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Intermatic, Norwich and Hamilton County all started with the same legacy platforms, but made different choices when revamping remote access. Workforce, application, business goals and vendor preference affected those decisions. However, there are some common aspects to their choices.
None ended up with a single remote access solution. All combined platforms to satisfy diverse applications, users and devices. All tried to reduce complexity, whether to contain costs, cut administration or simplify user experience. And all tightened security through granular filters and/or endpoint scans--in two cases, by leveraging NAC.
In the future, remote access will be affected by advances like IP telephony, data/voice convergence and 4G wireless. With broader NAC adoption, the network perimeter will continue to fade, turning everyone into a "remote" user. Keeping pace with these changes will require further evolution. As these companies found, perhaps the best remote access strategy is one that doesn't hold you back and grows along with you.
This was first published in November 2007