When you say "in the office," you're talking about being at work and on the private network of your office? This would be normal because you have an authorized private IP address on a private network.
When your tech admin said "no VPN," were they referring to your privately-subscribed VPN or actually using the VPN of the offfice? Meaning, does your work want you to connect directly to the cloud-based database...as opposed to your request first going to your work and then being re-directed to the cloud-based database?
Yes, when I mean "in the office" I mean that I am physically at my work office and connected to their network. "No VPN" is referring to the VPN of the office that I have to use to connect to the email and file server. Yes and no, I am not connecting to the cloud-based database through work but I am connecting directly because it is through another company (Our cloud-based ERP is provided through another company, we didn't create/build it ourselves). It should have work when I gave them my home IP address and they white listed it for accessing the DB (my IP has not changed since giving it to them), and it works for the other people who have needed to access when their IP addresses were white listed. They were unsure if my ISP was blocking the port, so they had me use/try telnet to see if it could connect. When it didn't connect, I figured I could try port forwarding, but no dice there either.