

Blue-Gray

#546A7B

RGB 84 106 123

CMYK 32 14 0 52

Bright Blue

#3CADED

RGB 60 173 237

CMYK 75 27 0 7

Secondary colors

Orange

#ffc038
RGB 255 192 56
CMYK 0 25 78 0

Green

#6ece6b
RGB 110 206 107
CMYK 47 0 48 19

Dark Grey

#565758
RGB 86 87 88
CMYK 2 1 0 65

Light Blue

#dcedff
RGB 220 237 255
CMYK 14 7 0 0 

True Blue

#3e78b2
RGB 62 120 178
CMYK 65 33 0 30

Grey

#c6c5b9
RGB 198 197 185
CMYK 0 1 7 22

Leadership Team

*right-click to open an image in a new tab and download it 

Zoom 2

New to Zoom Security?

Zoom is the leader in enterprise video communications, providing video and audio conferencing for enterprises around the world. It’s likely that Zoom is being used in your organization for remote work or with Zoom rooms. Zoom’s rapid growth and high demand has led to security issues which can put you at risk.

Unify Square’s PowerSuiteTM software gives Zoom administrators the ability to surface actionable insights, troubleshoot quality issues, and manage Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone. PowerSuite creates a unified set of dashboards to help Zoom administrators monitor, analyze, and secure Zoom.

Monitoring, Analytics & Management for Zoom

Zoom just works – until it doesn’t, as your deployment grows in size. Discovering the root cause of poor conferences and calls across a mountain of data is difficult. Where do you focus first?

Your deployment reports “healthy” within the native Zoom Admin console, but your users are still complaining about video and/or voice issues.

Adoption catches on like fire – until something goes wrong with your Zoom Rooms. How can you proactively manage these issues?

How do you figure out if or when to standardize on a specific voice and video platform across the enterprise?

Zoom Monitoring & Troubleshooting Tool

When it comes to every day troubleshooting of Zoom issues, where do you start? The PowerSuite Insights Center leverages advanced machine learning to expose the highest impact problems with actionable guidance on how to solve them. If there’s a suspect subnet, you’ll know. You no longer have to wade through oceans of data to identify problems: PowerSuite will show you these issues before your users start complaining. See PowerSuite in Action, check out our new Interactive Tour

  • Zoom Room Support
  • Problem Management
  • Executive Support
  • Enterprise-Ready Usage and Adoption

From small huddle rooms to oversize conference rooms, proactive call quality management is essential. A problem with a room system affects more end-users than any other endpoint, so PowerSuite allows you to create custom views to proactively manage these experiences.

PowerSuite prioritizes issues affecting Zoom, using advanced Anomaly Detection to discover problems before they affect end-user experience. This intuitive system allows IT to assign and track remediation efforts.

Proactively track the conferencing experiences of executives or other VIPs in a centralized dashboard. This allows for preemptive troubleshooting to understand who on the call is creating the poor experience, and how best to address and resolve the issue. The dashboard also enables a direct drill-down into the PowerSuite Help Desk dashboard for further troubleshooting.

PowerSuite provides detailed analytics for Zoom. Track trends in usage over easily selectable time windows and determine the impact of adoption interventions.

Our Zoom Blog Resources

In this blog we outline potential issues and setbacks with Zoom to give easy, actionable solutions to help you navigate Zoom at Enterprise Scale
Is Zoom Phone Ready for PBX Primetime?

All the benefits and risks of the Zoom Phone system

Top Arguments for Transitioning from Skype to Zoom

All about moving to the cloud, interoperability, and important feature differences

Zoom Troubleshooting

Managing Zoom Rooms, issues with host controls, resolving issues with screen sharing, and network-related audio issues

Zoomtopia 2019 Takeaways

Valuable learnings including AI for meetings, Room Systems, and Zoom Phone from Zoomtopia 2019

Pairing Zoom with Microsoft Teams

Combining Zoom and Microsoft teams for a seamless integration

Zoom Conference Rooms

The 5 things you need to know about Zoom conference rooms

Zoom Consulting Services

Are you in the middle of a migration to  Zoom, or you just start thinking about diving into this platform? Our qualified experts are here for you to optimize your deployment process, secure your unified communication and workstream collaboration, and improve your experience for work meetings, calls, and chats. 

Zoom Video Conferencing Security Issues

Security Settings

Service security measures are never foolproof. All the top UC conferencing platforms are too complex to navigate the many bells and whistles.

Polices

For emerging technologies, the conventional IT impulse is to lock down/discourage adoption until the organization fully understands the risks; however, this impulse isn’t feasible, because business adoption (particularly in times of ‘crisis’) isn’t only a security decision.

Phishing

Apart from exploiting security bugs, cybercriminals have other attack vectors when it comes to collaboration. These phishing attacks include stealing credentials and delivering malware payloads through links and attachments, just like email.

Recordings Exposure

Any number of different security misses can inadvertently make recordings public. Lack of complex password or default password requirements, non-existent policy regarding recordings could lead to data leakage.

Extend the Native Platform

 PowerSuite embraces, extends, and simplifies the native platform security models by offering a single solution, which allows for execution across multiple platforms including Teams and Slack.

Self-Service Security

Empower users to manage their workspaces while easily complying with company policies. This “self-service” delegation is a GenZ fit that transcends the inefficient IT security enforcement approach.

Collaboration Risk Monitoring

PowerSuite pro-actively monitors for risk exposure and automatically enforces management and security policies running across multiple platforms inlcuding Slack and Teams.

IT & End User Harmony

The PowerSuite model helps IT move from “command and control” to “trust, but verify” – adjusting the delivery method of collaboration security in a way that creates a secure and frictionless experience for users.

How Can You Manage Zoom?

Unify Square’s PowerSuiteTM software gives Zoom administrators the ability to surface actionable insights, troubleshoot quality issues, and manage Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone. PowerSuite creates a unified set of dashboards to help Zoom administrators monitor, analyze, and secure Zoom.

Learn about PowerSuite

Request a Demo

Monitoring, Analytics & Management for Zoom

Zoom just works – until it doesn’t, as your deployment grows in size. Discovering the root cause of poor conferences and calls across a mountain of data is difficult. Where do you focus first?

Your deployment reports “healthy” within the native Zoom Admin console, but your users are still complaining about video and/or voice issues.

Adoption catches on like a prairie fire – until something goes wrong with your Zoom Rooms. How can you proactively manage these issues?

How do you figure out if or when to standardize on a specific voice and video platform across the enterprise?

PowerSuite for Zoom Phone

Unify Square’s full set of Zoom Phone targeted offerings provide the on-ramp, as well as the ongoing 24x7 hand-holding to ensure Zoom calling success for your enterprise.

Zoom phone

Zoom Monitoring & Troubleshooting Tool

When it comes to every day troubleshooting of Zoom issues, where do you start? The PowerSuite Insights Center leverages advanced machine learning to expose the highest impact problems with actionable guidance on how to solve them. If there’s a suspect subnet, you’ll know. You no longer have to wade through oceans of data to identify problems: PowerSuite will show you these issues before your users start complaining. See PowerSuite in Action, check out our new Interactive Tour

  • Zoom Room Support
  • Problem Management
  • Executive Support
  • Enterprise-Ready Usage and Adoption

From small huddle rooms to oversize conference rooms, proactive call quality management is essential. A problem with a room system affects more end-users than any other endpoint, so PowerSuite allows you to create custom views to proactively manage these experiences.

PowerSuite prioritizes issues affecting Zoom, using advanced Anomaly Detection to discover problems before they affect end-user experience. This intuitive system allows IT to assign and track remediation efforts.

Proactively track the conferencing experiences of executives or other VIPs in a centralized dashboard. This allows for preemptive troubleshooting to understand who on the call is creating the poor experience, and how best to address and resolve the issue. The dashboard also enables a direct drill-down into the PowerSuite Help Desk dashboard for further troubleshooting.

PowerSuite provides detailed analytics for Zoom. Track trends in usage over easily selectable time windows and determine the impact of adoption interventions.

Zoom Solutions

PowerSuite software creates a unified set of dashboards to surface actionable insights. Manage, analyze, and troubleshoot a myriad of different collaboration and communications platforms, including Zoom.

PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services is expanding its reach to offer proactive 24×7 support for Zoom Rooms to help businesses reduce their costs and better support their meeting rooms. 

The unique PowerSuite technology provides an expansive single-pane of glass view, spanning six different platforms from the top four industry-leading software vendors. ​Learn More.

group-collaboration

Learn how PowerSuite, our industry-leading solution can improve your workstream collaboration and unified communications performance. Request a personalized demo, tailored just for you.

Collaboration Security & Governance

Collaboration Security & Governance

IT’s Next Big Headache

The popularity of new collaboration applications like Microsoft Teams and Slack introduces new areas of security exposure. Even worse, IT isn’t prepared. These platforms enable users to add guests, share files, and change security settings without IT guidance. Each time IT teams try to lock controls, a slew of Shadow IT applications pop up instead.

What is Collaboration Security & Governance?

Collaboration Security boils down to managing risk across your workstream collaboration ecosystem. This covers a broad set of security-related areas: access and usage policies, user and channel management, and workflow automation. Unlike more intensive security solutions like DLP, CASB, or antivirus software, this enlightened form of governance balances risk with user productivity. When collaboration security is done well, it ensures consistent policy management across multiple collaboration and communications platforms.

Guest Access

Guests are an important part of the workstream collaboration ecosystem. However, how do you ensure they only have access to your environment for the appropriate amount of time?

Over-enabled end users create unintentional internal threats by sharing files too freely. How do you prevent accidental data leakage?

Microsoft Teams and Slack offer app stores full of great 3rd party plug-ins to enhance the value of the platform. Not all apps are created equally; the challenge is in controlling them. 

The beauty of easy data sharing is also its most dangerous security risk. Due to complexity in terminology and permissions models, it’s easy for both IT and users to inadvertently expose key content. 

Types of Workstream Collaboration Security Issues

As an InfoSec or IT Professional, you’re continuously evaluating and assessing security risks. A large part of this security risk assessment focuses on dealing with end users and their, at times, questionable decisions. Their goals are simple: they’re just trying to get stuff done. Unfortunately, they don’t see risk the way IT does. If security risk is a concern at all, it’s an afterthought at best. In this blog we outline the security threats that exist in most businesses.

Adding (and then forgetting to track) guests from public domains

Installing third-party apps from platform app stores with reckless abandon

Sharing files through an unsanctioned application

Changing sharing settings to “anyone with the link”

Hosting all Zoom meetings using personal meeting ID

Video Conferencing Security Loopholes

Security Settings

Each UC platform comes with its unique list of security settings. Keeping track of these settings becomes even more difficult as they’re constantly being updated. How do you navigate the complexity and ensure a consistent experience across multiple platforms?

Polices

For emerging technologies, the conventional IT impulse is to lock down/discourage adoption until the organization fully understands the risks. However, the adoption of new features isn’t just a security decision anymore.

Phishing

Apart from exploiting security bugs, cybercriminals have other attack vectors when it comes to collaboration. These phishing attacks include stealing credentials and delivering malware payloads through links and attachments, just like email.

Recordings Exposure

Any number of different security misses can inadvertently make recordings public. Lack of complex password or default password requirements and nonexistent policy regarding recordings could lead to data leakage.

Compare Challenges by Platform

Each Unified Communications and collaboration platform introduces its own unique challenges. With different settings and features, there are some common collaboration security and governance issues seen on each platform.

Did you know guest access is hardest to control on Microsoft Teams?

With multiple places to control guests throughout Azure, the Office 365 admin center, and the Teams admin console, it's difficult to ensure guests are properly managed.

Keeping track of the latest features in Zoom is tough.

With so many new releases, IT can't keep up. Many departments audit settings less often than new ones are released. This creates a security blind spot.

These apps are out of control!

Slack's plethora of third-party apps enable user productivity. However, many require excessive permissions, and removing already-installed apps is painful.

Compare features

UC and Collaboration Platform Feature Comparison Guide

Beyond the difficulties of managing each platform, there are some issues common to all. Ensuring consistent governance across multiple platforms is key to a secure environment. This is just one of the challenges of workstream collaboration that must be overcome. Luckily, multi-platform collaboration security tools like PowerSuite simplify management and administration.

Monitor, Measure & Manage Collaboration Security

De-Risk with the 3Ms

The traditional model of controlling user and application permissions is too cumbersome in the modern digital workplace. The normal IT governance approach simply causes users to shift to some shadow IT solution as a work-around. In the new world, enterprises need to allow most user behavior, and subsequently manage issues after the fact.

Monitor
Rather than jump to a fix, IT first carefully observes their multi-platform collaboration environment to understand how their users and guests are using Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Measure
IT compares the risk exposure profile with predefined workstream collaboration policies. This allows IT to measure and report on whether corporate policies are being violated.

Manage
Both IT and end users can jump into action to either remediate or create an exception where governance standards aren’t being met. However, predefined workflows or PowerSuite-directed AI workflows should be initiated well before any human intervention is necessary.

Step 1: Collaboration Security and Governance RightTrackTM

Before considering what tools you need to mitigate risk in your environment, start with a consulting engagement to model your organization’s collaboration interactions and risk levels.

From there, you can establish data governance policies and land on a framework for education and measurement. The end game is ensuring that your organization can appropriately balance collaboration and sharing transparency with data protection and privacy.

Ask most C-level executives about collaboration governance, and topics like backup, disaster recovery, DLP, CASB, and malware protection immediately come to mind. PowerSuite addresses a different risk: that of over-empowered users accustomed to solving their own problems any way they can. They are often unconscious that the information they’re sharing is their company’s greatest asset.

Extend the Native Platform

 PowerSuite embraces, extends, and simplifies the native platform security models by offering a single solution, which allows for execution across multiple platforms including Teams and Slack.

Self-Service Security

Empower users to manage their workspaces while easily complying with company policies. This “self-service” delegation is a GenZ fit that transcends the inefficient IT security enforcement approach.

Collaboration Risk Monitoring

PowerSuite proactively monitors for risk exposure and automatically enforces management and security policies running across multiple platforms including Slack and Teams.

IT & End User Harmony

The PowerSuite model helps IT move from “command and control” to “trust, but verify” – adjusting the delivery method of collaboration security in a way that creates a secure and frictionless experience for users.

Check Out More Collaboration Security Resources

AllData SheetsVideoseBooksWhitepapersBlogsCase StudiesWebinarsInfographicGuideCollaboration Security
Microsoft Teams easy deployment

Microsoft Teams Deployments: Simple Set-up or a Sleeping Giant?

COVID-19 has, without a doubt, accelerated the move from a ‘cloud-first’ to a ‘cloud...

Read More

Collaboration Security & Governance
Data Sheet

Workstream collaboration allows employees to be more productive than ever before. However, this new...

Read More

Video Conferencing Security Issues and Opportunities

Is Zoom Simply the Canary in the Coal Mine?

Read More
Shadow IT Redefining UC enterprise phone

Redefining the Enterprise UC Office Phone

Smartphones, WhatsApp and the Occasional Zoom Download Most businesses today either are moving or have...

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Workstream collaboration challenges Unify Square

Overcoming Challenges of Workstream Collaboration

A Look at Workstream Collaboration Applications in the Digital Workplace Today Exploring the love-hate...

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Remote Work Means Increased Challenges for IT 

Top 6 Increased WFH UC Challenges & Solutions    As the world struggles with the unprecedented COVID-19...

Read More

With the introduction of collaboration to your communications stack, there are many additional considerations IT needs to keep in mind. With increased collaboration and visibility, it’s important to reduce the risk of security exposure from employees and guests.

Comparison Chart Sneak Peak

Ultimate Guide to Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration Platforms

Which Platform is Right for You?

With so much material on each individual platform, it can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise. We decided to bring the information you need together in one place. As independent experts, we break down key features of the top UC and collaboration platforms to help you make an educated purchasing decision.

Deciding Between Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Others

Whether your enterprise business is looking for a collaboration platform to increase productivity or for more traditional unified communications, we have the ultimate UC and collaboration platform comparison guide. Our goal is to help you find the right answer for your organization.

Our FREE comparison chart highlights must-have features to help guide you towards the right UC and collaboration platform for your business.

Key Categories in Our Comparison Guide

We’ve broken down key aspects of UC and collaboration platforms into these high-level categories. Compare features side-by-side to understand what you get when you make a purchasing decision.

Features

Key information on product features aimed at end-users

Administration

Out-of-the-box capabilities for proper platform administration

Integrations

Third-party applications augment these platforms

Security

How each platform protects your data and your users

Hardware Support

Amplify base platform functionality with additional modalities like rooms or IP phones

Plans & Pricing

Compare purchasing options to ensure high value

Now that you’ve discovered which UC and collaboration platform is right for you, take the next step to implement proper management. Whether you’re transitioning between platforms or supporting multiple, PowerSuite is the right tool to manage, analyze, and secure your environment. The unique PowerSuite technology provides an expansive single pane view, covering six different application platforms from industry-leading software vendors.  View all platforms.

Confirmation

Thanks for signing up for PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout!

There is a two-step process for receiving your first PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout Report. 

1.

Shadow IT Scout needs to be enabled by an Office 365 administrator. We just emailed you with these details.   If you are not an Office 365 administrator, please forward the email to the appropriate person within your organization. 

2.

Once Shadow IT Scout has been enabled, our team will follow up to request additional information. We’ll then implement some final configuration steps which will allow you to receive your first PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout report.

Hungry for More?

PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout is just a small piece of the PowerSuite puzzle.

Our industry-leading software analyzes, manages, and secures top collaboration and communications platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, and Skype for Business. We provide a single pane of glass to surface actionable insights on high-impact issues and troubleshoot through to resolution.

Shadow IT Scout

PowerSuite™ Shadow IT Scout

Discover unauthorized application usage

PowerSuite™ Shadow IT Scout reveals security blind spots by surfacing usage of unsanctioned collaboration and communications platforms. Identify account owners, as well as individual users engaging on these platforms. Take back control of your UC environment with Shadow IT Scout.

SPECIAL

PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout for Zoom available for FREE!

Shadow IT Challenges

Shadow IT is a major security issue. End-users looking to complete their work download applications without considering the security ramifications. In fact, Gartner estimates that in 2020, a third of successful cyber attacks will center on data in Shadow IT applications. With a Covid 19-prompted move to remote work, Shadow IT is more common than ever before.

Get Shadow IT Scout for Zoom

PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout Helps IT Take Control

Discover and remediate unsanctioned application adoption. Shadow IT Scout helps IT determine whether a critical mass of users are engaging with unauthorized collaboration and communications platforms. This vital data allows IT to decide whether to support the application or remove it from the environment. Most importantly, Shadow IT Scout uncovers security blind spots.

Configuration Woes

Even applications that can be secured like Zoom or Slack, often aren’t when end-users are left to control the settings themselves. Misconfiguration leaves organizations wide open for an attack.

Risk Surface Area

Each new application introduces additional surface area of risk, especially when it comes to collaboration. Publicly shared documents and searchable meeting links are common problems.

Rising Costs

Large organizations often have multiple instances of common Shadow IT applications. Beyond security, this results in inefficiency in billing and ballooning costs.

How Shadow IT Scout Works

Utilizing an algorithm to perform a scan of email metadata, Shadow IT Scout identifies users engaging with unified communications and collaboration platforms (version 1 initially only tracks the Zoom platform) not supported by IT.

With easy bi-weekly email reports, IT can track adoption trends throughout their organization. Shadow IT Scout gives IT teams the information to take back control of their UC environments.

Security Considerations

Security is top priority at Unify Square. PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout takes precautions to keep your data secure. The first step in this data security is minimizing the information that is stored by the application. The only information stored is the Microsoft user identifier.

Additional data is collected, analyzed, and aggregated, and this is limited to specific email fields: To, From, and Subject Line. Aggregated data is transmitted via secure transport using HTTPS with TLS 1.2, then stored and encrypted at rest. IT can additionally limit PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout to run only on a subset of users.

Shadow IT Scout Requirements

Shadow IT Scout can only be enabled by an Office 365 administrator.

Shadow IT Scout only works for customers running Exchange Online.

Note: You will need to know the name of your Office 365 Tenant ID (Also known as the Azure Tenant Id) before completing this form. If you do not know this, please contact your Office 365 administrator.

Got Questions?

Want more details? Got questions? Curious when PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout will be available for other platforms?  We would be happy to help. 

Enabling Remote Work

Remote Work with Unified Communications

Pre Covid-19 statistics showed over 70% of professionals conducted remote meetings or worked from home (WFH) for at least one day each week. However, in the wake of Covid-19, whole companies are working from home, and they’re doing so 100% of the time. 

Learn more about what Unify Square and our PowerSuite software and managed services are doing to empower enterprise IT to manage complex work-from-home scenarios.

Offers, Downloads and Assistance

Free
PowerSuite Offer

Unify Square offers FREE PowerSuite for Healthcare, Education and Government Institutions. The software will give your IT admins complete visibility into Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom.

Get More Details in our blog.

A high-touch end-user support service to proactively reach out to and assist all employees in an organization with their individual remote meetings & teleconferencing issues. This is a low cost and limited-time paid engagement.

A regular profile of all Zoom users (and guests) joining meetings in an organization, highlighting their specific client version installed. This report will continue to be enhanced as customer needs evolve. This service requires a PowerSuite license, however we offer a free 30-day trial.

A regular report surfacing unauthorized usage of Zoom (but expanding soon to cover other UC and Collaboration platforms). Shadow IT Scout identifies usage trends, as well as billing owners for rapid remediation. This entry-level PowerSuite app is available initially for FREE, but will require paid upgrades when additional platforms are added. 

Let Us Help

We have been deeply invested in helping our customers and the market work through remote work issues from Day 1 of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Enterprise IT is dealing with new, untested, unforeseen, and uncertain scenarios relating to security vulnerabilities, capacity issues, and user training. 

Please enter your details here and select which offer you are interested in. 

Enhancing UC and UCaaS platforms for Remote Workers with PowerSuite

With employees working remotely, ensuring high-functioning Unified Communications (UC) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms is more important than ever before. Remote workers rely heavily on video conferencing for their daily meetings that were previously conducted in person. Despite less control over the environment, IT is still responsible for ensuring quality UC experiences.

  • Scaling Rapidly
  • Executive Experiences
  • Shadow IT

Challenge: Can your infrastructure handle the sudden increase in load caused by a move to remote work?

  • Bandwidth and capacity requirements dramatically shift
  • Poor Wi-Fi connections with WFH employees can wreak havoc on cloud deployments

PowerSuite helps in identifying high-impact bottlenecks reducing call quality.

Challenge: VIP users are always a handful for IT, but remote work introduces even more problems.
  • Top level executives still expect high quality UC experiences while working from home.
  • IT has less control over the UC environment with employees on external networks.
PowerSuite offers proactive tracking of selected groups of users so IT can reach out before the nasty phone call. By identifying areas for quick remediation, PowerSuite helps IT keep these high-touch users happy.
Challenge: IT teams must understand which applications are in use and how widely they’ve spread throughout the organization.
  • Remote end-users are now even more likely to pick up unsanctioned applications as they adjust to a work from home environment.
  • UC applications not actively managed by IT can pose a major security issue, as end-users fail to put the proper settings in place.
PowerSuite Shadow IT Scout identifies unsanctioned adoption of popular UC platforms so IT can choose to take control of application security.

PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services for UC and UCaaS

Is your department struggling to keep up with the demands of a newly remote workforce? Enjoy peace of mind with 24x7x365 PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services. Our operations engineers are experts at not only keeping your UC or UCaaS environment up and running, but also proactively improving call quality. PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services goes the extra mile, resolving issues with platform and hardware vendors to save IT another headache.

Remote Work Collaboration, Enabled with PowerSuite

With a constant stream of channel messages, exchanges of files, and rapid chat threads, workstream collaboration is at the heart of remote work. Platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack have seen spikes in the number of daily users as IT teams rush to deploy these vital tools to employees. Because these platforms are essential to enabling remote work, IT must take measures to properly administer and secure workstream collaboration.

  • Collaboration Security
  • User Adoption
  • Workspace Sprawl

Challenge: Rapid deployment is often antithetical to careful policy management.

  • Security issues around guest access or over-permissioned users create major blind spots.
  • The increasing size of the environment introduces additional risk surface area.
PowerSuite identifies collaboration security anomalies and alerts IT to top problem areas. A unique monitor, measure, manage approach allows IT to balance risk with end-user productivity.

Challenge: While most remote employees rapidly adopt workstream collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack, there are always outliers who struggle with this new technology.

  • How do you identify end-users who are excluded from the vital information exchanged via workstream collaboration?
  • How do you address their ongoing issues to reconnect them?

PowerSuite’s advanced adoption metrics identify individuals, teams, or departments with low usage. To aid struggling users, PowerSuite’s Help Desk allows IT to view recent experiences of individual workers.

Challenge: Creating new teams or channels is easy. However, after they’ve served their purpose, few end-users think to delete or archive them. With deployments rapidly increasing in size, the number of workspaces balloons until it’s out of control.

  • Inactive teams and channels pose a security risk, as the content remains accessible.
  • Usability issues arise as end-users struggle to find the appropriate teams and channels.

PowerSuite identifies inactive workspaces for rapid IT remediation and alerts IT when the number of inactive workspaces reaches a problematic threshold.

PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services for Collaboration​

Is your department overwhelmed by workstream collaboration issues and requests? Let PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services handle the environment for you. Our expert operations engineers are available 24x7x365 to fulfill provisioning requests, proactively monitor collaboration security, and troubleshoot difficult-to-resolve problems. With support for multiple collaboration and communications platforms, PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services offers a centralized solution with a predictable cost model.

Remote Work Links and Information

We've included some recent blogs to help you navigate remote work.

Remote work Offers, downloads, and assistance for remote meetings and WFH scenarios

Make Work From Home Work For You

Working from home can be an adjustment in any scenario, but in the past few weeks many people have unexpectedly been asked to stay home to work to help slow down or prevent the spread of COVID19.  

Challenges in Workstream Remote work Collaboration Unify Square

Remote Work Means Increased Challenges For IT

As the world struggles with the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, most enterprise IT organizations are under-prepared, especially for this sudden and voluminous increase in remote workers due to the crisis. 

Remote work Offers, downloads, and assistance for remote meetings and WFH scenarios

A Love-Hate Affair: Challenges In Workstream Collaboration

Remote work is becoming more and more common for enterprise employees, and teams are increasingly scattered across the globe. New reports reveal trends around collaboration applications and their impact on today’s enterprises and employees

Top News

CompTIA offers free e-learning to test drive an IT career

As telework increases due to the spread of COVID-19, companies are heavily relying on the expertise of IT professionals for everything from keeping information secure to instruction on collaboration apps, experts said.

Employees crave stricter rules around collaboration app usage

Workstream collaboration is positioned as an open model. Users are empowered to create channels dynamically and share information across them which gives rise to concerns for information security teams in IT.

How to Ensure Your Collaboration Apps Are Secure

The report provided by Unify Square examines the most utilized features across workplace collaboration, app usage trends, and how they are impacting productivity, employee behavior, and security.

Top Assets

To Help You Plan, Deploy, Run and Secure Remote Work Platforms

Ultimate Guide to
Collaboration Security

The challenge is balancing risk and end-user utility. It’s only a matter of time before something is shared with the wrong person.

Microsoft Teams
Deployment Guide

Key steps to pilot, rollout, and operate Microsoft Teams at scale in a two part series.

Zoom
Deployment Guide

Tips and tricks to deploying Zoom within an enterprise and at scale.

Unify Square remains invested in helping our customers and community navigate our rapidly evolving world of IT.

Request a Demo

Consulting Services

Consulting Services

Getting ready to dive into new platforms for workstream collaboration? Our unified communications experts have been busy developing their skillsets to cover the workstream collaboration arena so that you don’t have to. Our consulting services will help you optimize your deployments for both unified communications and workstream collaboration – helping you deliver a significant boost in ROI and user satisfaction.

Let Our Consultants Join Your Team

Workstream collaboration platforms have brought an increase in expectations for productivity gains and always-on reliability. IT teams are now responsible for planning, deploying, and maintaining a multifaceted stack of unified communications and workstream collaboration platforms.

Our certified consultants can help enable outstanding experiences for enterprise meetings, chats, and calls by giving you the technical expertise needed to establish and optimize your WSC and UC platforms. Download the data sheet to see an overview of consulting services we can offer you.

Connect with a Consultant

IT’s Next Big Headache: Collaboration Security and Governance

With the introduction of collaboration to your communications stack, there are many additional considerations IT needs to keep in mind. With increased collaboration and visibility, it’s important to reduce risk of security exposures from employees and guests.

Consulting Services

  • Skype for Business to Teams Migration
  • Collaboration Security RightTrack™
  • Unified Communications HealthCheck
  • Unified Communications RightTrack™
  • Network Readiness Service
  • Site Transformation Accelerator (STA)
  • Bespoke Consulting
With SfB-Online going End of Life (EOL) in July of 2021 and Skype for Business Server 2015 and 2019 having their mainstream support EOL’ing in 2020 and 2023 respectively, it’s quite possible that Microsoft is signaling to organizations that it’s time to migrate to Teams. The intricacies of such a migration go far beyond the 5 different migration methods that Microsoft has outlined and are also arguably even more complicated than an initial migration form an old school PBX to Skype for Business. Our experienced consultants will create a migration plan and lead you through all the implementation steps, encompassing areas such as voice integration, Direct Routing, DID porting, video room integration, conferencing migration, SfB/Teams interoperability, security, network readiness, workstream collaboration, and monitoring/reporting and management details.

Connect with a Consultant

With the introduction of collaboration to your communications stack, there are many additional considerations IT teams need to keep in mind. With increased collaboration and visibility, it’s important to reduce risk exposure.

The Collaboration Security RightTrack™ offered by Unify Square focuses on managing the balance between collaboration and security for organizations using Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook. To do this, our consultants help teams create a collaboration information map that will lead to a living policy model for stakeholders to be aware of without limiting the productivity benefits of workstream collaboration applications.

Connect with a Consultant

In order to better optimize an existing deployment or to help de-risk the rollout and coexistence of a hybrid deployment of Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business, Unify Square offers a UC HealthCheck service. This service focuses on customers’ existing system, and helps with adherence to industry and Unify Square best practices.

The Health Check has been designed to highlight any inefficiencies or issues in a deployment, as well as flagging any potential blocks to long-term goals that may occur during upgrades or migrations.

Connect with a Consultant

No matter the level of expertise for Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype for Business, or Office 365, it can still be difficult to plot the optimal course forward. Our certified consultants will assess your current voice-specific situation and business goals, then apply industry and Unify Square best practices to develop a customized, ready-for-execution approach unique to your environment.

Connect with a Consultant

Networks must be regularly optimized for collaboration and communications systems, and an assessment can help you prepare to align with your cloud service provider’s recommendations. Traditional corporate WANs route traffic back to headquarter data centers, which can create long delays, decreasing video and voice quality for systems like Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business.

As part of an overall Network Readiness Service conducts a WAN and Wi-Fi network assessment for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud environments; tests for signal strength; same channel overlap; NMOS degradation; and connected access points. Our consultants provide network recommendations, customizable survey locations, and reporting and analytics to help ensure your team is ready for business success with your system deployment.

Connect with a Consultant

When it comes time to migrate sites and subsidiaries to a new platform, it can be difficult for IT to juggle the pressure and complexity tied to a tight timeline and budget. The Site Transformation Accelerator (STA) service is a proven programmatic process which handles site-by-site transformations from a legacy system to the Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business phone system by setting up either Cloud PBX or on-premises Skype for Business servers in enterprises across the globe.

STA is designed to help IT rapidly transform multiple sites simultaneously, while supporting end users and technology systems with optimum performance. By adding PowerSuite into the mix, data collection and tracking capabilities provide you with 24×7 expert support to help further automate and stabilize the deployment process.

Connect with a Consultant

At Unify Square, we understand that your needs may not fit neatly into any one of our above packaged services. With Bespoke Consulting, our certified experts can create a customized service to help you tackle any challenge – whether it’s to plan, deploy, adopt, operate, evolve, or even upgrade your existing collaboration software, we’ve got a team that can help.

By leveraging our outside expertise to help assess your collaboration roadmap, you’ll be able to excel across the board: strategy and design, implementation and deployment, user experience, or even analytics and operations. Unify Square’s consulting services provide health and stability insurance, scalable operational efficiency, improved end user adoption, and significant cost savings.

Connect with a Consultant

The unique PowerSuite technology provides an expansive single pane view, spanning over six different application platforms from four different industry-leading software vendors.  View all platforms.

Connect with a Consultant

Chat with One of our Consultants

It doesn’t matter if you have just made the decision to deploy Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack or any number of collaborations and communications you will almost certainly need assistance and expertise to help you. Either way our expert consulting services offer you the technical experience to establish and optimize your platforms across your organization.  It doesn’t matter if you are deploying on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid solution our consultants can help.