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November 2006

New business opportunities feed appetite for managed VPN services

Remote Possibilities Secure remote access is more than just a convenience for mobile and home-office workers. Ubiquitous high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi, and technologies like multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), improve productivity, reduce costs and create business opportunities that not long ago were impractical, if not impossible. That's feeding a growing appetite for VPN products with improved deployment and management capabilities. But, VPNs remain costly to manage and support, making a compelling case for managed VPN services. Leveraging MPLS for bandwidth-intensive apps like VoIP and video, for example, pushes companies to carriers and boutique services providers with that kind of infrastructure. In-house VPN, for example, wasn't an option for field people at Hospice of Michigan in Detroit, says John Pryor, director of its information services. Some 250 roaming nurses and other home caregivers depended on dial-up to exchange case data via their tablet PCs. "It was onerous, and we weren't as responsive as we needed to be. ...

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