Virtual Office Featured Article


How Virtual Office Solutions Change Everything

February 10, 2011
By Charles West - Virtual Office Resource Web Editor

During bad weather, companies want employees to be safe, but how do you factor in inclement weather without losing productivity?  The answer is hosted solutions.

Sure, lots of people figure out ways to work from home – bringing paperwork or files home, sharing their cell phone numbers with coworkers or clients, calling into their voicemail to check it once an hour, or checking email through webmail.  However, hosted solutions, like VoIP and Unified Communications, don’t require all that thought and planning.  Because they are web-based, these solutions allow employees to work from home or an offsite location and keep their business running.  All you need is your laptop and you’re up and running with a click of your mouse.


In an effort to give people a better understanding of the incredible advantages a virtual office can bring to business customers, TMCnet asked Louis Hayner (News - Alert), CSO of Alteva a few questions.

How are the current weather conditions increasing the need for technologies that allow people to remain as productive from home as they are when they are in the office?

During snow and ice storms, companies want their employees to be safe and want them to know they are valued. However, especially in a winter season that sees one or two storms per week, companies have to find a way to deal with it without sacrificing productivity, because productivity loss means revenue loss.Many people figure out ways to work from home – but it requires a lot of pre-planning and lugging heavy paperwork and files home. They have to figure out who all they need to share their home or cell phone numbers with – co-workers, vendors and clients – and they have to call into their voicemail to check it every hour. But, when working with hosted solutions such as VoIP, Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) and CRM, all that thought and planning isn’t necessary. These hosted solutions allow employees to telecommute seamlessly and keep their business running as usual without incurring extra costs to their company – either by working from home or an off-site location – as long as they have a laptop and Internet connection.

Are there benefits to virtual office solutions for businesses?

Definitely, especially in cases where organizations have many remote workers, road warriors, or satellite offices. With hosted solutions, you benefit from “Anywhere Access”, meaning that you can access your email, voicemail and documents from anywhere with an internet connection - enabling workers to be as mobile as they need to be.

Any security concerns?

One of the major benefits in going with a hosted system is that there is no on-premise closet to secure. Your communications system is located in our secure data centers that have both biometric and key card access security to enter. Very few clients are able to afford that level of security, however due to the nature of being a telecom provider in a highly regulated industry, it is essential for Alteva (News - Alert) to have these safeguards in place. Hence, from a physical security perspective, Alteva’s hosted UC offering has major advantages over the premise-based systems.

Alteva utilizes a Department of Defense Certified Firewall to protect your network. Alteva also utilizes an ACME Packet SBC to protect our backend infrastructure. The SBCs that protect Alteva's datacenters are specialized voice firewalls that segregate partitions of memory, processing, and firewalling. As customers successfully register to our infrastructure, they are placed in an "untrusted" partition for a period of time. The longer the company/phones are in the "untrusted" with no issues, they are then promoted to the "trusted" partitions. New registrations that have not successfully authenticated are placed into a denied partition. Each partition is provisioned a portion of memory, processing, and firewalling functionality. Denial of service attacks is not effective as they cannot access the "untrusted" and "trusted" partitions.

Install Edgemarc voice appliances that are completely separate from customer firewalls. Alteva typically manages these and not even local IT staff has access to them.

Why is this technology important?

Unified Communications is the direction businesses are moving toward.  In two separate, recent UC market studies, one for products and one for services, Wainhouse (News - Alert) Research predict that the UC industry will grow to a healthy $30B size in just five years. Wainhouse anticipates that UC services revenues, which are far smaller than product revenues today, will eclipse those of traditional conferencing services by 2013 or 2014.

There are many benefits to Alteva’s UC solution. Alteva’s cloud-based solution cuts deployment time by 75 percent, management time by 90 percent and TCO by 25-30 percent over a premises-based solution.  With Alteva’s UC solution, salespeople, remote workers and mobile executives can do business from any location and never miss a call or message. Features such as messaging and collaboration, answering your office phone from your cell phone, presence status, desktop sharing, IVR (interactive voice response) having voicemails show up as an emails, find me follow me, call accounting, etc. drastically improve productivity. The Alteva UC system rings the costs of new systems from $2000 a user down to $250-$350 per user over a premises-based system. Alteva can deploy, manage and monitor hosted UC applications in less time, for less money. 

What are some of the positive things said by satisfied users, pertaining to your technology?

“It has the features that make it easy for us to do business with our clients.” -- BCG Securities

“Having that unified collaboration in the office, communicating with employees or partners’ instant messaging wise or with mobile devices… it’s an efficiency tool that’s taken us over the top.” -Chorus Communications

“We don’t go out and do things and bring about change very easily. So, for a company like us to say over two years that this system has had such a dramatic effect on our business by reducing our administrative costs, by improving efficiency and by bringing in cost reductions is a very strong case for why companies should work with Alteva.” --PTR Baler and Compactor


Charles West is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Charles worked with many gadget oriented sites that included running his own blog (TheTrendaholic.com) and Smartphone column for examiner.com. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Charles West


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