Killing the UC Golden Goose

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With many surveys rating security as the main challenge to UC deployment, Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of VAD Wick Hill, says there is a need for resellers to face up to customer doubts.

“Security is an essential part in the deployment of any UC solution and it is an element, which the reseller, as a trusted advisor, can deliver to clients.

Many components of the UC mix provide the opportunity for a security ‘wrap around’, including wireless, PBX, hosted, smartphones, FMC and converged applications.

Risks such as toll fraud, SIP insecurity, wireless hacking, denial of service attacks, voice interception, smart phone loss, backdoor attacks on the data network, and video threats mean convergence provides great add-on sales and service opportunities.

Users are already migrating to converged solutions through applications such as fixed/mobile convergence and smartphone deployment. If you’re in a ‘trusted advisor’ relationship with clients, you need to incorporate advice on convergence security, so that at the very least, you minimise your liability risk if something goes wrong.

We’re all familiar with toll fraud, but in many cases it’s been left unsaid in the sales process. As the size of the toll fraud problem continues to increase, it is ever more important to include the security message (and sale) in discussions with customers.

While closing the stable door, after the horse has bolted, has worked in the past with toll fraud, particularly with the providers often taking on some of the fraud cost and pain, this is not a viable route for the future.

An example of any easy-to-use, low-cost solution to this problem is Callista’s Control Phreak, incorporated with Panasonic’s TDE and NCP voice switch platforms (it also runs on many other platforms).

This solution runs in real time to prevent dial-through phone fraud, working in the background to stop illegal call traffic instantly. It allows for user regulation, so problem calls can be blocked, while genuine voice traffic carries on unimpeded. And the cost is only in the hundreds of pounds.

Control Phreak is suitable for both SMEs and enterprises, so offers sales opportunities across the board. It’s an example of the choices that resellers can offer to users, acting in an expert capacity, to reassure them on UC security issues and facilitate UC deployment.”